A Morristown youth will be competing with his peers in several snowboarding events at the upcoming USA Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) National Championships. On March 15 Billy Trautner, the 11-year old son of William and Alice Trautner, was invited to the USASA National Championships after competing in the Northern Vermont Region of Vermont throughout the winter. The 2013 USASA National Championships will be held at Copper Mountain in Colorado between March 30 and April 4.
“We are very proud of him,” stated Billy’s father William Trautner, “Billy has worked extremely hard this year.”
Billy’s invitation to nationals this year is especially impressive due to the fact that he has never had a personal professional coach. According to his father Billy has been teaching himself to snowboard since he was in pre-school. His parents have supported Billy’s efforts throughout this year and since he began snowboarding in general. William Trautner took a second job at Stowe Mountain Resort partly to ensure that Billy had access to a free pass and lessons at the mountain.
The family’s dedication to Billy’s snowboarding career paid off this year, when he began competing in the Northern Vermont Region of the USASA. Over the course of the winter Billy competed at Smuggler’s Notch, Stowe, Jay Peak, and Sugarbush in the events such as boarder cross, halfpipe, slopestyle, and rail jam. Despite 2013 being his first year competing Billy was able to bring home three bronze medals and three silver medals in his events over the course of the winter.
“Billy has done a terrific job this year,” stated his father.
Billy’s success resulted in top-five rankings in his region in both boarder cross and halfpipe, and that success translated into his invitation to nationals in Colorado for both events. However, Billy and his family received the invitation to nationals the day after a serious car accident in which his mother Alice rolled the family pickup truck on her way to work on the Mountain Road in Stowe. Alice suffered a concussion and other minor injuries in the accident, and the truck was totaled. The loss of the truck meant that the Trautners could not afford to fund Billy’s trip to nationals later in the month.
“My heart dropped into my stomach when we got the invite the day after the accident and had only 24 hours to respond,” explained William Trautner. However, Billy’s friends and family quickly stepped in to help save the day and send him to Colorado.
Billy’s family quickly established the Billy Trautner Fund online and at the Morristown branch of the Union Bank with the goal of raising enough money to help cover the cost of airfare, room and board for one week, and other travel expenses and costs for Billy and one of his parents on the trip.
The response by the local community after the forming of the Billy Trautner Fund was immediate. According to Billy’s aunt Cynthia, who is helping to run the fundraising effort, since the fund was created on March 15 it has raised approximately $3,500. While the family initially believed this total would be enough to cover the trip, after researching airfare and hotel rooms they have found that a total more in the range of $5,000 will be necessary to help cover all expenses. As a result their fundraising efforts are continuing.
“Billy is just a natural and we would really like to be able to get him out to nationals,” explained his aunt Cynthia, “We appreciate all the support that he is getting.”
Support for Billy has also come in other ways. Darkside Snowboard Shop has agreed to sponsor Billy and will be providing the equipment he will be using in Colorado.
“…there has been so much local support for him,” explained William Trautner, “We just hope he can come back with something to brag about.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Billy Trautner Fund to help Billy with his trip to nationals can do so by visiting the site http://www.gofundme/com/2bchbg or by visiting the Union Bank in Morrisville, which has its’ own Billy Trautner Fund set up for donations.
Skiing and Snowboarding Sidebar
by Andrew Martin
Along with Billy several other youths from Lamoille County have qualified for the USASA National Championships. Marjorie Fay, who has been doing publicity for the USA Snowboard Association’s Northern Vermont events reports, Hyde Park resident Oliver Ogden, who competes in the 9 and under boys age group, has been invited to the USASA Freestyle Skiing Nationals in early April. Oliver will be participating in the Skier Cross and Rail Jam events.
Acy Craig, of Johnson, was the overall champion last year for her age group and that status earned her an automatic invite to this year’s Nationals in the events of Giant Slalom, Slalom, Halfpipe, Slope Style, and Boarder Cross. Acy also earned an invitation to the Rail Jam event for girls between the ages of 10 and 13 based upon her performances this year in that event.