Moms. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. This is especially true when it comes to the Team Moms in collegiate waterski. Across the NCWSA, there are a number of moms who go above and beyond what is asked of them just to support water ski. Some moms skied when they were in college (and kicked butt I might add) and have kids who are now collegiate skiers, some help with coaching, and others always make sure their son or daughter’s ski team has full bellies and a happy tournament weekend. Then there are the college students who take on the role of being the “team mom” for their team. Whether that be making sure everyone gets to bed at a decent hour, wakes up on time for their sets, and even has ibuprofen at the get go, because let’s be honest, it is a much needed staple at collegiate water ski tournaments. No matter the contribution, big or small, the support of these Team Moms has not go unnoticed, and they deserve to be celebrated this Mother’s Day.
Connie is an incredible Team Mom to the San Diego State University, Arizona State University, and Western Washington University water ski teams. She skied for SDSU in college along with her sister, Nancy Hayhurst. She is a great coach for these teams, invites them to practice at her lake, passes down used equipment to skiers, and helps the teams fix broken equipment. Better yet, she’s hosted Collegiate Nationals at Imperial Lakes twice in the past 5 years. Mallory Hayhurst, Connie’s niece, says Connie is always encouraging “college skiers to join AWSA after graduating. She is a great asset to the water skiing community and definitely understands how important it is for AWSA members to support the NCWSA, since we are the future of the sport after all!” Connie also passed on her love for water skiing to her family. Her son Robert is an SDSU alumni; daughter Jaye skied at WWU; nieces Mallory and nephew Matt skied for ASU, and niece Melissa is currently on the team at ASU. Connie is an amazing part of the west coast water ski community. She continuously lends a helping hand, gives advice, and connects the teams with the local water ski supporters. SDSU, ASU and WWU are incredibly lucky to have Connie as a team mom.
As mentioned above, Nancy and Connie are sisters who skied for SDSU. Nancy was a member of the first National Champion team in 1979 (Instagram picture). Now Nancy supports the ASU team where her 3 children water ski. Mallory, Nancy’s daughter, explains that her mom “attends almost every tournament and although she no longer skis, she has helped drive at practice, is a great motivator for our women’s jump team, and she loves to support the team by driving members to tournaments…”. She even brings food to tournament, which for college kids, is always a huge plus. Nancy goes above and beyond in being a mom for collegiate water skiing, and the ASU team is incredibly fortunate to have her support.
“There isn’t one skier in the Great Lakes Conference who hasn’t been affected by Debbie Daulton’s motherly hospitality, encouragement, and coaching. Her hospitality keeps the Ohio State Water Ski Team well fed bright and early at tournaments with an endless supply of fresh fruit and Panera bagels every weekend for breakfast. She also always keeps the team warm on and off the water by letting team members borrow her own heater tops, blankets, sweatshirts, rain boots, and hot tub key card at the hotel. Her encouragement reaches every skier no matter if they ski A or B team, and she is so kind that she’ll even root for Michigan skiers (when OSU is ahead). Debbie spends almost every day during season at the lake pulling skiers all afternoon long making sure that all team members have the chance to practice, and she has also taught many skiers on Ohio State’s Team and UC’s team how to drive their own teammates. Debbie’s efforts have allowed our team to excel at what we do, and she is a mother to everyone on the team! We love her as a coach and as a mother!” —Riley Daulton & The Ohio State University Water Ski Team
“She wasn’t even on my team and I’m sure all of team Midwest called her mom. Whether it was making sure everyone was up in the morning, put to bed, had enough to eat, or even giving tips on the dock to new jumpers, she took care of all of us.Even when she comes back to visit teams, everyone calls her mom still, even all the new team Midwest members”. –Stacey Shelton
“Thanks Mama Mollet for making sure our bellies are full with warm, yummy food, and for always being our #1 fan and most encouraging supporter. You are the bomb.com!” –Ali Mollet
Since this is a Team Mom’s article, it still seems fitting to include University of Kansas’ Team Grandma. Abbey Bays graduated two years ago, but like many collegiate skiers, still keeps tabs on her college ski team. Kelly Reeve says Abbey “gets dragged into answering millions of questions” for the team and is always willing to help! The picture is of Abbey coaching one of KU’s team members, which just goes to show how great of a “grandma” Abbey is to KU’s team.
There are so many Team Moms out there–don’t forget to thank them this Mother’s Day!!