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JANUARY 2021

VOL.1

THE CAJUN SKI Ragin' Cajuns Water Ski Team's Newsletter

Farewell Message from Team Captain, Harry Spavin

IN THIS ISSUE

Happy New Year to all! I would like to take this time to give my thanks and appreciation to the entire Cajun Family. I recently graduated in December with my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. My 4.5 years at UL Lafayette and being part of the Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team has changed my life. I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue water skiing and academics at the same time. I am grateful for the opportunity to become team captain 3 years ago and lead this great team. It has brought many challenges but has been very rewarding. My time at UL Lafayette has been filled with both ups and downs, many adventures, and memories that will last forever. I would like to thank all my team members who have shaped me as an individual and as a leader. I would also like to thank all of our supporters, sponsors, donors, and fans. Without you, we would not be the team we are today. The Cajun Family runs deep, I will be a Cajun forever, and who knows? Maybe I'll be back for my Masters in a couple years!

USAWS AWARDS

THE CAJUN SKI

TEAM CAPTAIN MESSAGE 2019 RECRUITMENT WEEKEND SPONSORSHIP ADVISING BOAT UNVEIL WINTER CONFERENCE CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATE COVID NEW MEMBERS RING CEREMONY HURRICANE SEASON SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN FALL 2020 GRADUATES SPRING 2021 NEW WEBSITE THANK YOU FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @CAJUNSKI @CAJUNSKI RAGINCAJUNSWATERSKI

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A LOOK BACK ON 2019 The Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team had a very successful 2019 and was looking to 2020 to keep the momentum going. As soon as Team members returned to Lafayette after winter break, everyone’s focus was on winning back-to-back National Championships. Excitement and passion definitely was in the air when looking to the future.

USAWS AWARDS At the end of January, team members made a trip to Orlando for the annual USAWS Awards. At the banquet, the Team received NCWSA Team of the Year, Harry Spavin received NCWSA Male Leader of the Year, and Jaimee Bull received NCWSA Female Athlete of the Year.

RECRUITMENT WEEKEND The Team hosted their second official recruitment weekend and the first Cajun Ski athlete signing day. To kick off the weekend, Sean Kraus committed to the Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team and joined the Cajun Family. The Team always enjoys welcoming and showing recruits the school, the city, and the training facility. Throughout the weekend, the Cajuns toured campus and the lake with the recruits and their families. They had po-boys at Olde Tyme Grocery for lunch, were shown cajun culture over dinner and this year, attended a mardi gras parade. THE CAJUN SKI

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Sponsorship Advising At the end of the fall 2019 semester and the beginning of spring 2020, the Team had the opportunity to work with Team Sponsor, Joe Spell of Tides Medical. Joe advised the Team on how to obtain sponsors and donations. The one project that was the most exciting was receiving donations for the National Championship Rings. PHOTO BY MARTIN R. SMITH

Thanks to project leader, Bailey Austin, the Team raised enough money to order the amazing rings the team designed.

Boat Unveil In the spring semester, the Ragin’ Cajuns welcomed a beautiful red and white boat from Bennett’s Boat & Ski. The Team receives a new MasterCraft boat each year because of an initial donation from Joe Spell at Tides Medical and a partnership with Steve and Danyelle Critchely at Bennett’s Boat & Ski. The team is thankful for the partnerships with these two companies and the opportunities they provide. The Team also used this opportunity to thank Coach, Ryan Gonzales. The Team presented Ryan a gift to show our appreciation. Coach Ryan, Thank you for all you do! You keep us moving forward and always push us to be better people. THE CAJUN SKI

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Winter Conference In February, the Team took on the task of organizing the SCR Collegiate Winter Conference. The Ragin’ Cajuns welcomed the South Central Region to Lafayette, hoping to build the region and learn from each other. This was the first winter conference where there were break-out sessions with different topics. Region members could choose which sessions they wanted to attend throughout the day. There were sessions about equipment repair, how to become an official and how to host a tournament, to name a few. Mid-day we had lunch at Olde Tyme Grocery (alumni out there know how good a shrimp po-boy is). To cap off a successful weekend, the Team hosted a Saturday night banquet in downtown Lafayette. We gave out region awards for the first time with the Ragin’ Cajuns winning Team of the Year, Jaimee Bull winning Female Athlete of the Year, and Harry Spavin winning Male Leader of the Year. Just as importantly we took the opportunity to acknowledge and thank some of our biggest supporters and the officials that support our region. We gave out awards for volunteer of the year, official of the year, team mom of the year and more! A big thank you to Taryn Grant who spearheaded the weekend and hopes that participants found value in the breakouts and that winter conference will continue to offer learning opportunities with this format year after year.

THE CAJUN SKI

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CONGRATULATIONS RAGIN' GRAD In Spring 2020, Joseph Schouten graduated with his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. COVID made it difficult for all of us to say ‘ski you later’ and goodluck in your future endeavors to our graduating senior, but thankfully we had Zoom for the team to have a virtual goodbye and celebration for Joseph.

COVID In March, COVID-19 caused the UL Lafayette to shut down and had classes go virtual. This caused many team members to change their plans for the rest of the semester and the summer. Due to the virus, the collegiate season was cancelled for both the spring and the fall semesters. It also caused many of the Team’s community events to be cancelled including Family Adventure Day, an event that the Team always enjoys. This event gives families the opportunity to come to Airport Lake, interact with team members and watch skiing from the shore and the boat. We hope in the spring, the Team will be able to continue it’s tradition of giving back to the community by participating in community events. COVID forced many team members to change their plans for the summer. Some of our members were able to go home, taking a chance they would be allowed back in the U.S for the start of fall semester. Other members stayed in the U.S., not wanting to risk crossing the border. Even with COVID this year, the Cajuns were still able to get on the water and train. Throughout the summer and into the fall, team members posted phenomenal results. Over seven Cajuns PB’d this summer/fall with multiple national and world records being broken.

THE CAJUN SKI

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NEW MEMBERS Photo: David Crowder

Team members started school in August, a little earlier than normal because of a modified academic calendar due to COVID. The Team had two new members beginning school this fall, Sean Kraus and Dorien Llewellyn. Sean came in as a freshman and Dorien started his Masters degree. The Team is very excited for these additions to our Cajun Family, they are great skiers on the water and even better individuals off the water.

Photo: Tiare Miranda

RING CEREMONY When team members arrived back to school this fall they had something special waiting for them, their championship rings! The Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team held a ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments, thank supporters/donors, and receive their National Championship Rings. Thank you to all the donors who helped the Team purchase the rings. We will cherish the rings and the memories forever.

THE CAJUN SKI

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HURRICANE SEASON Along with having a shortened fall semester, hurricane season was active and hit Louisiana hard. Louisiana was hit by multiple tropical storms and hurricanes during the semester. Thankfully all team members stayed safe through it all and no damage was done to anyone’s home. One home with three team members had a tree fall on their porch, but did not cause damage to the house. Hurricane Delta was not as kind to Airport Lake, the Team training facility. The side curtain on the ramp broke and ended up landing on the surface of the ramp. The road going down to the shed/dock also took a hit from the storms and started to erode away. Thankfully the road has been fixed so it is now safe to drive down to the shed/dock and the ramp has been taken out of the water to have repairs done on it. Since the ramp is out, the Team will take this time to make other needed repairs on the ramp. The Team hopes to have it ready and back in the water early spring for the team to start training.

The Louisiana community was hurting after the hurricanes came through. Some of the Team members volunteered a weekend to help with hurricane relief in Lake Charles. They took water to donate, helped unload trucks of supplies, and went to houses to help with cleanup. In Lafayette, the Team organized a food-drive to help local families who were affected by Hurricane Delta.

THE CAJUN SKI

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SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN In October, the Team participated in ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We raised awareness through online posts and raised over $1200 for the American Cancer Society. In November, the Team decided to support men’s health through Movember. The men’s team grew out their mustaches and raised awareness and money for men’s health. Thank you to everyone who was involved and donated to these great causes.

STUFF THE BOAT On Veterans Day, the Team partnered with UL Lafayette's Student Veterans Organization to organize Stuff the Boat. This event is a food & item drive for local Veterans in need. This was the fourth Stuff the Boat the Team has been involved in. The Team stood outside of Rouses Market with the Team boat, collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothing, and monetary donations. The items were donated to St. Joseph's Diner and St. Michael's Shelter. A big Cajun thank you to the Lafayette community who helped us stuff our boat!

THE CAJUN SKI

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SKI YOU LATER, ALLIGATOR: FALL 2020 GRADS READY TO GEAUX In December, three team members graduated. Carlo Basic graduated with his undergrad in Marketing, Harry Spavin with his undergrad in Civil Engineering, and Taryn Grant with her Masters of Science in Communication. Carlo will be returning to pursue his MBA at UL Lafayette and will continue to ski for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Carlo has another year of eligibility and will dedicate time to leading the Team. Harry has accepted an engineering position and will be returning to Lafayette. Taryn's plan is to balance water skiing at a high level and also start her career. We wish Harry and Taryn all the best in their future endeavors. These two have been instrumental in the success and running of the Team. They will forever be Ragin’ Cajuns and part of the Cajun Family!

CLASS THE CAJUN SKI

OF

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GEARED UP FOR SPRING 2021 Unfortunately all collegiate tournaments were cancelled in the spring and fall semesters this past year. Don’t worry though, the schedule is set for spring 2021 and the Cajuns are optimistic and excited for the season. The 2020 Nationals have been postponed to Spring and will be held in Colorado, May 13-15,2021. Skiers who were eligible to ski Fall 2020 will now have the opportunity to ski five Nationals if they ski Nationals in Spring 2021. Spring 2021 Nationals will not use Fall or Spring skier eligibility. The Fall 2021 Nationals will be hosted at Tri-Lakes, Zachary, LA. As Team Captain, Harry Spavin and Assistant Coach, Taryn Grant graduated this Fall, the Team will start the New Year with new leadership. The Team voted and guided the decision to form a leadership team. The four members on this leadership team are; Bailey Austin, Carlo Basic, Arron Davies, and Allie Moodie. Bailey and Carlo have served as vice-captains since Fall 2019. They have helped manage the Team and establish Team COVID protocol to keep team members safe. Arron has stepped up to maintain Airport Lake facilities and operations since Fall 2019, always willing to ensure the site is perfect. Allie has taken on responsibilities of social media, content creation, and community events during the Fall 2020 semester. We look forward to an exciting new chapter with these leaders.

Bailey Austin

Carlo Basic

Arron Davies

Allie Moodie

NEW INTERACTIVE WEBSITE LAUNCHED The Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team have launched a new website. Here you will be able to find out more about team members, you can watch for new blog posts, stay current on team events, and find out about fundraising opportunities. We hope the new website will keep our sponsors, donors, alumni and families engaged in everything CajunSki. Head to www.ragincajunswaterski.com to check it out. THE CAJUN SKI

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THANK YOU

The Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team would like to thank all our sponsors and donors. Unfortunately this year was far from being a typical collegiate season, but we thank you for sticking by us and supporting us through it all. We cannot wait for the collegiate season to get going again and to defend our National Championship Title. @CAJUNSKI

FOLLOW US ONLINE

@CAJUNSKI

RAGINCAJUNWATERSKI.COM

RAGINCAJUNSWATERSKI

RAGIN CAJUNS WATER SKI TEAM

GIVE BACK TO CAJUN SKIERS The Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team is always looking for sponsors and donors to help finance different projects throughout the year. This year is no exception. We are currently in need of funds to repair the jump ramp, we will need funds to help cover the costs of participating in two Nationals in one year, and we are looking for sponsors for team uniforms. If you are interested in donating towards the Ragin’ Cajuns Water Ski Team, or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please visit our website or follow the QR Code to find out more about our projects, needs as a team, and link to donate. THE CAJUN SKI

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