Welcome to the Greenville High School, St-Joseph's Catholic School, Chris Church Episcopal School and Greenville County Composite Fall 2023 season!
We are so glad you are here! Here is a little history about us: As a budding National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) team, the Upstate Shredders under leadership of Head Coach Gary Swingle accompanied by a few other pioneers started practices in July 2017 expecting maybe a dozen athletes to show up, but were giddy with excitement when 30 athletes arrived ready to roll. For the next two seasons The Shredders grew, and we became three teams: Upstate Composite North, Upstate Composite South, and Greenville High School. We participated in the already established Georgia NICA League races as three teams, yet one cohesive fun-loving group…until 2020. Our fourth season was the inaugural South Carolina NICA season, and will be always known as our COVID-19 year. With the new SC league, The Shredders became the Greenville NICA teams: Greenville HIGH School (the ShRED Raiders), Greenville County Composite and St. Joseph's Catholic School (2021). There were no races (officially!), but we practiced, we rode, we learned, and we discovered new trails with a record number of 86 athletes on both teams.
For the upcoming 2023 season, the Greenville NICA teams welcome rising grade 6-12 girls and boys from anywhere in the greater Greenville area to ride with us. Our clear goal is to create a fun and welcoming environment for student-athletes to develop a strong body, mind and character through mountain biking. There are no tryouts. Everyone rides with us regardless of his/her ability and skill level. Racing is optional and not required to join the team. The team will participate in cross-country style riding and racing during the fall season in the South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League (SCICL) and are supported by the Upstate Shredders 501c3.
So, to recap, you have NICA at the national level, SCICL at the state level, The Greenville NICA teams at the Greenville County level, currently divided into Greenville County Composite, Greenville HIGH School and St. Joseph's Catholic School teams. The Shredders remain as the umbrella 501c3 to help support existing and new Greenville County teams. Got it?? It’s okay to be confused. It’ll come with time.
All students must be registered in the South Carolina League’s “Pitzone”. If you know a student athlete wanting to join, a parent or guardian will need to contact the Team Director for an “invitation” to the Pitzone to access registration (contact info below). Essentially, the Pitzone is where all records of athletes and coaches are held.
Note ● RETURNING riders MUST be fully registered (what is called “race ready” even though it’s just for practices) in the Pitzone by their first practice. NO EXCEPTIONS. Unregistered riders will not be allowed to practice. This is a NICA rule. However, if a NEW rider wants to test out and try one practice before registering in the Pitzone, please contact the Team Directors Carin Wolfe or Cynthia Boswell.
Practices begin in early July 2023 and continue through mid-November. We practice Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings during the season. Weekday practices feature drills, games, and trail riding that develop the skills and fitness needed to progress as a rider. Saturday practices are called adventure rides and will focus on XC trail-riding at some of our favorite Upstate SC and Western NC trails. All teams practice at the same venue with groups divided into levels based on skill and fitness. We will inform parents if there is a change of venue for a particular group.
Practices are limited to athletes and coaches registered with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Pitzone. All coaches receive background checks and are trained in risk management, concussion awareness, and First Aid.
There is a good amount of stuff to communicate. All intra-team communications is done through TeamApp instead of email. Our TeamApp page shows practice time and locations, race schedules, and allows team members, coaches and parents to communicate with each other. There are also links to the Pitzone and SC NICA website from the TeamApp team page, as well as a useful document section. Once you join the team, you can download TeamApp, search for “Greenville County mtb”, and fill out a request to join. We encourage parents/guardians and athletes who are permitted to have phones to be active on TeamApp as this is where all things are mentioned. You can go into notification settings of your phone to make sure you don’t get a sound each time a message is posted. Trust me on this. Opt for checking TeamApp often or allow banner notifications, which is my preference.
The student athletes who choose to race, compete in cross-country style events based on NICA standards (www.nationalmtb.org). Parents and students are responsible for providing transportation to/from all races. Most families and coaches camp on-site at the races and there is an incredibly fun, festival-like atmosphere. Most of the athletes say this is the best part of racing!
$300 - South Carolina NICA Pitzone registration fee – this fee goes to NICA at the National and State levels, and covers everything they contribute, most importantly insurance.
$120 - Team Dues* - this fee goes to the team directly to help pay for coach training and certifications (Wilderness First Aid, First Aid/CPR), safety equipment for rides, equipment for practices.
There are need based scholarships available at the national, state, and local levels. PLEASE contact a Team Director or Head Coach if you need help here. We don’t want cost to be prohibitive!
Please refer to the South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League’s website for information about the refund policy. www.southcarlinamtb.org
Student athletes need to have their own mountain bike and are required to wear helmets and closed-toe shoes when riding. Each rider is responsible for having and maintaining his/her own mountain bike. We encourage every rider to establish a relationship with a local bike shop for bike tunes, equipment maintenance, and questions. Some discounts are available to team members for equipment and repairs.
Parents and guardians play a huge role in NICA. The Greenville NICA programming is provided entirely by volunteers. There are many ways that parents can get involved. Even if you have no interest in filling a traditional coaching role, we encourage parents to plan to be part of our community! Completing NICA coach training allows parents and volunteers to ride with the team at practice or pre-ride race courses with their athlete!
We want you to be secure in knowing that the purpose of NICA Coach License Program is to provide comprehensive training to NICA coaches so that they are equipped to provide quality programming to NICA student-athletes that meet national standards and best practices and develops strong mind, body and character. NICA license certification also aids in protecting volunteers and riders with insurance, as well as protect our youth with background checks. Obtaining a NICA license includes benefits beyond the knowledge that comes with the training and the insurance program. Obviously, the biggest perk is to be able to participate in the same sport as your child, but thanks to our very generous NICA sponsors, registered coaches enjoy several discounts and other benefits. It is common that adults, not just kids, begin to ride mountain bikes for the first time because of NICA. The bottom line is that NICA prepares their coaches well, everyone benefits, and it’s incredibly personally rewarding!
We are here to help! Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Team Director or Head Coach if you need help finding a bike, have questions about the team, or if costs associated with the program or equipment are a barrier to participation. We want everyone who wants to ride with us to be able to! We have access to donated equipment, including bikes.
Greenville High School (if zoned to go to GHS in the future or if already a student at GHS)
Head Coach: William Boswell
Team Director: Cynthia Boswell
Greenville County Composite (for all other athletes in the county)
Head Coach: Justin Middaugh
Team Director: Meg Fogleman
St. Joseph's Catholic School
Head Coach: Rob Howell
Chris Church Episcopal School
Head Coach: Rob Howell