West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League

About Us

We are a chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) – a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As one of 31 leagues across the country, we organize a mountain bike racing league for middle and high school student athletes. Above all, we consider ourselves a youth development organization, whose goal it is to build strong body, strong mind and strong character in our student athletes, with an unwavering focus on inclusivity and equality in everything we do.

Our Vision

Enable every West Virginia teen to strengthen body, mind and character in the most equal and inclusive way through the life-long  sport of cycling.

West VirginiaWe want to become a household name in the state. We envision becoming so integrated into middle and high schools, that students could not imagine what life was like before interscholastic cycling. Every West Virginia teen who so desires should be able to participate in our league.
EqualityWest Virginia consists of a vast spectrum of socioeconomic neighborhoods, our goal is to provide students from across the state with access to the league and play an active role in overcoming any financial and logistical barriers. And of course, no one sits on the bench, everyone races and earns points for their team.
Life LongWe are a youth development organization that places the long-term health and well being of the student athlete above all else. We hope to infuse in our student athletes a passion for an active and healthy lifestyle that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Our Mission

Establish a fun, enduring and relevant 6th to 12th grade mountain bike program to improve the lives of West Virginia’s teens and their families.

We are here to stay and thus our business practices matter. We will follow sound business policy, leadership and financial accountability and responsibility.Having a presence across the state, and continuously growing our number of student athletes for the first 5 years of operation, to the point where we need to split into two regions to accommodate all racers.Our organization is focused on making a difference in the lives of West Virginia’s teens and their families. That concept of making a difference is what inspires our leaders and coaches; it’s not about today’s win or competition, it’s about making a difference – one kid at a time.

Our Core Principles

  • EqualityAll student-athletes are treated equally. Team scores are a combination points scored by both boys and girls.
  • InclusivenessAll student-athletes participate 100% of the time. No one is “benched” and everyone is encouraged to try racing, irrespective of how fast – or slow – they may be.
  • Strong BodyNICA emphasizes wellness through lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. Improving physical fitness and overall wellness are at the center of NICA’s training and education.
  • Strong MindNICA student-athletes are students first. Our program encourages academic excellence.
  • Strong CharacterAll student-athletes are expected to work hard, respect others and give back to their communities. Our programs encourage and provide opportunities for trail stewardship, bicycle advocacy and mentoring.

They guide every decision we make, how we act and conduct our league.

NICA Core Principles

Our Staff

Cassie Smith

League Director

Bradley Schmalzer

League President / Chief Referee

Dr. Stephen “Doc” Worden

WVICL League Treasurer / League Coach Support / Team Coach

Zach Adams

Venue Development

Eric Hawkinberry

Try It Program Manager

Joe Marra

Race Director

Jessica Harmening

Director of Coach and Team Development

Kristen Dieffenbach

Director of Coaching

Sue Haywood

Coach Supporter

Danny Pendry,

Coach Supporter

Julie Hawkinberry

Volunteer Coordinator

Jessy Coffman

Feed Zone Manager

Jodi Mondy

GRiT Coordinator

Mia Fox

GRiT Coordinator

Dan Vorisek

Camp Director

Keith Fulton

Chief Course Sette


NICA is a youth development organization that provides leadership, governance, financial and programmatic support to develop and promote middle and high school (grades 6-12) mountain biking leagues throughout the United States. With a professional staff led by a committed board of directors, NICA exists to enable every American teen to strengthen mind, body and character by participating in an interscholastic mountain bike racing experience that is co-ed, inclusive and equal. Every action that NICA takes is guided by five core principles that are fundamental to the “NICA Way”.



Unlike traditional school sports, NICA leagues provide athletic opportunity to student-athletes of all skill levels and all socioeconomic backgrounds. There are no tryouts for joining a team. Any child who wants to participate is welcome to join his or her local team. If the child does not have proper gear and cannot afford to purchase equipment necessary to participate, NICA is dedicated to providing the necessary items through our network of community based gear donation centers and scholarships.

"As League Director, I'm really grateful for the opportunity NICA has given me to share my mountain bike passion with the folks of West Virginia! The league's inaugural year brought so many positive impacts to our community, and I look forward to watching the program grow!"

-Cassie Smith, WV League Director


NICA has shown that cycling can be used by schools to effectively engage adolescents to help them confront and overcome the difficulties of growing-up in today’s complicated world. Moreover, by working with well trained coaches to set and achieve physically and mentally demanding goals through a sport that can be enjoyed both competitively and recreationally well past high school, NICA is equipping today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders both on and off the bike.

Learn More About NICA