Park City, UT – Keeping its sights set on developing future generations of riders, U.S. Snowboarding is launching the U.S. Snowboarding Freestyle Rookie program. The program will be under the leadership of the highly successful 2006 Olympic halfpipe coach Bud Keene, who was named as national freestyle development coach earlier this summer.

Leading the pack of 11 riders who are eager to earn their pro status are rookies Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO), who was sixth in the 48 Straight halfpipe last season, Vans Cup silver medalist Lizzy Beerman (Weston, VT), Broc Waring (Edwards, CO), who broke through the top 10 in World Cup halfpipe, Junior Worlds silver medalist Kaitlyn Farrington (Bellevue, ID) and World Cup athlete Dylan Bidez (Minturn, CO) will return to the program.

"We are psyched to have Bud Keene lead this Rookie Team program in his new position as National Freestyle Development Coach," said U.S. Snowboarding Program Director Jeremy Forster. "There are some insanely talented young riders in this group and I am stoked to watch their progression during the season."

Athletes on the rookie squad will represent the program in a variety of competitions including the Revolution Tour, Junior World Championships, the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, and some hope to make it through X Games qualifications.

Adding to the group of young and talented athletes will be Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, CA), who is the youngest female to have ever won an X Games gold medal, and Ross Baker (Reno, NV), who was sixth at the US Open in 2008.

Keene, who is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of snowboarding, will coach the Rookie Team program as part of his national development coaching responsibilities. Keene, who was U.S. Snowboarding's head halfpipe coach from 2002-2006, spent two years away from the program at Mount Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club and Crested Butte Academy in Colorado.

2009 U.S. Snowboarding Freestyle Rookie Roster (Birthdate And Hometown)

Jamie Anderson (9/13/90; South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Ross Baker (8/1/90; Reno, NV)
Lizzy Beerman (7/18/91; Weston, VT)
Dylan Bidez (9/11/90; Minturn, CO)
Zack Black (8/1/90; Dillon, CO)
Kaitlyn Farrington (12/18/89; Bellevue, ID)
Matt Ladley (5/17/91; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Madeline Schaffrick (4/29/94; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Brennen Swanson (3/13/90; Stillwater, MN)
Broc Waring (6/3/92; Edwards, CO)
Ben Watts (9/6/93; Bend, OR)