Rio Linda teen ranked top junior water skier in the US

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RIO LINDA, Calif. (KTXL ) -- Rio Linda's Blaze Grubbs is soaring to new heights in the sport of water skiing.

“You know, I think skiing is definitely an addiction,” said Grubbs’ father, Steve Grubbs. “But I think you have to be willing to do the work and I think you have to be willing to be frustrated and be willing the next day to get back out there. And Blaze definitely has that."

The 16-year-old sophomore at Sacramento Adventist Academy in Carmichael is the top-ranked junior water skier in the country, combining slalom, tricks and jumps.

“Some days I love all of them, some days I honestly don't like any of them. After I win, I don't like take the next day off,” Blaze told FOX40. “I try to just go right back to work. It's kind of like you skied, you worked hard, you got a win. Let's go back to work and hopefully do more.”

It is that kind of attitude that helped Blaze earn a spot on the USA junior national team.

He is also seen as a key component to the sports youth movement, hoping to bring water skiing back to the forefront.

“I feel like the future of skiing is in the youth's hands and I feel it could take off again,” he said.

“I think that we're at a healthy place,” his father said. “I think we'd all love to see more growth kind of in the junior area.”

Water skiing allows its youth competitors to also compete as professionals, meaning Blaze -- based on what he did last year -- is receiving invites to the best tournaments worldwide.

“I think anybody at his age that's trying to develop into the next level it's not about probably the money side of it, it's more of like maybe the titles,” Steve said. “And then you hope if there is some sort of financial piece in the future, I think that that is just more of a bonus.”

The long season for Blaze and his family starts next week. They leave Saturday for Melbourne, Australia, for one of the biggest international tournaments of the year.

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