After 24 years, ARHS’ Wayne Hey skis off into the sunset


After 24 years, ARHS’ Wayne Hey skis off into the sunset
After 24 seasons, Wayne Hey will be stepping down from the ski program. (Photo/Courtesy)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Algonquin Regional High School ski program will have a new coach next year, which will be a strange situation because the Titans have only ever had one person leading them on the slopes.

Earlier this winter, Coach Wayne Hey announced that after 24 seasons, he would be stepping down from the program he helped found.

“Coach Hey is a great educator and coach for our student-athletes, but an even better person,” said Algonquin Athletic Director Mike Mocerino. “Coach Hey started the boys and girls ski program in 1999 – bringing multiple teams to the state championship and winning numerous league titles. More importantly, he has impacted the lives of countless student-athletes at Algonquin Regional High School.”

For Hey, coaching skiing was just an extension of his passion for the sport.

“We were always skiers. My boys skied and in 1998 we petitioned the school to start a ski program,” recalled Hey. “Fran Whitten, the athletic director, couldn’t find a coach and asked me if I’d do it. I had another fellow helping me out. He had three boys on the team, and I had two.”

When the program began, the Titans skied out of the Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford and competed in the Massachusetts Bay West League.

“There weren’t too many high school ski programs back then,” said Hey, who will turn 70 in June.

Over the years, much has changed about skiing at Algonquin. The program relocated to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury and began competing in the CMCS. Participation has grown, particularly among female athletes.

“When we started out, we had 20 boys and only five girls. That has evened out over the years,” said Hey.

In fact, the Algonquin girls have become perennial league champions, and the Titans have had two female skiers claim state championships.

While the championships and the accolades are nice, Hey believes his success as a coach is measured in the continued passion for skiing exhibited by the athletes who have competed for him over the years. At the top of that list are Hey’s own sons, Darryl and Jason.

Darryl now runs the racing program at Ski Ward. His three children also love to ski, as does his wife. Jason lives in Park City, Utah, where he coaches a ski team.

“I think that what they have done and what they are doing is wonderful,” said Hey. “It doesn’t matter if you’re racing or just skiing for fun, skiing is a family sport.”

The popularity of the Algonquin program is such that as many as 40 athletes participate each winter. As Hey walks away, he feels confident he is leaving the Titans in very capable, and familiar, hands.

Linnea Henningson, who served as Hey’s assistant this past year, steps into the role of head coach next winter.

“Linnea raced for us about eight years ago,” said Hey. “She is a great person, and she will do a great job.”

As for Hey, who retired several years ago from his job as a swimming pool contractor, he has a pretty good idea of what he will be doing with his free time next winter.

“Hopefully, I’ll be skiing,” he said.


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