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The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Monday, June 10, the annual Underclassmen Awards ceremony took place inside of WHSs auditorium.

I think that these awards bring motivation to [WHS] students to preform well academically, Sophomore Rufat Hasanov said.
WHS hosts the annual Underclassman Awards ceremony
June 15, 2024
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Boys and girls hockey secures funding

With+the+recent+addition+of+Wayland+Hockey+to+the+towns+athletic+budget%2C+hockey+players+are+at+ease+with+sport+costs%2C+and+the+programs+future+at+the+school.+%0A%0A%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m+very+excited+and+proud+that+the+funding+passed%2C%E2%80%9D+Recently+elected+boys+hockey+captain+Shane+Desmond+said.+%E2%80%9CI+know+the+WHA+has+put+in+a+lot+of+effort+to+get+this+done%2C+and+I+know+the+main+goal+is+to+make+%5Bhockey%5D+more+affordable.%E2%80%9D
Credit: Edge Wheeler
With the recent addition of Wayland Hockey to the town’s athletic budget, hockey players are at ease with sport costs, and the program’s future at the school. “I’m very excited and proud that the funding passed,” Recently elected boys hockey captain Shane Desmond said. “I know the WHA has put in a lot of effort to get this done, and I know the main goal is to make [hockey] more affordable.”

On Monday, May 13, voters at the annual Wayland Town Meeting approved of the FY25 Omnibus Budget. This budget secures funding for both the Wayland boys and girls ice hockey programs for the first time in over 35 years. Using a four-year plan, $15,000 will be added annually to fund ice hockey, with the budget ending at $60,000. There is currently $15,000 set aside in next year’s athletic budget.

Previously, athletes wishing to play hockey had to pay $1,200 per athlete for one season. With most other sports at WHS costing $300 per season, hockey athletes were paying what most would pay throughout their high school career for one season. Programs, such as the Wayland Hockey Association (WHA) and Wayland Boosters, have supported athletes by lowering these costs through donations, covering jersey costs and helping out with other expenses of the teams.

“There is a budding hockey community in Wayland, and we see ourselves as the vehicle to help bring these families together to achieve our overall goal of growing the sport of ice hockey in Wayland,” WHA President Rob Desmond said.

The WHA is not funded by the school and has supported the Wayland hockey teams for over 30 years. This year, they helped lead the process to include hockey in the budget. Some athletes who play different sports at Wayland have found this funding long-deserved for both hockey teams.

“I think the hockey players completely deserve the funding,” WHS junior and three-sport athlete Owen Williams said. “I’m friends with a bunch of the [hockey] players, and I’ve gone to a couple of their games. They’re some of the hardest-working people there are. [The funding is] definitely something they deserve.”

Both hockey teams are co-opted with other towns. The boys play as the Watertown/Wayland Raiders, while the girls play as the Wayland/Weston Warcats. The girl’s team name is a combination of the Wayland “Warriors” and the Weston “Wildcats.”

“It is amazing that we are getting support from the school,” girls varsity hockey player Mackenzie Regan said. “I think that with it being more affordable now and becoming supported [by Wayland High School], more people will be able to play hockey with the school.”

Boys Hockey Head Coach and WHS Class of 2011 alumni EJ Nicholas coached the team through years without funding. He began helping as a volunteer coach while attending college and eventually became an assistant for the boys varsity team.

“Wayland hockey is something that I hold very closely to my heart,” Nicholas said. “I have been a member of the Wayland hockey community for the last 22 years, beginning when I played for a Wayland summer league in fourth grade. My mother has been heavily involved in the WHA and eventually sat on the board assisting the association as I played in middle and high school.”

Since Nicholas’s introduction to hockey through a Wayland summer league in fourth grade, he continued playing in high school as a defenseman for the boys team in the 2008-2011 seasons. According to Nicholas, the players were the ones driving the fundraising during his time on the team.

“I remember the mornings where we would get up at 6 a.m. [and] stand outside of Starbucks, Mel’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, or any other store that allowed us to fundraise outside,” Nicholas said. “We had no support from the school, and families were paying over $1,500 for their kids to play the sport they loved.”

According to Desmond, the WHA looks to grow their outreach to the community through new events such as “learn to skate” nights, practice time for the Wayland Middle School team and more team gatherings to increase team bonding opportunities. Though the WHA’s main purpose of funding hockey programs at the high school is being taken over by the school, they will still be active in the community.

“The WHA will need to continue subsidizing the boys, girls and middle school teams over the next four years until the full funding amount is set to be allocated,” Desmond said. “However, the offset of school funding allows the WHA to also focus on growing the hockey community in town. There is a budding hockey community in Wayland, and we see ourselves as the vehicle to help bring these families together to achieve our overall goal of growing the sport of ice hockey in Wayland.”

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About the Contributors
Edge Wheeler
Edge Wheeler, Staff Reporter
Edge Wheeler, Class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. He runs cross country and plays hockey at WHS. Outside of school he enjoys spending time with friends and playing sports. Contact: [email protected]  
Alex Evangelista
Alex Evangelista, Staff Reporter
Alex Evangelista, class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. He plays football and basketball for WHS. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends and listening to music. Contact: [email protected]  
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