Slopes and Speed: The LHS Ski Team

Erin Suh and Victoria Wu

This year, the Lexington High School ski team will compete at the ski state championship at Berkshire East Ski Resort. The LHS ski team is coached by Russ Sorin, Michael Sopko, and Maria Barrett. Notably, the team is composed of students from both Waltham and Lexington. 

“Our ski team …which races under the name ‘WalLex’, focuses on improving players’ skiing through physical conditioning and technical skill development, such as edge control and weight dispersion drills to help with turning and increasing speed,” Michael Sopko, assistant coach, said.

To accommodate for skiing conditions, the team has a lengthy commute to practices. 

“Typically, we travel to Blue Hills three times a week for practices on Monday and races on Tuesday and Thursday. The drive is about an hour each way, and we use the time for team bonding activities such as singing, race preparation, and team meals,” Sopko said.

The dynamics of a cross-town team contribute to the diversity of players’ backgrounds and allow for the skiers to forge meaningful connections with one another.

“Getting to know the player on and off the slope, seeing different personalities, and learning about our shared interests are some of my favorite experiences as a coach,” Sopko said.

Occasionally, the coaches send their competitors to different areas to optimize their development, familiarizing them with a diverse array of competitions and experiences.

“Some of our skiers spend the weekends training up further north in New England [and] traveling to different states to compete over the weekend for other programs’ race teams. This opportunity and experience help some of our racers gain a physical and mental edge over the competition and make them strong competitors for our team,” Sopko said.

As the team prepares for the annual state competition, both the skiers and coaches are excited about the opportunity to compete. Given their rigorous training and collaborative efforts, many are hopeful for the successes this year’s competition may bring.