NK soccer and football teams were winners
Barrington played the spoiler role for more than one North Kingstown team this year. After an amazing 15-0-3 regular season, the boys’ soccer team succumbed to Barrington in a stunning 1-0 quarterfinals overtime loss.
“We had some great goal scorers, and we created a lot of opportunities in the first half and then it was an uphill battle in the second half.” Kyle Froberg, boys head coach, said. “We should have beaten them in the first half, but they came back. They did a good job.”
Froberg said that going undefeated during the regular season was the teamís best moment this year, but there are several key games that showed the Skipperís strength. A win over five-time defending state champion LaSalle, a 3-0 shut out against South Kingstown, and a 2-0 win over Barrington in the regular season all showed that Froberg’s team was a force to be reckoned with.
Key to the team’s undefeated regular season this year is Jamestown native Brett Uttley. Uttley was one of only two Rhode Island soccer players to be named All- American this year. He finished the season with 15 goals and 15 assists for the Skippers. The last North Kingstown soccer player to named All-American was Jamestown resident Mike Bradley in 1991.
“The great thing about Brett is that he is a great player and a great kid. He is such a leader and he puts the team first, ahead of himself,” Froberg said. “When he knew that we were in the meeting about the playoffs and voting for player honors, he called me as soon as it was over. His first question was not, “How did I do in the voting?” Knowing that who we matched up against in the playoffs was pivotal, he asked, “Who do we play?”
Froberg knows that it will be a tall task to repeat this year’s undefeated season, but knows that his team will learn from their playoff lesson and take nothing for granted next season. “The big challenge will be to keep motivated. To end a season like that is tough,” he said.
Being compared to a good athlete is always a compliment, but being compared to the only girls’ soccer All-American in Rhode Island is high praise. That is exactly what Kelsey Wiggins of Jamestown gets from girls’Assistant Soccer Coach Sean McAdam.
“When you talk about Jamestown players, there is a lot of talent, but the one that stands out to me is Kelsey Wiggins. She is a lot like (All-American) Andie Wilson in a lot of ways,” McAdam said. “She knows what she is on the field for, and she wants the ball all the time.”
The girls’ soccer team finished 7-5-4 with a disheartening 6-2 loss to Situate in the semi-finals. Situate, last year’s Division II champion, kept the ball away from Wilson, but she did manage to score the team’s two goals for the game.
“We were 40 minutes away from the state final,” McAdam said. “We were tied going into the half, but after a few misreads in the second half we just couldn’t put them away.”
McAdam, known locally as “Sean from Slice of Heaven” said that the team’s resilience is its strength. “There was no point when we were down that I did not believe that we couldn’t come back. We weren’t worried if we were down 2-3 at halftime,” he said. He points to a regular season game against Warwick Vets High School as an example. The team was down 0-2 after 69 minutes of play and came back and scored three goals in the last 11 minutes to win 3-2.
The best moment for the team was being able to hold LaSalle to a 0-0 tie in the regular season.
The team’s potential for next season looks good with the return of three Jamestown athletes, including Captain Catie Kelly. “Catie is one or two of the fastest people in the state and that should be an asset to us,” McAdam explained. Kyra Reppe and Ashley Smith should round out the team nicely. Smith is tough on defense and Reppe is building quite an offensive resume with the team.
“Kyra scored four or five goals for us this season and she really likes to take the ball down the side,” McAdam said.
He by noted that the girls are going to be working in the offseason so they can pick up right where they left off this year. “We should have a phenomenal year. It is completely up to them,” he said.
Jamestown resident John Perrotti was a defensive leader for the North Kingstown football team this year and head coach Joe Davies has high hopes for him next year as well. “We just held the voting for next season and John was voted team captain. He finished this season number two in tackles and number one in tackles for losses,” Davies explained. “As John goes next year, so should the team go. He really is one of the best allaround players.”
The team finished 5-3 in division play this year, but lost in a hard fought semifinal playoff game against East Providence. “I think if they would have gotten past East Providence they would have been the state champions,” Athletic Director Thomas said.
Davies agrees with that assessment. “We played them two times. The first time we lost 24- 10 and the next time was in the playoffs and we held them to 7-0,” he said. “We really felt like that was the championship game. We knew that whoever won that game would go on to be champion and they did.”
A key turning point for the team may have been a 42-12 stomping of the Barrington Eagles in the homecoming game. The team was 2-3 going into the game and came out with a confidence that helped them make the final push for a playoff spot.
The best moment for the team this season was a win against Bishop Hendricken at home. “It is becoming a bigger and bigger rivalry every year. We fight them tooth and nail in other sports and it is carrying over to football,” Davies explained.
Davies’ team will be hitting the weight room and focusing on five or six key elements during the offseason.
With the winter sports season underway, the Skippers have a tall order to fill to keep pace with the fall teams. Thomas, however, feels that they are up to the challenge. “North Kingstown has won School of the Year for athletics five times and that is quite an accomplishment. I think we are well on our way to competing for it again this year,” he said.