Jamestown seniors take NK athletic honors
Jamestown graduated 43 seniors from North Kingstown High School last Saturday, and over half of those students were athletes who made notable contributions to the Skippers sports teams. Several also received the Athletic Directors 10+ award, receiving recognition for having played in at least 10 of 12 possible sports seasons during their four years at North Kingstown.
Runner Caitlin Crawford received her watch for participating in all 12 seasons during her tenure at the school. Crawford earned All-State, All-Class and All-Division honors as a member of the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams and will be attending Wake Forest University in the fall. An academic standout as well, she finished thirteenth in her class and took home numerous awards at both the academic and sports awards nights.
"I would have to say my favorite moments were when we won the state championships. It is just something I will never forget," she said.
Girls' cross country coach Keven O'Neil said Crawford will be a hard act to follow, but she has set the standard for NK athletes.
"She is a great athlete and an even better kid," O'Neil said. "She works so well, for herself and for the other kids on the team."
Kelsey Wiggin earned her award for being active in 11 sports seasons. She was a standout on the Skippers soccer squad, a motivating presence on the swim team and a member of the varsity lacrosse team.
Soccer coach Sean McAdam praised Wiggin for her leadership role on the team and described her as a player who always wanted to be in the thick of things.
"She knew what she was on the field for and she wanted the ball all the time," McAdam said.
Although her responsibility as the senior class president played a role in Wiggin deciding not to play lacrosse her senior year, she still supported her former teammates by attending the games and cheering them on.
Wiggin was also an academic standout, graduating sixth in the class and placing second in the University of Rhode Island Calculus Bowl. She will be attending Bucknell University in the fall and plans to major in biomedical engineering.
Alex Birn was instrumental in the boys' indoor and outdoor track team's success over the last few years. Birn has received All- State, All-Class and All-Division honors.
He was also the leading goal scorer for the division with 17 goals his senior year and he earned first team All-State honors for soccer.
Owen White and Gary Largess were the co-captains of the 2007 state champion boys' cross country team and both received their 12-season award. White was a member of the indoor and outdoor track teams as well.
Largess pulled double duty in the spring as a member of both the boys' track and sailing teams and was a member of the indoor track team.
Meryl Evangelista received her 10-season award for participating in soccer, cross-country, indoor track and lacrosse.
Meghan Hitt never dreamed when she was taught to play lacrosse her sophomore year that she would be playing in the state championship game as a senior.
"Going to the championship game this year was definitely the best moment for me. It was so totally unexpected by everyone in the state. We knew we had great talent, but the best part of it was that the team loved each other so much," Hitt said.
Soccer was Hitt's primary sport her freshman and sophomore year, where she played goalie.
"They needed a goalie for the lacrosse team when I was a sophomore so they told me they would teach me the game," she said. "Some people called me crazy for wanting to stand there and have rubber balls thrown at me, but I decided I liked it a lot better with all of the padding on than I did without it in soccer and I was hooked."
Hitt earned first team All-Division and second team All-State honors this year. She will be attending Northeastern University to study physical therapy in the fall.
Sports were a way for Zack Hanners to make friends when he moved to Jamestown from Miami four years ago.
"We moved here four weeks before I started my freshman year and because of football, I made a lot of friends really fast," Hanners said. "I had a great time playing sports in high school. It was great camaraderie."
Hanners was an offensive and defensive lineman for the football team and he will be attending Suffolk University in the fall to major in business.
No matter what sports they played, or what honors they earned, all of these athletes agree that their time at North Kingstown would not have been the same without their athletic endeavors. The Skippers would agree that it certainly would not have been the same without them.