2007-12-28 / News

Islanders reach new heights in sports this year

By Stephanie H. Cotsonas

The North Kingstown High School field hockey team celebrates their win in the Rhode Island Division 1 state field hockey finals. Photo by Adrienne Downing The North Kingstown High School field hockey team celebrates their win in the Rhode Island Division 1 state field hockey finals. Photo by Adrienne Downing Island sports were exciting in 2007, and here are some of the highlights.

Islander Brett Uttley was recently named to the 2007 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American team, and he is the only person in North Kingstown High School history to receive the honor twice in the same sport. As one of thirteen seniors on the team, Uttley was a key player in the Skippers undefeated season and their state title.

In November, the North Kingstown High School boys' soccer team topped an undefeated season with a 1-0 win over rival South Kingstown to win the Division I Finals. In the previous two seasons, the Skippers did not lose a regular season game, but were eliminated in the playoffs. During the regular season, North had a record of 16-0-2 and were Division I South Champions. Islanders Ben Nadeau, Garik Smith and Uttley were part of the winning team. "The championship is definitely sweeter coming on the heels of the undefeated season. This is something these kids will remember for the rest of their lives," head coach Kyle Froberg said.

In June, the North Kingstown boys' outdoor track team beat Hendricken to win the state title. The Hawks held the title for nine years and did not give it up easily. The title came down to the 4 x 400 relay

team, which included islanders Nate Wigton and Andrew Buresh. Head coach Charlie Breagy said, "The strength of this team is its depth and everyone stepped up the one time when it really counted."

Jamestown resident Catie Kelly was the pole vault state champion at the Rhode Island state track championships in June. The North Kingstown High School junior won with a vault of nine feet. Kelly just finished her final season of soccer as co-captain of the girls' team and will be defending her pole vault state title in the spring.

Island resident Will Kopelcheck was awarded the Boys' Lacrosse Player of the Year at the Cox Rhode Island Sports Awards in June. Then a Prout senior, he was also chosen from all of the spring athletes as the Male Spring Player of the Year. He is currently attending St. Lawrence University.

The Jamestown Baseball 12- year-old All-Star team had its best appearance in recent history, finishing fourth in the seven-team Cal Ripken state tournament, which was held in July in West Warwick. The coaches praised the team for their best showing in several years, finishing with a record of 2-2 in the tournament.

In August, Jamestown hosted Skatefest 2007 for skateboarders and BMX riders. The event was the brainchild of teen coordinator Melissa Minto, Robb Roach of Kettlebottom Outfitters, and Jason Hamel of Hamel Graphics. The daylong event, drew a crowd 275, and was held at the Jamestown skate park. Attendees included professional skateboarder Donny Barley and the BMX stunt team, the Trickstars, complete with product giveaways. The purpose for the fest was two-fold, according to Roach, who saw the day as a great opportunity to educate both the skateboarders and the public on each others' needs. All of the parties involved with the day declared it a big success and are already making plans for next year.

The North Kingstown High School field hockey team regained the Division I state crown after beating the Tiverton Tigers by a score of 3-0 in November. North won three straight state titles from 2002-2004. Barrington has held the title for the past two years. Last year, the Skippers lost in the semi-finals to Barrington in triple overtime. Islander Megan Greene was named to the All-Tournament Team.

In October, Michael Marshall and his brother David won the New England Sloop Championships for Connecticut College, edging Boston College and Brown University for the title. Mike and David, along with teammate Kit Will, headed to the national championship race in Fort Worth, Texas, in November. Both boys sailed on the North Kingstown High School sailing team.

History was made in December as the brand new North Kingstown High School boys' swim team had their inaugural meet against Portsmouth High School and took first place in all but two of the eleven events. The Skippers were led by islander Victor Lambert, who took first place in all four of his events. The Skippers easily won their first meet in the school's history by a score of 63-30.

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