2008-12-11 / News

Early season look at the high school winter sports

By Stephanie Heelan Cotsonas

The weather gets colder and the winter sports season begins. The North Kingstown High School teams began practicing the first of December and here the varsity coaches share their thoughts on the season and their teams. See next week's Jamestown Press for the remaining teams.

Girls' and boys' swimming

Jillian Oresman returns for her second season coaching both the girls' and boys' swim teams. After ending last season on a high with the girls' team taking third place at the state meet, Oresman wants to take third once again with hopes to place higher. There are currently 42 girls on the roster, including Olympian Liz Beisel, who Oresman notes will always be a huge contributor to the team. Islander Jess Rudman is North's strongest freshman swimmer. With the depth of the team Oresman looks to improve their dual meet record. Although no seniors were lost to graduation, two underclassmen moved leaving the boys' roster with nine swimmers. Islander Victor Lambert, a senior, will return to help anchor the team.

Oresman is a URI graduate with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. Her experience includes coaching a summer league team for three years and for one season with the Attleboro Bluefish. She also coached at the age group level for the Rams Swimming Club. Oresman is currently a physical education/health teacher and athletic director at the Cluny School in Newport, which includes grades pre-school through 8. She is also the soccer and basketball coach for grades 5 through 8.

The girls will swim their first meet of the season on Monday, Dec. 15 at Bay View Academy and the boys will swim at Bishop Hendricken on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Boys' indoor track

Charlie Breagy has been coaching for more than 20 years and has been the boys' indoor and outdoor track coach at North for 10 years. Although a few key seniors were lost to graduation, Breagy is pleased with his team. "Our team is very young, but it is still a very strong team. We did loose Kevin Alexander, who won three state championships last year, so that is a big loss. We also lost Nate Wigton and Rory Farrell (both islanders) who were scorers at the states," Breagy said. He will look to seniors like Andrew Buresh and Will Cawley to lead the team.

According to Breagy, South Kingstown will be the team to beat in the southern division as they did not lose any athletes to graduation. Chariho is also returning a strong team. North beat South by one point to win the division last season. "Overall this will be a tough season for us, but NK is not easy to beat and I am sure the guys will do everything they can to defend our unbeaten streak," Breagy said.

North will start its season with a meet on Jan. 7 against Coventry and Chariho at CCRI in Lincoln.

Girls' indoor track

Kaitlin Wilson is entering her first season as head coach of the girls' indoor track team after acting as assistant coach last season. She has been a volunteer coach for the cross country and track and field teams since 2006. Wilson was the assistant girls' outdoor track coach last spring and the assistant boys' and girls' cross country coach this past fall. Wilson was a 2002 graduate of North Kingstown High School and a 2006 graduate of Stonehill College. She is currently in a master's program at Lesley University. Wilson teaches seventh grade math at Thompson Middle School in Newport.

After losing a couple of runners in the distance, sprints and hurdles, as well as Meghan McGovern in the throwing events, Wilson thinks the team is looking strong for this season. Wilson said, "We have a great class of seniors who are ready to lead the way for the rest of the team, as well as a large talented sophomore class who showed great promise during their freshman season."

Currently the roster has just shy of 60 girls and Wilson is looking forward to seeing who will shine in which events. Although North has traditionally been known as a distance team, Wilson feels they have a solid group of sprinters and throwers who will be working to score as many points as possible in those events.

Islander Caitlin Downing, who finished tenth in the state in the 600 meters last year, will be returning, along with juniors Emily Lester, Tory Dolce, Eliza Chase and Nicole Ethier, and sophomores Katie Matley and Katie Marquis.

The Lady Skippers will start their season with a dual meet against Bay View Academy on Friday, Dec. 19, at CCRI in Lincoln.

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