Skippers wrap up regular season, prepare for playoffs
The Skippers wrapped up their regular season against Hope with a win on Tuesday, and the juniorvarsity squad will finish out its regular season Thursday night against East Providence.
While the varsity team is a lock to make the postseason with a 9-2- 1 record, it won’t know if it has to play in the first round until Saturday. “Hopefully, we’ll have a bye,” head coach Kyle Froberg said.
The Skippers last won the state title in 2007. They’ve done well in the postseason since then, but have has been facing two dynasties in La Salle and Barrington. That will be the case again this year.
“They will be tough to beat,” Froberg said.
Barrington won the trophy last year by defeating the La Salle Rams. The two squads are ranked first and second in Rhode Island this season, but the Skippers did beat the Eagles during the regular season.
North Kingstown has an experienced team this year: 15 seniors are on the squad. Jamestown’s Evan Gaudreau, 17, is one of the team leaders.
“We’re doing really well,” Evan said.
The Skippers are in third place in Division I behind undefeated La Salle and one-loss Barrington.
The Skippers have only lost two games this season. Central Falls shut them out in a game earlier this month, and La Salle beat them by one goal. The only other time they didn’t walk away with a victory was a 1-1 tie last week against Chariho.
Evan, who plays forward, leads the team in scoring with three goals. Another islander, Antonio Varrecchione, 17, is doing his best to prevent the opponents from staying on the scoreboard. The junior made varsity and shares the goalkeeper position with sophomore Jarod Parkins and senior Joseph Dushi, both of North Kingstown.
Antonio’s best effort this season came during the game against Woonsocket, Froberg said. He played almost the entire game, and the Skippers beat the Villanovans, 3-1. Antonio also liked the game against Central, which the Skippers won 4-1.
Froberg said the team’s best victory was the win against Barrington, last year’s champs. In fact, the Eagles didn’t just win the state title in 2012, they also turned in a perfect season. Barrington kept the undefeated streak going into the eight matches into 2013, but then they ran into a determined North Kingstown squad.
Barrington was ahead 2-0, but the Skippers came from behind and nipped the Eagles, 3-2.
When asked about the state tournament, Froberg was optimistic about his veteran team.
“I like our chances,” he said.
Because there are so many contributing seniors on the team, Froberg said it’s hard to single out the best athletes.
There are a lot of players who deserve some recognition, he said. Among them, Matt Pazienza is one of the co-captains. He is from North Kingstown and plays the midfielder position. Froberg also mentioned fellow midfielders Brandon Iannelli and Matt Delgreco, as well as Brandon’s twin, Casey, who plays forward.
Brandon is tied with Tyler Chabotand and Alexander Overly for the team lead with two assists. Tyler is the other co-captain.
The varsity closed out the season on Tuesday with a 4-1 victory at Hope High School.
Three Jamestown students are playing on the junior-varsity team led by coach Paul Fanning.
Finn Dwyer, 16, a junior, plays the center midfielder position. Noah Simmons, 15 and a sophomore, plays forward and is one of the team’s scoring threats. Stephen Cirella, 15, also a sophomore, plays defense.
Like the big team, the junior squad is also having an outstanding season, according to Noah. The Skippers are 7-2-1.
Finn thinks the team’s best game came against La Salle. The Skippers shut the Rams out, 1-0, in their first game of the season. He thinks that opening match set the tone for the rest of the season.
The Skippers’ two losses came against senior high-school squads. Shea beat them 2-1, and the Skippers also dropped the game against Central Falls, 1-0. Both losses were at home.
Their biggest margin of victory came in a 6-0 rout of Portsmouth. Of the JV team’s seven wins, six came by way of shutout: they knocked off Woonsocket 4-0, Tolman 3-0, and also had 1-0 wins over La Salle, Barrington and South Kingstown.
The Skippers tied Bishop Hendricken, 2-2.
This JV squad is a young team with seven freshmen, six sophomores and only four juniors. Finn, Tim Mohn, and Lucas Bojer are the upperclassmen. Antonio, who is also a junior, and Jarod Parkins, a sophomore, play varsity but are also listed on the JV roster as the goalkeepers.