Spring sporting events underway this week
The weather has been the athletes’ biggest adversary, but despite some postponements, the spring season opened this week at North Kingstown High, with many of the teams scheduled to see action.
Tuesday’s opener to the baseball season was postponed, but the team plays at South Kingstown this afternoon and then hosts Barrington at Lischio Field on Friday.
Skippers’ baseball coach Kevin Gormley said the team faces a challenge after losing many top players to graduation. North Kingstown turned in an outstanding effort in 2013, finishing runner up to Hendricken at the state championship played at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
According to Gormley, the Skippers lost key players to graduation, including Chris Hess, Austin Barry, Adam Nabb, Tyler Rains and Jay Montanaro. “We hope to try and fill some key defensive positions they occupied last season,” he said, “and recapture the competitive spirit that enable us to be successful.”
The baseball team had no Jamestown players two years ago, but last year, Stephen Cirella battled through the tryouts and made the JV team. He played infield and catcher.
In the offseason, Cirella earned a spot on the varsity squad. He is the only Jamestowner on the team, and will likely play a new position. Gormley said he’s competing for a starting position in the outfield.
“He has done well in practices during the early part of the season,” the manager said.
In lacrosse, four girls will represent Jamestown on the varsity team. Senior Margot Janson suffered an ankle injury last year that sidelined her after week six of the regular season. Even with the veteran out of the lineup, the team managed to land in the playoffs despite a tough schedule. Meanwhile, islanders Rachel O’Neill, Grace Lynn and Allie Baldwin have moved up to the varsity level. They played on the JV team last year.
The boys’ tennis team, which won its first games of the season Tuesday at home against Lincoln, also has a Jamestown player. Junior Finn Dwyer returns to play doubles. He also made the varsity squad last year as a sophomore, and shined in his 2014 debut: partnered with Charles Keen, the North Kingstown doubles team won in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) over Lincoln’s Drew Abram and Garrett Scahill.
On the boys’ volleyball team, islander Garrett Bucklin remains the squad’s standout. The Skippers opened the season Tuesday on the road against Chariho, winning easily in straight sets (25-11, 25-19, 25-9).
The girls’ fast-pitch softball team opened the season Wednesday at Coventry. (Results were unavailable at press time.) The Skippers made a trip to the playoffs last season and ran into some tough luck in the double-elimination format. The team finished with a 14-2 record, good enough for second place in the Division I standings behind Lincoln.
Jamestown’s Faith Chadwick is returning to the softball squad. She played backup at first base last year and helped the team nail down a couple of victories. Chadwick, according to coach Adam Laliberte, is “handy with a bat.”
The unified basketball team also headed into action this week with a game scheduled at Chariho on Wednesday. The squad is coached by Laura Hosley, an islander and the mother of Bucklin, who stars on the varsity volleyball team.
Jamestown will also have a representative on the boys’ lacrosse team. Sophomore Anthony Antonucci made the varsity team. He played ice hockey for the school this past winter.
In coed sailing, islanders have made their mark in the past, and this year should be no exception. The sailing team belongs to the New England Schools Sailing Association, and is 1-0 in league competition, 3-0 overall, defeating East Greenwich, Tabor Academy and Falmouth.
The Skippers are ranked first in their division, the Rhode Island major independents. Jamestown’s Emma Vogel, a senior, is the sailing team’s co-captain. Noah Simmons and Ryan Geib, both of Jamestown, also made the team. Simmons competed with the swimming team in the winter, and Ryan played linebacker and fullback on the Skippers’ football team.
Last but not least, the outdoor track teams are set to start their seasons later this month.
This season marks the last for longtime boys’ track coach Charles Breagy, who is retiring at the end of the school year. He led the Skippers to an outdoor state championship in 2012. Earlier this year, the team had a chance to make school history by winning an indoor crown. Ben Stewart and Ben Lee represented Jamestown. Ultimately, the team finished in fourth behind La Salle, Classical and Bishop Hendricken.
The girls’ indoor track team came in sixth at the state championship meet, and the girls hope to improve in the outdoor season. Both the boys and girls, indoor and outdoor, have finished in first place in the Division I standings for the past several years.
Also not yet underway, North Kingstown’s golf team hopes to expand on its fourth-place finish at the 2013 state tournament. It won’t be easy. The squad lost its four seniors when Owen Heath, Justin Pratt, Adam Southworth and Alex Burke graduated. Heath, Southworth and Burke are residents of Jamestown.