Senior leadership is widely considered an important ingredient for sports success at the high school level. Fortunately, Wheeler Baseball has 4 seniors (Joe Boushell ‘19, Daniel Baruch ‘19, Zack Levy ‘19, and Dakota Wharton ‘19) who each have 4 years of varsity playing experience and who have each garnered postseason accolades during their careers. Over their time at Wheeler they have established quite a resume; including, a Division III Championship as freshmen and a successful transition to Division II with playoff wins the last two seasons. Coach Mark Andrews begins his second year at the helm and will help guide the Warriors through a challenging RIIL Division II schedule loaded with a lot of talent and parity.
Last year Wheeler Golf celebrated their first season in the RIIL, and the former 6x SENE Champions served notice that despite being a newcomer to the league, they would be more than happy to show immediately their talent and depth. Coach Shane Drury likes the Warriors chances in every match they play this year and with good reason. Wheeler will return defending State Champion Allison Paik ‘20, and senior Will Giguere ‘19, who both starred in last year’s RIIL State Championships. They will be joined by Ben Sapovits ‘21 and Eric Tang ‘21, two sophomores who spent much of their off-season fine-tuning their games. Highly anticipated matches this spring will be against LaSalle and Moses Brown.
Coach Doc Gilder has been trying to avoid using the term “rebuilding year,” but with the loss of several all-league players and a large senior class from a year ago, the Warriors will head into the season with quite a few questions. However, Gilder is hopeful that returning players and newcomers alike will rise to the challenge. Captains for the spring will be Jacob Wassouf ‘19 and Aiden Beckett ‘19, and they will be supported on the offensive front by fellow seniors, Magnus Wadensten ‘19 and Alden Blackman ‘19. Junior Will Dias ‘20 will look to anchor the Warriors defense and should be aided by the presence of Jackson Eisen ‘20, Willem Weinberg ‘19, and Kindler McLaughlin ‘22. The team returns to RIIL’s Division II where they will play a 14 game schedule.
Almost a full year removed from a near upset of Barrington in the semi-finals of the RIIL Division I Tournament, the Warriors have their eyes set on remaining in the league’s top 4 and staying competitive during the spring campaign. Topping the list of returning players is All-American Meghan Keenan ‘19, who last season led the team in goals and assists. She will be joined by fellow seniors, Stella Stone ‘19 and Cece Pilgrim ‘19, both of whom have quality experience on the field. Stone was the team’s second-leading scorer last season and Pilgrim returns as a gritty match-up defender with great speed. Coach Stephanie Bissett feels her defense and a senior-led offense should be a major strength for the Warriors as they look to develop replacements for a middle line of seniors from last year’s team. Familiar foes, Barrington and Moses Brown, will be on the Warriors’ schedule, and they will be complemented by usual D1 competition as well as some schools the Warriors have not seen in a few years due to recent division realignment.
After a disappointing loss to Block Island in last year’s playoffs, Wheeler Softball has high hopes heading into the 2019 season. Returning senior Lili Sanzo ‘19, and a strong core of juniors, Ada Bruno ‘20, Shoshana Lowe ‘20, Hanah Wise ‘20, Alex Mirrer ‘20, and Rhessa Weber-Langstaff ‘20, provide a promising outlook to what should be another deep playoff run. Last season Bruno became the first player in program history to hit a home run over the fence at the Wheeler field in Seekonk. She will be aided in the lineup by Wise, a tremendous pull hitter, as well as Lowe and Sydney Jaiswal ‘22, who both have great contact ability. Mia Mancini ‘22 is expected to be a steady contributor for the Warriors in her first year as well. In total, there are 15 girls on the roster with 7 of them being current 9th graders, so Coach Jim Bush is excited for the here and now, but also what lies ahead for the program.
Even with the graduation of four talented young men from last year’s team — all of whom helped solidify the Warriors’ doubles lineup — Coach Joe Testa is optimistic about the spring tennis season. Testa returns senior Co-Captains, Troy Feng ‘19, and Justin Emanuel ‘19, as well as Ross Cornelissen ‘20, who finished the 2017 season as a State Finalist in the RIIL State Singles Championship. Joining these veterans on the court will be talented underclassmen -- sophomores Kobe Kase ‘22 and Spencer Romain ‘22, and freshmen, Rufus McCleery ‘23 and Charlie Caiati ‘23. The Warriors aim to maintain their competitiveness in RIIL’s top division this season. Matches with defending State Champion Bishop Hendricken, and a deep and talented Barrington team, will be fun and challenging affairs.
Track & Field
With 42 team members, the Wheeler Track and Field Program will be the largest it has ever been. Coach Gregorek and her coaching staff will be guiding a program divided evenly between upperclassmen and underclassmen, and one that boasts a balance of savvy veterans and eager novices. Leading the group will be senior captains Will Spurrell ‘19, Maddie Morocco ‘19, and Theo Richter ‘19. They will be headlining a group that sent 7 participants to the State Championships last spring; including Maddie Lee ‘20, who went onto the New England Championships to compete in hurdles. There is much excitement about the growth of the program, particularly in the areas of the throwing and jumping events. With meets all over the state, there are ample opportunities to come and watch the Warriors compete!