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Nine Warrior Teams Ready for Winter Battle

by Sean Kelly '02, Sports Marketing Director
The winter season begins! Preview the athletes and season plans for our Wheeler Warriors in basketball, ice hockey, indoor track, squash, and swimming.
Boys Basketball
After reaching the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Division III Championship Game for the second straight year, Coach Sean Kelly ‘02 and his Warriors were able to secure their third championship since 2013 and did so in undefeated fashion finishing the year 20-0 in league play. In the process, the team qualified for a second straight Rhode Island Open State Tournament before bowing out to perennial power, La Salle Academy. The Warriors face new challenges with recent realignment, which moves the team to Division II of the RIIL. However, eight players return from the 2018 championship team; including all-division selections DJ Smith ‘19 and Miles Fiore ‘21, as well as key role players, Albert Watkins ‘19, Ed Evangelista ‘19, Justin Lema ‘19. The return of Jack Mancini ‘20, Matt Baskin ‘21 and Will Volpe ‘19, and the addition of Travis Cobain ‘22, should provide the Warriors with the pieces they need to remain competitive this season. The Division II schedule will create challenging nightly matchups, as will non-league games against NEPSAC and ISL power, Belmont Hill, former NEPSAC foe, Providence Country Day, and Division I teams, Woonsocket and South Kingstown.

Girls Basketball
Although the Warriors graduated all-time leading scorer, Anna Metcalf ‘18, Coach Stephanie Bissett is looking forward to building on the foundation that Anna helped create during her time at Wheeler, and she feels that she has the pieces to do so. Captain Jackie Faulise ‘20, who brings passion and versatility to the court, will lead a group that finished 15-3 in Division II of the RIIL last season (17-6 overall) and made it to the Elite Eight of the RIIL Open State Tournament. However, Wheeler will face the challenges of recent realignment as they move to Division I. The goal is to be competitive in the league and bringing back the state’s leading scorer in Kate Keenan ‘21 will be a major step in that direction. Joining Faulise and Keenan, both of whom were all-division selections last season, will be Meg Keenan ‘19 and Tizi Chisholm ‘19. Keenan and Chisholm are standout athletes in other sports and will bring with them athleticism, previous basketball experience, and senior leadership. The Warriors will face D1 heavy-hitters La Salle, Barrington, North Kingstown, and South Kingstown, but also have a balance of games against teams that were in Division II with them a year ago.

Ice Hockey
The co-op hockey program of PSW (PCD-St. Ray’s-Wheeler) finished last season with a 9-9 league mark and a 3rd place finish in the Northern Division of RIIL’s Division II. Coach Kevin Sullivan begins his 2nd year as the program’s head coach and will be eager to keep the co-op team competitive in league play. The Warriors will contribute 5 players to this season’s roster, including team captains Aidan Beckett ‘19 and Michael Barone ‘20. In addition to the veteran leadership of Beckett and Barone, Wheeler will also feature William Giguere ‘19, Sean Moreau ‘20, and newcomer Jack Lemire ‘22. Coach Sullivan anticipates steady contributions from these five Warrior athletes throughout the season. January 11th should be a meaningful game against Coventry as the PSW squad looks to avenge last year’s Quarter-final Round loss to the Oakers during the RIIL Division II Playoffs. For a more in-depth look at this year’s schedule click here.

Boys and Girls Indoor Track
As Coach Chris Williams takes the helm of the Boys and Girls Track this winter in his inaugural year with Wheeler, he brings a wealth of coaching and teaching experience with him. He will also have an opportunity to add his own touch to a strong core nucleus that includes: Will Spurrell ‘19 (captain), Maddie Morocco ‘19 (captain), Maddie Lee ‘20, Nathan Fogarty ‘21, Emily Allcock ‘19, Nina Conklin ‘20, and Dan Shimberg ‘20. The team’s competitive goal this season is to advance to the State Meet in more events than ever before. Coach Williams sees the following events as strong possibilities for the Warriors: Girls Long Jump, 55-meter dash, 300-meter dash, 600-meter  dash, and 1500 meter run; Boys High Jump, 600-meter dash, 1000-meter run, and 1500-meter run. After watching his team participate in the Injury Fund Relays on December 3rd, Coach Williams and Assistant Coach Andrew Zielinski, see a lot of promise with their team. He reports that they are “super focused, have a great work ethic and are encouraging of their teammates.” It should be a fun and successful season for the Warriors’ track squad.

Boys and Girls Squash
Squash participation at Wheeler is at an all-time high (38 participants) and with those numbers comes a general sense of fun and excitement centered around the program and the upcoming season. Leading the Warriors squash team this year will be captains Myles Adelstein ‘19, Cecily Nishimura ‘19, and Lucy Ward ‘19. Both teams will square off against familiar independent school rivals; St. George’s, Tabor, Moses Brown and Portsmouth Abbey, while the girls team will also face Lincoln School. With 12 freshmen in the program, there is definitely a foundation for the future as well. For more information on the Squash program check out Coach David Nishimura’s Team Page here.

Boys Swimming
In just two seasons of Rhode Island Interscholastic League play, the Boys Swimming team has become a successful fixture during postseason meets. The two-time reigning Division II Champions, who also placed 3rd in last year’s State Meet, will be bringing their game to Division I this season. With the realignment, Coach Kristin Heynen and Coach Jim Filippo feel that the focus for the team will be to work on individual performances, developing depth, and maintaining the overall positive spirit of the program. The team’s newer swimmers will focus on developing racing skills, stroke technique, and personal growth. Although the move to the state’s most competitive division is a challenge it is also is a tremendous compliment to the program. Leading the Boys Swimming team this season will be captains Alden Blackman ‘19 and Troy Feng ‘19. Five swimmers from last year’s team qualified for the State Meet (Feng, Kabir Berger ‘20, John Fay ‘19, Daniel Zhou ‘19, and Clark Telfeian ‘20), but the Warriors hope to qualify even more this winter. Once again they will enjoy their home meets at the Pods Swimming and Aquatic Center in East Providence, RI.

Girls Swimming
Fourteen girls return to the Girls Swimming program that saw a #3 spot finish in Division II, and 10th overall in the RIIL State Meet a year ago. Of those fourteen girls, four (Maddie Heynen ‘19, Lara Koelliker ‘20, Molly Mungovan ‘20, and Emeline Whealton ‘20) were qualifiers for the State Meet last season, so the Warriors return a lot of experience. This group; however, will see different competition as they move into the state’s top division for the 2018-2019 campaign. Coach Kristin Heynen and Coach Jim Filippo will focus on individual performances in the dual meet season and rely on depth during the Championship Meets. With the program’s newer swimmers the goal will be to focus on developing racing skills, stroke technique and personal growth. Maddie Heynen ‘19, Sydney Miller ‘19, and Eva Shafman ‘19 will captain the twenty participant team with a goal of helping to increase the number of individual qualifiers to the State Meet and maintain the incredibly positive spirit that has already been established in the program’s short history.
216 Hope Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246
Phone: (401) 421-8100
FAX: (401) 751-7674

Founded 1889

The Wheeler School is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for Nursery, Pre-K, K-Grade 12 serving Providence, RI, Greater Providence and Greater Boston. The Hamilton School welcomes Grades 1-8 with language-based learning differences.