The Winter sports teams at Nantucket High School have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming winter season. Teams include varsity and junior varsity boys basketball, varsity and JV girls basketball, varsity boys and girls swimming (including a coed dive team), and varsity hockey. As island life slows down in the winter, sports teams appear to be gaining popularity among students. Some teams this winter recieved so many sign ups they were forced to make cuts.
The varsity boys basketball team, led by junior captains Maxx Cunningham, Kalik Liburd, and Bodie Sargent, is set to have a very successful season. Last winter they ended the season 12-2 in their league and 13-8 overall. Working with a team largely run by underclassmen last year, this year is predicted to be even better. Given the increased level of sign ups this year, Varsity Coach Willis Ferreira was forced to cut some players. However, Ferreira was challenged by one student’s parent after they were cut. Since Ferreira had only decided to cut two boys it was unfair to let one stay and not the other; therefore, the two boys remained on the team but will not be guaranteed playing time. Coaches often make cuts because they may not need certain players, especially in a game like basketball when only five people are playing at once; it’s very challenging to sub in so often. Basketball coaches alongside Ferreira include Michael Day, Jon Barone, and former NHS Basketball star Josh Butler.
Girls Varsity Basketball has yet to solidify captains for the 2016-17 season. Senior Jazzmin Butler is one captain but the other one or two are undecided thus far. Despite losing a large number of players with the class of 2016 graduating, the varsity girls still have some very key players as well as many new ones: Butler as well as junior Jadelen Harold, and sophomore Moneak Phillips being essential players in the past years. Coach Lori Moran is in charge of the varsity girls in the winter season. Moran, who also coached varsity field hockey in the fall, has many of the same girls playing basketball with her this winter. Moran is assisted by Aileen Fredericks, Rafael Osona, and Bill Steadman for the girls Varsity and JV Basketball. With an overall record of 15-4 in the 2015-16 season, the girls have high hopes to do just as well, if not better this year.
Senior Kristy Ringer is excited for the season: “It feels really weird playing without the girls from last year but we still have a lot of people who were playing varsity a lot, so it’s looking to be a really fun time.”
Senior captains of the girls varsity swim team are Lauren Bresette, KD Tornovish, and Isabelle Roberts; the boys are led by senior captains Tyler Wheeler, Jacob Aloisi, and Elias Loughery. The swim team has been gaining significant popularity over the last three years. Many first time and former swimmers have been joining the re-energized program in order to experience the sport again, keep fit over the winter, or to strengthen areas of injury (something swimming is very helpful for). Boys and girls swim and dive teams had an exceptional season last year, winning every meet overall as well as winning the Bay Colony Conference Championships. The team, while being one varsity squad, is split up into two practices with newer and injured swimmers as well as the dive team being in the earlier practice and more experienced swimmers in the later practice.
Senior Isabelle Roberts has accepted an offer from Assumption college to swim for their division II Varsity team. “I’m super excited to swim in a completely new environment than I’m used to, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like just swimming with a girls team.”
The Ice Hockey team this year also received a flux of new players. Senior captains Natty Davidson and Ethan Fey have been strong players for the team throughout the years and provide a strong foundation along with the other seniors who act as season veterans to the game. After starting goalie Peter Bopp graduated, and backup goalie Aaron Gould moved away, the team had to search for a new goalie to train for this season. Sophomore Joey Osley began practicing as goalie in the fall prior to the winter season and was able to step up and fill the void. While Osley hasn’t played for the high school team before he’s been playing hockey consistently since he was a child and is very familiar to the sport.
Osley has little fear jumping back into hockey after a few years off: “I haven’t been playing as consistently for the past three years or so but I’ve stayed fit with lacrosse and just working out so I think jumping back in I’ll be able to keep up with the other guys,” he said.
Apart from having trouble with a goalie before the season began, the hockey team has been consistently strong. The vast majority of the boys have been playing since they were young children, creating a strong foundation for them to focus more on skills and strength. With a previous record of 14-3-2 they’re also looking to keep improving while still maintaining their current status.
The 2016-17 winter season has a very promising lineup, and all the teams hope for the community to come and support them this year.