South County’s soccer powerhouses are picking up where they left off.
Defending state champion South Kingstown opened the long-awaited 2020 season with a 3-1 win over Cranston West, while North Kingstown followed up last year’s semifinal push with a 4-2 victory over Coventry.
Last fall, the Rebels celebrated the program’s first championship in 20 years, a ride that culminated with a win over Cumberland in the title round. A strong senior class graduated as champs, but there was plenty of younger talent playing alongside. That group is on center stage now and ready to keep up the program’s lofty standards. Against Cranston West, junior Tayshia Cary led the offensive charge with two goals and an assist. Taking on the unenviable task of replacing all-state goalie Faith Hutchins, new starter Demi Kozielski made five saves.
North Kingstown is even younger than their neighbors, with 12 players graduating from last year’s team, which went 12-1-3 and lost a shootout heartbreaker in the Division I semifinals. A veteran led the way in the opener, though, as junior Sadie Souls delivered a hat trick in the win over Coventry. The four-goal output against the Oakers could be a sign that the Skippers will be keeping up their high-scoring ways. They were one of the most prolific teams in the state last season.
The Skippers and Rebels are scheduled to match up next week, with a Friday night game at North Kingstown.
Rebels split with Chariho
In a key matchup for the Southern Division standings, the South Kingstown girls beat Chariho, while the boys fell just short against the Chargers in a cross country dual meet on Saturday at Curtis Corner Middle School.
The girls edged the Chargers 28-31, while also scoring a 25-35 win over Prout. Erin Hurley led the Rebels with a third-place finish. Chariho claimed the top two spots, but South Kingstown’s depth was enough to overcome it. Isabella Lawless finished fifth, Avery Martin was eighth, Isabelle McDonald took 10th and Olivia Kay finished 11th. For Prout, Laurel McMahon took fifth, Sophia Abbott was sixth and Jessica Mastrandrea grabbed ninth.
On the boys side, South Kingstown held its own despite being without top runner Antonio Capalbo. Chariho prevailed 19-36, while the Rebels got past Prout 26-30. Will Ballard, Nick Peters, Dan McGovern, Matt Burns and James Reid made up the top five. Prout was led by Ben Barnes in fifth place, Blake Sykes in seventh and Ethan Sweet in 10th.
NK stays perfect
The North Kingstown boys and girls cross country teams moved to 5-0 with wins over Narragansett, Exeter-West Greenwich and West Warwick on Saturday at Ryan Park.
The boys delivered perfect scores in each matchup, with their top 12 runners all crossing the line before a runner from any other school. Greg Piturro led the way for the second meet in a row, winning in 14 minutes, 54 seconds. Jackson Borge, Jake Sullivan, Joey Confessore and Sullivan Sears rounded out the top five. Narragansett was led by Bowen Healey in 14th and Chase Flint in 15th.
The girls were perfect against West Warwick and EWG while beating Narragansett 17-46. Olivia Joly won for the second straight week in a time of 17:29. Rory Sullivan and Molly Sullivan finished second and third, while Narragansett freshman Madeline O’Neill crashed the party with a fourth-place finish. Jillian Blaser and Ruby Nunnery finished out the scoring for the Skippers.
Douglas joins RIC baseball staff
Former South Kingstown High School baseball standout Brad Douglas has been named an assistant baseball coach at Rhode Island College, his alma mater.
“I am about adding another quality coach to our staff,” head baseball coach Frank Holbrook said in a press release. “Brad’s experience as a student athlete at RIC will allow him to fit in seamlessly. He will work primarily with our hitters and will be heavily involved in our recruiting efforts.”
“I am honored for the opportunity to return to Rhode Island College and am excited to work with the coaching staff and student athletes in the pursuit of winning championships,” Douglas said.
Douglas was previously a coach with the Salve Regina baseball program in 2020 where he primarily worked with the hitters and outfielders. He spent the summer of 2020 as the head coach of the New England Scorpions 19U team. During the summer of 2018 and 2019, Douglas was an assistant coach of the Rhode Island Prospects 16U summer showcase team.
The South Kingstown native closed out his career as an Anchorman having played in 138 games, starting all of them. Douglas batted .347 (183-for-527) with 127 runs scored, 183 hits, 26 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 85 RBI and 24 stolen bases. He owned a .419 slugging percentage, a .445 on-base percentage and a .975 fielding percentage.