By ALEX SPONSELLER Middle school sports made their return to Warwick this spring with boys and girls soccer as well as cross country getting some action. One of the top groups in the local middle school scene was the Warwick boys soccer team, which went
By ALEX SPONSELLER Middle school sports made their return to Warwick this spring with boys and girls soccer as well as cross country getting some action.
One of the top groups in the local middle school scene was the Warwick boys soccer team, which went 5-1 in its first season back. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there were no middle school playoffs.
“We had a very good season, the kids did well. Anything is a good thing and we were grateful. We were very happy that we were able to get something in for the kids, especially the eighth graders,” said Vets coach Tom Flanders, who also coaches the Pilgrim girls team.
Like most teams, Vets hit the occasional speed bump when it came to issues revolving around COVID-19. However, the Hurricanes faced other adversity as well, but still managed to be one of the best clubs in the state.
“We lost a few kids due to injury before the season even started, this time of year is also questionable because of premier soccer. Convincing kids to play middle school can be difficult. We also had to secure a goalkeeper in Carter Clifton, but then he was hurt the first game. There were a few hurdles that we had to get over,” said Flanders.
Flanders added: “We only had four eighth graders on the team. They had to listen, learn, figure things out quickly. They did extremely well, even beat a few teams that on paper they probably shouldn’t have. It really was a joy to be out there working with them.”
The eighth grade class will now set its sights on next fall when it joins Pilgrim High. Returning to play at the middle school level is important for everyone involved, but most important for the eighth graders, according to Flanders.
“It’s a huge part of their development. The eighth graders, they got to be leaders and be in a position of seniority and they weren’t robbed of that. That’s important because now they’ll go to high school and will be freshmen. In terms of the pecking order with varsity, they’ll probably be playing JV or have limited minutes on varsity,” said Flanders. “They’re going into an age range in high school instead of an age group. It’s a completely different thing, it’s important for their development as players in leaders to have this time.”
Members of the 2021 Warwick Vets boys soccer spring team included: Carter Clifton, Alex Rodrigues, Noah French, Carter Robbins, Josiel Zuniga, Ryan Boscia, Declan Bragg, Jackson Bromage, Jacoby Foster, Gabriel Holland, Patrick Rowe, Caden Stowik, Maxwell Wiggins, Adam El Rhazali, Brett Taylor, Christopher Williams, James Williamson, and Connor McEnery. Coaches were Tom and Tommy Flanders.