Hurricane Pride is beaming bright for the future of all its sports programs
These ladies will rock you like a Hurricane...
These ladies will rock you like a Hurricane…Warwick Veterans Middle School wins the Girls Fast Pitch State Championship
By John Cardullo, sports writer, RINewsToday
When it was announced by the School Committee that Warwick was going to convert Warwick Vets from a high school to a middle school because of declining enrollment and budgetary concerns. There was a ground swell of push back from the alumni of Warwick Vets. One of the major concerns was what will happen to the rich sports history the Hurricanes built upon in their 60 years of existence? The fear was that all the successes the school had on the field of competition were going to be erased. It took three short years of adjustments and getting the feel of a new situation, like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, the Warwick Vets Middle Schools’ Girls softball team are the 2019 Middle School State Champions!
Warwick Vets opened in 1956 replacing Samuel Gorton High School (which became an elementary school), because of the city of Warwick population boom of the 1950s. As the population of the city continued to grow Pilgrim High School opened in 1962, and Tollgate followed in 1972. Warwick Vets expanded when a wing was built to accommodate even more students. The Hurricane sport teams became legendary in virtually every sport - football, volleyball, boy’s and girl’s basketball, hockey, track, and when the move was going to be made to go to a middle school, Warwick Vets didn’t want to lose that tradition.
The process of becoming a 3-year middle school didn’t begin right away; the first two years the school had only 7th and 8th grades and competed against schools with 3 full grades of players. Warwick Vets suffered through poor seasons as they tried to compete in every sport against more seasoned schools. The 2017-18 school year things began to change for all the teams as they began to get their legs under them, and the 2018-19 season the success the girls’ teams were experiencing became evident in every sport across the board. Soccer, track, volleyball, basketball and softball. Making the play-offs in 2018 an early exit didn’t sit well with this team, and the team vowed not to let it happen again.
The off-season workouts, the commitment by everyone on the team and the bitter taste of the way the season ended in 2018 was evident as the Hurricanes dominated right out of the gates, going a perfect 15-0, thanks in part to the sensational pitching combination of Sophia Chevian and Alyssa Twomey who proved to be the perfect one-two punch, and were among the top pitchers in the state.
The Hurricanes outscored their opponents 152-31 and went on to win the Central Division. Their dominance continued in the play-offs by running the table in the upper division bracket. The Hurricanes beat the 2018 state runners-up, Western Hills, 5-2 and then taking on the 2017 & 2018 defending champions the always tough Feinstein School out of Coventry. In a back and forth game, Warwick Vets took the lead 7-6, and claimed their State Crown.
The Hurricanes are coached by Rich Hough whose calming demeanor was the perfect person to lead this laid-back group who at times seemed to have the maturity of seasoned high school teams. Hough’s mission wasn’t just to build a team but create a program. By the look of the Hurricanes the last two seasons he is well on his way to achieving that goal. It is an exciting time for Warwick Vets sports and Hurricane Pride is beaming bright for the future of all its sports programs. The blue, yellow and white are back - and they want everyone to know it!