Nantucket High School’s winter sports season was filled with many challenges but has so far been the most successful season of the school year for the Whalers. This season, the Swim and Dive Team saw the most success. The boys’ team was able to secure the South Sectional Championship, a first for any Nantucket High School sports team, and also finished as a close 2nd in the State Championships. There, junior Tyler Roethke was able to secure two individual state titles in the 200 freestyle (FR) and 500 FR, as well as participating in Nantucket’s state title winning 400 FR relay team of Roethke, sophomore Grant Beebe, junior Aiden Roberts, and senior James Taafe. The team also secured another Bay Colony Conference Championship, which they have not lost since 2014.
The Boys Basketball Team, while not able to secure any silverware, also had a very impressive season in which the team performed at the highest level for almost the entire season. This is reflected in the team’s final record of 17-5, with their performances being enough to crown them co-champions of the Cape and Islands League. The Whalers, led by senior captain Victor Gamberoni, junior captain Torane Burton, and junior captain Devonte Usher earned the 5th seed in playoffs. This gave them a first-round matchup against Sturgis East, who they convincingly dominated in a 70-32 win. However, their playoff run was put to an end by Bishop Connolly, who beat Nantucket in the South Sectional Quarterfinals by a score of 63-37.
The Girls Basketball Team suffered a similar fate to the boys in playoffs. The girls, who led this year by seniors Anna Steadman, Paige Albertson, Jordyn Perry, and Marina Caspe, had a very impressive regular season, which they finished with a record 16-4. Like the boys, their results were enough to give them the Cape and Islands League title. Like the boys, they found themselves in a situation they were not used to in playoffs as they trailed against Westport in the first round of State Tournament. Unfortunately, the girls were not able to turn it around and the game ended 52-48, with the team finishing with a record of 16-5.
The Whalers Ice Hockey Team found it harder than other winter sports teams to win games, but that does not mean that their season was any less impressive. Coming off of a season in which they missed out on playoffs, captains senior Austin Starr, senior Robby Hickman, and junior Gavin Fey made qualification their number one priority. The team got off to slow start, losing most of their games in the first half of the season. Thanks to an amazing second half of the season, were able to qualify for State Tournament with a record of 10-6-2. This gave them the 16th seed, meaning they would have to play 17-seed North Attleboro in a preliminary game. The Whalers dominated, winning 4-1, but were not able to see the same success in the first round of playoffs when playing the 1-seed Hannover. Although the boys were able to compete with the defending South Sectional champs, they ultimately lost the game by a score of 4-1.
Nantucket High School was home to some amazing sports teams this winter, setting state records and defying many expectations in the process. The school hopes that the Spring season will bring more of the same as the school year slowly draws to a close.
By Emmet Clarke