This Whaler Sports Roundup includes updates on the football team after they went on the road and earned their second win of the season as well as the field hockey team after they tied one game and won another over the weekend.
Haigh’s Two Interceptions Lead Whaler Football To Victory
Led by two interceptions from junior defensive back Jake Haigh and an overall stout defense, the Whaler football team earned their second win of the season on Saturday against the St. John Paul II Lions, 13-0.
“Offensively still just some ugly mistakes,” Nantucket head coach Tim Psaradelis said after the game. “Offsides, missed blocks, lack of sustained blocks - still some of the stuff we have been seeing since week one but it seems like it is getting a little less so that's good. But defensively we're starting to play more aggressively.”
The Lions began the game with a 54-yard run on their first offensive play, but Haigh secured his first interception of the game on the very next play in the end zone to swing momentum in the Whaler’s favor.
From there, Nantucket’s defense never looked back. They dominated the Lion’s offense all game and gave themselves the lead with 4:37 to go in the first half thanks to Haigh’s second interception that he took to the house. The point after attempt was no good, so Nantucket had a 6-0 lead - one they’d take into halftime.
“He is such a great leader. He is quiet and doesn't have much to say he was a nominated captain because the captain's pick a captain every week and picked him,” Psaradelis said of Haigh. “He doesn't have a different switch. He's full speed all the time so that just pays off. He transitions into the game so easily because he practices like it is a game.”
Whaler sophomore quarterback Brock Beamish and the offense did have a number of moments throughout the game where they moved the ball well. Beamish had several completions to senior captain Carlos Aguilar and sophomore Arann Hanlon to move the chains, but Nantucket struggled to finish their drives. Continuing to improve the offense and find ways to be more consistent was a point of emphasis made by players and coaches after the game.
"One missed block here, one bad read there and that's the difference between a bigger score than 12 or 13 to nothing,” Psaradelis said. “We need to make those opportunities happen.”
After a defensive stand in the game's final minutes, the Whalers ran out the clock with junior running back Owen Sullivan getting a bulk of the touches. Sullivan was busy all game and was rewarded for his efforts when he punched in the game’s only offensive touchdown with three seconds remaining to seal the deal and give Nantucket a much-needed victory.
The Whalers now have a pair of home games to cap off their regular season. They host Monomoy on Saturday, October 21 at 5 p.m. and then on Saturday, October 28 at 3:30 p.m., Nantucket will host Martha’s Vineyard for the Island Cup.
“It is going to be huge getting two home games and hopefully capitalize on the Vineyard game,” Psaradelis said. “We just got to keep building momentum and this one was huge for that. Obviously, the Vineyard is the big prize. These games are like practice for that game. We just got to keep going.”
Field Hockey Ties One Game, Wins Another Over The Weekend
The field hockey team improved their record to 5-4-3 this season following a 1-1 tie over St. John Paul II on Friday and a 2-0 win over Seekonk on Saturday.
The Whalers trailed early in their game against SJP after the Lions took a 1-0 lead with 6:47 to go in the first half. The Whalers had a sluggish second quarter but had a strong second half. With 8:22 left in the game it was junior Suz Peraner who tied it up at one after finding a loose ball and burying it to secure the tie.
“We would have liked to have won obviously but given where we were at halftime I think we are pretty happy (with the result),” head coach Dan Weber said after Friday’s game. “I thought we were good in the first quarter but I didn’t think we were great in the second quarter. We talked at halftime and just put it all on the table knowing that whoever won this game was probably going to win the division. I think they took it to heart and came out with some extra gas in the second half.”
Weber was complimentary of Peraner after the game. He said she has been a strong player for the team all season and while she was an effective contributor on last year’s team, has improved throughout her junior year.
“She has made some large improvements and it is really good to see her efforts get rewarded with that goal,” Weber said. “I have to give a lot of credit to her and Ally Bamber there because they switched spots on that corner. It is good to see the girls communicating and seeing that lead to a goal.”
The Whaler's win over Seekonk on Saturday was their second of the season after they beat them early in the year 1-0. Peraner had another goal in this game and Clementine Kelly had the other Whaler goal.
Nantucket is currently ranked #17 in the Div. 4 state tournament bracket and hope to see a rise up the rankings when the new rankings are released on Tuesday. Their next game will be on Wednesday, October 18 when they host the Sturgis East Storm at 4 p.m.
Monday, October 16:
The volleyball team is the only varsity squad in action on Monday. They will host the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, October 17:
The boys soccer team will host the Sturgis West Navigators at 4 p.m.
The boys and girls cross country teams will host Sturgis East at 4 p.m.
The golf team will be on the road facing Dennis-Yarmouth at 3:30 p.m.
The girls soccer team will be on the road facing Sturgis West at 3 p.m.
Updated MIAA state tournament brackets are released on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. To view them, click here. For more sports content, follow our Current Sports Instagram page here. You can follow Current Sports photographer Chris Tran here.