In this job, you see a lot of firsts.
With three cities, seven high schools and countless other youth and community sports, streaks tend to start and streaks tend to end on a regular basis.
Two years ago, there was Hendricken’s first Super Bowl championship since 1996. This past spring, it was Pilgrim’s first boys’ volleyball title in school history.
There are others with every school, seemingly every season.
Something happens for the first time, all the time around here.
But in the past few years, Warwick Vets has been behind the 8-ball in a number of sports. Whether it was because the teams were being assigned to the wrong divisions, because numbers were down or just because of bad luck, Vets has had as tough a time in a number of sports as any school in the state in the not-so-distant past. There weren’t a lot of firsts.
Yet, suddenly, Vets has become the king of the firsts, and it’s a nice change to see the ’Canes putting an end to some of the negative streaks that have plagued the school’s teams for a while.
While other schools have been battling for their first title since whenever, or concentrating on making the playoffs, some of Vets’ teams have been looking for their first win of any kind in years.
They keep finding it, thankfully.
On Tuesday, Vets won its first league match in boys’ soccer since 2009 with a 6-3 win over Rogers.
The boys’ soccer team was one of the final pieces in the winless puzzle.
First, there was boys’ basketball, which went winless in 2008-09 and 2009-10 until breaking through the past two years with competitive teams.
In football, the ’Canes didn’t register a notch in the win column in 2009 or 2010 before knocking off Coventry last year to finally get a win. Then they beat Pilgrim on Thanksgiving, and they’re 2-0 this year. The corner has been turned
Vets’ boys’ lacrosse team was in the same boat, as it played its first two years in 2009 and 2010 without a single win, only to make the playoffs in 2011 and 2012.
Then there was soccer, which had close calls the past couple of seasons but could never quite pull out a win. It tied twice last year, but that zero remained on the left side of the team’s record.
Playing Rogers, Vets got four goals from junior Justin Batista and used a dominant second half to cruise to the victory.
It wasn’t as exciting a moment as you might think, but it was still a moment that shows the positive strides taken by a program that has done nothing but struggle in the recent past.
Next up on the list is the field hockey team, the last program without a win for an extended period of time.
There’s no blaming the team or the program itself – it’s playing in the wrong division, and has been now for the past three seasons. Going against teams with feeder programs and strong field hockey traditions hasn’t done the ’Canes any favors.
But a win is within their reach, and it would be a fulfilling end to the current 0-35-1 stretch. The team almost pulled out a win against Cranston East on Monday, and there should be plenty more opportunities like that as the season progresses.
We’re not supposed to root for teams as sports writers. Objectivity is the name of the game. In some cases, though, you just want to see people have something to cheer about, something to keep them wanting to play.
With numbers down in many sports and the winning percentages a reflection of that, it’s good to see some of the teams that have had the worst of it all get back on the right side of things.
It doesn’t mean each one of those teams will be raising championship trophies in the near future, but at least they’ll have something to remember besides winding up on the wrong side of the score. Everyone deserves to be the first at something.
Kevin Pomeroy is the assistant sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.