Warriors Athletic Director Brendan Kent previews the autumn season

Published in the September 1, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Wednesday is a big day. It marks the official beginning of the fall sports season for Wakefield Memorial High School, and provides the opportunity for members of 11 Warrior teams to begin their quest for another successful and exciting season. Be on the lookout for in-depth previews of each team starting next week. For now, let WMHS Athletic Director Brendan Kent introduce you to the fall 2017 Wakefield Warriors.

Cross Country

Boys’ and girls’ cross country return to the tracks with high expectations to continue the high standard they have set for themselves.

“Those are two teams in the fall that have traditionally had the most success the past few years,” said Kent.

Girls’ head coach Karen Barrett, and boys’ head coach Perry Pappas are back to lead an experienced group of runners.

“Perry Pappas was the all-scholastic coach of the year in division four last year, and Karen Barrett has done a terrific job with her team.”

The boys are coming off a state championship and are hungry for more.

“We got bumped up to division three and I think we still have a really good shot at winning the league and possibly winning back-to-back titles for Eastern Mass.,” said Kent.

Meanwhile, all the girls have done is won six straight Middlesex League Freedom division championships.

“They are chasing their seventh which would be incredible,” said Kent. “The girls were division champs in all three seasons last year (xc, indoor, outdoor) so they’re on a roll.”


WMHS football is coming off an up and down season, which included both a four-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak for a final record of 4-6. The Warriors were phenomenal in league play, finishing 4-1 for a share of the league title, but will look to finish stronger in the 2017 season.

Head coach Steven Cummings welcomes back an experienced and talented offensive and defensive line to lead the way for an adept group of skill players.

“I’m expecting big things this year,” said Kent. “People always have high expectations for the football team, but we have the potential to be really good.”

Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team comes in to the 2017 season with something to prove as they look to improve on a tough 2016 season. The young team of last year is now a veteran group for second-year head coach Stephanie Martin.

“I’m expecting them to bounce back, no pun intended,” said Kent. “We’ve got almost our entire team back and a lot of really good athletes.”

Boys’ Soccer

The boys’ soccer team will be led by interim head coach Andrew Tetrault who agreed to fill in for the season. Tetrault is the current assistant principal at the Galvin Middle School with a great soccer background. In fact, he played on the Warriors last boys’ soccer state championship team in 1997.

“No doubts he’s going to do an awesome job,” said Kent. “They’re going to be a young team, but I think they have the potential to surprise some teams. Just like girls’ soccer, boys’ soccer in the Middlesex league is super competitive and includes some of the top teams in the state but I still wouldn’t overlook us.”

Field Hockey

The field hockey team is looking to improve this season despite low tryout numbers for head coach Cara Luca.

“Unfortunately we had to cut our freshman team because of low numbers,” said Kent.

The varsity team, however, includes many experienced players, and will provide headaches for the rest of league with a dangerous offense.

“We have some talented seniors,” said Kent. “I know we can compete with the teams in our league.”


Head coach Chris Keane and the golf team finds themselves with a different kind of problem. After getting 18 kids to go out for the team last year, golf was able to field a varsity team with ten players and a JV team for the first time, with eight players. This year, 35 golfers tried out for the team.

“It’s bad because the whole reason we started JV was so we wouldn’t have to cut people, but with golf there is no way to accommodate that many so we did have to cut it down to 20 but it’s a good problem to have,” said Kent.

The boys will look to continue to improve on an excellent season, and now have the numbers to field an excellent group of talented golfers.


The volleyball team is entering their sixth year as a program at WMHS. The team hasn’t made the tournament yet, but new head coach Sasha Duprey will work to instill a winning culture for a sport that is starting to fill up with talent.

“I know Sasha is excited and the kids are excited,” said Kent. We have a very strong senior class. Most of the seniors have been playing since they were underclassmen so I think they can make some noise in the Middlesex League.”


Head coach Kathy Byrne welcomes back a nice mix of young and experienced swimmers to the Wakefield program.

“The coaches are really excited about the team this year,” said Kent. “The team as a whole can be very good this year and it is looking really promising the next three to four years as well.”


The WMHS dance program returns impressive numbers again this year, for the varsity and JV teams. Head coach Candice Spencer guides the only dance program in the Middlesex League, which was very successful at states and will look to keep up that momentum this year.

“We are always super competitive,” said Kent of the dance program. “ We had a lot of girls go out for the team again this year and we expect them to be really competitive once again.”


The cheer team is coming off a state championship last year, and are ready to defend the crown. Head coach Marissa Kelleher stepped down after the season last year after building an impressive program. The team returns many members and should be a threat to win states once again under new coach Kat Prince.

“She is a great coach, I’m excited to see what she is going to be able to do with the team. She’s hoping to keep the program moving in the right direction after Marissa really did an unbelievable job building the program up and I have no doubts Kat’s going to continue that,” said Kent.