WAREHAM – Wareham High School athletics expertly navigated the rough waters choppy with COVID, school spirit is on the rise with increased match participation and student athlete grade averages continue to be incredibly high.
There were a few questions, however, at Thursday’s school committee meeting at Wareham High’s place in the South Coast Conference as one of its smaller schools, putting WHS at a disadvantage compared to the larger ones. conference schools.
Manager Scott Palladino said athletic director Ed Rodrigues and his staff have done a “phenomenal job” fielding WHS teams during COVID, including multiple games on the same day.
Rodrigues said there was a lot of cooperation involved to make things work, and a lot of work. The coaches and students knew what to do.
Challenges always loom, of course, he said, including masked basketball games.
He had to hire more help than in the past due to the greater demands made by COVID rules.
But students want to play, he said, and attendance was up, including at volleyball games.
He added that he was always impressed with the grade point averages posted by the student-athletes. “It’s not just one team. It’s all teams.
Of particular note is the 97.1 average posted by the women’s tennis team during their hugely successful season.
School committee member and former Wareham High basketball coach Kevin Brogioli noted that WHS teams are posting tough wins and losses overall at the South Coast Conference, where it is one of the smaller schools.
He asked where the school’s total number of wins and losses had placed him in the league over the past five years.
Rodrigues said the school will be placed near the back of the conference.
Brogioli asked if it was time to consider switching to a league where school sizes were more comparable.
The South Coast Conference was divided into large and small schools, Wareham being a small school.
Palladino said there was more than athletics involved in attending the South Coast Conference, and competitions and academic programs were a valuable part of being a member.
“There are a lot of them,” he said.
He said the conference was considering adding another small school, which might help. He added a large school several years ago in Somerset Berkley.
COVID disrupted the conference, making it difficult to see the effect of having schools large and small. Small schools should still play against big schools, unless they are allowed to have an alternate schedule with non-league opponents, but this can only be done for two years.
Large regional conference schools can be twice the size of Wareham, Rodrigues said. “It’s not easy” for students or coaches.
A mix of small conference schools and similarly sized non-league schools would be preferable, he said.
School committee chair Joyce Bacchiocchi said the committee may address the issue of Wareham High’s placement in the South Coast Conference at a future meeting.
Palladino noted that moving from one league to another was a difficult process and could take years.