Archive - Oct 2010 - Sports Article
WARWICK â€” This isnâ€™t the same St. Raphael Academy outfit that started out the year â€“ not by a long shot.
Gone are the lingering memories of a 2-4 beginning that featured shutout losses to Hendricken, Tolman and Woonsocket, while the wins coming at the expense of Pilgrim and West Warwick, two squads with a combined 1-11 in league play. In a frenetic two-week turnaround, SRA has seen its season go from being on the brink to one that will include a postseason appearance for the first time since winning the Division I Super Bowl three years ago.
Ponaganset football coach Brian Gendreau has developed a good perspective on two of the toughest teams in Division II this season â€“ unbeaten Tolman and once-beaten Woonsocket. His Chieftains have lost to both Super Bowl contenders.
â€śTolman is the fastest team in the league,â€ť Gendreau admitted on Sunday, â€śbut I would say Woonsocket is more balanced. They can run and throw the ball. You can see why they played a 6-0 game earlier this season. Both teams have great defenses.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ A well-balanced Ponaganset offense put a scare into unbeaten Tolman on Friday night at Pariseau Field. The Chieftains never really took command of the game but they walked off the field with their heads held high following a 26-10 loss to the explosive Tigers.
â€śWe just had too much speed and too many athletes for them,â€ť Tolman coach Dave Caito said after his club stayed unbeaten in Division II-B at 6-0.
Caito understood his team had been tested in this game.
WARWICK â€“ Donâ€™t count the Shea Raiders out just yet.
In a game Shea simply had to have to keep its razor-thin playoff hopes afloat, the Raiders grounded host Warwick Vets Friday night, 13-0. Defense was the calling card for head coach Dino Campopianoâ€™s crew as Shea racked up seven sacks and two turnovers. Offensively the Raiders did just enough, scoring on their first and last possessions of the Division II-B contest.
The win allows Shea (3-3, 5-3 overall) to remain mathematically alive heading into next Fridayâ€™s critical contest at Johnston.
PAWTUCKET â€” When perennial Division II contender Shea High was promoted to Division I for the 2010 season, the Raiders were immediately tabbed as state championship contenders by several rival coaches.
Shea lived up to the hype over the regular season, completing a 12-1-5 campaign in Division I-North on Thursday with a 7-0 romp over winless East Providence.
The match provided a chance for coach Pierre Ridore to play his entire roster, a deserving reward for a team that responded to the challenge of Division I soccer by working together for a common goal.
As he watched his team apply the finishing touches to consecutive Division II titles last June, Mount St. Charles head baseball coach Tom Seaver started to prepare for the impending direction the program figured to be heading in.
Based on the amount of success the Mounties had achieved during the now completed four-year alignment period, a bump up to Division I seemed certain.
The two championships stand out, but so too does the 62-10 regular season league record Seaverâ€™s MSC squad has compiled.
WEST WARWICK â€” Every-one Tolman has faced, and will face, is well aware of the teamâ€™s defensive prowess. The tenacious unit entered Saturdayâ€™s Division II-B matchup against West Warwick having allowed the second fewest points (12) in league play, while posting three shutouts.
A typical Division II playoff scramble is developing with two weeks left in the regular season schedule.
This is the lone league that features an eight-team playoff field. Division II possesses 16 teams, almost double the size of Division I. And because of those numbers, the D-II playoff situation is almost always complicated.
Right now, four D-II teams seem certain to make the Nov. 12-13 quarterfinal round: Tolman (5-0), Woonsocket (4-1), Chariho (4-1) and Johnston (4-1). The scramble for the other four spots wonâ€™t be figured out until after the dust clears on Nov. 6.
NARRAGANSETT â€“ Two steps forward, one step back.
All of the good vibes Lincoln High gained in beating previously undefeated Moses Brown the previous week went up in smoke Saturday at Zepp Field. Turnovers and several ill-timed penalties were the major bugaboos in a 23-7 setback to Narragansett High that places the Lions squarely on the bubble of the Division III playoff scene.
â€śWe completely beat ourselves,â€ť was the quick-to-the-point assessment Lincoln head coach Dave Waycott offered after his club slipped to 3-3 in the league, a record now shared by the Mariners.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Like thousands of college freshmen across the country, Gerard Coleman and Brice Kofane are adjusting to being away from home for the first time in their young lives.
While settling into the dorms and registering and selecting classes only mark the beginning of this new and eye-opening chapter, thereâ€™s also the basketball-related education that Coleman and Kofane, two of Providence College newest menâ€™s basketball players, have been privy to.
Must-win games? It seems like fans will have their pick of the litter when it comes to teams in the Blackstone Valley this weekend!
Fridayâ€™s action features four schools -- East Providence, Cumberland, Shea, and St. Raphael -- who sorely need to win their games over tough opponents in order to keep their respective playoff hopes alive.
PROVIDENCE -- Itâ€™s been two years since Peter Manfredo Jr. last fought in Rhode Island, but for the Manfredoâ€™s Gym world middleweight champion, it seems like a lifetime ago.
The last time Manfredo stepped into the ring in this state, he endured one of the worst defeats of his pro career -- a third-round TKO loss to Sakio Bika for the IBO (International Boxing Organization) super middleweight title at the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center.
PROVIDENCE -- The good news for Joe Gardner is that heâ€™s going to fight for the EBA (Eastern Boxing Association) New England light heavyweight championship on Nov. 12 at the Twin River Event Center.
The bad news is that the Woonsocket fighter is going to have to battle a very familiar boxer to him, his trainer, Bob Moreau, and his corner -- his favorite sparring partner, Keith Kozlin of West Warwick.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Marshon Brooks isnâ€™t sweating the details concerning his job description for Providence College this coming season. In fact, Brooks is on record as saying heâ€™s been looking forward to the day he drops one knee to the ground Atlas-style, an act signifying that the brunt of the workload can be harnessed upon his lithe 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame.
â€śI just want to produce and have as good a year as possible,â€ť Brooks said.
CUMBERLAND -- Cumberland High tuned up for next Fridayâ€™s showdown game against unbeaten Johnston with a 7-0 non-league victory over Toll Gate on Friday night at Tucker Field.
The Clippers got the gameâ€™s only score in the second quarter when Ben Elliott broke free on a 20-yard touchdown run. Chad Bacon booted the extra point and Cumberland took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
The Clippersâ€™ defense stood tall throughout the game.
â€śToll Gate didnâ€™t really have a scoring threat,â€ť Cumberland coach Chris Skurka said.
LINCOLN --- Lincoln need this win. Badly.
Ryan Oâ€™Dellâ€™s eight-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Reddington with 2:55 remaining in the game erased a two-point deficit and helped the Lions score their biggest win to date, a 20-14 victory over previously-unbeaten Moses Brown on Friday night at Ferguson Field.
The Lions improved to 3-2 in Division III action with the triumph, and more importantly, stayed in the five-team hunt for the four postseason berths with Rogers (4-0), Middletown and the Quakers (both 3-1), and Burrillville (2-2).