Archive - Dec 2010 - Sports Article
From high school to Little League, 2010 was a truly glorious one for the Blackstone Valley, as several teams and indviduals captured state championships in their respective sports. Hereâs a quick rundown of the highlights of this past year:
The winter season was a magicial one for the region, as five of its high school teams captured state championships.
The Mount St. Charles Academy boysâ and girlsâ hockey teams pulled off a nifty double by winning their respective state championships. Itâs the first time since 2003 that the Mountiesâ squads both captures titles in the same season.
The best part of my job is meeting people connected with various sports teams or organizations throughout the Blackstone Valley. When all is said and done, it is the people and the things they teach us that remain long after the final scores have faded away.
Here are some of the people I remember from my life during the year 2010.
Just like the other winter sports we cover, the indoor track season will enter a new year on Saturday.
Some goals that were set back in early November remain the same, but with 2011 now beginning thereâs also those New Yearâs resolutions.
Or, shall we say, a new set of goals â perhaps ones that become more realistic after the first two months of the season.
Will those goals (new and old) be accomplished? Time will only tell.
Hereâs a glimpse at what is potentially in store from our top local track & field athletes in the coming months.
CUMBERLAND --â With the new year just a few days away, Tolman High coach Mike Kayata has plenty of reasons to smile.
After a slow start, his talented Tigershas been on somewhat of a roll, winning their last four games. The latest of those victories occurred on Wednesday night as Kayata saw his Tigers hold off a strong rally by Lincoln High to capture the annual Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament with a thrilling 61-58 decision at the Wellness Center.
CUMBERLAND --â Players like Rodney Bustillo and Elijiah Wiggins donât need an entire game to make a difference.
Just give them a little time to start heating up.
The Tolman High seniors got sizzling hot in the second half of Tuesdayâs opener with Cumberland in the annual Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament and turned a 38-all tie at the break into a runaway 80-61 rout at the Wellness Center.
CUMBERLAND --â Two teams in desperate need of getting their respective seasons on track crossed paths in first semifinal of the Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament on Tuesday night at Cumberland High Schoolâs Wellness Center.
Lincoln was the club that took a solid step in the right direction with a convincing 68-52 triumph over a Woonsocket squad that continues to seek answers. Lincoln will play Tolman in tonightâs championship game set for 7:45 p.m. Woonsocket and Cumberland in the 6 p.m. consolation game.
WOONSOCKET â Mount St. Charles Academy didnât have too many low moments in its run to the Division I state championship last season, but one of them came in the first round of last seasonâs Holiday Face-Off.
In that game, the Mounties turned in one of their worst showings of the season and dearly paid for it in the form of a 5-2 loss to Bishop Guertin High of Nashua, N.H.
Sometimes things move pretty quickly around here â almost too quickly to catch up and fully appreciate what has transpired.
One day weâre ushering in the winter sports season while the high school Super Bowls have yet to be contested. The non-stop nature extends to all seasons and sports, and we here at Blackstone Valley Sports have no choice but to hop aboard the next train or run the risk of being left behind.
CUMBERLAND â âOf course, we had a Christmas party every year at the Boys Club,â Mike Pappas was saying earlier this week. âThere would be presents for all the kids. And we made sure to hand out a Christmas basket to a needy family. That was important to us.â
The Christmas Party tradition still exists at the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, an organization Pappas first became aware of as a Depression-era youngster living up the street in a three-story tenement. As an adult, Pappas would spend 41 years working at the club, the last 26 as its Executive Director.
PAWTUCKET â Tiverton put the brakes on Shea Highâs offense during a 72-53 romp over the Raiders on Thursday night.
Shea, coming off a 94-92 up-tempo win over North Providence on Monday, contributed to its own demise with a variety of missed layups and close-in shots that prevented the Raiders from turning to their pressing defense following a made basket.
âIf we had made our layups, we could have used the press,â Shea coach Matt Pita said after the game. âBut we shot poorly all night. The bottom line is we have to rebound the ball and make our layups and we did neither tonight.â
PAWTUCKET â As manager of Double-A Portland the past four seasons, Arnie Beyeler was at the forefront of nurturing while simultaneously pushing all of the better known prospects in the Red Soxâ farm chain. Beyelerâs mission was to not just get the likes of Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard and Ryan Kalish ready for life at Triple-A, but to present them a sample of what life is like as a major leaguer.
JOHNSTON â You know things are looking up when the opposing coach pulls his starters â with 1:25 left in the first half!
Yes, Johnston head coach Dan Mazzulla did reinsert his starting group for the second half. By that point, though, it didnât matter. Tolman was still up big and still playing tenacious defense, the latter the major reason why the Tigers handed the Panthers their first league loss on Tuesday night, 45-33.
Every race that Charlie Breagy creates appears to turn to gold.
The past few months in Providence, his Monster Mini Dash 5K on Halloween and his Downtown Jingle 5K a couple of weeks ago, drew more than 2,000 participants to the starting line. His annual Ocean State Cross-Country Invitational has 5,000-plus high school and middle-school runners congregating at Goddard Park in mid-October.
EAST PROVIDENCE â The top selling Christmas gift for basketball coaches is a point guard who can handle the ball, run an offense, get his teammates good shots and make a few key baskets when the game is on the line. Santa passes these things out every five or 10 years. They donât grow on trees.
St. Raphael Academy coach Tom Sorrentine got such a gift last Christmas in freshman Charles Correa, a Pawtucket product who has developed into an emerging sophomore with the potential to open some eyes around the state before he graduates in two years.
The directive was straightforward: place the ball in Dan Wheelerâs glove, stand back and enjoy. For Jim Dawber this habitual walk to the mound became a regular occurrence for him, no matter what level of baseball he coached Wheeler.
PAWTUCKET â Once Shea High got on a roll during the second half Friday night, there was very little anyone wearing a Tolman High uniform could do in corralling the Raiders.
Shea took full advantage of a 16-1 flurry â one that encompassed all of three minutes of clock â to roll to a wild, come-from-behind 65-55 win over its crosstown rivals at âThe Cage.â The verdict helped secure Matt Pitaâs first win as the Raidersâ coach and improve Sheaâs record to 1-1 in Division II-Central. The loss drops the Tigers to 0-2 on the young season.
WOONSOCKET - Burrillville High did everything it possibly could to give Mount St. Charles Academy a spirited run for its money on Friday night, but the defending state champs still found a way to get the job done.
And the Mounties got the job done by spoiling a truly brilliant performance by junior goaltender Jacob Toback, who masterfully turned away 43 shots in a 2-0 triumph by the defending state champions at Adelard Arena.
PAWTUCKET --- St. Raphael Academy got on Thursday night what they couldnât get in their close defeat to Portsmouth High three nights earlier â a full game out of junior guard Cesar Mejia and an outstanding defensive effort against a solid team.
Mejia poured in a game-high 22 points and added four steals to help his team force Hope High into committing 24 turnovers and come away with a 62-40 victory in their Division I-East affair at the Saintsâ Wellness Center.
PAWTUCKET --- For the third straight year, Tolman High will be sporting a very young squad, and this one may be the youngest of the bunch â with seven sophomores and three freshmen making up the bulk of its 16-man roster.
In Coach Speak, the word âyoungâ is usually synonymous with âbadâ, but with this yearâs Tigers, that doesnât appear to be the case.
PROVIDENCE â For the past several months, Jalen Evans has been punishing his opponents with his blazing speed on the football field.
In his inaugural season of track and field, the Woonsocket High sophomore is hoping to do the same on the indoor oval.
âI am very confident,â Evans said. âWhen I see my competition, I get very excited. My adrenaline starts pumping. I just want to be at full speed. When I am at full speed, it feels great.â