Archive - 2011 - Sports Article
PAWTUCKET â€“ Arnie Beyeler was sitting at the head of a table in a conference room at snow-covered McCoy Stadium on Friday afternoon, performing his first official act as manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
By early next week, basketball teams statewide will have reached the midway point of their league seasons.
For some boys' squads, the writingâ€™s on the wall that their seasons will come to a close some time in mid-February. But for several others, including a plethora of area teams, the postseason is clearly within reach with still plenty of basketball to be played in the final month of league competition.
Some baseball notes geared to make you forget those snow removal blues â€¦
Thereâ€™s no question Chris Iannetta is bent on staying sharp during the offseason. The St. Raphael Academy alum is renown around the R.I. Baseball Institute for having a set routine and hating to deviate from it. In fact, it wouldnâ€™t come as a shock to learn Iannetta possesses a key to the indoor batting cage, located in Warwick.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Wrestling season inside the state of Rhode Island doesnâ€™t really get serious until the middle of January. A few of the top teams use the first six weeks of the season to test themselves outside the state in weekend tournaments against elite competition from around New England.
Thatâ€™s the route Cumberland High coach Steve Gordon has chosen over the years. This season, his defending state champions have won tournaments in Connecticut and Massachusetts before finishing third last Saturday in the prestigious Redskin Invitational up in Sanford, Maine.
PAWTUCKET --- While folks across the Northeast were bracing themselves for todayâ€™s heavy snowstorm, Peter Manfredo Jr. pulled off the great escape on Tuesday by jumping on an early flight that took him to sunny Key West, Fla.
But instead of heading to Florida to work on his tan and enjoy a pleasurable vacation, Manfredo chose business over pleasure and flew down for his next fight, Friday nightâ€™s 10-round middleweight bout against Daniel Edouard of West Palm Beach, Fla. at Mallory Square overlooking Key West Harbor.
BARRINGTON â€“Jeremy Graca was Mr. Clutch for Tolman High on Monday night
The talented senior scored seven of his 16 points in the final minute as the Tigers defeated Barrington, 56-48, in a Division II crossover contest at the Eaglesâ€™ gymnasium.
PAWTUCKET --â€“ This may be hard to fathom, but the regular season in boysâ€™ basketball ends exactly one month from today.
For teams like St. Raphael Academy, itâ€™s simply a matter of full speed ahead. Veteran head coach Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine has concerns that are generally viewed as normal for this time of year. Yet with the finish line in sight and playoffs â€“ both divisional and the experimental Sweet 16 â€“ knocking on the doorstep, the onus is on clubs to get everything in order before the truly important games arrive.
Certainly the ability to switch-hit in baseball can come in handy, paving the way for a batter to place himself in an advantageous situation against any pitcher they step in the box to face.
When the first Cranston Sports Collectors Show opened, you could buy a Honus Wagner tobacco card for $1,500 or so.
Now, that image of old Honus would cost you at least $250,000 and, if you wanted the best known example of the baseball card now recognized as the hobbyâ€™s â€śHoly Grail,â€ť youâ€™d have to come up with at least $1.62-million which is what the current owner paid for it.
PROVIDENCE â€” There was more than basketball going on inside the Pizzitola Center Saturday night.
Labeling it a local success story doesnâ€™t seem to paint the entire picture, though you could make a strong argument based on the three lads hailing from Central Falls on Lyndon Stateâ€™s roster â€“ certainly a rare occurrence. A homecoming? The three ex-Warrior hoopsters are all first-year college players, meaning they havenâ€™t been in the hinterlands of Vermont long enough to be jarred loose from our memory banks.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Nina Morey isnâ€™t about to complain about a win after her Mount St. Charles squad held on for a down-to-the-last possession 33-31 decision against Tolman on Friday.
That said, the MSC head coach came away with the understanding that the Mounties were very fortunate to waltz out of the Donaldson Memorial Gymnasium with the higher point total.
â€śIâ€™m glad that we had the ability to hang on,â€ť said Morey, â€śbut a little more time for (Tolman) and it may have been a different story.â€ť
PAWTUCKET --- Tolman High dearly needed this victory.
Junior Kody Casavant and freshman Jared Pedro each scored a pair of goals and the Tigersâ€™ defense turned in a solid showing over the final two periods to help nail down a 5-3 triumph over West Warwick High on Friday night in their hard-hitting Division III meeting at Lynch Arena.
Tolman, which is now 4-3 and in fourth place in the nine-team division, was coming off ugly back-to-back defeats to Cranston East and Mount Hope that saw the Tigers play both games shorthanded and allow a total of 14 goals.
WOONSOCKET --- Offensively, Mount St. Charles Academy is sixth out of the stateâ€™s nine teams in goals scored, and defensively, the Mounties are one of four teams to have surrendered fewer than 10 goals.
But thereâ€™s one huge reason why the Mounties are sitting atop the standings with a 5-0 mark and looking like a potent squad in excellent shape to defend their state championship come March.
â€śI think we have the depth that any team in the league would envy,â€ť offered MSC coach Steve Shea. â€śI feel like we have depth at every position, which is very nice to have.â€ť
PAWTUCKET --- There are some benefits to having just 14 players on your hockey team.
Playing time shouldnâ€™t be hard to come by. You donâ€™t have to share a seat on any long bus rides to away games. And you have plenty of room to yourself in some of the cramped locker rooms some of this stateâ€™s rinks have to offer.
Unfortunately, there are more cons than pros in having such a small squad, especially when your team is playing three 15-minute periods every night in a competitive league such as the 15-team Division II.
CUMBERLAND â€“ After a six-day layoff from competing that included only three days of practice, was Cumberland High coach Steve Gordon worried his squad wouldnâ€™t be sharp against Westerly on Wednesday night?
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tom Sorrentine is still fitting together the pieces of the puzzle that is the St. Raphael Academy basketball team. And so far, â€śSaarâ€ť likes what he is seeing from his Saints, who improved to 4-1 in Division I with a 61-47 victory over Cranston West on Tuesday night.
The Saints, who led 35-15 late in the first half, overcame some sloppy passing with a tough defensive effort and strong work in the rebounding department from the front line of Trevor Vasey, Cesar Mejia, Davon Robertson and Benjamin Pillsbury.
PROVIDENCE â€“ During long, taxing Big East winters, some Providence College followers often wonder why the Friars chose to bump heads with college basketballâ€™s elite.
Why? A visit by the No. 5-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers seems like a good place to begin. Welcoming such a highly decorated club brings with it the chance to secure a big time win while presenting youngsters like Gerard Coleman and Kadeem Batts a shot to become recognized outside of the Ocean State.
We will have some baseball news to savor this afternoon when the Hall of Fame balloting is revealed to the public. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are expected to get into the HOF today. Several other players are on the cusp â€“ Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Jack Morris and Tim Raines.
Rafael Palmeiro could make it, too, if the voters forgive him for telling Congress he never did steroids and then flunking a urine test several months later, late in his career, long after he had amassed most of his 569 career home runs.
High school basketball coaches donâ€™t have any room to breathe when it comes to game conditions. They share their workplace with spectators. Their instructions to players, or complaints to referees running past them, can often be heard by the fans.
Marshon Brooks was the picture of a frustrated Friar as he stood in the hallway of The Dunk Saturday night. His stat line in a narrow loss to St. Johnâ€™s â€“ 8-of-14 shooting for 20 points â€“ did little to ease his pain.
Most players would gladly take the numbers like the ones Brooks compiled, bolt quickly out of the gym and pray that nothing gets amended before the final sheet is xeroxed. Not Brooks. The senior knows that if Providence has any shot of being anything more than a mere footnote in Big East play, then he has to deliver high octane performances every time out.