Archive - Jan 2012 - Sports Article
PAWTUCKET â€” If youâ€™ve attended either a Tolman or Shea game this winter, chances are youâ€™ve noticed a young man sitting on the bench of each team dressed in street clothes. Starting this week, the wondering will cease and answers pertaining to whom these hoopsters-in-question are will be revealed.
Joe Paterno, who died on Sunday at the age of 85, was the greatest coach Iâ€™ve ever been around. He was a really good human being too, a man who loved his wife, his kids, his 17 grandchildren, more than anything in the world, including his job as head football coach at Penn State.
The first time I ever met Joe, back in my reporting days at The Daily Collegian (Penn Stateâ€™s student newspaper), he called me into his office after we had published an article he found somewhat damaging to the schoolâ€™s reputation.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The Baltimore Ravens arenâ€™t the only tough-as-nails outfit to invade Downtown Providence this weekend.
Saturday night saw a Marquette team that has built its reputation as a take-no-prisoners beast basically body slam Providence to the canvas. The punishment took its toll on the Friars, particularly in the second half when Ed Cooleyâ€™s club could not perform the simple act of putting the ball into the hoop.
Itâ€™s taken a while, but winter appears to have finally arrived here in New England with the recent snow that has blanked our region.
The weather has been a little different for recent Cumberland High grad and talented golfer Jamison Randall, a freshman at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
â€śItâ€™s better than New England,â€ť said Randall, via the phone on Saturday morning. â€śItâ€™s much warmer. In fact, Iâ€™m playing golf (today).â€ť
WOONSOCKET --- Michael Kinchâ€™s 17th goal of the season, a power-play score with 3:48 to play in the game, helped the Cumberland High hockey team battle the St. Raphael Academy/Providence Country Day/Wheeler co-op team to a 3-3 tie on Friday night in their Division II-North affair at Adelard Arena.
Brendan Kelahanâ€™s goal off a pass from Mark Long with 5:21 left in the game actually gave the co-op team a 3-2 lead before Kinch struck for the equalizer.
PAWTUCKET â€“ As good as St. Raphael Academy is, very little comes easy for the defending state champions against the other elite teams in Division I.
After scoring a pair of three-point wins over Central and Classical in the past 10 days, the unbeaten Saints welcomed talented Mount Pleasant to Alumni Hall on Friday night.
The Kilties field their usual fast and athletic group of players. They came out in a box-and-one defense and then a 1-3-1 that focused on limiting the shot opportunities for SRA scoring leaders Charles Correa and Cesar Mejia.
Life, weâ€™re often reminded, is a journey along a path. Marked by repeated twists, turns, bends and detours, we take comfort in knowing that each path is unique. No two people ever embark on a similar trek.
No road map, satellite-based navigation system, not even a Mapquest.com printout is required. Following oneâ€™s heart and ambitions serve as the main motivators, the idea of how we feel deep down aiding us to better grasping the wheel to steer towards oneâ€™s wants, needs and mindsets. In a nutshell, itâ€™s the journey within the journey.
PAWTUCKET â€” Itâ€™s been no secret that the numbers game hasnâ€™t been too kind to Tolman this season, and that was evident two Friday nights ago when the Tigers suffered a 4-2 loss to Mount Hope at Lynch Arena.
While the Huskies dressed a full complement of players, the Tigers were only able to suit up 11, including a backup goaltender.
That number of players was the lowest of any team (boys or girls) in the state that took the ice for a game this year, but since that night, a couple of positive things took place that promise to make the Tigersâ€™ future a little bit brighter.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ They are each defending state champions, leaders in the wrestling room, athletes who walk around with an aura of confidence instilled in them by years of practice and ensuing success on the mat, one on one, against the best that can be found in Rhode Island.
PAWTUCKET â€” Shea High played dictator during Tuesday nightâ€™s Division II romp over Narragansett. The Raiders dictated how the game would be played and the Mariners followed along, usually a step too slow to keep up with the talented and speedy home team.
Sparked by Eli Itkinâ€™s career-high 24 points, and a virtuoso performance by point guard Jordy Brito (18 points, 8 assists), the Raiders romped to a 71-48 victory that improved them to 6-2 in Division II-Central.
SMITHFIELD â€” Tuesday night proved to be a valuable learning experience for St. Raphael Academy, particularly for the second unit.
With Charles Correa, Cesar Mejia and the rest of the first teamers resting comfortably on the bench, Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine turned to Kaseem Sams, Jordan Peguero, Zach and Nick Mays and Darshaun Vargas. The sight of seeing Correa and Mejia sporting warmups and sipping Gatorade must have been heaven to Smithfield, which trailed 59-41 when Sorrentine called off the hounds.
CUMBERLAND â€” East Providence came out on fire and pushed Cumberland to the brink of dual-meet defeat for the first time in three years on Monday morning before the Clippers turned the tables for an exciting 40-32 conquest of the Townies.
â€śWe came out lazy in the Warwick tournament on Saturday,â€ť said Towniesâ€™ leader Joao Vicente. â€śCoach (Tom Galligan) warned us we couldnâ€™t do that against Cumberland. Today, we came out very warm.â€ť
The Townies won five of the first six matches to build a 23-6 advantage.
PROVIDENCE â€” The state championships for track and field will be held in about a month. Itâ€™s getting closer to realizing who will be the contenders and who will be the pretenders.
From a local standpoint, a few of those possible contenders for the girlsâ€™ competition were inside the Providence Career and Technical Academy field house Monday afternoon for their respective divisional meets.
CUMBERLAND â€” When it came time to wrestle the finals of Saturday nightâ€™s John D. Gorman Memorial Tournament at Cumberland High, two chairs at matside were occupied by coaches from Bishop Hendricken (Kevin Hennessey) and Warwick Veterans (George Schmeider).
â€śTheyâ€™re just wrestling junkies,â€ť Cumberland coach Steve Gordon said with a laugh on Sunday morning, after his balanced team had captured the team title despite crowning only one individual champion (Tom LaCroix at 195). â€śKevin and George probably just wanted to see our boys wrestle. Theyâ€™re scouting, of course, checking us out.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Itâ€™s often viewed as the last frontier for young hitters to conquer, that of strike-zone recognition. In Alex Hassanâ€™s case, the promising Red Sox outfield prospect is well ahead of the curve, so much so that some of his peers could stand to benefit from his calculated attack.
PAWTUCKET --- Alex Wilson knows all about the rags-to-riches tale of Kurt Warner, the former Super Bowl-winning St. Louis Rams quarterback and NFL MVP, who just a few years prior to his breakout â€™99 season, had worked part-time as a stockboy at a supermarket during his climb to stardom.
Thatâ€™s because from October to December, the Boston Red Sox prospect had spent his weekday mornings making a few extra bucks by stocking shelves at a Loweâ€™s home improvement store near his Hurricane, W.V. residence.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There are going to be nights when the teamâ€™s leading scorer struggles. How does the rest of the team react when something like this happens? Are they going to be able to pick up the slack?
Tolman head coach Mike Kayata got all the answers he would need on Thursday night. With top dog Juan Velez mired in a dreadful funk and showing no sign of clearing the fog, Kayata opted to sit the junior down and place the outcome of this crucial contest against Barrington into the hands of the likes of Samb brothers, Seny and Mamour, along with senior Justin Zetina.
By all accounts, January is the slowest month on the baseball calendar. Itâ€™s the month that follows the hustle and bustle of the player acquisition crunch and the month prior to spring training with the backdrop of warm, picturesque conditions in Florida and Arizona.
PAWTUCKET --- United, they stand. Divided, who knows if the St. Raphael Academy hockey team and the Providence Country Day/Wheeler School co-op squad would have fallen from existence after last season?
For the Saints, they struggled mightily with numbers a season ago, as only 14 players (three of them goaltenders) made up their roster.
Because of their lack of depth, they staggered to a 3-15 mark that included a handful of losses that saw them fizzle from fatigue during the last period and watch leads slip away from them.
CUMBERLAND --- Steve Gordonâ€™s Cumberland High wrestling program has reached the enviable point where the Clippers donâ€™t have to rebuild â€¦ they just reload.
After losing two multiple state champions (the Lariviere twins) to graduation last June, Cumberland might have expected a slight regression this season. There is no regression to be found, at least not yet. (The season still hasnâ€™t reached the halfway point.)
Cumberland improved to 7-0 in Division I with a 56-24 rout of South Kingstown on Wednesday night. The Rebels are one of those good programs that does have to reload.