Archive - Mar 2013 - Sports Article
It wasnât that long ago when parity was the name of the game in the Division I ranks.
In those days, the competition was so balanced that as many as 9-10 teams entered each season with a realistic chance at state championship glory. And during in an 11-year stretch from 2001-2011, nine different teams enjoyed their moments in the spotlight with the championship plaque.
PAWTUCKET --- You can tell a business is booming when after three months in operation, the owners have been so busy that they havenât found the time to plan a Grand Opening ceremony.
Thatâs been the case with the ownership group of DH Hitting, LLC, a baseball and softball indoor training facility on 70 Vineyard St. in Pawtucket that opened its doors last Nov. 16 and hasnât slowed down since the very first swings were taken in their batting tunnels.
What is one telltale sign that an organization is doing well from a financial standpoint? Answer: When a revenue-sharing plan is met with a ringing endorsement by the powers-that-be.
âWeâre all in this together,â is the phrase Tom Mezzanotte, executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, used shortly the approval of a revenue-sharing program at the March 18 Principalsâ Committee on Athletics meeting. The unanimous vote (10-0) green lights the distribution of profits that are leftover once all the RIILâs expenses are all squared away to the 55 member high schools.
Tolman High softball players Ashley Clark (left) and Ashley Hessler signed their respective Letters of Intent during a ceremony held last week inside the schoolâs library. A Second Team All-State selection as a junior, Clark will continue her playing career at Division II Assumption College. A Se-cond Team All-Division selection as a junior, Hessler will take her talents to Connecticutâs University of Bridgeport, a Division II participant.
Within every road trip, there lies a theme. Sometimes itâs apparent the moment the car pulls out of the driveway. Other times, you may elect to start impulse free, the mind filled with vagaries. Then the theme emerges later.
The main objective of Providence Collegeâs sojourn deep into the heart of Texas is short and succinct. The theme is this â âGet to the Garden.â
PROVIDENCE â A small, sly grin quickly formed on Ed Cooleyâs face upon being asked about reaching out to members of the coaching fraternity with firsthand knowledge of Robert Morris University.
Venturing a guess based on his facial expression, the Providence head coach set some time aside over the weekend to put feelers out. If undertaking the quest of learning more about the Colonials is Cooleyâs pleasure, a valuable resource is located just up the road.
PROVIDENCE â The wounds from Providence Collegeâs 17-point loss to Cincinnati were still in need of suturing when Ed Cooley sat down at a podium inside Madison Square Garden. Clearly determined to not wallow in self-pity following the Friarsâ latest one-and-done result in the Big East Tournament, the head coach elected to use the forum to look down the road.
PROVIDENCE â After months of silence on the comings and goings of the re-configured Big East, Providence College officials had plenty to say Wednesday.
Staging a press conference that served as the lead-in for the PC-Charlotte NIT battle, School President the Rev. Brian J. Shanley and Athletic Director Bob Driscoll spoke for roughly 30 minutes about a wide range of Big East-related topics. The PC power pair not only broke down the leagueâs new structure, they also revealed why they have been so close-mouthed in public over recent weeks.
CENTRAL FALLS â The past five months or so have been hectic for Jim Bourgault, though he wouldn't have it any other way.
When he's not working as an assistant supervisor in Teknor Apex's Plastics Division, or tending to his wife, Jean, and their three children and two grandchildren, Bourgault is busy weight training in his garage behind his Hunt Street home.
Naturally, he's nicknamed it the âPowerasylum.â
PAWTUCKET â The Lincoln/Cumberland Co-op girlsâ hockey squad had just suffered a tough 5-2 decision to the combined Barrington/Mount Hope/Portsmouth club on Thursday night, March 7, at Brown University.
That, coupled with the Lionsâ 6-5 double-overtime defeat in the first game of this-best-of-three R.I. Division II Tournament championship series, meant the second-year program hadnât captured its dream of capturing the state crown.
PROVIDENCE â While the immediate future of Rhode Island high school co-op teams does not appear threatened, concern appears to be mounting about the direction the practice is heading.
A portion of Mondayâs gathering of the Principalsâ Committee on Athletics focused on a myriad of topics that have to do with the validity of cooperative programs. The fact-finding mission is already underway -- a committee tasked by the Interscholastic League to weigh the pros and cons of co-ops recently sent out a three-page survey to principals and athletic directors.
PROVIDENCE â Validation that the Providence College menâs basketball program is heading in the right direction came Sunday night in the form of receiving a first-round home game in the National Invitational Tournament.
PC will welcome Charlotte to The Dunk Wednesday night for a 7:15 tip. The Friars are seeded fourth in a region while the 49ers of the Atlantic 10 are the fifth seed. Wednesdayâs winner advances to face the victor of Kentucky-Robert Morris, a contest set for Tuesday night. Second-round NIT matchups are scheduled for March 21-25.
Head coach James Riel, back, holds the Div. II championship plaque as the Lincoln High School boys hockey team celebrates their sudden death overtime win over Prout 3-2 for the Division II state championship on the ice at Meehan Auditorium Saturday.
PROVIDENCE â Lincoln High wasnât at its best against the Prout School on Thursday night.
Not only did the Lions go 0-for-4 on the power play for the game, but during their last man advantage with less than six minutes left, it not only failed to capitalize, but yielded the Crusaders a shorthanded goal.
But thanks largely to the play of sophomore goalie Chris Leclaire and his 28 stunning saves, the Lions survived with a 3-2 verdict over Prout in the initial game of this best-of-three R.I. Division II Tournament championship series at Brown University's Meehan Auditorium.
NEW YORK â As one Cincinnati make after another settled into the nets at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, the frustration level in Kadeem Batts seemed to rise by the minute.
The Bearcats, desperate for a win that would keep them in the NCAA Tournament mix, were playing loose and free.
On the flip side, Batts and his Providence College teammates were tight and resembled the unit that got off to a dreadful 2-7 start in Big East play â not the one that closed the regular season white-hot with seven wins in nine tries.
NEW YORK â For one final time, the Providence player with deep New York City roots trudged off the floor at Madison Square Garden with an empty feeling in his stomach.
Vincent Councilâs last chance at Big East Tournament glory resembled his previous three experiences at this hallowed cathedral â with the Friars serving as an all-too familiar one-and-done casualty. As a result, the senior point guard hailing from Brooklyn is left to ponder whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.
LINCOLN â Head coach Jim Riel claimed back in November he was thrilled that his Lincoln High icemen had been âdemotedâ from the state's top tier to Division II.
The reason: He felt the overall talent level would give his Lions a more equal chance to compete against most teams.
Turns out, Riel was right. He always knew his squad had a chance to earn a berth in the championship series, but to do so with an unbeaten D-II record? That he didn't expect.
NEW YORK â The hallways, runways and escalators inside Madison Square Garden come alive with Big East basketball-related chatter every March. Naturally, many folks will take the occasion at this weekâs conference tournament to reflect on the end of this wildly entertaining roundball ride.
Looking back at the recently completed boysâ basketball playoffs with an emphasis on what the young men and coaches from North Smithfield accomplished âŠ
Heartache and disappointment always seem to boil to the surface whenever extenuating circumstances arise. Yet as he paced around a somber locker room to console a hazed and dazed group of downtrodden teenage boys, North Smithfield head coach T.J. Ciolfi kept thinking about a bonding/healing session to be conducted on a yellow school bus.
PAWTUCKET â Minutes after Tolman High had finished its practice Monday afternoon at Lynch Arena, head coach Steve Reynolds and volunteer assistant Tom Vecoli followed their players to the locker room for a team meeting.
There, they discussed how they must approach their tune-up workouts before battling unbeaten and top-seeded West Warwick-Exeter/West Greenwich Co-op in the first game of their best-of-three R.I. Division III Tournament championship series; that's slated for noon Saturday at Brown Universityâs Meehan Auditorium.