Archive - Sports Article
February 2nd, 2011
Thereâ€™s a scene in Jerry Maguire in which Jerry, the do-anything-at-all-costs agent, is going over the particulars with Matt Cushman, father of quarterback and surefire top pick Frank. Besides appeasing his pseudo clients with dollar figures and draft stature, Jerry aims for some reassurance from the Cushman camp that he will be entrusted with the negotiations with the NFL team that selects Frank.
Matt Cushman closes the discussion with a firm handshake along with the following: â€śWhat you have is my whole word, and itâ€™s stronger than oak.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ Story of this winter: Another bad weather day, another round of postponed boysâ€™ basketball games to be added to the â€ścompressed schedule.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€” Another snow day, another lost practice session for Cumberland Highâ€™s wrestling team.
â€śThis makes me very uncomfortable,â€ť Cumberland coach Steve Gordon was saying on Tuesday morning as another snowstorm hit the region. â€śI donâ€™t have any control over the kidsâ€™ weights when we canâ€™t practice. But my guys know what to do. They are pretty good about it. Some of them will go over to Northeast Elite (a wrestling school in Woonsocket) and get a workout in. We canâ€™t practice at the school because if school is cancelled, itâ€™s over. You canâ€™t practice.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Thereâ€™s just something so fitting, so appropriate, about longtime state power Bishop Hendricken matching up with St. Raphael Academy, a contender in its own right, this late in the regular season.
COVENTRY â€“ The Coventry Oakers made a statement to the rest of Division I last night.
With the Division I leading St. Raphael Academy Saints strolling into town, the Oakers demonstrated that they will have to be mentioned as a contender for the state crown with a convincing 92-72 victory over the Saints that improved their record to 9-4 in league play.
PROVIDENCE â€“ One little setback at an inopportune time hasnâ€™t stopped Aleide Fernandes from doing what she does best â€“ winning state titles.
The Central Falls senior, who already owns five individual crowns in various weight events, is far ahead of the field this winter in her specialties with throws of 53 feet, 4 Â˝ in the 20-pound weight and 37-8 in the shot put.
Fernandes still feels ready to shine at the state championships on Feb. 19, despite being sidetracked somewhat due to tendonitis in her left elbow, an injury that has kept her from competing the past two meets for the Warriors.
WOONSOCKET --- After cruising to a pair of lopsided Division I victories over the weekend, Mount St. Charles Academy got just what it needed on Monday night -- a competitive contest against one of the top public school teams in Eastern Mass.
The Mounties turned in one of their best games of the season and received strong contributions from all three of their lines and goaltender Dan Foster in a closer-than-it-appears 5-0 win over Needham High at Adelard Arena.
Iâ€™m not a fan of his music, but Elton Johnâ€™s â€śCandle In The Windâ€ť has been embedded in my mind ever since Rocco Baldelli announced his retirement last week. The ballad has long been viewed as John articulating his feelings for the songâ€™s subject, Marilyn Monroe, through the power of song. Still, thereâ€™s one portion of the chorus that I feel best sums up Baldelliâ€™s career â€“ as well as other athletes who call it a career sooner than expected:
Your candle burned out long before â€”
Your legend ever did.
NORTH KINGSTOWN --- Charles Correa followed up a solid 24-point outing earlier in the week with a game-high 22 points and eight assists on Friday night to help St. Raphael Academy claim its sixth straight Division I game, a 61-59 victory on the road over North Kingstown High.
Trevor Vasey also added eight points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots for the Saints, who lead the Division I-East with a 10-2 record and are also 12-4 overall.
The Saints, who have another crossover game on the road next Monday night at Coventry High, also received 10 points from Cesar Mejia.
CUMBERLAND â€“ With the score knotted at 62-all late in overtime, Rodney Bustillo thought the time was right to take matters into his own hand.
The dual-meet season for R.I. boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ indoor track will officially wrap up by Tuesday of next week, barring another snowstorm (or two?).
Thatâ€™s just the warm-up.
Beginning late next week, teams will be duking it out at the Providence Athletic Facility in their respective divisional championships. A week later, theyâ€™re back on the oval in their class meets and then on Saturday, Feb. 19, schools statewide will compete on the big stage in the annual state championships.
For our local athletes and teams, a lot can happen in those next few weeks.
There was eight to 12 inches of snowfall on Thursday morning. Last Friday, it was about a foot. And for the season, close to 45 inches have hit the region.
Global warming? It doesnâ€™t seem that way.
The excessive snow this winter has certainly increased business at the chiropractorâ€™s office with the young and old alike getting their backs aligned after hours of shoveling the white stuff. But for high school athletics in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, it also has increased headaches for athletic directors, coaches and their athletes.
The state championships begin in less than a month at the Providence Career and Technical Academy and plenty of wrestlers, through their performances at in-state and out-of-state tournaments, have started to make their case as title favorites.
And with only a few big tournaments left this season (Capital City Classic in Concord, N.H. and the Methuen (Mass.) Invitational) Rhode Island wrestlers have represented themselves well on the New England stage.
PROVIDENCE â€“ For Ricky Ledo, itâ€™s games like Providence Collegeâ€™s 83-68 vanquishing of No. 8 Villanova on Wednesday night that has the Providence native convinced he made the right call.
WOONSOCKET â€” If anything, the announcement that Rocco Baldelli is retiring after a seven-year pro career and eight months shy of his 30th birthday should be viewed as an outpouring of relief for the Woonsocket native.
What was Baldelli? A good player, who showed flashes of talent that bordered on the greatness, the modern day answer to Napoleon Lajoie and Gabby Hartnett, two Hall of Famers with firm ties to the Blackstone Valley.
This is truly the winter of our discontent when it comes to weather and high school sports schedules. The seemingly weekly snowstorms in Rhode Island have created a backlog of makeup games in all sports, none more so than in boysâ€™ basketball, where a compressed schedule this season necessitated a natural three-game week even before Mother Nature threatened to turn the month of February into an NBA-like marathon for high school student/athletes.
It may not be the Running Capital of Rhode Island, but Pawtucket is sure going to seem that way in the coming months.
Just a couple of months after an expected 3,000 participants invade the historic city for the inaugural Irish 5K on March 5, throngs of runners and walkers are predicted to be back on the downtown streets for another first-time event, the Cherry Tree Running Festival on May 21.
PAWTUCKET â€” In a game of runs, it was Shea High that had the big one at the end, and with it, a hard-fought Division II crossover victory.
The Raiders rattled off 11 straight points to ignite a 21-8 run in the final 7:48 of their duel with Cumberland High on Tuesday night and come away with a 73-62 win on their home floor that gave them their fifth victory in their last six games.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There were coaches from North Kingstown and Bishop Hendricken sitting in the stands to view Mondayâ€™s Division I crossover between Woonsocket and St. Raphael. No doubt they came to see Charles Correa, Cesar Mejia and Trevor Vasey and the rest of SRAâ€™s starting five, but the coaches were probably just as likely to jot down notes pertaining to Jordan Peguero, Ben Pillsbury and Franklin Batista.
For many years weâ€™ve witnessed this perception vs. reality debate hovering over the basketball program at Providence College. Call it a man vs. wild struggle in which one side tries to impose its will over the other in the name of shedding light on what the expectations should entail.