Archive - Sports Article
January 24th, 2014
PAWTUCKET â€“ Bruce Crabbeâ€™s official title with the Pawtucket Red Sox is coach. It sounds simple and straightforward, yet also vague in terms of what exactly his duties with the Triple-A ballclub will entail.
The 51-year-old Crabbe could oversee the infielders, an area that is his forte. Perhaps he might be responsible for relaying signals from the dugout to the outfielders, reminding them where to position themselves based on the hitter at the plate. Maybe Crabbe will offer his in-game observations as he sits next to new PawSox manager Kevin Boles.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” Tolmanâ€™s Jesse Fernandes went to the free throw line with two seconds left in Thursday nightâ€™s Division II-Central game with Exeter/West Greenwich. The scoreboard showed a 67-67 deadlock. Tolman students rattled the bleachers with their feet in anticipation of the upcoming free throws.
â€śIâ€™m a 70 percent free throw shooter,â€ť the junior said a few minutes after he made the second of two freebies for an exciting and hard-fought 68-67 victory over the Avengers. â€śIâ€™m glad I had two free throws. I missed the first one but the second one was pretty good.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Shea High got up close with one of the leading contenders in Division II this season, and the results were not pretty for the locals.
The visitors from West Warwick felt quite at home at â€śThe Cageâ€ť Thursday night, rolling to an 80-44 victory. The II-Central leading Wizards improve to 6-0 while the Raiders have now dropped four straight league contests since beating Exeter/West Greenwich back on Dec. 20.
CUMBERLAND â€” Throughout the 2012-13 winter campaign, then-Cumberland High sophomore Jack Bauer improved at a rapid rate, causing older brother Andrew to continue to hassle him about registering for a USA Swimming-affiliated club program.
Andrew, a phenomenal distance freestyler in his own right, had done the same, and he reasoned that Jack would only get faster, given the more grueling workouts.
PAWTUCKET â€” As a father watching his son represent the St. Raphael/Providence Country Day/Wheeler co-op squad last winter, Gary Leonard noticed it often didn't play as a team, a fluid unit. To him, it looked as if the players seemed more concerned with individual stats and/or glory.
â€śI thought the biggest issue with them was selfish team play,â€ť he stated Tuesday afternoon. â€śWhen I became the head coach back in September, it was my goal to eliminate the selfishness and try to build a program based on team success.â€ť
PROVIDENCE â€“ There are two schools of thought as to why Ted Bancroft and the Friars have gone on to string three Big East wins together following an 0-2 start.
Representing the Providence program at Mondayâ€™s college basketball brunch, held at Warwick's Radisson Hotel, Bancroft mentioned that a players-only meeting was staged in the aftermath of a 30-point blowout loss at Villanova earlier this month. At the time, the Friars appeared in a free fall after losing back-to-back overtime contests to UMass and Seton Hall before getting drubbed by the Wildcats.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Eventually, Alex Wilson arrived at the understanding that his ability to properly grip a baseball had been compromised.
What was originally deemed a sprained right thumb last July evolved into something far more problematic to the point where surgery went from a potential last resort to being inevitable. Wilson admitted that everything â€śwas tried under the sun.â€ť From having the thumb placed in a cast and later a splint, all of the precautions taken were done with an eye toward eventually returning to Bostonâ€™s bullpen.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ Head coach Jayar Santos gave Central Falls High senior Yesenia Biascochea the news prior to the start of their campaign.
Because he didnâ€™t have a true point guard, sheâ€™d have to assume that role, not the one in which she had been accustomed â€“ the shooting guard spot.
He also issued her a proviso; that is, if she had the open shot, then go ahead and put it up.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Itâ€™s starting to happen. Bryce Cotton is staring at the probability of roughly two months remaining in his Providence College basketball career.
As time becomes the seniorâ€™s enemy, so too does the sense that the adjectives specifically reserved to describe Cottonâ€™s on-court playmaking abilities are seemingly stuck on repeat. Long ago, games of 20 or more points went from the exception to the rule for Cotton. When a player crosses over such a rarified threshold, in turn it becomes easy for fans to fall into a state of complacency.
PAWTUCKET â€“ St. Raphael Academy coach Fred Saunders calls them the â€śbrains and heart of our team.â€ť
They are the Gonzalez sisters â€“ point guard Danyele and forward Rybecca. Danyele runs the show and Rybecca handles the scoring load. Along with fellow starters Seun Shittu, Felicia Baccari and Kaylee Oliver, they have turned St. Raphael Academy into an unbeaten Division II-Central squad that hopes to go deep into the playoffs this winter.
LINCOLN â€” Though a year had passed, Lincoln High sophomore Mollie Westrick and junior Nicole Moneghan hadnâ€™t forgotten how the Westerly aquawomen had sailed to a Division II dual-meet victory.
In fact, the Bulldogs had pulled off wins in each of the previous three winter seasons, and the Lions desperately wanted to â€śturn the tide,â€ť so to speak.
CUMBERLAND â€” When it came time for Chris Skurka to make the biggest football decision of his life, he turned to a voice of reassurance and clarity.
Alison Skurka, the coachâ€™s wife, had a quick answer. A staunch supporter of her husbandâ€™s pigskin endeavors, Alison gave Chris her blessing to make the jump from head coach at Cumberland High to becoming an assistant at Dean College.
â€śSheâ€™s allowed me to chase that dream,â€ť said Chris Skurka. â€śUltimately, it came down to me making a decision about my family and my career as a coach.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€” Senior standouts Cody Beaudette and Chris Hayes captured their weight classes to help Cumberland win a close battle for the team championship in this past weekendâ€™s John D. Gorman Memorial Tournament at the Clippersâ€™ Wellness Center.
The Clippers, who returned to the top of the team standings after watching Johnston finish first last year, scored 159.5 points to beat 17 other teams (representing four New England states) and nip runner-up Bristol Eastern of Connecticut by 1.5 points.
LINCOLN â€“ Itâ€™s true: Over the last eight years, Davies Tech compiled a dismal overall league record of 10 wins and 120 losses.
Thatâ€™s a winning percentage of .077. If you follow baseball, think of that as a batting average.
But none of that has bothered second-year head coach Bill Meekins, who truly believes his Patriots are on the upswing. He had proof on Thursday night after his club shelled Ponaganset, 63-47, in a Division III-North clash at Gaskin Alumni Hall.
LINCOLN â€” The high school hockey rivalry between Lincoln and Cumberland is beyond intense. Granted, they may compete on the second tier below those battles between perennial state powers Mount St. Charles-Hendricken and/or La Salle, but it doesn't mean the Lions or Clippers care any less about not just defeating but crushing the other.
After all, town bragging rights are at stake. Geez, it runs the gamut from football to basketball, baseball to track, even swimming and lacrosse.
LINCOLN â€” When Mike Tuorto took over as the Lincoln High wrestling coach five years ago, his primary goal was to change the philosophy surrounding the program â€“ that is, from one where mere participation was accepted to one where coaches and athletes alike craved wins, not to mention championships.
He claimed he began to see the varsity team take strides in becoming more competitive his first two seasons, but since has witnessed a renaissance of sorts.
PROVIDENCE â€“ After watching his team dismantle Georgetown for its Big East win the season, PC head coach Ed Cooley touched upon the ominous cloud that has hovered over his program in recent weeks.
From a three-game losing streak that included a pair of stinging overtime defeats and a 30-point blowout against Villanova, to Brandon Austinâ€™s decision to leave without playing a single regular-season minute, to a fire at Cooleyâ€™s East Greenwich home that forced his family to evacuate, the head coach saw an opening to address all concerns following the Friarsâ€™ 70-52 bludgeoning of the Hoyas.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” Tolman High coach Mike Kayata has been juggling a bunch of individual talents over the first month of the season while looking for the one piece that will turn his team into a cohesive machine on offense.
â€śIâ€™ve been looking for a point guard,â€ť the coach said after the Tigers rolled to a 70-56 victory over Shea High in the annual James W. Donaldson Memorial Scholarship game before a full house of vocal fans from both schools.
Examining the stat sheet and learning that newcomer Prince Johnson Jr. collected 10 assists on the night, Kayata smiled.
Itâ€™s time for Providence College basketball fans to put everything in proper perspective.
Theyâ€™re an upset group due to the administration imposing a season-long suspension from game competition on two freshmen. They feel the sentence is a tad on the harsh side, especially in the wake of no reported legal wrongdoings.
Success can come at a hefty price. In the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, this double-edged sword is sharpened every few years or so when the time comes to realign the divisions.
Caught in the crosshairs are non-Division I teams that have achieved and sustained success over a designated period of time. Add a dash of enrollment and presto, what appears is a surefire recipe for relocation to a higher division.