Archive - Sports Article
November 20th, 2012
On May 6, 2012, Norma Charest stood at the start line of the Cox Rhode Racesâ€™ Marathon, near the State House in Providence, and trembled with fear, her stomach doing triple somersaults.
Charest, then 45, worried if she was too old, too unaccomplished, to attempt to complete a 26.2-mile trek around the city and its suburbs. She had finished more than a few half marathons, but this was twice the length.
â€śWill I cramp?â€ť she thought. â€śCan I last?â€ť
When the gun sounded, the Pawtucket resident took off, but doesnâ€™t recall much about what was for her not a race but a quest.
CUMBERLAND â€” Labeling the Thanksgiving game between Division II playoff participants Woonsocket and Cumberland as meaningless is utter blasphemy â€“ at least in the eyes of the two head coaches.
Yes, there is the bigger picture to consider, stemming mainly from what awaits each squad upon the conclusion of Thursdayâ€™s contest at Tucker Field. Come the following Tuesday, the Villa Novans and Clippers will engage in a game of high importance â€“ a semifinal-round clash that will take place at the respective home fields and determine the field for the Division II Super Bowl.
PROVIDENCE â€” Changes in membership and divisional alignment are in store for Division I softball come the next two seasons.
At Mondayâ€™s Principals' Committee on Athletics meeting, the R.I. Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s governing body approved unanimously (10-0) to form one Division I softball league featuring 17 teams. Two of those 17 teams include newcomers Tolman and Woonsocket, both of whom have competed in Division II in recent seasons.
If the end game was to create a specific website that shines light on Rhode Island high school athletics, then Tommy Dâ€™Angelo succeeded.
Wish to know which school has captured the most championships in R.I. Interscholastic League history? Dâ€™Angeloâ€™s vision and ultimate creation â€“ www.rihssports.com â€“ contains the answer along with the exact amount. The tally extends to every school thatâ€™s ever won a title.
PAWTUCKET â€” In a perfect world, Peter Manfredo Jr.â€™s No. 1 reasons for returning to boxing after a full yearâ€™s retirement would be to satisfy his longing to win another world championship or to simply rekindle his love for the sport, which he has spent roughly four-fifths of his life competing on the amateur and professional levels.
Instead, Manfredoâ€™s No. 1 reason for returning to boxing is simple and to the point. Itâ€™s the reason why he wants to keep putting food on the table and providing a roof over his familyâ€™s heads.
A little of this, a little of that â€¦
In the eyes of George Nasuti and Carnell Henderson, the Woonsocket High football team has earned the right to compete under the lights at Barry Field.
The Novansâ€™ designation as prime-time players is twofold. By virtue of last weekendâ€™s heart stopping 29-28 overtime quarterfinal triumph against St. Raphael coupled with Central upsetting Johnston, Woonsocket qualified to host a Division II semifinal-round contest on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” In his wildest dreams, Mo Jackson couldn't have scripted a better, more fitting end to his career as the Central Falls High grid mentor.
OK, so his 13-year tenure isn't quite over, as his Warriors still have a Thanksgiving Eve battle against host Lincoln. But what happened Tuesday night, in his final home tilt ever, left the retiring Jackson fighting back his emotions with every fiber of his being.
Some Friar hoop musings as Providence College gets set for a serious workout down in Puerto Rico â€¦
Standing in the hallway outside Joe Mullaney Gym late last week, Vincent Council touched upon the close-knit nature of this yearâ€™s PC basketball team.
Itâ€™s become a yearly occurrence for the programâ€™s senior leader to begin his â€śState of the Friarsâ€ť address by remarking that thereâ€™s no friction in place and how everyone gets along just swimmingly. Donnie McGrath uttered something similar prior to the start of his final season in 2005. Ditto Sharaud Curry in the fall of 2009.
LINCOLN â€“ Three Lincoln High School student-athletes sat at a table inside the schoolâ€™s library Wednesday afternoon, tending to some pretty important business.
For months all of them took comfort in knowing that they selected the right college, the place of higher learning where they felt most comfortable upon completing their high school requirements. With the clock reading 4:17 p.m., the Lincoln seniors picked up a pen and with family, coaches and school administrators present, carefully signed the document before them.
CUMBERLAND â€” For Courtney Kent and the University of Vermont, it was love at first sight.
Last February Cumberland High senior swim phenom Courtney Kent and coach Heidi Josephson trekked to Boston to watch the America East Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The reason for the trip: She wanted to see the University of Vermont compete, and meet with women's head coach Gerry Cournoyer, not to mention some of his swimmers.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” It was only appropriate that Central Falls High head coach Mo Jackson, who had strolled these sidelines for the past 13 years, would leave with a wildly-entertaining, 8-7 upset triumph over Division IV foe North Smithfield on Tuesday night.
His Warriors, who trailed 7-0 after just 2:31 had elapsed in the contest, fought tooth-and-nail in the muck that was â€“ and is â€“ Macomber Stadium, and Jackson reveled in the moment.
This, after all, would be his final home tilt ever at the decades-old ballyard.
PROVIDENCE â€” Deep down, Ed Cooley knows that itâ€™s probably not the best time to take his Providence Friars on a two-games-in-three-days junket in Puerto Rico.
Still, this is no time to convey weakness, which the second-year PC head coach clearly understands.
As Cooley emphatically stated following PCâ€™s surprisingly easy 81-49 throttling of Bryant on Monday night, the show must go on â€“ even if itâ€™s without the services of senior point guard Vincent Council (hamstring).
PROVIDENCE â€” Tolman High head coach Bel Pereira received the astonishingly bad news at about 2:30 p.m., Monday, about 90 minutes before his Tigers would battle top-seeded Middletown in the R.I. Division III Tour-nament's championship game at Rhode Island College.
That's when he learned two of his top three goal producers and forwards/midfielders, senior Nicole Bedoya and sophomore Suzette Hernandez, wouldn't be able to play. Bedoya had been in a car accident on Saturday night, and Hernandez continued to suffer symptoms of a concussion.
PROVIDENCE â€“ As expected, the Providence College menâ€™s basketball team will play Mondayâ€™s intrastate contest against Bryant minus the services of senior catalyst Vincent Council.
Council sustained a hamstring injury in the early minutes of Saturdayâ€™s season opener against NJIT, the result of the point guard slipping on The Dunk hardwood before falling awkwardly. His departure left head coach Ed Cooley with a razor-thin rotation featuring just six scholarship players and one walk-on.
KINGSTON â€” While her teammates arrived at Shea High to prepare for its trip to the University of Rhode Island's Keaney Gym to battle Mount Pleasant for the R.I. Division III Tournament title on Saturday morning, and again on the team bus, senior co-captain Kendra Vieira reminded the troops of three core philosophies to live by.
KINGSTON â€” Ever since East Providence seized its last Division I state championship in 2005, the Townies have had an awfully difficult time climbing back to the top of the volleyball mountain.
In fact, in four of the last seven years since that wonderful unbeaten season, the Townies have appeared in the state finals, only to come up short.
The first two of those four losses were five-set thrillers, and in their last title appearance, against Prout three seasons ago, the Townies played the Crusaders tough, only to lose in three competitive games.
PAWTUCKET â€” As is the standard after a football game, Woonsocket High head coach Carnell Henderson walked to the midfield stripe behind his troops and shook hands with opposing players and coaches alike.
He congratulated all for a job well done, then hugged a few St. Raphael Academy assistants before speaking briefly with long-time Saints' mentor Mike Sassi.
Maybe four milliseconds later, he bolted to his squad and leaped into a few of his heftier players' arms, then â€“ after a few choice words, naturally all positive â€“ he led his kids in a classic Villa Novans' chant.
CUMBERLAND â€“ How do you spell dominance? Try C-U-M-B-E-R-L-A-N-D on for size.
Cumberland kicked off its Division II playoff mission in emphatic fashion Friday evening, the Clippersâ€™ 41-6 conquest of Westerly made possible by the usual cast of stellar performers. Erik Travers rushed for 112 yards and one touchdown while quarterback Brendan Guerin passed for two scores. Not to be outdone, Mitchell Baxter recorded two interceptions while teammates Joe Fine and Dan Stock also found the end zone.
PROVIDENCE â€” Ed Cooley came to Providence College armed with the reputation of being a defensive, get-after-it coach. The five years he spent at Fairfieldâ€™s helm suggested that after a seemingly endless run of witnessing the Friars languish in the bottom tier in Big East team defense, more than lip service would finally be paid to an area that statistically speaking has been a major deficiency.
PROVIDENCE â€” There was a time last spring and summer when Providence Friar fans were salivating at the promise surrounding the 2012-13 season. A highly-touted recruiting class coupled with a group of noteworthy holdovers seemed to signal clearance for takeoff in Ed Cooleyâ€™s second year, giving off an aura that for the first time in a long while, Providence was a program on an up swing.