Archive - Sports Article
November 27th, 2012
On the surface, the decision to push back the entire slate of R.I. semifinal-round playoff games to Wednesday seems as simple as the quarterback receiving the snap.
Seven of the eight games on the docket were already based at venues where light fixtures are part of the ambiance. The lone exception: Woonsocketâs Barry Field.
However, thanks to Villa Novans athletic director George Nasuti obtaining portable lights, the situation was remedied.
PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox will host their Annual Christmas Party at McCoy Stadium on Saturday, December 8 from 11 a.m.â2 p.m. The PawSoxâ Christmas Party is a free event open to fans of all ages. Boston Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway will make a special appearance along with two members of the PawSox Governorsâ Cup championship, infielder Tony Thomas and outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker.
Tonightâs the night. High school footballâs version of the âSweet Sixteenâ. Four teams in each of the stateâs four divisions battling for the right to be the eight that will play for a Super Bowl championship this weekend.
Three local teams â Cumberland, Woonsocket, and North Smithfield â are among the 16 that will suit up tonight in their respective semifinal-round games, with the Clippers and Villa Novans playing Division II games in the friendly confines of their home fields and the Northmen heading to Providence for a Division IV contest.
PROVIDENCE â In a perfect world, Ed Cooley would have the luxury of bringing along Josh Fortune at a pace suitable for a freshman.
Instead of dipping his toe in the water and feeling his way around, Fortune has been tossed head first into the deep end of the pool. There would be no easing the 6-foot-5 guard into his new world, no spoon-feeding on a Providence College team where contributions these days are mandated, not expected.
PROVIDENCE â Thereâs a burden placed on Providenceâs Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton thatâs almost unrivaled in terms of their value to the team.
With point guard Vincent Council sidelined, the pressure falls squarely on Cotton and Henton to carry the load. Neither one can afford the luxury of an off night, particularly since there arenât too many proven scoring options behind them.
PROVIDENCE â Ed Cooley estimates that his coaching responsibilities account for â20 percentâ of his duties at Providence College.
Ask him just how much that small slice in an otherwise demanding pie means to him and Cooley will tell you pointblank that coaching supplies a jolt that by and large remains unmatched. The time he spends on the basketball floor alongside his assistants and players or in the video room breaking down tape is pure nirvana â not to mention a prime chance to reinforce what his primary job entails.
For the three area football squads fortunate enough to land a spot on the âTuesday Night Lightsâ dance card, it was back to work on Friday in preparation for their respective semifinal-round contests.
It goes without saying that the limited window between the Thanksgiving contests and a game filled with Super Bowl aspirations represents a busy stretch where mental preparation supersedes the physical aspect.
CUMBERLAND â A Big Blue tidal wave washed ashore Thanksgiving morning, a powerful force that proved to swallow Woonsocket High whole.
Cumberland High put on a holiday clinic in how to lick the plate clean, as the Clippers took it to the Novans, 32-0, in the 49th installment of this Turkey Day series. The two teams will now look toward next Tuesday and the Division II semifinals. Cumberland returns to Tucker Field against West Warwick while Woonsocket welcomes Central to Barry Field.
LINCOLN â In the third chapter of the budding Thanksgiving rivalry between neighboring municipalities, Central Falls High snagged a 27-22 non-league victory over Lincoln before 300 fans at Ferguson Field on Wednesday night.
Following this most entertaining game, Warriors' coach Mo Jackson â in his grid coaching finale â addressed the players from both squads at midfield, and awarded a new tradition, the Game MVP trophy in the shape of a mini-Heisman, to Lions' junior running back Cory Gaskell.
PAWTUCKET â For Tolman running back Mamour Samb, it was the most satisfying six-yard run of his high school career.
With the Tigers looking at a potential game-clinching third-and-five at their own 15-yard line â opponent Shea had burned its final timeout with 2:57 flashing on the Max Read Field scoreboard â the cunning Samb burst through the fray and covered the necessary yardage, and then some. Sambâs timely jaunt wound up being the final play of consequence as Tolman secured a 12-7 âThanksgiving Eveâ verdict against crosstown rival Shea.
PAWTUCKET â There really is something to managing the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Taking a page out of the playbook that treated predecessors Ron Johnson and Torey Lovullo quite well, Tuesday saw Arnie Beyeler parlay his successful two-year run as Pawtucketâs skipper into a big-league coaching gig. More good news as Beyeler will jump from Pawtucket to Boston, where the 48-year-old will serve as the first-base coach on new manager John Farrellâs staff.
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.
âWill I cramp?â she thought. âCan I last?â
When the gun sounded, the Pawtucket resident took off, but doesnât 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 Thursdayâs 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 Mondayâs Principals' Committee on Athletics meeting, the R.I. Interscholastic Leagueâs 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 DâAngelo succeeded.
Wish to know which school has captured the most championships in R.I. Interscholastic League history? DâAngeloâs vision and ultimate creation â www.rihssports.com â contains the answer along with the exact amount. The tally extends to every school thatâs ever won a title.
PAWTUCKET â In a perfect world, Peter Manfredo Jr.âs No. 1 reasons for returning to boxing after a full yearâs 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, Manfredoâs No. 1 reason for returning to boxing is simple and to the point. Itâs the reason why he wants to keep putting food on the table and providing a roof over his familyâs heads.
A little of this, a little of that âŠ
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 weekendâs 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 âŠ
Standing in the hallway outside Joe Mullaney Gym late last week, Vincent Council touched upon the close-knit nature of this yearâs PC basketball team.
Itâs become a yearly occurrence for the programâs senior leader to begin his âState of the Friarsâ address by remarking that thereâs 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 schoolâs 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.