Archive - Sports Article
September 6th, 2012
PAWTUCKET â€“ Itâ€™s closing time for your Pawtucket Red Sox â€“ as in closing out the opposition and advancing to the Governorâ€™s Cup finals.
First things first as the PawSox still need to notch one more win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Such a scenario could come to fruition as early as Friday night at Rochesterâ€™s Frontier Field after Pawtucket grabbed Game Two of its opening-round series Thursday night by a 3-2 count at McCoy Stadium before 2,214 supportive and at times enthusiastic fans.
The temptation to overlook this weekâ€™s non-league gridiron slate is great, understanding that league play â€“ set to commence a week from now â€“ serves as judge, jury and executioner.
Over time, principles rooted in Darwinism help in separating the wheat from the chaff by performing the simple act of drawing a line right down the middle. Such a divide wonâ€™t begin on Friday night as teams partake in what could essentially be chalked up to the final installment after nearly four weeks of preseason camp.
LINCOLN â€” With just five starters from the 2011 campaign returning, Lincoln High head coach Brenda Sylvester admitted â€śwe have a brand new bunch.
â€śWe were just looking for proper spacing, and we wanted to see how weâ€™d play together for the first time around,â€ť she stated. â€śWe did well, but there are some things we need to work on.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ One down, five to go.
Seeking to claim the franchiseâ€™s first Governorâ€™s Cup championship in 28 years, the Pawtucket Red Sox grabbed Game One of the best-of-five opening-round series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7-4. The PawSox fell behind 4-0 after 2Â˝ innings before compiling seven unanswered runs to end the contest, which was witnessed by 1,518.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Larry Lucchino admitted Wednesday that he tries to clear his schedule and make a once-per-season pilgrimage to McCoy Stadium. In that regard, the Red Soxâ€™s president and CEO should thank the PawSox for advancing to the Governorâ€™s Cup playoffs.
Providing a textbook case of better late than never, Lucchino took in Wednesdayâ€™s playoff opener from Pawtucket president Mike Tamburroâ€™s box.
Arriving roughly 3 1/2 hours prior to the scheduled 7:05 first pitch, Lucchino spent quite a bit of time in the home teamâ€™s clubhouse and in the company of PawSox skipper Arnie Beyeler.
PAWTUCKET â€” Only a few players remained in the Pawtucket Red Sox clubhouse following a short practice at McCoy Stadium at mid-morning Tuesday, and one happened to be catcher Mike Rivera, who sat alone at his locker playing a video game.
While most teammates already had exited to enjoy an afternoon off prior to the wild card-winning PawSoxâ€™ best-of-five playoff series against the International Leagueâ€™s North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Rivera admitted heâ€™s excited to pursue the Governorsâ€™ Cup title.
WOONSOCKET â€” Thereâ€™s a drumbeat sounding on the local airwaves with a specific demographic in mind â€“ the high school football enthusiast.
With two graduates from Woonsocket High Schoolâ€™s Class of 1985 serving as the driving force, radio station WOON (1240 AM) is staking a claim to become the destination for all gridiron-related matters. Starting with this Fridayâ€™s non-league game between Shea and Lincoln, WOON has lined up a 14-game slate â€“ an increase from nine a season ago â€“ featuring the voice talents of Lou Mandeville, now in his 15th season calling the action.
PAWTUCKET â€” There was a degree of unrest surrounding Zach Stewart upon rejoining the Pawtucket Red Sox late last week, the kind stemming from when he would be taking the mound again and for which ball club.
PAWTUCKET â€” Summarizing the 2012 Pawtucket Red Sox, just one word springs to mind.
Yes, this seasonâ€™s club will be remembered for earning a second straight postseason berth, a first for this proud franchise since 1996-97. Yet the route that manager Arnie Beyeler along with his coaches and merry band of interchangeable parts followed in order to play baseball beyond Labor Day is, putting it mildly, unique.
PAWTUCKET â€” Augusto Rojas and the Pawtucket Red Sox got everything they could ask for and more from their inaugural PawSox 5K Race/Walk at McCoy Stadium.
A sunny morning. A strong turnout. Plenty of positive feedback.
And a fantastic finish for first place.
In a thrilling conclusion that had the fans scattered along the stadiumâ€™s lower box seats cheering wildly, Geoff Nelson survived a frantic sprint with Nathan Petesch around the warning track by nipping him at the finish line near the PawSoxâ€™s dugout by less than a second.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Believe it or not, pitchers do gain velocity as the season deepens. In the case of Josh Fields, the spike in the right-handerâ€™s radar gun readings have proven most dramatic â€“ not to mention raise eyebrows.
These days a fixture in Pawtucketâ€™s bullpen, Fields generally sits at 93-95 miles per hour with his fastball occasionally touching 96 mph.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. â€“ Thereâ€™s a certain aura that surrounds those lauded as top prospects in the Red Sox farm system, and it only intensifies the higher they progress through the system.
His tenure with the Pawtucket Red Sox may have ended in a less-than-desirable fashion, yet make no mistake: Mark Prior remains as determined as ever to refute the industry bias surrounding him by pitching again in a major-league setting.
PAWTUCKET â€” After dropping one-goal verdicts in each of the past two Division I state title matches, could the third time be the charm for Shea High this fall?
Veteran head coach Pierre Ridore certainly thinks so, even though he graduated a half dozen key starters, and he let his feelings be known early Monday afternoon before his team boarded its bus for a preseason scrimmage against two-time defending Division II champion Smithfield.
CUMBERLAND -- When Ray Sikorowicz and his family drove from their Lincoln residence to Camp Ker Anna for the â€śYoâ€ť Raymond Memorial 5K early Saturday morning, the 45-year-old veteran runner had two modest goals in mind â€“ run a time that was in the low-18 minute range and compete for the top spot in his 40-49 age division.
Sikorowicz was able to accomplish both of those goals, as well as do something that in his wildest dreams he could not have envisioned â€“ win the sixth annual race.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” Back in the mid-1990s, Brian Johnson and Chuck Rinebolt often teased each other about how long they would, or could, last playing semi-pro football.
The game, more often than not, can be thankless. They don't get paid, and â€“ at times â€“ are stuck paying for their own equipment, but they don't care. These men, most of whom work full-time, have to hustle to the practice grid two or three times a week before or after their jobs to hone their skills, speed and strength for their upcoming weekend opponent.
They're in it just for their intense love for football.
Starting Thursday, a series of chess matches will break out on high school football fields across the state.
By definition, scrimmages are akin to shifting pieces around on a square board. Some moves work while others produce less-than-desirable results. Regardless of what transpires during these low-pressure yet highly valuable tussles on the gridiron, coaches understand that the time has come to embark on the next phase of preseason camp following a period of steadily bringing the unit along.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Monday saw the R.I. Interscholastic League Principalsâ€™ Committee on Athletics officially welcome St. Patrickâ€™s School of Providence into the fold for boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ basketball, along with boysâ€™ volleyball.
BOSTON â€” Thereâ€™s bringing a player up to speed after heâ€™s been out for a lengthy stretch due to injury. Then thereâ€™s the term that Angels manager Mike Scioscia used in describing the heightened state of urgency Chris Iannetta finds himself in after missing 2 1/2 months with a broken bone in his right hand.
â€śYou can study and simulate stuff all you want, but when you get behind the plate, youâ€™re like that jockey on a saddle,â€ť Scioscia explained prior to Tuesdayâ€™s Red Sox-Angels game at Fenway Park. â€śThatâ€™s the feeling you need and thatâ€™s where Chris needs the time in order to come together.â€ť
CENTRAL FALLS â€” On the morning of Tuesday, July 16, Central Falls High head football coach Mo Jackson walked into his new classroom 107 at Calcutt Middle School and looked out a window bordering the courtyard.
His first thought: What courtyard?
â€śI was doing some summer programs, and I wanted to get the room ready for the kids,â€ť admitted Jackson, who discovered since school year's end that he would be a new teacher's assistant and behavioral specialist at Calcutt. â€śI popped open the window, and I couldn't see anything. It looked like a jungle. I thought, 'My God, what happened to it?'