Archive - Sports Article
January 13th, 2012
PAWTUCKET â Itâs often viewed as the last frontier for young hitters to conquer, that of strike-zone recognition. In Alex Hassanâs case, the promising Red Sox outfield prospect is well ahead of the curve, so much so that some of his peers could stand to benefit from his calculated attack.
PAWTUCKET --- Alex Wilson knows all about the rags-to-riches tale of Kurt Warner, the former Super Bowl-winning St. Louis Rams quarterback and NFL MVP, who just a few years prior to his breakout â99 season, had worked part-time as a stockboy at a supermarket during his climb to stardom.
Thatâs because from October to December, the Boston Red Sox prospect had spent his weekday mornings making a few extra bucks by stocking shelves at a Loweâs home improvement store near his Hurricane, W.V. residence.
PAWTUCKET â There are going to be nights when the teamâs leading scorer struggles. How does the rest of the team react when something like this happens? Are they going to be able to pick up the slack?
Tolman head coach Mike Kayata got all the answers he would need on Thursday night. With top dog Juan Velez mired in a dreadful funk and showing no sign of clearing the fog, Kayata opted to sit the junior down and place the outcome of this crucial contest against Barrington into the hands of the likes of Samb brothers, Seny and Mamour, along with senior Justin Zetina.
By all accounts, January is the slowest month on the baseball calendar. Itâs the month that follows the hustle and bustle of the player acquisition crunch and the month prior to spring training with the backdrop of warm, picturesque conditions in Florida and Arizona.
PAWTUCKET --- United, they stand. Divided, who knows if the St. Raphael Academy hockey team and the Providence Country Day/Wheeler School co-op squad would have fallen from existence after last season?
For the Saints, they struggled mightily with numbers a season ago, as only 14 players (three of them goaltenders) made up their roster.
Because of their lack of depth, they staggered to a 3-15 mark that included a handful of losses that saw them fizzle from fatigue during the last period and watch leads slip away from them.
CUMBERLAND --- Steve Gordonâs Cumberland High wrestling program has reached the enviable point where the Clippers donât have to rebuild âŠ they just reload.
After losing two multiple state champions (the Lariviere twins) to graduation last June, Cumberland might have expected a slight regression this season. There is no regression to be found, at least not yet. (The season still hasnât reached the halfway point.)
Cumberland improved to 7-0 in Division I with a 56-24 rout of South Kingstown on Wednesday night. The Rebels are one of those good programs that does have to reload.
PROVIDENCE â Mount St. Charles, Cumberland and Lincoln swept their opponents on Monday night in a Northern Division meet.
Mount swept Shea and St. Raphael while Cumberland rolled over Ponaganset and Woonsocket. Lincoln topped Central Falls and Tolman.
Several of the usual suspects stood out with strong performances. Woonsocketâs Jalen Evans swept the 55-meter dash (6.6 seconds) and 300-meter race (38.0). Tolmanâs Homlin Taylor won his sprint in 6.7 seconds.
WOONSOCKET â On a night the offense struggled mightily, East Providenceâs defense rose to the occasion, especially at the end of the opening half, and fetched the Townies an important Division I-North victory over Woonsocket on Tuesday night.
The Towniesâ âDâ forced the Novans to commit the bulk of their 20 turnovers and played a big role in an 18-point run in the first half by keeping their hosts scoreless for eight-plus minutes, and in the process, helping produce a 54-39 triumph.
PAWTUCKET â With the game and an undefeated league record hanging in the balance, the Saints of St. Raphael Academy rose to the occasion, playing like the state champions they are.
Locked in a serious tussle with a determined and feisty bunch from Central High, St. Raphael made enough winning plays down the stretch to waltz out of the Wellness Center with a hard-fought and most satisfying 57-54 verdict. The Saints now own the distinction as the last remaining unbeaten team in Division I at 6-0 while the Knights suffer their first league loss at 5-1.
Thereâs a different aura surrounding Scott Atchison and fellow relief pitcher Michael Bowden â the kind that goes with the territory of having the baseball phrase âout of optionsâ stamped on their respective professional careers.
WARWICK â As St. Raphael Academy found out on Saturday night, Kris Dunn is not an easy cover.
The New London (Ct.) High senior and Providence College-bound product put on quite the show at a jam-packed CCRI-Warwick field house, tossing in a game-high 32 points in his teamâs 66-55 win over the Saints. Dunnâs ability to penetrate proved to be too much for SRA to handle despite the myriad of different looks that veteran head coach Tom âSaarâ Sorrentine attempted to throw at the multi-talented point guard.
SANFORD, Me. â Cumberland took home two individual champions and a fourth-place team finish from the highly competitive Redskins Invitational tournament on Saturday.
Erik Travers was named Outstanding Wrestler in the event after pinning all four of his opponents en route to the 145-pound championship.
PAWTUCKET --- Mount Hope, thanks to a pair of second-period goals by Nick Salzano, leapfrogged over Tolman and into second place in the Division III standings on Friday night by posting a 4-2 victory at Lynch Arena.
The Tigers, who only dressed 11 players, two of them goaltenders, fell to 5-3. The Huskies are 6-1 and trail the unbeaten Johnston/North Providence co-op team in the standings.
Jared Pedro and Kevin Tracey scored goals for the Tigers, both assisted by Kody Casavant. The Tigers were tied at 1-1 with the Huskies at the end of a period of play, but trailed 3-2 after two periods.
PAWTUCKET â Thereâs a reason why Jordy Brito is the undisputed leader of Shea High. The senior is cool under pressure. More importantly, the fast-as-lightning guard is not one to run for cover with the game on the line.
Bill OâBrien could be walking into a no-win situation as the next head football coach at Penn State. While the current Patriotsâ offensive coordinator may seem like a solid choice on the surface, the news of his selection hit hard with Penn State alumni on Friday.
Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington represented the thoughts of many ex-players upon hearing the news that an âoutsiderâ would be the next head coach.
PAWTUCKET â If Tolman High ever fits the pieces together, the Tigers could be a tough out in the Division II playoffs.
It is coach Mike Kayataâs job to develop his players into a cohesive unit over the next seven weeks, trying to get the most out of a roster that contains an explosive scoring guard in Juan Velez, a 6-foot-7 junior center named Jon Percy who is a sleeping giant, and several role players who might hold the key to this teamâs ultimate outcome.
PROVIDENCE â Count Jim Boeheim as a fan of the turnaround act Ed Cooley is trying to perform at Providence College.
While receiving praise from the dean of Big East coaches is a sign that Cooleyâs work is not going unnoticed around the league, the PC head coach was in no mood to talk about moral victories following his teamâs third straight loss, the latest a 87-73 setback to top-ranked Syracuse Wednesday night at The Dunk.
PAWTUCKET â Charles Correa admits that Saturday, Jan. 7 has been in his sights the moment he first laid eyes on St. Raphaelâs schedule.
As the date thatâs been circled in red and ingrained in his mind draws near, Correaâs competitive fire only intensifies. Come Saturday night at CCRI-Warwick, the 5-foot-8 junior will draw the assignment of shadowing New London (Conn.) High School senior and Providence College-bound Kris Dunn.
PAWTUCKET â When St. Raphael Academyâs senior forward, Cesar Mejia, picked up his fourth personal foul early in the second half of Tuesday nightâs Division I game with Cranston East, point guard Charles Correa had a bad thought.
âI thought we were in trouble without Cesar,â Correa admitted.
Then Correa, arguably the best high school player in Rhode Island, had another thought.
BOSTON --- After watching his father and younger brother make news on the baseball diamond last summer with the New England champion Cumberland American Little League all-star team, Brian Belisle got an opportunity to steal the show on one of baseballâs most historic ballfields on Monday night.
But Belisle did so with a hockey stick, not a bat and glove, with his Mount St. Charles Academy teammates at Fenway Park in their âFrozen Fenway 2012â duel against Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass., and the junior center came through with the best game of his young high school career.