Archive - Sports Article
January 6th, 2012
Bill Oâ€™Brien 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 â€śoutsiderâ€ť 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 Kayataâ€™s 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 teamâ€™s 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 Cooleyâ€™s work is not going unnoticed around the league, the PC head coach was in no mood to talk about moral victories following his teamâ€™s 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. Raphaelâ€™s schedule.
As the date thatâ€™s been circled in red and ingrained in his mind draws near, Correaâ€™s 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 Academyâ€™s senior forward, Cesar Mejia, picked up his fourth personal foul early in the second half of Tuesday nightâ€™s Division I game with Cranston East, point guard Charles Correa had a bad thought.
â€śI thought we were in trouble without Cesar,â€ť 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 baseballâ€™s 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 â€śFrozen Fenway 2012â€ť duel against Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass., and the junior center came through with the best game of his young high school career.
Itâ€™s two days into 2012. The past year is now a distance memory. Time sure does fly. It seems like just a short time ago that the winter season was wrapping up, one that included an extraordinary performance by the Tolman High boysâ€™ basketball team in the Division II quarterfinals. The summer, as it always does, went by quickly. But not before a group of young 12-year-old kids from the Cumberland American earned their way to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
There have certainly been other events and athletes that have made the last 365 days a memorable one.
December 30th, 2011
Ready or not, like it or not, the football programs at Tolman and Woonsocket High Schools are poised to join the Division I ranks.
Based on figures obtained by Blackstone Valley Sports and decreed by the Interscholastic League, the Tigers and Villa Novans rank eighth and ninth, respectively, among the 43 participating schools, meaning both meet the criteria for Division I participation. The stateâ€™s top tier typically houses nine teams.
A little of this, a little of that as we bid adieu to 2011 â€¦
Ryan Oâ€™Dell will have to sit tight and wait his turn for the URI baseball team, the Lincoln nativeâ€™s redshirt status for this coming spring the result of findings by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The initial-eligibility organization launched its investigation into Oâ€™Dellâ€™s high school transcript during the middle of the fall ball season, a time when the freshman had visions of making major strides toward landing a substantial role.
PAWTUCKET â€” Mike Pappas, who helped build the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club into an organization that profoundly impacts the lives of youngsters throughout this city, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 86.
Pappas, a World War II veteran, began working at the former Boys Club facility on East Avenue in 1949, joining the staff as a physical education instructor. He moved up the ladder and succeeded Phil Geiger as Executive Director in 1964, serving in that position until his retirement in 1989.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Tolman head coach Mike Kayata can live with Jonathan Percy firing away from the baseline. Itâ€™s a whole other matter when the 6-foot-7 junior tees up a shot from behind the 3-point stripe.
CUMBERLAND â€“ By Gary Reedyâ€™s estimation, eight years have elapsed since Cumberland High last captured the Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Holiday Tournament.
Needless to say, putting an end to such a drought would brighten the Clippersâ€™ spirits heading into the coming year. Cumberland earned the right to play in the championship game after disposing of Woonsocket, 71-63, Tuesday night in the Wellness Center. Junior Ben Bradley paced Cumberland with 19 points along with eight assists and five rebounds.
WARWICK -- Taylor Regoâ€™s goal late in the second overtime period lifted Lincoln to a 3-2 victory over Cumberland in the Toll Gate Holiday Tournament championship game played on Tuesday night at Thayer Arena.
â€śIt took a great shot by Taylor to win this game,â€ť said Lincoln coach Jim Riel. â€śTaylor ended up being named MVP of the tournament.â€ť
Cumberland took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Michael Kinch. Lincoln took a 2-1 lead after two periods on goals by Nick Zammarelli and Mike Enos but the Clippers stayed strong and tied the game in the third stanza on Andrew Plutaâ€™s goal.
SMITHFIELD â€“ For 16 minutes of the Smithfield Officials Tournament, Tolman High held its own against Division I opponent North Providence.
Itâ€™s too bad it was the other 16 minutes that made the difference.
The Tigers fell behind by 25 points at halftime before eventually succumbing to a 57-34 loss to the Cougars in Tuesdayâ€™s opener of the three-day tourney. Senior Danai Porter was the lone bright spot for Tolman, scoring more than two thirds of the offense with a game-best 23 points.
WARWICK â€“ Lincoln High is young this season with more than half of its roster consisting of freshmen and sophomores.
According to head coach James Riel, the one thing the Lions do have in their favor is depth.
While Lincoln may still struggle somewhat against the upper-echelon of teams in Division I, Riel envisions his squad being competitive against its other rivals.
The Lions gave evidence of that the past two games.
WARWICK â€“ It was another win for Cumberland High, its sixth straight without a defeat.
But after his Clippers blanked Division III foe Mount Hope, 2-0, in the second game of the Toll Gate Holiday Tournament at Thayer Arena, CHS head coach Mark Andreozzi wasnâ€™t exactly singing praise about his squad.
Some RIIL history was made last March when the Johnston/North Providence team became the first co-op club to win a state championship, doing so when it swept defending champ Mount Hope in their best-of-three Division III title series.
While Johnston/North Providenceâ€™s championship didnâ€™t come as much as a surprise -- the team was 14-1-1 during the regular season and the top seed in the playoffs -- it was a bit shocking to see a boysâ€™ co-op squad capture a state crown before a girlsâ€™ team.
PAWTUCKET â€” For about 15 minutes in the first half of Friday nightâ€™s game, St. Raphael Academy looked every bit like the defending state championship team that it is, sprinting out to a 39-22 lead over a solid East Providence team that seemed troubled by the speed of the contest.
The Saints built their biggest lead of the night at 60-33, then watched a never-quit East Providence almost get back into the game with a 21-7 run.
At the final horn, the Saints walked off with a 72-56 victory that left head coach Tom Sorrentine shaking his head.
At this stage of baseballâ€™s offseason, the headlines are typically reserved for the big-ticket acquisition and the occasional blockbuster trade.
Behind that glitzy curtain is where youâ€™ll find new Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett. His mission is to replenish the upper levels of the farm system with players who will hold down the fort in Triple-A Pawtucket, ready to contribute if injury besets one of the major-league starters.
Looking back on the 2011 sports year, my most vivid memories relate to a Shea High boys soccer team that dazzled opponents with its talent, ball skills and exuberance for the sport.
The Raiders made soccer fun to watch, even for a traditional sports fan like myself who is more attuned to football than â€śfutbol.â€ť