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December 11th

Dunn's season comes to an end; PC guard will require surgery on right shoulder

December 11, 2013

PROVIDENCE — As Kris Dunn’s high school coach noted, “You really have to feel for the young man.”

You feel for the youngster because all roads pointed to the 2013-14 season as one that held much promise. The 19-year-old point guard from nearby New London, Conn. was healthy and ready to serve as the conductor of the Friars’ offense.

Yet in a chilling reminder that even the best-laid plans can vanish in a cloud of smoke, one nasty spill in a preseason game ended up changing the fortune and expectations of both Dunn and the Providence team.

December 10th

GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Tolman, Lincoln, St. Raphael aim to take major step forward this winter

December 10, 2013

Deb Engels seemed remarkably upbeat as she readied her Cumberland High girls' hoop team for a two-plus hour practice at the Wellness Center on Monday afternoon.

You'd figure her mind-set instead would border on concern, given the fact she'll return only one starter – her daughter Kate – from a team that closed last year's Division I-North campaign with a dismal 4-14 mark.

The league should be highly-competitive once more, but Engels expects this season's crop to be more than capable of doing some damage.

December 9th

Pawtucket's Venagro captures second straight World Miss Fitness America title

December 9, 2013

PAWTUCKET – Back on June 28, in Miami, the city’s own Stacie (Wildenhain) Venagro wanted desperately to capture the Miss Fitness Universe Pro Division crown, but admittedly felt disappointed when judges deemed Anca Bucur of Romania the champion.

She lost that competition by a final score of 147.65-145.35, or a mere total of 2.30 points.

So perturbed by her runner-up finish, the 28-year-old Venagro boosted her training regimen 10-fold – or more.

“I knew I had to pick it up a couple of notches,” she stated. “I wanted to be the best of the best because I compete in the pro division.”

December 8th

Wizards worked magic defensively with speed, open-field tackling en route to Division II Super Bowl

December 9, 2013

CRANSTON – The expression goes, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

In all honesty, there was very little reason for West Warwick to stray from the defensive scheme that had proven most successful in the Wizards’ 14-0 regular-season victory over Cumberland. The blueprint on how to contain and/or slow down Tyler Calabro, Chris Hayes, Joe Fine, Mike Stock and the rest of the Clippers’ offense had been established, hence why Wizards defensive coordinator Chris Craik likely didn’t have to endure too many restless nights leading up to Sunday’s Division II Super Bowl contest at Cranston Stadium.

Cumberland falls to West Warwick, 48-13, in Div. II Super Bowl

December 8, 2013

CRANSTON – Cumberland High senior tackle Ricky Goodreau's response to what had just transpired at Cranston Stadium summed up his team’s collective mood early Sunday evening, as he walked slowly away from the post-game huddle near midfield with tears in his eyes, then raised his helmet with his right hand and knocked it softly against his forehead.

December 6th

PC Friars holding down the fort -- so far

December 7, 2013

PROVIDENCE – Ed Cooley had something he wished to get off his chest.

Call his remarks a summary of the first-semester portion of Providence’s 2013-14 hoops odyssey. “I would love to coach the team that we’ve recruited, I really would,” said the head coach, his exasperated face painting a picture of how strenuous the past six weeks have been. “For seven weeks, we prepared to play a particular style. In one day, that style had to change.”

December 5th

Friars come away with 50-49 triumph over Rams

December 6, 2013

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – That wasn’t a basketball game that took place at the Ryan Center Thursday. That was a rock fight.

Or considering the stare down at center court that Dan Hurley and Ed Cooley engaged in with 3:55 remaining – one that also contained a few verbal jabs for good measure – perhaps they should have put the basketballs away and slapped a pair of boxing gloves on the two head coaches.

Style points were definitely at a premium, but oh, what a conclusion the Friars and Rams staged.

McGair: A four-team R.I. Division I college basketball tournament? Why not?

December 6, 2013

What would it take for the state’s four Division I men’s basketball programs to get together for an in-season, round-robin tournament?

Depends on which school representative you speak with.

“Anything we could do to grow interest, whether it be a doubleheader, a tournament or anything like that, we would be all for it,” stated Brown head coach Mike Martin.

Former PawSox skipper DiSarcina is named Baseball America's Minor League Manager of Year

December 6, 2013

PAWTUCKET – Validation in the form of a job well done was bestowed upon Gary DiSarcina Thursday, as the former Pawtucket Red Sox manager was named Baseball America’s 2013 Minor-League Manager of the Year.
In his first and only season at the helm, DiSarcina guided the International League North division title with an 80-63 record. The PawSox accomplished that while employing the services of 64 different players during the regular-season (30 position players and 34 pitchers).

December 4th

National spotlight shines on tonight's PC-URI clash

December 5, 2013

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Ed Cooley has a grand vision for the state’s annual college basketball passion play – Providence versus Rhode Island.

“My goal is to get this game on CBS on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon,” proclaimed the Friars’ head coach. “When you do that, you know that both programs are getting there. Take nothing away from the other channels, and I don’t want to be disrespectful to anybody, but when you’re talking about trying to nationally brand your two schools, I think that’s our ultimate goal.”

Ellsbury's deal doesn't surprise Harper one bit

December 5, 2013

There figures to always be a soft spot in Tommy Harper’s heart for Jacoby Ellsbury. Harper got to know Ellsbury when the latter was on the fast track through the minor-league ranks, hence why the former had no trouble relinquishing his 36-year-old Red Sox record of 54 stolen bases in a single season, which Ellsbury shattered with 70 thefts in 2009.

When the topic of Ellsbury and the lavish seven-year, $153-million deal he reportedly agreed to with the New York Yankees came up during a phone interview on Wednesday, Harper elicited a response that was part clairvoyant, part reality check.

December 3rd

Shea, Tolman to share pool facility

December 4, 2013

PAWTUCKET – It's the time of year when interscholastic coaches begin preparing their respective squads for the winter season, and Kim Hewson, the Shea High head swimming coach, was one of them on Tuesday.

He stood on the deck explaining to a few of his more inexperienced aquatic Raiders the nuances of proper stroke and rotary breathing techniques: that is, how the hands should slice the water, not slap it; how the body should rotate in order to breathe correctly to either side; how to close the fingers and turn them down slightly to create a “paddle” for each stroke.

December 2nd

URI AD hopes to have new football coach in place by middle of the month

December 2, 2013

WARWICK – If everything shakes out according to Thorr Bjorn’s plan, the University of Rhode Island will have a new football head coach in place by the middle of the month.

Speaking about the ongoing search to find Joe Trainer’s successor at a college basketball luncheon held at the Radisson Hotel, Bjorn stated that the official job posting in accordance with state requirements took place Monday. The Rams' athletic director noted that such a step must take place before interviewing prospective candidates.

December 1st

For Cumberland football team, there are no 'Tuesday Night Lights' concerns this time around

December 1, 2013

Even on the phone, Chris Skurka came across as a happy camper. Call such “merriness” not in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, but rather it is based solely on the fact that his Cumberland football outfit does not have to concern itself with a semifinal-round game on Tuesday night.

Lincoln rolls to 47-8 triumph over holiday rival C.F.

December 1, 2013

Sports editor emeritus
CENTRAL FALLS — On the surface, Saturday’s Lincoln-Central Falls football game seemed like a battle between two teams finishing off losing seasons. Dig a little deeper, though, and the truth becomes evident. These two teams played with passion and love for the game that went beyond their win-loss records and to the core of why youngsters play football.

“Playing on a frozen field is never fun,” Lincoln senior Giovanni Gray said after his Lions rolled to a 47-8 victory. “But when the sun came out and the field turned to mud, now that was fun!”

November 29th

Tolman stages amazing comeback, erases 18-0 halftime deficit to defeat Shea

November 29, 2013

Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET — Things were looking pretty bleak for Tolman High’s football squad at halftime of Friday morning’s holiday clash with Shea inside McCoy Stadium. The Tigers trailed 18-0 on the scoreboard. They were missing five starters due to injuries or academic issues, including quarterback/kicker Corey Hughes, one of the Tigers’ co-captains.

McGair: PC (7-1) continues winning ways without full complement of players

November 29, 2013

PROVIDENCE -- Ed Cooley and his Providence College Friars ended up playing eight games in November. It nevertheless seemed that all took a backseat to the reoccurring storylines and hot topics that remain just as fervent as the calendar flips to the second month of the college basketball season.

November 28th

Masse's big day helps Cumberland take 50th annual Thanksgiving Day showdown with Woonsocket

November 28, 2013

WOONSOCKET — With the Division II Super Bowl looming a week from Sunday, Cumberland High veteran mentor Chris Skurka took a somewhat conservative approach to the annual Thanksgiving morning clash with Woonsocket on chilly, gusty Thursday.
In an effort not to “break” any key spokes in his wheel, he chose not to start senior tailback Mike Stock; he wanted him to get some rest after he rushed for four touchdowns and 145 yards (with one catch for another paydirt) in his Clippers' 49-35 semifinal triumph over St. Raphael last Friday night.

Throw out the records when Tigers, Raiders meet on the gridiron

November 28, 2013

PAWTUCKET – It doesn't matter who you talk to – Tolman High head coach Dave Caito or Shea High mentor Dino Campopiano.

The dear friends and former backfield mates at Johnston High had hoped to muster solid campaigns in their respective leagues, for the Tigers the top tier and the Raiders Division II-B; both, however, suffered from different issues en route.

November 27th

Saints pay the price for slow start, drop holiday grid tilt to Quakers

November 27, 2013

PROVIDENCE -- St. Raphael Academy head coach Mike Sassi had stated on the evening before his squad’s rather new holiday rivalry game against Moses Brown that – despite the upcoming inclement weather forecast – the two foes would play.

Evidently, the Providence private school didn’t want to go to combat on Thanksgiving Day; perhaps a primary reason being it would have slightly less rest to prepare for a Division III semifinal tilt this coming Tuesday.

 

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