Archive - Sports Article
September 8th, 2011
If Bruce Guindon and his high school football officiating brethren had their druthers, the installment of a fifth member to the longstanding four-man, on-field crew would have transpired years ago.
What was once a plea is now part of the Interscholastic Leagueâs pigskin fabric. Beginning this season an additional pair of eyes will be called upon to aid specifically in the judgment of pass plays and blocks downfield, two areas that in the past have been tough calls a for group colloquially called âzebrasâ to accurately decipher.
The two-a-days are history. So are the scrimmages and Injury Fund games.
This weekend, the regular season for high school football gets under way with non-league games scattered throughout the state.
Eight of the Blackstone Valleyâs 11 teams kick off tonight, and the big games of the bunch will feature two-time Division II champion Woonsocket taking on East Providence at Pierce Field and former Thanksgiving Day rivals Shea and Lincoln playing each other at Lincolnâs Ferguson Field.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. â A brief period of clearing skies provided some false hope that the PawSox may be able to play the opener of their Round One Governorsâ Cup Series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Unfortunately, the clearing skies disappeared and another heavy downpour forced the postponement of the game.
The series will now be pushed back by one day, with the opener being played Thursday night at 7:05 at Lehigh Valley. PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler will keep the same pitching rotation in effect, with Matt Fox (10-4, 3.96) going up against Dave Bush (1-2, 3.91) in the opener.
EAST PROVIDENCE â Central Falls learned the value of playing hard for 80 minutes, no matter how bad the weather is, or how slippery the field conditions.
The Warriors trailed East Providence 2-0 after the first 66 minutes of Wednesdayâs Division I contest played during intermittent rain showers at Pierce Field. But they kept pushing the ball into E.P.âs end and ultimately tied the game on Christian Rodriguezâs goal with just 30 seconds left in the match.
PAWTUCKET â The soccer fields at the McKinnon/Alves complex can handle the kind of rain that pelted its plush grass on Tuesday afternoon.
âThe city really did a great job with these fields,â Tolman coach Jack Couto said after his Tigers opened their league season with a 2-0 victory over Moses Brown. âIt was great we were able to get this game in today.â
The Tigers and Quakers played through a scoreless first half before Tolmanâs Manny Wongen, a speedy forward, broke through for a pair of goals in the second half.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. â Starting Wednesday night the Pawtucket Red Sox â whatâs left of the club, that is â will dead aim at the Governorsâ Cup trophy, which is presented to the top International League team following the conclusion of two best-of-five series.
Game 1 of the opening round brings the division champion PawSox to Allentown, Pa., home of fellow I.N. North foe and wild-card entry Lehigh Valley. The first two games are at Coca-Cola Park with the final three to be played at McCoy Stadium over the weekend.
PAWTUCKET â Bring on the IronPigs!
The playoff-bound Pawtucket Red Sox completed their regular season quietly on Monday afternoon, finishing 20 games above .500 at 81-61 after rolling to a 7-3 win over Rochester.
The PawSox will begin a best-of-five playoff series Wednesday night at Lehigh Valleyâs field in Allentown, Pa. against an IronPigs team that lost 10 of 16 games to Pawtucket during the regular season. Lehigh Valley nailed down the wild-card with a 4-1 rain-shortened win over Syracuse on Monday.
PAWTUCKET â While the Pawtucket Red Sox were celebrating their International League North division championship on Saturday night, Club President Mike Tamburro found himself thinking about the franchiseâs late owner, Ben Mondor.
âI was definitely thinking of Ben,â Tamburro admitted on Monday. âI know heâs somewhere up there celebrating.â
PAWTUCKET â Arnie Beyeler had everything figured out â or so he believed prior to discussing his baseball career ambitions with Brad Mills a few years back during spring training.
At the time Beyeler was managing in Double-A Portland while Mills served as Terry Franconaâs bench coach in Boston. One day the pair engaged in some casual chatter when the minor-league skipper revealed what he considered the pinnacle: coaching third base for a major league club.
PAWTUCKET â Want to truly understand why the Pawtucket Red Sox are playing meaningful games in September for the first time in three years and are winners of the I.L. North for the first time since 2003? Here are several items that stand out based on the observations of this particular scribe.
1). Run prevention
PAWTUCKET â As his players danced to loud music while taking swigs of beer in the other room, Arnie Beyeler stood in the managerâs office, his t-shirt completely soaked after several players cornered him near the visitors dugout and dumped beer all over him.
The fruits of victory are sweet if youâre the Pawtucket Red Sox. The locals clinched the I.L. North Saturday night after rallying for a 12-7 victory past Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The division title is the franchiseâs first since 2003 and the fifth since 1991, when division play was introduced in the International League.
PAWTUCKET â Some clubhouse reaction from Pawtucketâs 4-3 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Friday night, a win the leaves the locals a combination of one win and a Lehigh Valley loss away from clinching the I.L. North
Manager Arnie Beyeler on throw by centerfielder Che-Hsuan Lin in the eighth inning that cut down the potential tying run at third base:
PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox will have to wait just a little bit longer to call themselves Northern Division champions.
The PawSox kept up their end of the bargain after holding on for a 4-3 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Friday night at McCoy Stadium. Thanks to Lehigh Valley staging a 2-1 walk-off win over Buffalo, the magic number for the PawSox to officially clinch the division stands at a lone game.
Some things I think I think:
If the Gwinnett Braves earn the International League wild-card playoff berth this weekend, they probably wonât have ace pitcher Julio Teheran available for their first-round series against Pawtucket. The Atlanta Braves reportedly will use their top minor league prospect next Thursday in a doubleheader against the New York Mets.
PAWTUCKET â Like a runner taking a short lead off of first base, Joey Gathright wishes to not look too far ahead.
The 30-year-old speedster understands why thereâs a great deal of intrigue surrounding the Red Sox signing him out of the Independent ball ranks, and for a change the hubbub has nothing to do with him leaping over a car.
PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox can clinch first place in the I.L. North tonight with a victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and a Lehigh Valley loss.
The PawSox own a two-game lead plus a tiebreaker advantage over Lehigh Valley, which has lost its last four games. Pawtucket has dropped its last two to Rochester. There are four games left in the regular season.
The PawSox will send Matt Fox (9-4, 4.04 ERA) to the mound tonight against Scrantonâs Adam Warren (6-7, 3.57).
Itâs hard to believe, but itâs true -- Shea and Central Falls, two teams who had traditionally appeared in the playoffs during the late â90s and 2000s, have not been in the playoffs in the last three seasons.
From 1998-2007, the Raiders qualified for the playoff nine times, making it as far as the Super Bowl on five of those occasions and winning it twice.
The Warriors also made five postseason appearances during that 10-year span time and won a championship in 2005.
CUMBERLAND â The Blackstone Valley area will be well represented on Friday night at Tucker Field with four local squads participating in a trio of Injury Fund tilts.
The two-quarter, non-league games, which begin at 6 p.m., kicks off with Central Falls battling Shea, followed by last yearâs Division II state runner-up Tolman facing Cumberland at 7 p.m.
While tomorrow nightâs game means nothing in the standings, Cumberland coach Chris Skurka will be eager to see how his club fares against the Tigers.
Asking a high school football coach to âpreviewâ his team during the final week of preseason practice is really premature. Itâs at least a week too early for that. Besides, coaches only want to talk about known commodities. Sometimes it takes half of a season to figure out the identity of these embryonic football teams.
Coaches are always willing to talk about certain subjects: veteran players, team leaders, practice schedules, lack of depth on the roster âŠ thereâs a whole litany of subjects that coaches are dealing with as the summer begins to fade away.
The third week of preseason football practice offers high school coaches and players a chance to narrow their focus.