Archive - Sports Article
January 31st, 2011
Iâ€™m not a fan of his music, but Elton Johnâ€™s â€śCandle In The Windâ€ť has been embedded in my mind ever since Rocco Baldelli announced his retirement last week. The ballad has long been viewed as John articulating his feelings for the songâ€™s subject, Marilyn Monroe, through the power of song. Still, thereâ€™s one portion of the chorus that I feel best sums up Baldelliâ€™s career â€“ as well as other athletes who call it a career sooner than expected:
Your candle burned out long before â€”
Your legend ever did.
NORTH KINGSTOWN --- Charles Correa followed up a solid 24-point outing earlier in the week with a game-high 22 points and eight assists on Friday night to help St. Raphael Academy claim its sixth straight Division I game, a 61-59 victory on the road over North Kingstown High.
Trevor Vasey also added eight points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots for the Saints, who lead the Division I-East with a 10-2 record and are also 12-4 overall.
The Saints, who have another crossover game on the road next Monday night at Coventry High, also received 10 points from Cesar Mejia.
CUMBERLAND â€“ With the score knotted at 62-all late in overtime, Rodney Bustillo thought the time was right to take matters into his own hand.
The dual-meet season for R.I. boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ indoor track will officially wrap up by Tuesday of next week, barring another snowstorm (or two?).
Thatâ€™s just the warm-up.
Beginning late next week, teams will be duking it out at the Providence Athletic Facility in their respective divisional championships. A week later, theyâ€™re back on the oval in their class meets and then on Saturday, Feb. 19, schools statewide will compete on the big stage in the annual state championships.
For our local athletes and teams, a lot can happen in those next few weeks.
There was eight to 12 inches of snowfall on Thursday morning. Last Friday, it was about a foot. And for the season, close to 45 inches have hit the region.
Global warming? It doesnâ€™t seem that way.
The excessive snow this winter has certainly increased business at the chiropractorâ€™s office with the young and old alike getting their backs aligned after hours of shoveling the white stuff. But for high school athletics in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, it also has increased headaches for athletic directors, coaches and their athletes.
The state championships begin in less than a month at the Providence Career and Technical Academy and plenty of wrestlers, through their performances at in-state and out-of-state tournaments, have started to make their case as title favorites.
And with only a few big tournaments left this season (Capital City Classic in Concord, N.H. and the Methuen (Mass.) Invitational) Rhode Island wrestlers have represented themselves well on the New England stage.
PROVIDENCE â€“ For Ricky Ledo, itâ€™s games like Providence Collegeâ€™s 83-68 vanquishing of No. 8 Villanova on Wednesday night that has the Providence native convinced he made the right call.
WOONSOCKET â€” If anything, the announcement that Rocco Baldelli is retiring after a seven-year pro career and eight months shy of his 30th birthday should be viewed as an outpouring of relief for the Woonsocket native.
What was Baldelli? A good player, who showed flashes of talent that bordered on the greatness, the modern day answer to Napoleon Lajoie and Gabby Hartnett, two Hall of Famers with firm ties to the Blackstone Valley.
This is truly the winter of our discontent when it comes to weather and high school sports schedules. The seemingly weekly snowstorms in Rhode Island have created a backlog of makeup games in all sports, none more so than in boysâ€™ basketball, where a compressed schedule this season necessitated a natural three-game week even before Mother Nature threatened to turn the month of February into an NBA-like marathon for high school student/athletes.
It may not be the Running Capital of Rhode Island, but Pawtucket is sure going to seem that way in the coming months.
Just a couple of months after an expected 3,000 participants invade the historic city for the inaugural Irish 5K on March 5, throngs of runners and walkers are predicted to be back on the downtown streets for another first-time event, the Cherry Tree Running Festival on May 21.
PAWTUCKET â€” In a game of runs, it was Shea High that had the big one at the end, and with it, a hard-fought Division II crossover victory.
The Raiders rattled off 11 straight points to ignite a 21-8 run in the final 7:48 of their duel with Cumberland High on Tuesday night and come away with a 73-62 win on their home floor that gave them their fifth victory in their last six games.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There were coaches from North Kingstown and Bishop Hendricken sitting in the stands to view Mondayâ€™s Division I crossover between Woonsocket and St. Raphael. No doubt they came to see Charles Correa, Cesar Mejia and Trevor Vasey and the rest of SRAâ€™s starting five, but the coaches were probably just as likely to jot down notes pertaining to Jordan Peguero, Ben Pillsbury and Franklin Batista.
For many years weâ€™ve witnessed this perception vs. reality debate hovering over the basketball program at Providence College. Call it a man vs. wild struggle in which one side tries to impose its will over the other in the name of shedding light on what the expectations should entail.
The ever-improving Central Falls track and field program added another milestone to its list Saturday afternoon.
With their sweep of Northern Division rivals Woonsocket and Shea, the Warriors manufactured the schoolâ€™s best league record since its inception in 1999-2000, finishing the dual-meet season at 6-2. The girlsâ€™ team has a chance to match that effort on Jan. 31 when the Lady Warriors (4-2) conclude their Sullivan Division schedule against Moses Brown (2-2) and Rogers (1-5).
PAWTUCKET â€” Most pro football experts figured Kelsey Fournier and her New England Patriots cheerleader teammates would have spent a chilly Sunday evening outdoors at Gillette Stadium, coaxing freezing fans into making noise for the home team in the AFC championship game.
Instead, the New York Jets ousted the favored Patriots last Sunday in the conference semifinals, ending the season for players, fans and cheerleaders alike.
PROVIDENCE â€“ So this is what winning in the Big East feels like.
Saturday bore witness to Providence College canceling its long overdue appointment with the conferenceâ€™s win column. The return to sender memo was made possible by a 72-67 upset victory of 19th-ranked Louisville before an exuberant audience of 12,051 at The Dunk. It was the first conference victory for the Friars in 51 weeks, and their first win over former coach Rick Pitino.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The long-running offseason production the PawSox put on, better known as the Hot Stove gathering, has always served a dual purpose.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” There was a buzz in the stands on Thursday night as Central Falls fans awaited the start of a Division II crossover game matching their North Division-leading Warriors with a 7-2 Tiverton team that is tied for first place in the East.
The Tigers quickly quieted the local crowd by storming out to a 23-5 lead midway through the first half en route to an 80-64 triumph.
â€śTheyâ€™re good,â€ť C.F. coach Brian Crookes conceded after the game. â€śI would put them up there with Rogers, West Warwick and Barrington as the best teams we have seen this season.â€ť
WOONSOCKET â€” High school basketball coaches have a lot in common with teachers who send their students through rigorous courses like physics or chemistry. Hoop mentors must stand on the sidelines, trying to explain the finer points of their sport, while players try to absorb those lessons in the midst of competition.
East Providenceâ€™s Alex Butler and Woonsocketâ€™s Kyle Ivey-Jones did their best to educate their players on Wednesday night when the Townies visited the Villa Novans for a battle between two sub-.500 Division I teams.
PAWTUCKET â€” Shea High played the role of the New York Jets on Tuesday night, using a strong defensive scheme to dominate first-place West Warwick High by an impressive 77-62 margin.
The Raiders, who came into the game with a 4-4 record in Division II-Central, turned the tables on the Wizards, who were 7-1 and leading the South coming into this contest.