Archive - Sports Article
June 6th, 2011
PROVIDENCE --- Less than a month ago, reaching the winnersâ€™ bracket final of the Division I playoffs was the last thing on the minds of Mount St. Charles Academy and head coach Cliff Matthews.
Not only did the Mounties endure a tough stretch that saw them drop five out of seven contests and fall three games below .500, but also did they lose two of their top players, pitcher Olivia Hendricks and third baseman Nicole Silva, for an extended period of time to an injury and an illness.
Letâ€™s begin with the one thing public and private schools have in common. Both start with the letter â€śP.â€ť
After that? Letâ€™s just say the hot-button issue regarding the classification of high school athletics in this state wastes no time in drawing battle lines.
LINCOLN â€“ During her four years as a distance specialist for Cumberland High, Hilary Dionne made her mark. It's something that she carried over to Dartmouth College, where she excelled at the Division I level.
Three years later, not much has changed.
Back in the fall, the 25-year-old Dionne broke the three-hour barrier in her debut to the marathon distance. On Sunday morning at Twin River, she also demonstrated she still has some speed in her legs, too.
PROVIDENCE â€” Small ball was big trouble for Central Falls High.
Utilizing the bunt to perfection on Sunday afternoon, top-seed and unbeaten Central High captured the Division III state championship with a 13-3 six-inning, mercy-rule verdict over the second-seeded Warriors to complete a sweep of the best-of-3 series. Just a day earlier, the Knights withstood a late rally by C.F. to earn a 10-9 win in the opener at Rhode Island College.
The Warriors were looking for their first state title since copping a slow-pitch crown in 1997.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Whenever Central Falls junior Steven Vazquez competes in the high jump, he stays mentally focused by just recalling in his mind what heâ€™s done throughout the season.
â€śRegardless of what my other competitors do,â€ť he said, â€śI just blank that away and just think about what I did in practice and what I learned so far and use it in play.â€ť
Whenever Shea senior Freddy Gobewole toes the starting line of a sprint event, he incorporates a simple strategy, using a somewhat negative approach to ready himself for battle.
PROVIDENCE â€” Lincoln Highâ€™s perfect season came to an end at the hands of â€¦ a perfect season.
In Saturdayâ€™s clash between two unbeaten teams trying to etch their names into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League history books, it was Tiverton that emerged with an unblemished record â€” and the Division II state championship.
A late second-half comeback fell short for the Lions, who watched the Tigers celebrate a 12-8 victory at Rhode Island College to cap a 17-0 campaign.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The Donaldson Gymansium was rocking Friday night with droves of Tolman High fans coming out to witness the Tigersâ€™ Division II quarterfinal matchup with Pilgrim.
The host did not disappoint.
Tolman, a No. 2 seed from the II-North at 14-2, overcame a rare loss in the opening game by winning the next three en route to a 3-1 decision over the Patriots.
The win is the first in the postseason for the Tigers since their 2003 championship season. Itâ€™s also avenges back-to-back losses to the Patriots, a three seed for II-South, in opening-round matches of the last two playoffs.
PAWTUCKET â€” Division II-East champions. A division-leading 13 runs per game. One of three teams to lead the league with 14 regular-season victories.
A stunning first-round exit in the Division II playoffs.
These are the four things this seasonâ€™s Tolman High team will be remembered for doing. And while the first three are incredible accomplishments, the fourth was a cruel, disappointing way to end a sensational spring â€” one that had the promise of playing for a state title next week at Rhode Island College.
For two days in the hot sun, Cumberland High collectively played its best golf of the season at the RIIL State Championship.
Its efforts were amply rewarded.
Jamison Randall earned the individual title and, along with his teammates, the Clippers captured the team crown on Wednesday afternoon with a four-stroke victory over Portsmouth and North Kingstown at the Cranston Country Club.
PAWTUCKET â€“ If a cortisone shot can put an injured pitcher on the road to recovery, then everyone can start forming a line behind John Lackey.
CRANSTON â€” Wearing pink shirts to signify Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cumberland High stood out on the golf course.
By the time the first round of the RIIL Golf State Tournament was finished Tuesday afternoon at a sun-drenched Cranston Country Club, the Clippers also stood out on the leaderboard.
Jamison Randall tied medalist honors, firing an even-par 71. Behind the talented senior, the rest of the Clippers didnâ€™t do so badly either. Senior teammates Mike Ray and Jack Andrade each carded a 79 and sophomore Brendan Guerin posted an 83.
WOONSOCKET â€“ It was the first game of the season â€“ a loss to Johnston -- when Woonsocket High baseball coach John Marsella knew he had a team that could do some damage in Division II.
â€śWe lost to Johnston 2-1 in our opener,â€ť Marsella was saying on Monday. â€śEveryone had told me before the season that Johnston was the class of the division. After that game, we knew we could play with them. That gave confidence to everyone on the team.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€“ Steve Gordon has been coaching wrestling at Cumberland High for 42 years.
He has seen a lot of people come and go during his more than four-decade career. But every long, wintry season, he knows one face will always be there and volunteering countless hours to add to the success of his program. Itâ€™s a person that has missed fewer matches than the fingers on your hand, his wife Judy Gordon.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Thereâ€™s always excitement in the air whenever a big-name player ventures to the minor leagues for a rehab assignment. For Rich Sauveur, it will simply be another day at the office when John Lackey makes his first and only rehab appearance for the PawSox Tuesday night.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The Felix Doubront the Red Sox thought they were getting this season has yet to surface. Thatâ€™s why Mondayâ€™s brief cameo should be viewed as a step in the right direction.
WARWICK â€“ A lingering shoulder problem, one that bothered him during a still successful indoor campaign, has limited the number of meets for Freddy Gobewole this spring.
But it hasnâ€™t stopped him from winning.
The Shea High senior ran the fastest time in the state in the 100-meter dash on Saturday, winning the individual title at the annual Hendricken Invitational with a time of 10.5 seconds. Gobewoleâ€™s performance, where he defeated junior Josh Gilkenson of Moses Brown by a tenth of a second, comes just a week before the state championships at Brown Stadium.
WAKEFIELD â€“ Tolman starting pitcher Chris Messier issued just one walk in Saturdayâ€™s Region 3 finale of the Division II double-elimination tournament vs. The Prout School. Unfortunately for the sixth-seeded Tigers, that free pass wound up being the deciding factor in a 4-3 loss to the No. 3 Crusaders, thus ending the season for Theo Murrayâ€™s crew.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The Red Sox view Jose Iglesias as someone too valuable to languish on the bench as a backup, absorbing the big-league atmosphere. Serving as the everyday shortstop in Pawtucket is where the consensus top prospect in the farm system belongs at the moment.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Without hesitation, Kyle Weiland knew that if an opposing hitterâ€™s fly ball to center field could be caught, it would.
Che-Hsuan Lin is that reliable.
But when Weiland began the 2011 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, the right-hander was separated from his security blanket, the vacuum cleaner of an outfielder he had played with since 2009.
Much to Weilandâ€™s delight, they were reunited May 21, when Lin was promoted to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Bobby Jenks proclaimed after working one scoreless inning in Pawtucketâ€™s 6-3 loss Friday night that heâ€™s sorted through the mechanical issues that dogged him earlier in the season.