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TN's Tidbits: Woonsocket was the better team today

December 5, 2010

CRANSTON -- Some thoughts on Woonsocket's 28-14 victory over Tolman in Sunday's Division II Super Bowl:
Woonsocket just had too many weapons, too many ways to win the game, than Tolman did. The Villa Novans had a big size advantage in the middle of both lines, they had way more seniors than Tolman in their starting lineup, and they had a better game plan.

McGair: Rich Hill to return to BoSox organization next season

December 4, 2010

While the imminent arrival of slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to Boston is the big news of the today, it’s not the only tidbit of info regarding the ball club.
Reliever Rich Hill, who along with fellow pitcher Chad Paronto were at McCoy Stadium Saturday for the PawSox’ Kids Christmas party, told Blackstone Valley Sports that he will be returning to the Red Sox organization for 2011.
“We agreed to a deal about five weeks ago and I’m looking forward to (returning),” said Hill, a native of Milton, Mass.

McGair: Dusty Brown signs minor-league deal with Pirates

December 1, 2010

Scratch another catcher off the Red Sox’ list, as Pittsburgh inked Dusty Brown to a minor-league deal Wednesday. Brown was perceived a long shot to return to Boston in 2011 – he was out of options and removed from the 40-man roster – but his chances were thought to have improved after Victor Martinez signed with Detroit last week.
Instead, Brown gets a fresh start with a new team. Drafted by the Sox in 2000, Brown made his major-league debut in 2009. He appeared in 13 games with Boston over the past two seasons, batting .267 with a .313 on-base percentage and one home run.

TN'sTidbits: Tolman-SRA grid rivalry reaches new heights

December 1, 2010

"This is the biggest football game these two schools have ever played against each other," Tolman athletic director John Scanlon said before his Tigers kicked off to St. Raphael Academy on Tuesday night.

Scanlon was emphasizing the fact that these two former Thanksgiving rivals had never met in a playoff game before. They did on Tuesday night and Tolman pulled away to a 25-12 victory before an estimated 1,200 fans at Max Read Field.

Tolman coach Dave Caito sounded pleased when he talked about the game on Wednesday afternoon.

McGair: Predictions for Tuesday night's playoff football action

November 30, 2010

Usually I stay away from making predications, particularly on the high school front. Still, with so many area teams competing in Tuesday night’s semifinal round, I thought it would be a good as time as any to gaze into the crystal ball.
With that in mind, here’s one reporter’s feeling on what may transpire this evening (home team in caps):

TOLMAN 21, St. Raphael 7
This won’t be the blowout we saw in September, yet it won’t be close to the point that the game comes down to the final five minutes.

Woonsocket 35, CHARIHO 14

McGair: PC athletic director believes addition of TCU to Big East helps non-football schools

November 29, 2010

On a day in which the Big East Conference got even bigger with the addition of Texas Christian University, Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll believes the move can only serve as a boon for the basketball schools.
“I think (the addition of TCU) helps us because it solves some of the football issues,” said Drsicoll. “Without it, it probably causes more stress. If Villanova goes in the director of major college football, then I think we’ll be in very good shape.

TN's Tidbits: Why have T-Day football crowds fallen off?

November 26, 2010

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, it was not uncommon for thousands of people to jam McCoy Stadium for the Tolman-SRA Thanksgiving Game. In the 1970s, the R.I. Interscholastic League engineered a playoff system that evolved from two teams participating from each division to four in the current era (with eight in the 16-team Division II).

One of the effects of these playoffs has been the diminished appeal of Thanksgiving games to local football fans. When the Tolman-SRA rivalry died 10 years ago, crowds had fallen to less than 1,000 per game. The Shea-Tolman rivalry draws about half that many.

Update on Mason Williams, former Pawtucket resident drafted by the Yankees

November 24, 2010

Here's a scouting report from River Avenue Blues on Mason Williams, who lived in Pawtucket until he was 13 before moving to Florida, where he became a star baseball player drafted in the fourth round last June by the New York Yankees:

Benevides: MMA community loses Manny Neves

November 22, 2010

Rhode Island’s mixed martial arts community lost one of its premier figures and founding fathers early Monday morning when Pawtucket native Manny Neves passed away. He was 45.
Neves wore many hats in the fight business. He was an MMA fighter, Muay Thai fighter, and kickboxer. He was a trainer, a gym owner, and during the 2000s (when MMA shows weren’t allowed in Rhode Island), a promoter of several Massachusetts events.

Benevides: Lincoln playoff game will be played on Brown's practice field

November 19, 2010

Lincoln High football coach Dave Waycott confirmed on Friday morning that his team's Division III semifinal-round playoff game against the Moses Brown School will take place at Brown University's Berylson Field (the practice field for the Bears' football team) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
The field, which is part of the Erickson Athletic Complex, is located near the university's baseball and soccer fields.

McGair: Davey Lopes close to landing coaching gig?

November 18, 2010

Just got off the phone with East Providence native Davey Lopes, a solid baseball man as any you’ll come across. After a 10-minute discussion about the merits of free agent outfielders Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford, I asked Lopes if he sees himself coaching next year. Earlier this month the Phillies announced that Lopes would not be returning as the club’s first base coach in 2011.
“I think if you wait a day or two you’ll get that answer,” said Lopes, a hearty laugh following the response that seems to suggest the La Salle Academy graduate is close to landing a job.

TN's Tidbits: Tolman-SRA game to be played at Max Read Field

November 17, 2010

Tolman AD John Scanlon confirms the Tolman-St. Raphael D-II playoff game on Tuesday, Nov. 30, will be played at Shea High's Max Read field at 7 p.m.

See details in Thursday's Times.

TN's Tidbits: Carnell explains the process

November 17, 2010

I did a story yesterday talking about how playoff-bound football teams like Woonsocket and Tolman have two games to prepare for right now -- the holiday tilt and then the Nov. 30 D-II semifinals five days later.

Woonsocket coach Carnell Henderson explained to me how his coaching staff will approach the problem. They will prepare the players for the holiday game against Cumberland. The coaching staff will work overtime, looking at films of playoff foe Chariho while also getting ready for Cumberland.

TN's Tidbits: Eagles are more than Vick

November 16, 2010

After watching Michael Vick throw for 330 yards and 4 TDs last night, most of them in the first half, and run for 80 more, while leading Philadelphia to a 59-28 victory over Washington, the radio talking heads today are beating to death Vick's "comeback" from prison, still wondering if he deserves a second chance.

McGair: Cross Sandberg off PawSox' managerial list

November 16, 2010

Monday’s announcement that Ryne Sandberg was hired as the new manager of Lehigh Valley, the Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies, signifies more than just a homecoming for the Hall of Fame second baseman. It means the Red Sox have one less candidate to consider for the managerial opening in Pawtucket.

TN's Tidbits: SRA-Tolman playoff matchup confirmed

November 14, 2010

As my colleague Eric Benevides reports on the previous blog entry, St. Raphael Academy advanced to the Division II semifinals with a crazy 56-50 victory over Johnston on Saturday night.

This means the Saints get a rematch with unbeaten Tolman on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the Division II semifinals. Woonsocket visits Chariho in the other matchup.

Benevides: A game SRA fans won't soon forget

November 14, 2010

In a royal shootout that will be talked about for years to come, the St. Raphael Academy football posted an edge-of-your-seats 56-50 overtime victory over Johnston High in their Division II quarterfinal-round game on Saturday night in Johnston.
This game featured nearly 1,000 yards of offense, a wonderful game by SRA quarterback Trevor Vasey, who tossed a career-high five touchdown passes, and a strong defensive standout by the Saints in overtime.

TN's Tidbits: Division II football playoffs update

November 13, 2010

I didn't get to see any football games last night because somebody has to put the sports section together. But the scores were interesting. Woonsocket hammered Central 34-14 and Tolman squeaked by Westerly, 6-0. All you can say, at first glance, is Tolman probably drew the tougher opponent in the quarterfinals.

RIP, Joe McParlin

November 12, 2010

Joe McParlin, who passed away at the age of 54 earlier this week, will be missed in so many places, including on the ball fields and basketball courts of Pawtucket. In all my years at The Times, I never met a father who cared more about his family than Joe. He worked at The Times for awhile and would bring his young son Michael up to the sports desk occasionally, giving me the latest information on Mike's martial arts accomplishments. Michael was always the most polite of kids, even at the age of 7. Joe brought his sons (Brian and Kyle came along later) up the right way. Respect your elders.

TN's Tidbits: NBA has come a long way

November 10, 2010

Great column today by my old pal Bill Reynolds over there at the ProJo on how the Boston Celtics used to play games at the R.I. Auditorium back in the 1950s. They even had doubleheaders, meaning four of the eight teams that then comprised the NBA were in Rhode Island at the same time.


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