PAWTUCKET â€” If Tolman High ever fits the pieces together, the Tigers could be a tough out in the Division II playoffs.
It is coach Mike Kayataâ€™s job to develop his players into a cohesive unit over the next seven weeks, trying to get the most out of a roster that contains an explosive scoring guard in Juan Velez, a 6-foot-7 junior center named Jon Percy who is a sleeping giant, and several role players who might hold the key to this teamâ€™s ultimate outcome.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Count Jim Boeheim as a fan of the turnaround act Ed Cooley is trying to perform at Providence College.
While receiving praise from the dean of Big East coaches is a sign that Cooleyâ€™s work is not going unnoticed around the league, the PC head coach was in no mood to talk about moral victories following his teamâ€™s third straight loss, the latest a 87-73 setback to top-ranked Syracuse Wednesday night at The Dunk.
PAWTUCKET â€” Charles Correa admits that Saturday, Jan. 7 has been in his sights the moment he first laid eyes on St. Raphaelâ€™s schedule.
As the date thatâ€™s been circled in red and ingrained in his mind draws near, Correaâ€™s competitive fire only intensifies. Come Saturday night at CCRI-Warwick, the 5-foot-8 junior will draw the assignment of shadowing New London (Conn.) High School senior and Providence College-bound Kris Dunn.
PAWTUCKET â€” When St. Raphael Academyâ€™s senior forward, Cesar Mejia, picked up his fourth personal foul early in the second half of Tuesday nightâ€™s Division I game with Cranston East, point guard Charles Correa had a bad thought.
â€śI thought we were in trouble without Cesar,â€ť Correa admitted.
Then Correa, arguably the best high school player in Rhode Island, had another thought.
BOSTON --- After watching his father and younger brother make news on the baseball diamond last summer with the New England champion Cumberland American Little League all-star team, Brian Belisle got an opportunity to steal the show on one of baseballâ€™s most historic ballfields on Monday night.
But Belisle did so with a hockey stick, not a bat and glove, with his Mount St. Charles Academy teammates at Fenway Park in their â€śFrozen Fenway 2012â€ť duel against Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass., and the junior center came through with the best game of his young high school career.
Itâ€™s two days into 2012. The past year is now a distance memory. Time sure does fly. It seems like just a short time ago that the winter season was wrapping up, one that included an extraordinary performance by the Tolman High boysâ€™ basketball team in the Division II quarterfinals. The summer, as it always does, went by quickly. But not before a group of young 12-year-old kids from the Cumberland American earned their way to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
There have certainly been other events and athletes that have made the last 365 days a memorable one.
Ready or not, like it or not, the football programs at Tolman and Woonsocket High Schools are poised to join the Division I ranks.
Based on figures obtained by Blackstone Valley Sports and decreed by the Interscholastic League, the Tigers and Villa Novans rank eighth and ninth, respectively, among the 43 participating schools, meaning both meet the criteria for Division I participation. The stateâ€™s top tier typically houses nine teams.
A little of this, a little of that as we bid adieu to 2011 â€¦
Ryan Oâ€™Dell will have to sit tight and wait his turn for the URI baseball team, the Lincoln nativeâ€™s redshirt status for this coming spring the result of findings by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The initial-eligibility organization launched its investigation into Oâ€™Dellâ€™s high school transcript during the middle of the fall ball season, a time when the freshman had visions of making major strides toward landing a substantial role.
PAWTUCKET â€” Mike Pappas, who helped build the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club into an organization that profoundly impacts the lives of youngsters throughout this city, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 86.
Pappas, a World War II veteran, began working at the former Boys Club facility on East Avenue in 1949, joining the staff as a physical education instructor. He moved up the ladder and succeeded Phil Geiger as Executive Director in 1964, serving in that position until his retirement in 1989.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Tolman head coach Mike Kayata can live with Jonathan Percy firing away from the baseline. Itâ€™s a whole other matter when the 6-foot-7 junior tees up a shot from behind the 3-point stripe.