For many high school boysâ€™ basketball teams, Thursday marks the beginning of a new season â€“ a clean slate for all involved parties with role players looking to blossom into stars, and stars seeking to take their team to the next level.
In the case of defending state champion St. Raphael Academy, maintaining the status quo will do just fine. The dawn of a fresh campaign also signifies the arrival of two Pawtucket-based high school tournaments geared towards preserving the memories of a pair of legendary city coaches.
NORTHFIELD, Vt. â€“ Lincoln High alum Anthony Joyce has earned a starting job at heavyweight for the Norwich University wrestling program.
Joyce finished fourth last weekend in the Rochester Institute of Technology tournament to continue a strong start to his sophomore season.
â€śI have a 14-10 record so far,â€ť Joyce admitted over the phone on Monday night. â€śIâ€™m a more well-rounded wrestler now than I was in high school. I hurt my hand in football in my freshman year of college and this year I decided to just focus on wrestling.â€ť
PROVIDENCE â€” Every coach has his or her own way to get the team ready. For Ed Cooley, that means leaving no stone unturned.
Following Providenceâ€™s 80-49 runaway performance against an overmatched Brown team on Monday night, Cooley took the media inside the preparation his team goes through leading up to tip-off time. Focusing on the opponentâ€™s tendencies is one area thatâ€™s obviously stressed â€“ PC was going up against a Brown squad that prefers to play at a much slower tempo â€“ yet thereâ€™s a little thing called self-scouting that Cooley believes is just as vital to the cause.
Two years ago, a very-loaded Woonsocket High squad captured the Division I title just a year after doing the same in Div. II.
Consistently, though, it's been teams like La Salle Academy and Bay View that have ruled the state's top division for the simple reason that talented athletes often gravitate to the powerhouse parochial schools. Since the 2001-02 season, the defending champion Rams have won seven state crowns. The Bengals have only claimed one title but have been in three other finals during that 10-year span.
CRANSTON â€” Just like it has done throughout the season, fourth-seeded Central Falls showed plenty of heart in its Division IV Super Bowl contest with defending champion Mount Pleasant Sunday afternoon.
But spurred by a couple of big plays that they were able to turn into a pair of touchdowns, it was the second-seeded Kilties who were able to walk out off the field with their second straight title, courtesy of a 22-13 win in front of about 400 at Cranston Stadium.
Editor's Note: This roundup of Friday night hockey games will only be found on The Times' website.
WEST WARWICK -- Senior captain Ryan Barry scored twice and set up two other goals on Friday night to lead East Providence to a 4-3 victory over West Warwick in the Division III opener for both teams at the West Warwick Civic Center.
Matt Hall and Paul Lukas added the Towniesâ€™ other goals, and freshman Ryan Costa had a pair of assists, and goalie Shawn Medeiros turned away 20 shots.
CENTRAL FALLS â€” They had a plethora of gifted athletes. The offensive and defensive line resembled (and provided) a brick wall with an average weight of 240 pounds.
The 2005 Division IV state champion Central Falls football team was something special, compiling a 7-2 league mark and defeating Narragansett, 30-13, for its one and only team title.
The high-scoring first line from a season ago has graduated. So has the starting goaltender.
And two standout defensemen who could have returned this year opted to transfer to prep school.
So does this mean bad news is in store for Mount St. Charles? Will this be a rebuilding season? Can you dismiss all talk of a â€śdrive for fiveâ€ť straight state championships?
No, no, and no.
â€śThis is one of the youngest teams that weâ€™ve had in a while,â€ť offered MSC coach Dave Belisle. â€śbut the thing that I like about this team is our sophomores and freshmen can play right now. Theyâ€™re that good.
For years, former St. Raphael Academy all-stater Chris Iannetta has heard his name dropped as an oft-rumored trade chip. On Wednesday night, the real thing went down.
The Colorado Rockies, the only organization Iannetta has ever known, traded the 28-year-old catcher to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for pitcher starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood.
â€śWeâ€™re very happy for him. This will be a great opportunity,â€ť said Alan Nero, Iannettaâ€™s agent. â€śUsually when you get traded, someone wants you pretty bad.