If the shaky futures of the Tolman and Woonsocket hockey teams didnâ€™t need to receive any additional bad news, they indirectly got some at Monday nightâ€™s meeting of the R.I. Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s Principalsâ€™ Committee on Athletics in Providence.
Among the developments that transpired during this session was the matter of extending the periods in Division III, as well as girlsâ€™ hockey, from 12 to 15 minutes. This was put to a vote and narrowly (and surprisingly) approved by a 6-to-5 vote.
LINCOLN â€“ Head coach Tom Diiorio doesnâ€™t care too much about dual-meet records. When it comes to his Lincoln High boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ teams, his main concern is that his athletes are swimming well with a fair share of them qualifying for next monthâ€™s state championships.
Both those objectives are being met this season.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“ In a very-competitive Division III this season, North Smithfield and Shea are among a crowded bunch that will be fighting for the four playoff spots.
Even though the postseason is still more than a month away, there was a playoff-type atmosphere taking place on Wednesday night when the two teams collided at Lovett Gymnasium.
CUMBERLAND â€“ Every game is important for head coach Gary Reedy and his Cumberland High squad, but Tuesdayâ€™s Division II crossover matchup with host Barrington could have been listed under the must-win category.
The Clippers and Eagles each went into the contest with matching 6-3 league marks, putting them just two victories away from a berth in the open state tournament in March. For Cumberland, it also has the strongest part of its schedule the remaining eight games so a win would certainly give it some added momentum.
PROVIDENCE â€” Realigning the stateâ€™s high school football landscape wasnâ€™t the only matter discussed at Mondayâ€™s meeting of the Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s Principalsâ€™ Committee on Athletics (PCOA). Below are a handful of noteworthy developments that came about during the 90-minute open session.
â€“ In boysâ€™ soccer, the PCOA unanimously approved an alignment for the 2012 and 2013 seasons that results in Tolman and Woonsocket moving up to Division I. The Villa Novans competed in Division I as recent as 2009, while the Tigers have predominantly resided in Division II.
WEST WARWICK â€“ We hear the phrase â€śforce to be reckoned withâ€ť from those involved in athletics so often that sometimes the exact meaning gets lost in the wash.
Tuesday nightâ€™s Division II showdown against Shea High saw West Warwick High clarify matters. Save for the late scare the Raiders provided, the Wizards provided concrete examples why they figure to be a tough out when the time comes for the open state tournament. With usual suspects John Morrison and Ryan Lawton directing the attack, West Warwick scored a 78-68 win to improve to 10-0 in II-South.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The Woonsocket High School football program is staying put in Division II. In the case of Tolman High, Division I beckons after a successful stint in Division II.
Divisional alignments for several fall sports were ratified and approved at Mondayâ€™s meeting of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Principals' Committee on Athletics. In the case of football, Woonsocket will remain in Division II, a league where the Villa Novans have resided since the 2006 season.
BURRILLVILLE --- After suffering its two most lopsided losses of the year late last week, Burrillville got back on track in a big way on Monday night in its Division II-North matchup against Tolman at the Broncodome.
Sophomore forward Victoria Libby overcame a bloody nose she suffered at the start of the second half to pour in 11 points, contribute 12 rebounds and four steals, and help the Broncos produce a foul-plagued 52-43 victory.
PAWTUCKET â€” If youâ€™ve attended either a Tolman or Shea game this winter, chances are youâ€™ve noticed a young man sitting on the bench of each team dressed in street clothes. Starting this week, the wondering will cease and answers pertaining to whom these hoopsters-in-question are will be revealed.
Joe Paterno, who died on Sunday at the age of 85, was the greatest coach Iâ€™ve ever been around. He was a really good human being too, a man who loved his wife, his kids, his 17 grandchildren, more than anything in the world, including his job as head football coach at Penn State.
The first time I ever met Joe, back in my reporting days at The Daily Collegian (Penn Stateâ€™s student newspaper), he called me into his office after we had published an article he found somewhat damaging to the schoolâ€™s reputation.