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.
CUMBERLAND â€“ By Gary Reedyâ€™s estimation, eight years have elapsed since Cumberland High last captured the Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Holiday Tournament.
Needless to say, putting an end to such a drought would brighten the Clippersâ€™ spirits heading into the coming year. Cumberland earned the right to play in the championship game after disposing of Woonsocket, 71-63, Tuesday night in the Wellness Center. Junior Ben Bradley paced Cumberland with 19 points along with eight assists and five rebounds.
WARWICK -- Taylor Regoâ€™s goal late in the second overtime period lifted Lincoln to a 3-2 victory over Cumberland in the Toll Gate Holiday Tournament championship game played on Tuesday night at Thayer Arena.
â€śIt took a great shot by Taylor to win this game,â€ť said Lincoln coach Jim Riel. â€śTaylor ended up being named MVP of the tournament.â€ť
Cumberland took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Michael Kinch. Lincoln took a 2-1 lead after two periods on goals by Nick Zammarelli and Mike Enos but the Clippers stayed strong and tied the game in the third stanza on Andrew Plutaâ€™s goal.
SMITHFIELD â€“ For 16 minutes of the Smithfield Officials Tournament, Tolman High held its own against Division I opponent North Providence.
Itâ€™s too bad it was the other 16 minutes that made the difference.
The Tigers fell behind by 25 points at halftime before eventually succumbing to a 57-34 loss to the Cougars in Tuesdayâ€™s opener of the three-day tourney. Senior Danai Porter was the lone bright spot for Tolman, scoring more than two thirds of the offense with a game-best 23 points.