PAWTUCKET â Former Central Falls coach Bobby Marchand used to describe soccer â when played correctly -- as âthe beautiful game.â
That description came to mind on Saturday when Marchandâs old team, now coached by long-time Marchand assistant Carl Africo, played to a 1-1 stalemate with Shea High in a battle of Division I state title contenders. Both Shea and Central Falls play a similar game that emphasizes passing and playmaking at its core.
PAWTUCKET â Of the handful of non-league games this weekend that pitted Division I teams against Division II teams, this should have been the Division IIâs best chance to grab a victory -- undefeated II-B leader Tolman vs. winless Cranston East at Pariseau Field.
The Tigers, who entered Saturday nightâs game with a 10-game losing streak against Division I opponents, had a golden opportunity to halt that drought and dust off a reeling opponent that was banged up with injuries, but couldnât take advantage of it.
PROVIDENCE â To get a better feel of the Providence College players he was inheriting, Ed Cooley made it a point to watch every Friar game from last season âfour or five times.â
What were the impressions Cooley gathered as he studied individual tendencies and Providenceâs style of play under ex-head coach Keno Davis? Letâs just say the new PC coach realized he has his work cut out for him.
Pawtucket native Gerry Philbin sat down to watch his old New York Jets team play football last month when the phone rang at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla.
âIt was the owner of the Jets, Woody Johnson, calling to tell me I was going to be inducted into the Jetsâ Ring of Honor,â Philbin said on Thursday afternoon. âThe ceremony will be held at halftime of Monday nightâs game against the Dolphins.â
âI was quite surprised to hear from the owner of the Jets,â Philbin added. âHe was such a gentleman to make the call personally. I told him it was a great honor.â
Maybe in some perverse way, the Red Sox are enjoying all this attention.
Bad P.R.? Perish the thought. The bottoming out and subsequent fallout of the 2011 season has everyone still chirping even though two weeks have passed since left fielder Carl Crawford acted like a fish out of water in Baltimore, a snapshot that says it all with regards to the clubâs sad regular-season finish.
Four weeks have elapsed since Ryan Kalish underwent surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck.
âAt this point honestly, I canât really tell that anything was done to my neck,â said Kalish via phone from San Francisco, where the Red Sox outfield prospect is conducting his rehab. âYou have post-surgery pain and all that, but thatâs totally gone. It just feels like a normal neck.
The Division I soccer race took on a different complexion Wednesday after Shea was upset by Central and Central Falls edged defending state champion Barrington.
Unbeaten La Salle (10-0-3) still has the most points (23) but Central Falls (7-1-4) moved into second place overall with 18 points following its 1-0 victory over Barrington.
Shea (8-2-1) is now third in the points race with 17 while still leading the East by two points over Portsmouth. The Raiders visit the Patriots for a 5 p.m. game this afternoon, then host Central Falls at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Max Read Field.
Three competitive non-league games on Friday night and a Division IV clash for second place on Saturday afternoon highlight what appears to be a âho-humâ high school football schedule this weekend in the Blackstone Valley.
On Friday at 7 p.m., there are a handful of non-league games around Rhode Island pitting Division I teams against Division II teams, and three of the games involve schools in our backyard, East Providence, Tolman, and St. Raphael.
The Division I Townies will host nearby Division II-B foe Mount Hope at Pierce Field in a showdown thatâs sure to attract many East Bay fans.
CUMBERLAND â After a little more than an hour on Wednesday afternoon, Cumberland High coach John Jasionowski watched his squad suffer a quick 7-0 loss to Division I power Mount St. Charles Academy.
While most of their matches havenât been quite as quick, the end result has been status quo for the winless Clippers this fall, owners of an 0-10 mark and last place in I-North. Last year, Cumberland had a similar record in its first season in the stateâs toughest division, finishing 2-11 overall.
The book on Charles Correa is that heâs a basketball player, a pretty darn good one at that.
Basketball is his passion, his lifeblood. Hopefully basketball will help this youngster land a college scholarship.
Why play football then? Why tempt the fates and risk the future for a sport known for its cutthroat and harsh nature? All it takes is one misstep on the field, absorbing one teeth-rattling hit, one crunch administered by a big, big guy, to change everything.