Just because the Red Sox declined to pick up Dan Wheelerâs $3 million option for the 2012 season doesnât automatically spell the end of the partnership between the team and relief pitcher.
As Wheeler explained when reached Monday afternoon, the opportunity to return to Boston remains on the table. Itâs just that the process in doing so has completely changed.
The Division I playoff seeding race has changed shape several times over the past week.
A fortnight ago, it appeared as though La Salle Academy and Shea High would finish 1-2 in the overall points race. Now, thanks to a strong finish by Central Falls, the Warriors will be the No. 2 seed in the eight-team playoff field that begins action on Friday.
PROVIDENCE â Cumberland missed a chance to improve its playoff seeding on Monday when it played a 1-1 tie with Hope High, which brought a 1-13-2 record into the regular season finale.
âWe didnât help ourselves today,â Cumberland coach John Lopes said afterwards. âWe had a chance to move up in the seedings if we won and got some help from someone else but we played flat for all but about five minutes of todayâs game.â
FOSTER â The state meet for cross country takes place next Sunday at Ponaganset High.
For some schools, such as the Lincoln boys' team, their âstate meetâ took place on Saturday at the class championships.
The Lions were among a handful of schools that needed a quality placement in their respective class meet to earn a trip to the states because they did not get an automatic berth by finishing among the top three in their division.
PAWTUCKET â When analyzing the Division II-B playoff picture, the idiom âdown to the wireâ comes to mind.
This past weekendâs slate of games resulted in such a shakeup that even the Richter scale went haywire. A number of alleged favorites went down, which in turn open the door for several teams that once upon a time were viewed as playoff onlookers, not playoff contenders.
CUMBERLAND -â The pressure is off.
Cumberland High secured its first playoff berth in three years on Friday night, shocking previously-unbeaten Central, 19-6, at Tucker Field. Senior running back Ryan Gaumond scored twice for the Clippers, who evened their record to 3-3 in Division II-A and fourth place in the division. The Knights dropped to 5-1.
PAWTUCKET â Talk about throwing a wrench in oneâs plans.
Friday night saw West Warwick become the first Division II-B team to hang a defeat on Tolman since late in the 2009 season. Of even greater consequence, the Wizardsâ 33-19 victory created a logjam atop the standings, with West Warwick, Tolman and St. Raphael, which hosts Mt. Hope Saturday afternoon, all with one league loss apiece.
Before Tolman can set its sights on a repeat Division II-B regular-season title, the Tigers are going to have to overcome a tall order tonight -- namely one of the biggest and best defensive teams in all of Division II in West Warwick.
The Wizards, who are 4-1 and a game behind Tolman (5-0) in the standings, boast plenty of size in their front seven with veteran linemen Aaron Koehler and Cesar Jimenez and two defensive ends that clearly have the attention of Tolman head coach Dave Caito.
SMITHFIELD --- The rematch was just as competitive as their first meeting, but the end result wasnât the one that Tolman had hoped for in its Division II-North regular-season finale and battle of unbeatens with Smithfield.
Joe Pateâs goal off a rebound 1:48 into the second half allowed the Sentinels to eke out a 1-0 triumph over the Tigers and repeat as II-North champions on Wednesday night before a packed house on Smithfieldâs âSenior Nightâ at the Boyle Athletic Complex.
PROVIDENCE â Ed Cooley knew he was in store for some rough sledding the moment he signed up at Providence College last March.
The task is great, but even Cooley had shake his head in disbelief based on what went down prior to the Friars hitting the floor for their first exhibition game on Tuesday night. A thin roster was stretched even thinner as Cooley had just eight scholarship players available for his teamâs tuneup against Assumption College.