Weekends donâ€™t get any bigger than this one when it comes to the race for the Division II-B title and the other three playoffs spots up for grabs.
On Friday night, Tolman carries its 3-0 record into Pariseau Field for a 7 p.m. contest against Mount Hope (2-1), while on Saturday afternoon, the divisionâ€™s other 3-0 team, West Warwick, hosts St. Raphael (2-1) in a 1:30 p.m. affair.
Seems the Interscholastic League is revising its realignment policies, which could be interpreted as a sign that the stateâ€™s governing body for high school athletics is not turning a deaf ear when its constituents speak up.
Sticking primarily with how these tweaks impact the football side, the idea of altering everything from how often realignment takes place to the specific formula that mathematically helps place teams in one division as opposed to another is something that will surely help to keep the overall product fresh.
PROVIDENCE â€” Following his teamâ€™s 2-2 tie against Moses Brown on Tuesday afternoon at Wasserman Field, Tolman head coach Jack Couto was asked if the stalemate fell into the category of a good tie or a bad one.
â€śIt was a good tie considering the way we played. Moses Brown scored seven minutes into the game, so we werenâ€™t ready,â€ť Couto said. â€śWe still get the point and we're still undefeated, but they arenâ€™t playing great right now. We need to pick it up.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ If everything goes according to plan, St. Raphael Academy will have a new athletic director in place by monthâ€™s end, says President-Principal Maryann Donohue-Lynch.
Such a finite timeline speaks to the confidence Donohue-Lynch has in the five-person search committee she herself handpicked. The committee will recommend candidates and advise school administrators about a successor to Bruce Gammell, whose departure in August created an opening.
CUMBERLAND â€” Longtime coaches John Menna of Lincoln and Joe Bennett of Smithfield have had their share of success over the years in their respective programs and enjoy winning just as much as anyone else.
But neither coach was concerned about beating unbeaten Cumberland on Tuesday in a Northern Division dual-meet finale at the Monastery. The primary concern for Menna and Bennett was on the competition between their two teams.
PAWTUCKET â€” Mondayâ€™s city championship meet at Slater Park featured an expected victory by the St. Raphael Academy boys and an end to the SRA girlsâ€™ six-year run as champions.
Tolmanâ€™s girls, coached by former Tiger star Kayla Fleming, beat the Saints 22-33 to capture the city title. Shea High finished a distant third in the meet. Tolman placed five runners among the first seven finishers.
St. Raphaelâ€™s Catherine Piper won the race in a personal-best time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds but Tolmanâ€™s depth and pack-running technique proved difficult to beat.
St. Raphael Academy has enough big-play weapons on offense to stick with the more potent teams in Division II this season.
Head coach Mike Sassi is most comfortable running a Wing-T offense. This yearâ€™s team has the personnel to make that formation work cohesively. It begins with quarterback Julian Diaz, an efficient playmaker who can throw the ball on the run and downfield when needed.
PAWTUCKET â€“ This is what contending teams are supposed to do when facing a weaker sister â€“ remove the drama early.
There was no debate regarding who the better team was Friday night at Pariseau Field. Tolman High scored on four of its five offensive possessions in the opening half en route to a 55-6 pasting against a Pilgrim High outfit that was left seeing stars.
Despite spending all night waltzing down Easy Street, Tolman head coach Dave Caito refused to take anything for granted. In fact, Caito had a simple message for his players as they returned to the sideline following each score.
CENTRAL FALLS --- Mount Pleasant extended its Division IV win streak to 12 games on Friday night, but Central Falls made it awfully tough for the defending champions to pick up their latest victory.
The Kilties overcame a whopping 18 penalties for 129 yards and huge games offensively from Warrior running back Josh Brandon and quarterback Brandon Canuto to pull out of Macomber Stadium with a 14-12 victory in this battle of early-season unbeatens.
CUMBERLAND â€“ For opposing Division I schools, thereâ€™s no secret strategy to beat Cumberland High.
While the Clippers possess a talented squad this fall, if the opposition can keep multiple all-stater Stephanie Ribeiro away from the ball the odds are favorable that a victory will come its way.
East Greenwich witnessed that on Friday.
Despite blanket coverage all afternoon, Ribeiro managed to still score three goals in their crossover match. And that was all that was needed to upset the previously-unbeaten Avengers, 3-1, at the Tucker Field complex.