PAWTUCKET -â Itâs just a natural fit, having Tolman and Shea as Thanksgiving rivals. The holiday series may still be in its early stages â Wednesday night at Max Read Field marks the ninth installment, with each side winning four â but the way the two sides appreciate what the game truly means, itâs as if the Tigers and Raiders have been doing this for many moons.
For that, the credit belongs to the two men responsible for shepherding the programs: Tolmanâs Dave Caito and Dino Campopiano of Shea.
PAWTUCKET â Itâs a long journey from early September to late November for most football teams. Very few have covered as much distance as the 2010 St. Raphael Academy football team.
The Saints, who dropped down from Division I this year, opened their Division II-B season with a 37-0 loss to Tolman that had been a long time in the making for the Tigers, who were on a mission that night. Two weeks later, the Saints dropped a 16-0 decision to Woonsocket and seemed dead in the water.
LINCOLN â Dave Waycott is currently bouncing around the same dilemma 14 other playoff-bound head coaches around the state are pondering as they prepare for their respective Thanksgiving matchups.
âDo you play (your players) to keep them sharp or rest them to avoid getting hurt?â the Lincoln head coach asked. âIâve been going back and forth with this. I havenât really decided what weâre going to do when we play them.â
CENTRAL FALLS â Mo Jackson has endured only a few rebuilding years during a decade-plus tenure as the head coach of Central Falls, but youâd be hard-pressed to find any of those seasons as difficult as this one.
With just four returnees and a wealth of first-year players and junior varsity call-ups at his disposal, Jackson saw his inexperienced squad battle through a lot of growing pains and wrap up its Division IV season with a 2-6 record.
PROVIDENCE â Marshon Brooks had his fill of Morgan State by the time he reported to the Dunkinâ Donuts Center on Thursday afternoon. Thatâs why the Providence College senior wanted to make sure that the rest of the Friars knew that the Bears were no slouch.
âWe hear it from the fans, from Facebook, that Morgan State is no joke and that theyâve been to the NCAA Tournament the last two years,â said Brooks. âIt was a different atmosphere.â
CUMBERLAND â Cumberland High was officially eliminated from postseason play in Division II back on Oct. 29 when it lost to Central High at Conley Stadium.
Since that 19-6 defeat to the Knights, the Clippers have reeled off two straight victories â a narrow 9-0 shutout of Coventry High and a 31-6 rout of Ponaganset High in a consolation game last Friday.
PROVIDENCE â Wilder Arboleda demonstrated the proper way of turning the page Thursday afternoon as Providence College routed St. Peterâs of New Jersey, 6-2, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Menâs Soccer Tournament.
Arboleda, a Pawtucket native and Tolman High graduate, tallied two goals as the Friars travel to face No. 16 Ohio State this Sunday afternoon in the second round.
Thereâs a lot to like about Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth, two of the most desired names currently dangling on the free-agent market. If you are a general manager like Theo Epstein, which all-star outfielder do you break the bank for?
Itâs a question Davey Lopes is glad he doesnât have to answer. Reached earlier this week, Lopes, the East Providence native with 38 years of baseball experience at his fingertips, was asked to debate and dissect the merits of Werth and Crawford.
Coaches canât look past their next opponent. Sports writers shouldnât, either. But sometimes the temptation to look down the road is just too enticing.
When it comes to local high school football, whatâs next is a two-day slate of Thanksgiving contests, which are ârivalryâ games with not much at stake âŠ except for East Providenceâs game against La Salle on Thanksgiving morning. E.P. is already in the Division I playoff field. La Salle needs a win to gain the fourth and final playoff berth over Barrington.
PAWTUCKET â The Division II semifinal playoff game between Tolman and St. Raphael Academy will be played at Max Read Field, Tigersâ athletic director John Scanlon revealed on Wednesday.
âPariseau Field is pretty chewed up,â Scanlon said, talking about the original site of the Nov. 30 contest. Pariseau is the home field for both Tolman and St. Raphael during the regular season. The Darlington Bravesâ youth football program also uses the facility.