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.
â€śDo you play (your players) to keep them sharp or rest them to avoid getting hurt?â€ť the Lincoln head coach asked. â€śIâ€™ve been going back and forth with this. I havenâ€™t really decided what weâ€™re going to do when we play them.â€ť
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 youâ€™d 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. Thatâ€™s why the Providence College senior wanted to make sure that the rest of the Friars knew that the Bears were no slouch.
â€śWe hear it from the fans, from Facebook, that Morgan State is no joke and that theyâ€™ve been to the NCAA Tournament the last two years,â€ť said Brooks. â€śIt was a different atmosphere.â€ť
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. Peterâ€™s of New Jersey, 6-2, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Menâ€™s 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.
Thereâ€™s 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?
Itâ€™s a question Davey Lopes is glad he doesnâ€™t 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 canâ€™t look past their next opponent. Sports writers shouldnâ€™t, either. But sometimes the temptation to look down the road is just too enticing.
When it comes to local high school football, whatâ€™s next is a two-day slate of Thanksgiving contests, which are â€śrivalryâ€ť games with not much at stake â€¦ except for East Providenceâ€™s 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.
â€śPariseau Field is pretty chewed up,â€ť 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.
Alyssa McCoart and Nicole Silva play softball in arguably the toughest division in Rhode Island â€“ the Division I-North circuit â€“ but after next spring, the competitionâ€™s going to get a whole lot tougher for these local senior standouts.
Thatâ€™s because the Lincoln High first baseman/pitcher and Mount St. Charles Academy third baseman, who are very good friends who have known each other since the eighth grade, will be taking their talents to the Division I collegiate level, and they made that official last week by signing National Letters of Intent to their respective schools.
The Division II football playoffs usually provide the most interesting competition every season when Rhode Island teams begin competing for Super Bowl berths.
D-II holds a big advantage over the other three divisions because it is the stateâ€™s largest league (16 teams). It invites eight teams to the playoffs instead of the four we find in other divisions. Its quarterfinals are held in the second week of November while the regular season is still going on elsewhere.