A little of this, a little of that as we bid adieu to 2011 …
Ryan O’Dell will have to sit tight and wait his turn for the URI baseball team, the Lincoln native’s redshirt status for this coming spring the result of findings by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The initial-eligibility organization launched its investigation into O’Dell’s high school transcript during the middle of the fall ball season, a time when the freshman had visions of making major strides toward landing a substantial role.
Both Ryan’s father, Dale, and Rhody head coach Jim Foster confirmed Thursday that Ryan won’t suit up for the Rams until 2013.
“He ended up a half-credit short in math where we had no idea,” stated Dale O’Dell. “He had to get shut down during the review process, meaning he couldn’t practice with the team the rest of the fall. That kind of put him behind the eight-ball.”
URI and Lincoln High officials worked tirelessly together on Ryan’s behalf but to no avail. The NCAA deemed the former three-sport standout a partial qualifier, a final decision that made clear what the next step should entail on Foster’s end. By sitting out the 2012 campaign, O’Dell retains all four years of eligibility. In addition he can use the downtime to clear up any lingering academic matters that led to this unexpected turn of events.
“They think a real lot of Ryan and what he can bring to the program,” Dale O’Dell said, noting that the athletic scholarship package awarded to his youngest of three children is not in jeopardy.
Ryan O’Dell will be allowed to sit on the bench in full uniform and practice with the Rams. At the moment he is projected to line up somewhere on the left side of the infield with catcher and pitcher possibilities also bandied about. This summer he’ll forgo his final year of eligibility for Cumberland Post 14 to play for Martha’s Vineyard as part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, which uses wooden bats.
“The coaches have told him that we’re going to look back at this and realize this was one of the best things to happen to him in the long run,” Dale O’Dell remarked. “We probably won’t see that for awhile but you’ve just got to be patient.”
We’ll stay with the O’Dell clan with news of oldest sibling Bethany serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Lincoln High girls’ basketball team, under the direction of first-year head coach Andy Hallam. Arguably the finest female player to suit up for the Lions, Bethany recently returned to the area as a marketer for Reebok in Canton, Mass. following a stay at the company’s Miami-based location.
Soon the itch to return to basketball resurfaced for 23-year-old Bethany, who went on to enjoy a productive career at Holy Cross before a mysterious illness known as compartment syndrome short-circuited her senior year.
“I think this is her way to stay in basketball and give back to the program,” Dale O’Dell said. “She was a big part of Lincoln basketball.”
Time constraints related to her job limit how much Bethany is around the Lincoln program, hence the volunteer title. When she is present, the Lion players are able to put a name to the jersey that proudly hangs in the high school’s gym and receive tips and pointers from someone who not too long ago was in their shoes.
Time will tell if Bethany (LHS Class of 2006) wishes to further pursue a career in coaching, but according to her father, she already has the lingo down.
“She comes home and sounds like I did when I coached, saying ‘I can’t believe this, this and this,” Dale O’Dell shared. “I told her that as a coach, you only have so much you can control.”
In another example of remembering one’s roots, Kayla Fleming has joined the Tolman girls’ basketball program as an assistant coach. Fleming played two years for Tigers head coach Tammy Drape before pursuing track full-time. Eventually she landed a scholarship to the University of Hartford before transferring to Rhode Island College. In 2009 as a senior, Fleming earned All-American honors in the high jump.
Fleming is already part of the coaching staff at Tolman, serving as the leader of the girls’ cross-country program and an assistant to girls’ outdoor track.
There’s a legitimate reason why junior Dylan Boisclair wasn’t patrolling the paint for the Cumberland High boys’ basketball team at this past week’s Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Holiday Tournament. A first baseman/pitcher, Boisclair was busy showcasing his talents at the Baseball Factory’s Christmas Camp & Tournament, located at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ spring training facility in Bradenton, Fla.
Another Clipper will have a chance to boost his recruiting stock when junior catcher Matt Bare heads to Tucson, Ariz. for the Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament, set for Jan. 13-15.
The word is that Marist College has joined the University of Albany in the pursuit of St. Raphael Academy junior point guard Charles Correa.
According to the Register-Guard, it’s anybody’s guess regarding the return of Tyrone Nared to the Oregon men’s basketball program. A Woonsocket native, Nared missed his fifth straight game Thursday night with what’s described as “a small tear in the knee’s medial collateral ligament.”
The injury occurred to Nared’s left knee Dec. 12 against Portland State. On the season the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 5.4 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.