Archive - 2012 - Sports Article
Just when you thought it was going to be awfully difficult to top all the great accomplishments and moments that took place in 2011...
Another wonderful year has passed in the Blackstone Valley, and 2012 supplied the regionâ€™s sports scene with an abundance of state championship teams, remarkable individual performances, and its Triple-A baseball team, the Pawtucket Red Sox, seizing its first Governorsâ€™ Cup title since 1984.
PROVIDENCE â€“ When this possibility â€“ Providence College playing at Brown â€“ was first rumored last spring, more than a few eyebrows were raised.
A school hailing from the Big East thatâ€™s willing to serve as the away team in a venue that houses an Ivy League participant? Surely you jest?
What was once thought a mere pipedream becomes reality Friday night when the Friars take the steep climb up Waterman Street before hanging a left onto Hope Street. A few blocks down sits the Pizzitola Center, home to the Bears and site for what is truly a rare occasion.
SMITHFIELD â€” Despite senior Brittany Bilodeauâ€™s ability to notch a team-leading 14 points, Tolman High started too slowly and eventually yielded a 41-24 triumph to Ponaganset High in a Red Division semifinal at the 26th annual Rhode Island Board of Girls Basketball Officials/Smithfield Boosters Club Holiday Classic at the Smithfield High gym late Wednesday afternoon.
The Tigers allowed seven first-half turnovers in the final 6:10 to enter the break down, 22-10, but did play well enough to keep it interesting through most of the final session.
PROVIDENCE â€” His primary outlet and source of pure enjoyment having been taken away, the question was then posed as to how Nyheem Sanders planned on incorporating competitive basketball back into his life.
It was a college career squarely on the bubble, and thatâ€™s where the story of this Pawtucket native begins.
No one wants to hear the message that Sanders was told in fall of 2011, when Bob Walsh, the menâ€™s basketball head coach at Rhode Island College, informed Sanders that he didnâ€™t figure into the Anchormenâ€™s plans for the upcoming season.
PAWTUCKET â€” One look at Tolman Highâ€™s roster and the questions immediately surface.
First of all, where are the underclassmen on it? Did someone forget to type their names on the roster? After all, there are only 13 players on it. You canâ€™t possibly skate a hockey team with that many players, can you?
Well, after two weekends of action, the Tigers are proof that, yes, you can skate, and do so successfully, with a number that low.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Stacie Wildenhain Venagro sat at a counter inside the Shake It Up Fitness & More studio, where she works as a part-time cardio kickboxing and â€śBoot Campâ€ť instructor, thumbing threw photos of her at the Golden Nugget Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 17.
She hadn't flown out west for the more typical reasons â€“ gambling and/or taking in a show or two. Instead, the 27-year-old Pawtucket native wanted to partake in the 2012 World Miss Fitness America Pageant.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Now that the fog has dispersed and Providence College along with the rest of its Catholic school brethren have succeeded in making a clean break from the Big East, now seems as good a time as any to raise the question of just how appealing a basketball-centric conference is in the eyes of potential recruits.
To that end, PC head coach Ed Cooley feels that the Catholic Seven and the still-to-be-determined additional schools have an excellent shot to thrive and prosper due to basketball serving as the main draw at every institution.
PROVIDENCE â€” Call it a solid first step for Ed Cooley and his new-look Providence Friars.
On a night that saw freshman Kris Dunn make an immediate impact, Providence overwhelmed Colgate, 79-45, before 6,033 at the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center. A point guard who on Tuesday night displayed an uncanny knack in finding his teammates, Dunn tossed 13 assists on his way to becoming the first PC player to reach double figures in said category in his first game with the program.
PAWTUCKET â€” Victims of two straight Division II-Central overtime losses, Shea High's players paid particularly close attention to head coach Matt Pita before facing league rival Tolman on Tuesday night.
â€śI just told the kids I wanted them to play hard â€¦ the basketball gods hadn't been really kind to us,â€ť Pita said. â€śOur goal was to take care of the basketball; we've been averaging over 25-plus turnovers a game, and we wanted to keep it under 20 while executing to our ability and controlling the tempo.â€ť
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” Call it a case of allâ€™s well that ends well.
Three days after putting their collective foot down, the fall sportsâ€™ coaches at East Providence High School received payment for their services on Monday morning. Townie athletic director Paul Amaral received confirmation from interim superintendant Dr. John DeGoes that the checks were available for pick up and distribution.
â€śPaul handed me my check, and that was that,â€ť stated Alex Butler, the head coach for boysâ€™ basketball and girlsâ€™ volleyball at East Providence.
PROVIDENCE â€” There are games against more noteworthy opponents on the horizon, yet itâ€™s probably a safe bet to assume that Providence College basketball fans have been eyeing Tuesdayâ€™s game against Colgate for quite some time.
The night will feature the long-anticipated debuts of two Friars. In freshman Kris Dunn, PC is hitching its wagon to a point guard, a critical position that suffered a major hit when Vincent Council went down in a heap in the season opener. In sophomore Sidiki Johnson, the Friars are receiving a rugged 6-foot-10 sort whoâ€™s expected shore up the low post.
For those in the sportsâ€™ media business, thereâ€™s no beating around the bush â€“ reporting Rhode Island high school hockey is always a game of catch-up.
Translation: Game takes place late Friday night; game doesnâ€™t hit the newspaper pages until Sunday. Such a cycle repeats Saturday with Mondayâ€™s edition representing the earliest chance to get something on the record.
Itâ€™s no secret that the art of communication is key to managing the Pawtucket Red Sox. Naturally the interaction with the players is a high priority, yet thereâ€™s also touching base with the major-league coaching staff or the front office, or with someone from the player development sector or even the Double-A manager.
No wonder why several of Gary DiSarcinaâ€™s predecessors made sure to have their cell phones close by while batting practice took place. Itâ€™s a 24/7 lifestyle wherein the PawSox manager must be on standby at all times and ready to field inquires from all walks of baseball life.
PAWTUCKET â€“ On the same day Gary DiSarcina was formally introduced as the 15th manager in Pawtucket Red Sox history, we thought it would be appropriate to engage in an â€śgetting to know you betterâ€ť exercise â€“ an opportunity to view through the lens of those who have engaged in past dealings with the new skipper in town.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ As of Friday afternoon, winter sports at East Providence High School are on ice. Time will tell if any sort of thawing-out action occurs.
In response to the fall sports coaches not receiving their pay, the winter sports coaches at E.P. have decided to cease all responsibilities and duties. The decision to take a hard line was started by boysâ€™ basketball head coach Alex Butler, who also coaches the Towniesâ€™ girlsâ€™ volleyball program.
WOONSOCKET â€” It wasnâ€™t pretty, not by any means, but Cumberland High head coach Deb Engels didnâ€™t care.
For the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, the Clippers had manufactured a regular-season triumph, this one a sloppy 38-22 affair against Division I-North rival Woonsocket on Thursday night.
EAST PROVIDENCE - After sweating out back-to-back nailbiters that werenâ€™t decided until the final seconds, East Providence was able to relax a bit on Thursday night and enjoy a blowout victory.
Sparked by a game-high 17 points from Mary Monagle and 14 points and as many rebounds by Taylor Wiggins, the Townies, who are back in Division II after a two-year stint in Division I, ran their young league record to 2-0 by rolling to a 58-38 crossover victory over Burrillville on their home floor.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The next manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox is a familiar face to New England baseball fans.
A baseball source confirmed Tuesday that former big-league infielder Gary DiSarcina will be formally introduced as the PawSoxâ€™ skipper at a press conference scheduled for Friday at McCoy Stadium. The 45-year-old DiSarcina replaces Arnie Beyeler, who was named Bostonâ€™s first-base coach last month.
PAWTUCKET â€” Professional catchers are part of a select fraternity and understand the physical grind which stems from crouching for nine innings a night multiplied by six or seventh months. Compound that with the never-ending pursuit of processing and distributing data regarding his teamâ€™s pitching staff, itâ€™s easy to see that these men play the sportâ€™s most demanding position.
PAWTUCKET â€” One doesnâ€™t have very far to look while tracking the barometer of pending success for this yearâ€™s St. Raphael Academy hoop squad.
Charles Correa is going to get his points by the bushel, the SRA senior demonstrating just that Saturday night in the finals of the 27th annual Dennis M Lynch Jr. Memorial Basketball Tournament.