Archive - Sports Article
April 2nd, 2013
PAWTUCKET â After ending a 28-year Governorsâ Cup drought last season, the Pawtucket Red Sox will defend their title while holding true to the organizationâs No. 1 creed â put players in a position where if an opportunity arises in Boston, theyâre ready to answer the call.
PAWTUCKET --- After hitting bullets last September to help spark the Pawtucket Red Soxâs magical run to the Governorsâ Cup championship, Bryce Brentz nearly had a bullet end his 2013 season long before it began.
What started out as a routine cleaning of a handgun three months ago in his Knoxville, Tenn. home nearly resulted in tragedy for the power-hitting right fielder, who was tabbed as the No. 8 ranked prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization by Baseball America.
PROVIDENCE â In his travels around the state following the 2012-13 season, whenever Ed Cooley has crossed paths Providence College basketball fans, they have met him with big smiles and thanks for providing hope for the future.
As far away as it may seem, PCâs fan base canât wait for the 2013-14 season to tip off. They see the cast that is scheduled to return for the Friars â fingers crossed on that front âalong with two transfers and two incoming freshmen, and hope the mix contains the necessary ingredients to end what is a near-decade NCAA Tournament drought.
Spend time in the company of Andrew Veiga and youâll discover why this young man possesses such a keen sense of direction. The course he mapped out is so precise, with every last detail accounted for, that itâs easy to confuse him for a cartographer rather than a high school student-athlete whose forte is baseball.
It wasnât that long ago when parity was the name of the game in the Division I ranks.
In those days, the competition was so balanced that as many as 9-10 teams entered each season with a realistic chance at state championship glory. And during in an 11-year stretch from 2001-2011, nine different teams enjoyed their moments in the spotlight with the championship plaque.
PAWTUCKET --- You can tell a business is booming when after three months in operation, the owners have been so busy that they havenât found the time to plan a Grand Opening ceremony.
Thatâs been the case with the ownership group of DH Hitting, LLC, a baseball and softball indoor training facility on 70 Vineyard St. in Pawtucket that opened its doors last Nov. 16 and hasnât slowed down since the very first swings were taken in their batting tunnels.
What is one telltale sign that an organization is doing well from a financial standpoint? Answer: When a revenue-sharing plan is met with a ringing endorsement by the powers-that-be.
âWeâre all in this together,â is the phrase Tom Mezzanotte, executive director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, used shortly the approval of a revenue-sharing program at the March 18 Principalsâ Committee on Athletics meeting. The unanimous vote (10-0) green lights the distribution of profits that are leftover once all the RIILâs expenses are all squared away to the 55 member high schools.
Tolman High softball players Ashley Clark (left) and Ashley Hessler signed their respective Letters of Intent during a ceremony held last week inside the schoolâs library. A Second Team All-State selection as a junior, Clark will continue her playing career at Division II Assumption College. A Se-cond Team All-Division selection as a junior, Hessler will take her talents to Connecticutâs University of Bridgeport, a Division II participant.
Within every road trip, there lies a theme. Sometimes itâs apparent the moment the car pulls out of the driveway. Other times, you may elect to start impulse free, the mind filled with vagaries. Then the theme emerges later.
The main objective of Providence Collegeâs sojourn deep into the heart of Texas is short and succinct. The theme is this â âGet to the Garden.â
PROVIDENCE â A small, sly grin quickly formed on Ed Cooleyâs face upon being asked about reaching out to members of the coaching fraternity with firsthand knowledge of Robert Morris University.
Venturing a guess based on his facial expression, the Providence head coach set some time aside over the weekend to put feelers out. If undertaking the quest of learning more about the Colonials is Cooleyâs pleasure, a valuable resource is located just up the road.
PROVIDENCE â The wounds from Providence Collegeâs 17-point loss to Cincinnati were still in need of suturing when Ed Cooley sat down at a podium inside Madison Square Garden. Clearly determined to not wallow in self-pity following the Friarsâ latest one-and-done result in the Big East Tournament, the head coach elected to use the forum to look down the road.
PROVIDENCE â After months of silence on the comings and goings of the re-configured Big East, Providence College officials had plenty to say Wednesday.
Staging a press conference that served as the lead-in for the PC-Charlotte NIT battle, School President the Rev. Brian J. Shanley and Athletic Director Bob Driscoll spoke for roughly 30 minutes about a wide range of Big East-related topics. The PC power pair not only broke down the leagueâs new structure, they also revealed why they have been so close-mouthed in public over recent weeks.
CENTRAL FALLS â The past five months or so have been hectic for Jim Bourgault, though he wouldn't have it any other way.
When he's not working as an assistant supervisor in Teknor Apex's Plastics Division, or tending to his wife, Jean, and their three children and two grandchildren, Bourgault is busy weight training in his garage behind his Hunt Street home.
Naturally, he's nicknamed it the âPowerasylum.â
PAWTUCKET â The Lincoln/Cumberland Co-op girlsâ hockey squad had just suffered a tough 5-2 decision to the combined Barrington/Mount Hope/Portsmouth club on Thursday night, March 7, at Brown University.
That, coupled with the Lionsâ 6-5 double-overtime defeat in the first game of this-best-of-three R.I. Division II Tournament championship series, meant the second-year program hadnât captured its dream of capturing the state crown.
PROVIDENCE â While the immediate future of Rhode Island high school co-op teams does not appear threatened, concern appears to be mounting about the direction the practice is heading.
A portion of Mondayâs gathering of the Principalsâ Committee on Athletics focused on a myriad of topics that have to do with the validity of cooperative programs. The fact-finding mission is already underway -- a committee tasked by the Interscholastic League to weigh the pros and cons of co-ops recently sent out a three-page survey to principals and athletic directors.
PROVIDENCE â Validation that the Providence College menâs basketball program is heading in the right direction came Sunday night in the form of receiving a first-round home game in the National Invitational Tournament.
PC will welcome Charlotte to The Dunk Wednesday night for a 7:15 tip. The Friars are seeded fourth in a region while the 49ers of the Atlantic 10 are the fifth seed. Wednesdayâs winner advances to face the victor of Kentucky-Robert Morris, a contest set for Tuesday night. Second-round NIT matchups are scheduled for March 21-25.
Head coach James Riel, back, holds the Div. II championship plaque as the Lincoln High School boys hockey team celebrates their sudden death overtime win over Prout 3-2 for the Division II state championship on the ice at Meehan Auditorium Saturday.
PROVIDENCE â Lincoln High wasnât at its best against the Prout School on Thursday night.
Not only did the Lions go 0-for-4 on the power play for the game, but during their last man advantage with less than six minutes left, it not only failed to capitalize, but yielded the Crusaders a shorthanded goal.
But thanks largely to the play of sophomore goalie Chris Leclaire and his 28 stunning saves, the Lions survived with a 3-2 verdict over Prout in the initial game of this best-of-three R.I. Division II Tournament championship series at Brown University's Meehan Auditorium.
NEW YORK â As one Cincinnati make after another settled into the nets at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, the frustration level in Kadeem Batts seemed to rise by the minute.
The Bearcats, desperate for a win that would keep them in the NCAA Tournament mix, were playing loose and free.
On the flip side, Batts and his Providence College teammates were tight and resembled the unit that got off to a dreadful 2-7 start in Big East play â not the one that closed the regular season white-hot with seven wins in nine tries.
NEW YORK â For one final time, the Providence player with deep New York City roots trudged off the floor at Madison Square Garden with an empty feeling in his stomach.
Vincent Councilâs last chance at Big East Tournament glory resembled his previous three experiences at this hallowed cathedral â with the Friars serving as an all-too familiar one-and-done casualty. As a result, the senior point guard hailing from Brooklyn is left to ponder whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.