Archive - Sports Article
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ Despite competing without several of its better wrestlers, Tolman High showed it could be a contender in Division II this season with an impressive 45-33 victory over a solid Hope team on Thursday evening.
Tolman and Hope both picked up easy wins over shorthanded Central Falls, which fielded only four wrestlers during a 75-6 loss to Tolman and three in an 84-0 burial by Hope.
WOONSOCKET â€” The numbers game was truly unkind to the Lincoln boysâ€™ swim team in its one-win campaign from a winter ago, and that was clearly evident in the final weeks of the season, when the Lions were forced to go into meets with just six swimmers at their disposal.
But this season, the numbers are high for the Lions, and so are their expectations at returning to their winning ways.
PROVIDENCE â€” You know that the Providence Friars are involved in a tight, white-knuckle affair when Ed Cooley emphatically removes his sport jacket and flings it in the general direction of the bench.
When it was all over and PC had secured a hard-fought 76-74 win over upset-minded Yale on Tuesday night before 3,281 patrons, Cooley immediately honed in on his teamâ€™s porous defense, one that came oh-so-close to allowing the Bulldogs to waltz out of the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center with an eyebrow-raising victory.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Now that the sobering news regarding Kris Dunnâ€™s unavailability for the seasonâ€™s duration has sunk in, the question becomes just how exactly Providence College plans to cope for the long haul.
If thereâ€™s a way to somehow cushion the loss of the only tried-and-true point guard at Ed Cooleyâ€™s disposal, itâ€™s that the Friars have been down this road before. Spread over four games, Dunn logged 106 painful minutes. PC registered 405 minutes in the 10 games leading up to the exam break, the bulk of those minutes featuring Bryce Cotton as the on-floor maestro.
CUMBERLAND â€“ This will be Steve Gordonâ€™s 46th consecutive season at the helm of his Cumberland High wrestling program, and â€“ as has been the case for the previous 45 â€“ he arrived at Monday afternoonâ€™s practice session at least 30 minutes beforehand.
As always, he does so to greet his grapplers, check on possible injuries or illnesses (i.e. football) and/or prepare them for the task at hand: Getting physically and mentally primed for another premier campaign.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” Tom Sienkiewicz has been bringing his Providence Country Day basketball team to the Dennis M. Lynch Jr. Memorial Tournament for seven years without a championship â€“ until Saturday night, that is.
â€śWe finally got lucky,â€ť the former Villanova University guard from the early 1980s joked after his Knights rolled to a 68-48 victory over Central Falls in the championship game, ending St. Raphael Academyâ€™s three-year reign as tourney champ.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High opened its season with a performance that both revealed the potential and the vulnerability of what appears to be a talented squad.
The Tigers roared to a 65-43 victory over Central Falls in a Division II crossover contest. The Tigers played a physical game, took the ball to the basket, looked for the fast break, and turned the ball over 22 times in their eagerness to push the ball up-court. They missed 16 of their 31 free throws.
PAWTUCKET â€” While the Red Sox are expressing confidence that the search to find the next PawSox manager will be wrapped up by Christmas, donâ€™t be surprised if official word filters out before the holidays.
Why the organization has nothing to announce at this time is likely two-fold. While all signs point to current Double-A skipper Kevin Boles moving to the front lines of the minor-league system, the 38-year-old is presently coaching a winter league team in Venezuela, Bravos de Margarita.
PAWTUCKET â€” Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine had heard whispers that PCD was pretty good, which in turn had the veteran St. Raphael mentor quite concerned heading into Thursdayâ€™s opening semifinal of the Dennis M. Lynch Memorial Tournament.
Ready or not, a new Rhode Island high school boysâ€™ basketball season beckons.
For several area squads, Thursday serves as the grand unveiling â€“ a clean slate for all involved parties with role players looking to blossom into stars, and stars seeking to take their team to the next level.
PROVIDENCE â€” As Kris Dunnâ€™s high school coach noted, â€śYou really have to feel for the young man.â€ť
You feel for the youngster because all roads pointed to the 2013-14 season as one that held much promise. The 19-year-old point guard from nearby New London, Conn. was healthy and ready to serve as the conductor of the Friarsâ€™ offense.
Yet in a chilling reminder that even the best-laid plans can vanish in a cloud of smoke, one nasty spill in a preseason game ended up changing the fortune and expectations of both Dunn and the Providence team.
Deb Engels seemed remarkably upbeat as she readied her Cumberland High girls' hoop team for a two-plus hour practice at the Wellness Center on Monday afternoon.
You'd figure her mind-set instead would border on concern, given the fact she'll return only one starter â€“ her daughter Kate â€“ from a team that closed last year's Division I-North campaign with a dismal 4-14 mark.
The league should be highly-competitive once more, but Engels expects this season's crop to be more than capable of doing some damage.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Back on June 28, in Miami, the cityâ€™s own Stacie (Wildenhain) Venagro wanted desperately to capture the Miss Fitness Universe Pro Division crown, but admittedly felt disappointed when judges deemed Anca Bucur of Romania the champion.
She lost that competition by a final score of 147.65-145.35, or a mere total of 2.30 points.
So perturbed by her runner-up finish, the 28-year-old Venagro boosted her training regimen 10-fold â€“ or more.
â€śI knew I had to pick it up a couple of notches,â€ť she stated. â€śI wanted to be the best of the best because I compete in the pro division.â€ť
CRANSTON â€“ The expression goes, â€śif itâ€™s not broke, donâ€™t fix it.â€ť
In all honesty, there was very little reason for West Warwick to stray from the defensive scheme that had proven most successful in the Wizardsâ€™ 14-0 regular-season victory over Cumberland. The blueprint on how to contain and/or slow down Tyler Calabro, Chris Hayes, Joe Fine, Mike Stock and the rest of the Clippersâ€™ offense had been established, hence why Wizards defensive coordinator Chris Craik likely didnâ€™t have to endure too many restless nights leading up to Sundayâ€™s Division II Super Bowl contest at Cranston Stadium.
CRANSTON â€“ Cumberland High senior tackle Ricky Goodreau's response to what had just transpired at Cranston Stadium summed up his teamâ€™s collective mood early Sunday evening, as he walked slowly away from the post-game huddle near midfield with tears in his eyes, then raised his helmet with his right hand and knocked it softly against his forehead.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Ed Cooley had something he wished to get off his chest.
Call his remarks a summary of the first-semester portion of Providenceâ€™s 2013-14 hoops odyssey. â€śI would love to coach the team that weâ€™ve recruited, I really would,â€ť said the head coach, his exasperated face painting a picture of how strenuous the past six weeks have been. â€śFor seven weeks, we prepared to play a particular style. In one day, that style had to change.â€ť
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ That wasnâ€™t a basketball game that took place at the Ryan Center Thursday. That was a rock fight.
Or considering the stare down at center court that Dan Hurley and Ed Cooley engaged in with 3:55 remaining â€“ one that also contained a few verbal jabs for good measure â€“ perhaps they should have put the basketballs away and slapped a pair of boxing gloves on the two head coaches.
Style points were definitely at a premium, but oh, what a conclusion the Friars and Rams staged.
What would it take for the stateâ€™s four Division I menâ€™s basketball programs to get together for an in-season, round-robin tournament?
Depends on which school representative you speak with.
â€śAnything we could do to grow interest, whether it be a doubleheader, a tournament or anything like that, we would be all for it,â€ť stated Brown head coach Mike Martin.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Validation in the form of a job well done was bestowed upon Gary DiSarcina Thursday, as the former Pawtucket Red Sox manager was named Baseball Americaâ€™s 2013 Minor-League Manager of the Year.
In his first and only season at the helm, DiSarcina guided the International League North division title with an 80-63 record. The PawSox accomplished that while employing the services of 64 different players during the regular-season (30 position players and 34 pitchers).
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€” Ed Cooley has a grand vision for the stateâ€™s annual college basketball passion play â€“ Providence versus Rhode Island.
â€śMy goal is to get this game on CBS on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon,â€ť proclaimed the Friarsâ€™ head coach. â€śWhen you do that, you know that both programs are getting there. Take nothing away from the other channels, and I donâ€™t want to be disrespectful to anybody, but when youâ€™re talking about trying to nationally brand your two schools, I think thatâ€™s our ultimate goal.â€ť