Archive - Nov 2010 - Sports Article
NORTH SMITHFIELD â On paper, it appears unbeaten Mount Pleasant and once-beaten Exeter/West Greenwich are the favorites to meet in the Division IV Super Bowl.
On the field, coaches from both schools are not overlooking third-place North Smithfield, which lost close games on the road to the two teams ahead of them in the standings.
The Northmen dropped a 26-22 verdict to EWG back on Oct. 9 and then hung tough with Mount Pleasant on Nov. 6, falling by a 28-22 score to a Kilties team that outscored its opponents 291-103 during the regular season.
With its stone-bricked structure and its round towers, the Cranston Street Armory resembled a castle.
Inside the dingy old building in the west end of Providence, it was anything but a castle. The former site of indoor track for the Rhode Island Interscholastic League housed a 176-yard wooden oval whose loose boards often creaked. On any given wintry night, heat was sometimes an option and the excessive dust that floated around the air would burn your throat.
WOONSOCKET â Woonsocket High is holding one major ace in the hole heading into Tuesday nightâs Division II semifinal showdown against Chariho.
The Villa Novansâ defense comes to play every game, and gives up touchdowns only on the rarest of occasions. Woonsocket shut out six opponents this year and allowed only 20 points in eight games against Division II foes this season. Division II-B champion Tolman dented Woonsocket for one score in a 6-0 win back in September and Mount Hope collected 14 in a 34-14 loss in late October.
t this time of the year, many college and high school football teams compete against traditional Thanksgiving opponents. We call them rivalry games, contests that are played for âbragging rightsâ and even, in rare cases, for league championships.
The advent of playoffs has diminished these games over the years. In college ball, radical reformers want to take it one step farther, creating a national championship for Division I teams that would completely dilute the meaning of bowl games while also extending the season deep into January or even into the first weekend of February.
CUMBERLAND - Oswald "Pepe" Torres sensed the ball was coming his way. When it did, the Woonsocket High senior leaped high in the air, caught the ball and ran 70 yards for a touchdown.
Torres interception return at the start of the fourth quarter of Thursday's Thanksgiving Day showdown versus host Cumberland turned into the crucial play of the day as the Villa Novans survived a hard-fought 14-0 verdict over the Clippers at Tucker Field.
The victory is the fourth straight for the Villa Novans, who are back on the field this Tuesday for a Division II semifinal contest at Chariho.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â The North Smithfield football team just keeps raising the bar in this breakout season.
The Northmen rolled to a 44-6 victory over Scituate on Wednesday night, an impressive outing that sets them up for next Tuesdayâs Division IV playoff semifinal contest against Exeter/West Greenwich.
âWe wanted to finish the regular season on a roll,â Northmen coach Wes Pennington admitted after Wednesdayâs game ended. âAnd I think we did. Now we can finally focus on EWG.â
Thereâs no need to panic over the Red Sox losing Victor Martinez to Detroit in a free agent signing on Tuesday. The Red Sox will find a catcher somewhere. It would be better if they could develop one through their farm system but their best prospect is at least two years away from competing for a big league job.
WOONSOCKET â As a vice principal at Woonsocket High, Carnell Henderson appreciates how important a responsible senior class is to the schoolâs younger students, who watch their older colleagues and see how they handle certain situations.
As head football coach, Henderson knows his team depends upon senior leadership to carry the younger players through some of the tougher moments in a season full of challenges.
With the 2010 season building to a climax over the next two weeks, Henderson feels confident his Villa Novans are ready for the biggest test of their young careers.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â Itâs never an easy task to go from an 0-9 season to a playoff campaign in just two seasons, and second-year North Smithfield head coach Wes Pennington recognized that last week when he talked about his Northmenâs past, present, and future.
The Northmen are enjoying one of their finest seasons and will be marching to the playoffs for the first time in the teamâs 43-year history. Their 5-2 mark was their best record since 1997 and good enough for a third-place finish in the Division IV circuit and the No. 3 seed in next weekâs postseason.
FOSTER â Bad timing may best describe Ponaganset Highâs move up to the Division II ranks this season.
Behind a talented core of players that included a pair of all-staters in Nick Keeling and Josh Morgan, the Chieftains captured the last two of the past three Div. III crowns to convince the alignment committee that it was time for a move to the higher division.