Archive - 2011 - Sports Article
There was eight to 12 inches of snowfall on Thursday morning. Last Friday, it was about a foot. And for the season, close to 45 inches have hit the region.
Global warming? It doesnâ€™t seem that way.
The excessive snow this winter has certainly increased business at the chiropractorâ€™s office with the young and old alike getting their backs aligned after hours of shoveling the white stuff. But for high school athletics in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, it also has increased headaches for athletic directors, coaches and their athletes.
The state championships begin in less than a month at the Providence Career and Technical Academy and plenty of wrestlers, through their performances at in-state and out-of-state tournaments, have started to make their case as title favorite.
And with only a few big tournaments left this season (Capital City Classic in Concord, N.H. and the Methuen (Mass.) Invitational) Rhode Island wrestlers have represented themselves well on the New England stage.
The dual-meet season for R.I. boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ indoor track will officially wrap up by Tuesday of next week, barring another snowstorm (or two?).
Thatâ€™s just the warm-up.
Beginning late next week, teams will be duking it out at the Providence Athletic Facility in their respective divisional championships. A week later, theyâ€™re back on the oval in their class meets and then on Saturday, Feb. 19, schools statewide will compete on the big stage in the annual state championships.
For our local athletes and teams, a lot can happen in those next few weeks.
PROVIDENCE â€“ For Ricky Ledo, itâ€™s games like Providence Collegeâ€™s 83-68 vanquishing of No. 8 Villanova on Wednesday night that has the Providence native convinced he made the right call.
WOONSOCKET â€” If anything, the announcement that Rocco Baldelli is retiring after a seven-year pro career and eight months shy of his 30th birthday should be viewed as an outpouring of relief for the Woonsocket native.
What was Baldelli? A good player, who showed flashes of talent that bordered on the greatness, the modern day answer to Napoleon Lajoie and Gabby Hartnett, two Hall of Famers with firm ties to the Blackstone Valley.
This is truly the winter of our discontent when it comes to weather and high school sports schedules. The seemingly weekly snowstorms in Rhode Island have created a backlog of makeup games in all sports, none more so than in boysâ€™ basketball, where a compressed schedule this season necessitated a natural three-game week even before Mother Nature threatened to turn the month of February into an NBA-like marathon for high school student/athletes.
PAWTUCKET â€” In a game of runs, it was Shea High that had the big one at the end, and with it, a hard-fought Division II crossover victory.
The Raiders rattled off 11 straight points to ignite a 21-8 run in the final 7:48 of their duel with Cumberland High on Tuesday night and come away with a 73-62 win on their home floor that gave them their fifth victory in their last six games.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There were coaches from North Kingstown and Bishop Hendricken sitting in the stands to view Mondayâ€™s Division I crossover between Woonsocket and St. Raphael. No doubt they came to see Charles Correa, Cesar Mejia and Trevor Vasey and the rest of SRAâ€™s starting five, but the coaches were probably just as likely to jot down notes pertaining to Jordan Peguero, Ben Pillsbury and Franklin Batista.
Mixed martial arts or boxing?
That has been the million dollar question surrounding Andre Soukhamthath these days. Should the talented amateur pursue a pro career in MMA, where heâ€™s 4-0 with two big title fights on deck, or should he try to make a living in boxing, where heâ€™s 4-2 and last October, captured a championship belt at the Rocky Marciano Tournament?
PAWTUCKET â€” Most pro football experts figured Kelsey Fournier and her New England Patriots cheerleader teammates would have spent a chilly Sunday evening outdoors at Gillette Stadium, coaxing freezing fans into making noise for the home team in the AFC championship game.
Instead, the New York Jets ousted the favored Patriots last Sunday in the conference semifinals, ending the season for players, fans and cheerleaders alike.