Archive - Nov 2012 - Sports Article
Tonightâs the night. High school footballâs version of the âSweet Sixteenâ. Four teams in each of the stateâs four divisions battling for the right to be the eight that will play for a Super Bowl championship this weekend.
Three local teams â Cumberland, Woonsocket, and North Smithfield â are among the 16 that will suit up tonight in their respective semifinal-round games, with the Clippers and Villa Novans playing Division II games in the friendly confines of their home fields and the Northmen heading to Providence for a Division IV contest.
PROVIDENCE â In a perfect world, Ed Cooley would have the luxury of bringing along Josh Fortune at a pace suitable for a freshman.
Instead of dipping his toe in the water and feeling his way around, Fortune has been tossed head first into the deep end of the pool. There would be no easing the 6-foot-5 guard into his new world, no spoon-feeding on a Providence College team where contributions these days are mandated, not expected.
Freshman seasons seldom get any better than the one Kelsey Lace enjoyed at The College of Saint Rose.
The Glendale resident and 2012 Mount St. Charles Academy graduate made a very seamless transition this year from R.I.âs top division in high school volleyball to the Northeast-10 Conference, and for her excellent efforts, she received a pair of prestigious honors.
WOONSOCKET â Thereâs something about âbackyard brawlsâ that bring out the best in Joe Gardner.
The Woonsocket Boxing Club super middleweight, who owns a 9-5-1 mark, is 6-1 in fights against opponents from Rhode Island and nearby communities in Massachusetts, and his only loss came in May 2010 when he decided to end a 6 1/2-year layoff by taking on New England champion Vladine Biosse on short notice.
PROVIDENCE â Thereâs a burden placed on Providenceâs Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton thatâs almost unrivaled in terms of their value to the team.
With point guard Vincent Council sidelined, the pressure falls squarely on Cotton and Henton to carry the load. Neither one can afford the luxury of an off night, particularly since there arenât too many proven scoring options behind them.
PROVIDENCE â Ed Cooley estimates that his coaching responsibilities account for â20 percentâ of his duties at Providence College.
Ask him just how much that small slice in an otherwise demanding pie means to him and Cooley will tell you pointblank that coaching supplies a jolt that by and large remains unmatched. The time he spends on the basketball floor alongside his assistants and players or in the video room breaking down tape is pure nirvana â not to mention a prime chance to reinforce what his primary job entails.
For the three area football squads fortunate enough to land a spot on the âTuesday Night Lightsâ dance card, it was back to work on Friday in preparation for their respective semifinal-round contests.
It goes without saying that the limited window between the Thanksgiving contests and a game filled with Super Bowl aspirations represents a busy stretch where mental preparation supersedes the physical aspect.
CUMBERLAND â A Big Blue tidal wave washed ashore Thanksgiving morning, a powerful force that proved to swallow Woonsocket High whole.
Cumberland High put on a holiday clinic in how to lick the plate clean, as the Clippers took it to the Novans, 32-0, in the 49th installment of this Turkey Day series. The two teams will now look toward next Tuesday and the Division II semifinals. Cumberland returns to Tucker Field against West Warwick while Woonsocket welcomes Central to Barry Field.
PAWTUCKET â There really is something to managing the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Taking a page out of the playbook that treated predecessors Ron Johnson and Torey Lovullo quite well, Tuesday saw Arnie Beyeler parlay his successful two-year run as Pawtucketâs skipper into a big-league coaching gig. More good news as Beyeler will jump from Pawtucket to Boston, where the 48-year-old will serve as the first-base coach on new manager John Farrellâs staff.
CUMBERLAND â Labeling the Thanksgiving game between Division II playoff participants Woonsocket and Cumberland as meaningless is utter blasphemy â at least in the eyes of the two head coaches.
Yes, there is the bigger picture to consider, stemming mainly from what awaits each squad upon the conclusion of Thursdayâs contest at Tucker Field. Come the following Tuesday, the Villa Novans and Clippers will engage in a game of high importance â a semifinal-round clash that will take place at the respective home fields and determine the field for the Division II Super Bowl.