Archive - 2013 - Sports Article
Even on the phone, Chris Skurka came across as a happy camper. Call such â€śmerrinessâ€ť not in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, but rather it is based solely on the fact that his Cumberland football outfit does not have to concern itself with a semifinal-round game on Tuesday night.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“ Kevin may be the youngest of the six Keenan boys, but he still recalls the fondest moments of his childhood: How his father, Paul, would rave about the prospect of watching his sons represent North Smithfield High's varsity football team â€“ together.
â€śWe'd be sitting in front of the TV watching the Patriots, or be at the supper table, and Dad would bring it up, how we all could play together one day,â€ť offered Kevin of those instances a decade or more ago. â€śI don't know if he knew it, but we were thinking the same thing.â€ť
PROVIDENCE -- Ed Cooley and his Providence College Friars ended up playing eight games in November. It nevertheless seemed that all took a backseat to the reoccurring storylines and hot topics that remain just as fervent as the calendar flips to the second month of the college basketball season.
WOONSOCKET â€” With the Division II Super Bowl looming a week from Sunday, Cumberland High veteran mentor Chris Skurka took a somewhat conservative approach to the annual Thanksgiving morning clash with Woonsocket on chilly, gusty Thursday.
In an effort not to â€śbreakâ€ť any key spokes in his wheel, he chose not to start senior tailback Mike Stock; he wanted him to get some rest after he rushed for four touchdowns and 145 yards (with one catch for another paydirt) in his Clippers' 49-35 semifinal triumph over St. Raphael last Friday night.
SCITUATE â€“ An important piece to the Division IV playoff puzzle was settled Thursday morning at wind swept and bitterly cold Caito Field.
Led by three rushing touchdowns from senior Dylan Naradowy, North Smithfield locked up the No. 3 seed in convincing fashion with a 53-20 whitewashing of holiday foe Scituate. Had the Spartans prevailed, they would have pushed the Northmen to the fourth position, which would have resulted in a semifinal-round date with regular-season champion and top-seed North Providence.
LINCOLN â€“ The hope was to blend in as the new kid in a new high school.
But that wasnâ€™t a luxury afforded to Thaddeus Moss, and it didnâ€™t take this precocious young football player long to realize that he wasnâ€™t in Kentucky or West Virginia any more.
Moss arrived at Lincoln High School in March, and the schoolâ€™s lights seemingly became more luminous the moment he was spotted in the hallways. He was commanding nonstop attention, though in an entirely different fashion as what he was accustomed to on the gridiron.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Bitterness can serve as an amazing motivator.
Carnell Henderson is electing to draw from the acidic flavor that crossed the taste buds of his Woonsocket High football program two weekends ago, when St. Raphael ended the Novansâ€™ Division II playoff pursuit with a 15-14 quarterfinal-round loss. The gargantuan head of steam that has been pent up since that Saturday afternoon of heartbreak figures to get unleashed come Thursday morning when longtime holiday rival Cumberland treks to Barry Field.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” For the first time in recent memory, North Smithfield High's Thanksgiving morning tilt at Division IV rival Scituate will have more on the line than mere casual alumni interest and bragging rights for the victor.
With a triumph, the Northmen â€“ which have already sealed a semifinal berth â€“ will earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and battle Exeter/West Greenwich at its home at 7 p.m., Tuesday.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” It was early in the second quarter of a non-league tilt against Plainfield, Conn. on Friday night, Nov. 1 when North Smithfield High junior tailback Nick Cicerone hustled out of his stance to snag a middle screen pass from classmate Cody DeMarie.
Little did he know at the time it could be his last snap of the Northmen's so-far successful campaign.
â€śA lineman tipped it, but I went up for it and caught it,â€ť the younger Cicerone stated while watching a recent practice from the sideline. He immediately paused and looked at a teammate.
There was nearly an oversight committed as Cumberland and Woonsocket looked to stay the course in the high school football playoff arms race.
Now that the postseason sabers have officially been placed in the Villa Novansâ€™ closet and off to the side for the time being for the Clippers, itâ€™s officially time to talk turkey â€“ as in the annual Thanksgiving Day contest involving these two longtime Blackstone Valley rivals. The latest chapter takes place this Thursday morning with a scheduled 10:30 a.m. kickoff at Woonsocketâ€™s Barry Field.