Archive - Sports Article
November 20th, 2011
Central Falls and North Smithfield arenâ€™t Thanksgiving football rivals but the two Division IV playoff teams are inextricably linked this week.
They are linked because if North Smithfield defeats Scituate on Thursday morning, it wins No. 1 seed in next weekâ€™s playoffs and would host No. 4 seed Central Falls in the semifinal round scheduled for next Tuesday evening.
â€śI donâ€™t want my guys to overlook Scituate,â€ť North Smithfield coach Wes Pennington said on Sunday when the potential playoff matchup with Central Falls was raised.
PROVIDENCE â€“ During a time when school budgets are slashed and teachers are in dire need for resources and incentives for their students, National Grid Foundation scored an assist in providing a $30,000 grant to support the Providence Hoops for the Stars Program.
Hoops for the Stars is a partnership program that provides inner-city students with the opportunity to earn tickets to Providence College menâ€™s basketball games in return for hard work in the classroom and positive behavior in the community.
Ponaganset and Burrillville could both use a win on Thursday to finish their seasons with a good taste in their mouths.
Each squad struggled this season. Ponaganset missed the playoffs with a 3-4 record in Division II-B while Burrillville suffered through a 1-7 season in Division III.
Burrillville won this holiday game 21-0 last year on its home field. The Broncos lead the series, 14-11.
WOONSOCKET â€” It has been said more than a few times that success in high school sports comes in cycles. Talented players sometimes come in cohesive groups of classmates who win games from middle school on up through high school. And when they graduate, sometimes the cupboard is empty.
That could be the story of Woonsocket Highâ€™s football program, which won the last two Division II Super Bowls before falling back to earth this season, finishing 1-6 in league action.
WOONSOCKET â€” Mount St. Charles Academy will be kicking off 2012 in style -- with a non-league showdown against a formidable Central Mass. foe at Fenway Park.
Mount coach Dave Belisle reported on Thursday that the four-time defending champions will face off with powerhouse Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass. on Monday, Jan. 2 in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap of a tripleheader at the home of the Boston Red Sox.
An added treat to the game is that the proceeds from it will benefit the victims of the tornado that struck Springfield on June 1.
WOONSOCKET â€” It seems like a very long time ago, but itâ€™s been only a decade since Woonsocket High was considered one of the competitive teams in the Met B-North ranks, racking up double digits in victories and making solid runs in the playoffs year after year.
Unfortunately for the Villa Novans, a lot has changed since their last winning season as a Met B (now Division II) team eight years ago. Only twice have they posted a winning record -- in Division III -- and last season, they hit rock bottom with a 1-15 mark that saw them get outscored 161-18.
Only in New England can you be sitting in an audience, watching a great presentation of Hamlet by the Gamm Theatre acting company of Pawtucket, when during intermission a man turns around in his seat and asks: â€śWhoâ€™s going to be the next manager of the Red Sox?â€ť
The interrogator was Bobby Fields, a former Pawtucket West student-athlete. He probably wonâ€™t recognize the rest of this but Shakespeare might.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” The playoffs for Division IV begin Nov. 29 with a pair of semifinal contests.
Right now, one of the hottest team heading into the postseason just be North Smithfield.
After falling to Smithfield back on Sept. 30, the Northmen have won five straight games, mostly against the upper-echelon of divisional squads.
En route to its current 5-2 mark, one that ties the local gridders with the Sentinels for second place in the league, N.S. has knocked off two undefeated teams (Exeter/West Greenwich, Mount Pleasant) and two others with winning records (Smithfield, Central Falls).
It's often said that passion in athletics among our youths has been lost. With all the distractions that kids have nowadays, such as video games, computers and iPods, the younger generation has been more inclined to sit down and punch keys or work a remote than dedicate themselves to a sport (or sports).
The decline in roster numbers and the empty fields and basketball courts on a daily basis has proven that some of that is true.
But the passion hasn't disappeared completely. There is still that urge to test one's strength to its physical and mental limits among some of our youths.
For Rhode Island high school football teams, playing on Thanksgiving is hailed as one of those holiday traditions you canâ€™t live without, itâ€™s so-called importance ranking up there with the Macyâ€™s Day Parade, awkward dinner-time conversations and endless turkey leftovers.