Archive - Sports Article
February 23rd, 2011
Over the years, the final weekend of the high school hockey regular season had always featured plenty of drama and storylines. Regular-season titles on the line. Teams pursuing higher seeds. Others fighting for late playoff berths.
Unfortunately for local fans, there wonât be much suspense this weekend.
A big reason is because only five boysâ teams from the area qualified for their respective tournaments. Four of the five teams that didnât make it were long eliminated from postseason consideration, while a fifth, Lincoln, saw its run at a playoff berth come to an end last weekend.
NORTH SMITHFIELD --- A very difficult season for Lincoln High came to a rough end on Wednesday afternoon at the hands of a tough non-tough team -- St. Johnâs High of Shrewsbury, Mass.
The 12th-ranked team in the Eastern Mass. polls showed the small gathering at the Rhode Island Sports Center why they are among the teams vying for a berth in their stateâs Division IA âSuper Eightâ tournament by skating to a 6-1 victory over the Lions.
CUMBERLAND â The elite seedings for this weekendâs state wrestling championships bear out the dual-meet rankings for the regular season.
Unbeaten Cumberland, the defending state team champion, collected four No. 1 seeds. Cranston West earned three, as did Warwick Veterans. East Providence was honored with two top seeds â sophomore heavyweight Jonah Aurelio and senior 160-pounder Jared Burrows. Bishop Hendricken, also expected to contend for the team title, got one.
PROVIDENCE â Whenever Ali Sayles competes for the Mount St. Charles Academy track & field team, there's one voice she can distinctly hear from the crowd.
To paraphrase a few lyrics from a popular 1980s song, that person may often get âso excited that she just can't hide it.â
The face behind the voice and one of Sayles' biggest supporters this winter season and throughout her track career belongs to her mom, Ruth Pointer. That's right, the same Ruth Pointer who, along with her sisters, turned those 80s lyrics into the hit song, âI'm So Excited,â as a member of the legendary Pointer Sisters.
PAWTUCKET --- When Lincoln and Cumberland were rivals in the old Met B league from the mid-1990s to 2004, the two neighbors hooked up in some entertaining, tightly-contested meetings that were true crowd pleasers.
Since then, they have played in different divisions, but they have still found a way to include each other on their non-league schedules.
On Monday afternoon, the two teams met again in the second annual Kyle J. McLaughlin Scholarship Fund benefit hockey game at Lynch Arena and gave the gathering on hand an excellent high school contest to watch.
The majority of high school coaches are also full-time teachers. For these dedicated souls, the world of academia does not cease once the final bell rings. True, they may trade their lesson plans in for whistles and clipboards, maneuvering from one stressful environment to the next. In reality coaches are confronted with the same pressing matter that monopolizes their time and energy during the daytime.
PROVIDENCE â Kaylnn âK.K.â Pitts put on her sweats and just sat down on the infield.
Like most of the athletes and spectators at Saturdayâs R.I. Indoor Track & Field Championships, all the Woonsocket High sophomore could do was watch what was transpiring in the high jump area and marvel.
Pitts, the reigning outdoor titlist, had what she described as her best effort of the season in the high jump. Unfortunately, on this particular afternoon that would âonlyâ get her second best in the final results.
WOONSOCKET â Even though he has considerably less players than most in Division II, St. Raphael Academy coach Robert Gribbin doesnât like to use the words âtired legsâ when describing his teamâs play in the late stages of a game.
But what has been a common theme among his Saints squad this winter is it seems to lose some of its luster in the third period after hanging for the first two.
It happened again Friday night in a Div. II-North battle with first-place Cumberland at Adelard Arena.
CUMBERLAND â In states where wrestling holds a prominent place in the high school sports winter season -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa come to mind â people flock to big dual-meets in large numbers. When two unbeaten teams meet, fans and coaches and former wrestlers fill the stands, contributing to a raucous setting not often seen in Rhode Island.
WOONSOCKET â Mount St. Charles Academy and Catholic Memorial got exactly what they needed from their non-league clash on Wednesday.
For the Mounties, they got a very competitive contest with one of Massachusettsâ premier teams -- a game that will help them prepare for the Division I playoffs that get under way in two weekends.
But for the Knights, they picked up something a bit more important to them -- a point that moves them closer to earning a return trip to their Division 1A Super Eight state tourney.