Archive - Sports Article
November 15th, 2011
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.
PAWTUCKET --- Fights donâ€™t get any bigger or significant than the one Peter Manfredo Jr. has on Saturday night.
If the Manfredoâ€™s Gym middleweight beats undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at Houstonâ€™s Reliant Arena, he will take home Chavezâ€™s WBC (World Boxing Council) championship belt and be in line for a huge payday in the form of an expected title defense against former WBC champion Sergio Martinez.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. â€” Two straight losses were too many for Tom Brady.
He and the New England Patriots weren't used to struggling or hearing people wondering if they're no longer the powerhouse they've been for years. Well, just like that, they're back in a familiar spot: all alone at the top of the AFC East.
Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to Rob Gronkowski, and the Patriots assumed sole possession of first place in the division with a convincing 37-16 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday night.
PROVIDENCE --- With a combined 17 goals allowed between them this season, it was clear that scoring was going to be at a minimum in the Division II state finals between second-seeded Lincoln High and unbeaten No. 1 seed Exeter/West Greenwich.
That held true on Sunday afternoon at the Rhode Island College complex. But after a tight contest for 60 minutes, the Scarlet Knights broke through with two goals in a seven-minute span to pave the way for their second straight state crown with a 3-1 victory over the Lions in a rematch of last year's championship contest.
PAWTUCKET â€“ We hear the phrase â€śmaking playsâ€ť from athletes and coaches so often that sometimes the exact meaning of the phrase gets lost in its overuse.
Cumberland coach Chris Skurka used the term to describe how his underdog Clippers sneaked past favored Tolman by a 13-9 margin on Saturday night in a Division II quarterfinal playoff game.
â€śThatâ€™s what this team does,â€ť Skurka said. â€śWe make plays.â€ť
FAIRFIELD, Ct. â€“ Through all the ups and downs, the good times and the hardships, the smile still comes naturally.
The widespread grin of Rakim Sanders has come to embody his innocence and easygoing temperament. Scratch beneath the surface and youâ€™ll find a compassionate young man, someone who possesses the necessary zeal and resolve which made sure he didnâ€™t become symbolic of the Pawtucket housing project of his youth.
PAWTUCKET â€” Cumberland High made enough big plays on Saturday night to knock Tolman out of the Division II playoffs.
The Clippers got a 75-yard touchdown run by Erik Travers in the first quarter and then pulled out a 13-9 victory with a scoring drive in the final 4-1/2 minutes that was capped by Ryan Gaumondâ€™s game-winning one-yard plunge with 1:36 left in the contest.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€” With an endless flow of bodies crashing to the floor and countless near-impossible saves, Ponaganset High never backed down from Coventry in the Division I finals.
Not one bit.
It just wasn't enough.
The Chieftains did everything in their power to dethrone I-South's top-seeded Knotty Oakers Saturday afternoon at Keaney Gymnasium. But in the end, it may have been the experience of a senior-laden Coventry squad that made the difference in a narrow, 3-2 win with scores of 24-26, 28-26, 25-17, 21-25, 15-11.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€” Sixteen times this season, defending state champion Exeter/West Greenwich has faced an opponent in Division II. Sixteen times, it has won handily.
No. 17 proved to be it toughest.
Seeking its first team crown in the school's history Saturday at Keaney Gymnasium, No. 3 seed Cumberland battled the top-seeded Scarlet Knights to a five-set thriller in the state finals before succumbing to scores of 22-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20 and 15-10.