Archive - Sports Article
November 22nd, 2010
WOONSOCKET â€” As a vice principal at Woonsocket High, Carnell Henderson appreciates how important a responsible senior class is to the schoolâ€™s younger students, who watch their older colleagues and see how they handle certain situations.
As head football coach, Henderson knows his team depends upon senior leadership to carry the younger players through some of the tougher moments in a season full of challenges.
With the 2010 season building to a climax over the next two weeks, Henderson feels confident his Villa Novans are ready for the biggest test of their young careers.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” Itâ€™s never an easy task to go from an 0-9 season to a playoff campaign in just two seasons, and second-year North Smithfield head coach Wes Pennington recognized that last week when he talked about his Northmenâ€™s past, present, and future.
The Northmen are enjoying one of their finest seasons and will be marching to the playoffs for the first time in the teamâ€™s 43-year history. Their 5-2 mark was their best record since 1997 and good enough for a third-place finish in the Division IV circuit and the No. 3 seed in next weekâ€™s postseason.
FOSTER â€” Bad timing may best describe Ponaganset Highâ€™s move up to the Division II ranks this season.
Behind a talented core of players that included a pair of all-staters in Nick Keeling and Josh Morgan, the Chieftains captured the last two of the past three Div. III crowns to convince the alignment committee that it was time for a move to the higher division.
BURRILLVILLE â€” Gennaro Ferraro looks back on his football teamâ€™s frustrating season with a mixture of realism and pragmatism.
â€śWe lost four games by a total of 11 points,â€ť the Burrillville coach was saying earlier this week. â€śWe lost Tyler Kimatian to an auto accident and two other key players left the team due to disciplinary issues. And Brendan Darigan missed 2 Â˝ games with a sprained ankle.
LINCOLN â€” Dave Waycott is currently bouncing around the same dilemma 14 other playoff-bound head coaches around the state are pondering as they prepare for their respective Thanksgiving matchups.
â€śDo you play (your players) to keep them sharp or rest them to avoid getting hurt?â€ť the Lincoln head coach asked. â€śIâ€™ve been going back and forth with this. I havenâ€™t really decided what weâ€™re going to do when we play them.â€ť
Roland Lavallee was getting a little itchy.
After an almost two-month layoff from competitive running, he was anxious to know how his 100-mile weeks of pounding the pavement had paid off.
The 32-year-old Lavallee satisfied that itch last month when he hopped into his car and made the 45-minute drive to Newport.
CUMBERLAND â€” Cumberland High was officially eliminated from postseason play in Division II back on Oct. 29 when it lost to Central High at Conley Stadium.
Since that 19-6 defeat to the Knights, the Clippers have reeled off two straight victories â€“ a narrow 9-0 shutout of Coventry High and a 31-6 rout of Ponaganset High in a consolation game last Friday.
Coaches canâ€™t look past their next opponent. Sports writers shouldnâ€™t, either. But sometimes the temptation to look down the road is just too enticing.
When it comes to local high school football, whatâ€™s next is a two-day slate of Thanksgiving contests, which are â€śrivalryâ€ť games with not much at stake â€¦ except for East Providenceâ€™s game against La Salle on Thanksgiving morning. E.P. is already in the Division I playoff field. La Salle needs a win to gain the fourth and final playoff berth over Barrington.
Alyssa McCoart and Nicole Silva play softball in arguably the toughest division in Rhode Island â€“ the Division I-North circuit â€“ but after next spring, the competitionâ€™s going to get a whole lot tougher for these local senior standouts.
Thatâ€™s because the Lincoln High first baseman/pitcher and Mount St. Charles Academy third baseman, who are very good friends who have known each other since the eighth grade, will be taking their talents to the Division I collegiate level, and they made that official last week by signing National Letters of Intent to their respective schools.
The Division II football playoffs usually provide the most interesting competition every season when Rhode Island teams begin competing for Super Bowl berths.
D-II holds a big advantage over the other three divisions because it is the stateâ€™s largest league (16 teams). It invites eight teams to the playoffs instead of the four we find in other divisions. Its quarterfinals are held in the second week of November while the regular season is still going on elsewhere.