PAWTUCKET â€” If Tolman High ever fits the pieces together, the Tigers could be a tough out in the Division II playoffs.
It is coach Mike Kayataâ€™s job to develop his players into a cohesive unit over the next seven weeks, trying to get the most out of a roster that contains an explosive scoring guard in Juan Velez, a 6-foot-7 junior center named Jon Percy who is a sleeping giant, and several role players who might hold the key to this teamâ€™s ultimate outcome.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Count Jim Boeheim as a fan of the turnaround act Ed Cooley is trying to perform at Providence College.
While receiving praise from the dean of Big East coaches is a sign that Cooleyâ€™s work is not going unnoticed around the league, the PC head coach was in no mood to talk about moral victories following his teamâ€™s third straight loss, the latest a 87-73 setback to top-ranked Syracuse Wednesday night at The Dunk.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” With several players returning from last yearâ€™s playoff team, North Smithfield is considered to be among one of the top teams in Division III.
After a slow 0-2 start to begin the season, the Northmen are now starting to play like one.
North Smithfield earned its fourth straight league win (and sixth overall) on Wednesday night, defeating a much-improved Davies Tech outfit, 43-35, inside the Lovett Gymnasium.
PROVIDENCE â€” Back in the spring of 2010 at the outdoor state meet, Kaylnn â€śK.K.â€ť Pitts shocked the competition (and herself) when the then-freshman from Woonsocket High cleared 5 feet, 3 inches to earn the individual title in the high jump.
â€śI didnâ€™t think I would win, really,â€ť Pitts recalled. â€śI wasnâ€™t really counting my steps. I was just jumping.â€ť
Since that breakthrough performance only one person has stood in the way of the Villa Novan standout repeating the feat. It was an athlete that actually finished third that day, La Salle Academyâ€™s Dakota Dailey-Harris.
BOSTON --- After watching his father and younger brother make news on the baseball diamond last summer with the New England champion Cumberland American Little League all-star team, Brian Belisle got an opportunity to steal the show on one of baseballâ€™s most historic ballfields on Monday night.
But Belisle did so with a hockey stick, not a bat and glove, with his Mount St. Charles Academy teammates at Fenway Park in their â€śFrozen Fenway 2012â€ť duel against Cathedral High of Springfield, Mass., and the junior center came through with the best game of his young high school career.
Itâ€™s two days into 2012. The past year is now a distance memory. Time sure does fly. It seems like just a short time ago that the winter season was wrapping up, one that included an extraordinary performance by the Tolman High boysâ€™ basketball team in the Division II quarterfinals. The summer, as it always does, went by quickly. But not before a group of young 12-year-old kids from the Cumberland American All Star team earned their way to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
WOONSOCKET â€” Cumberland High scored three times in the opening period and received a brilliant 44-save performance from netminder Pat Noke in a 5-2 victory over Toll Gate High on Friday night at Adelard Arena.
The Clippers, who are 6-0 in Division II-North action, saw Toll Gate battle back from a 3-0 deficit with a pair of goals, but they ended any hopes of a Titans comeback by scoring a pair of empty-net goals in the final 30 seconds of the games.
High school state championship teams and athletes, the Cumberland American Little League all-star teamâ€™s venture to the Little League World Series, and a handful of remarkable milestones were among 2011â€™s many sports highlights in the Woonsocket Call area.
The year began with another memorable winter season that saw Mount St. Charles cap it by defending their state championships in both boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ hockey.
Ready or not, like it or not, the football programs at Tolman and Woonsocket High Schools are poised to join the Division I ranks.
Based on figures obtained by Blackstone Valley Sports and decreed by the Interscholastic League, the Tigers and Villa Novans rank eighth and ninth, respectively, among the 43 participating schools, meaning both meet the criteria for Division I participation. The stateâ€™s top tier typically houses nine teams.
A little of this, a little of that as we bid adieu to 2011 â€¦
Ryan Oâ€™Dell will have to sit tight and wait his turn for the URI baseball team, the Lincoln nativeâ€™s redshirt status for this coming spring the result of findings by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The initial-eligibility organization launched its investigation into Oâ€™Dellâ€™s high school transcript during the middle of the fall ball season, a time when the freshman had visions of making major strides toward landing a substantial role.