They‚Äôve spent the past eight weeks working hard and overcoming some tough league opponents for the right to play in a meaningful game on Veteran‚Äôs Day weekend.
For neighboring schools Tolman, Cumberland, and St. Raphael, that weekend has finally arrived, and the meaningful games that they will participate in will be their quarterfinal-round games of the Division II playoffs.
Rick Pitino, sage that he is, shared this little anecdote at last month‚Äôs Big East media day ‚Äď one that illustrates the waves new Providence College head coach Ed Cooley is making on the recruiting trail.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs already attracting ‚Ä¶ he beat us out on a player recruiting-wise,‚ÄĚ said Pitino point blank, his eyes lighting up as if they were filled with fire. ‚ÄúI would have said, when it got to Providence and us [Louisville], he would have had no shot in getting this player, but Ed got him. So he‚Äôs already made an impact.‚ÄĚ
WOONSOCKET ‚ÄĒ During their truly exceptional high school careers on the Mount St. Charles Academy softball team, Emily and Olivia Hendricks have established themselves as the very best at their positions in the state.
Emily earned back-to-back All-State honors as a slick fielding shortstop who batted second and was an offensive threat from the left side of the plate, while Olivia posted a 36-15 mark as the Mounties‚Äô ace pitcher, and offensively, was a bonafide run producer in the heart of the lineup.
KINGSTON ‚ÄĒ For the first time in its long history, Cumberland will play for a state championship.
The Clippers earned a berth in Saturday‚Äôs Division II championship match on Wednesday night by surviving a hard-fought 3-1 triumph over a Central Falls team that was determined to spring its second upset victory of the playoffs at URI‚Äôs Keaney Gymnasium.
Senior standouts Micaela Malboeuf (13 kills, 25 digs) and Michelle Malboeuf (11 kills, 20 digs) had big games for the Clippers, who defeated the Warriors by scored of 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, and 27-25 to advance.
WOONSOCKET ‚ÄĒ The past 24 hours have been bittersweet for Kelsey Lace.
On Tuesday night, Lace suffered the worst loss of her outstanding high school career when her then-unbeaten Mount St. Charles Academy squad was ousted in four games in the Division I semifinals by Ponaganset High.
It was a very bitter ending to a brilliant four-year run with the Mounties -- one that included a Division II state championship her sophomore year and what will soon be a repeat appearance on the All-State team.
‚ÄúWith the benefit of hindsight, I wish I could have done more.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď Joe Paterno
Who would have thought it would end this way for the legendary Penn State coach of 46 years? Paterno, the man of high moral values, the guy who once vowed not to retire and ‚Äúleave college football to the Barry Switzers and Jackie Sherrills‚ÄĚ of his coaching fraternity, had failed the biggest morality test of his life.
BURRILLVILLE ‚ÄĒ Burrillville High beat the darkness. It just couldn't beat its opponent.
No. 7 seed West Warwick High gave the second-seeded Broncos a quick exit in the postseason with a 3-2 overtime victory Monday afternoon in the Division III quarterfinals. Senior captain Rebecca Pacheco out-hustled two defenders and nailed the clincher over the head of goalie Vicki Libby just two minutes into the second mandatory OT period.
‚ÄúIt just came down to who wanted it more,‚ÄĚ said Bronco head coach Amy Cardone. ‚ÄúIt was pretty close up until the very end.‚ÄĚ
CRANSTON ‚ÄĒ Shea High shook free from a determined Cumberland team on Monday night at Cranston Stadium and advanced to the Division I state finals for the second straight season with a 3-0 victory over the Clippers.
The Raiders, who lost in the 2010 finals to Barrington, will meet top-ranked La Salle in Saturday‚Äôs high noon showdown at Rhode Island College‚Äôs pitch. The two teams tied 2-2 during their only regular season meeting.
CUMBERLAND ‚ÄĒ After shaking off some rust in the first game, Cumberland High went into playoff mode and is now just two big wins from the school's first-ever state championship.
Fueled by an outstanding night from junior Sam Bertherman and a solid all-around effort from her teammates, the third-seeded Clippers swept by No. 6 seed Tolman, 3-0, in the Division II quarterfinals on Monday at the Wellness Center. Cumberland won with scores of 25-23, 25-4, 25-9.
FOSTER ‚Äď About 600 meters into his race, Trevor Crawley wasn't in the position that he was looking for at Sunday's RIIL State Championship. Boxed in at the start, the Cumberland High junior found himself hovering near 20th place.
Not exactly a prime position for one of the state's top runners.