Ed Hunt knows that all three subdivisions in this yearâ€™s Division I circuit are going to be tough, but not as difficult as the battles awaiting his Lincoln team in the Division I-North ranks.
â€śThere are no weak sisters in our division,â€ť the veteran coach said before his Lionsâ€™ workout on Monday afternoon. â€śI think we have the toughest division from top to bottom, whereas most of the other divisions, theyâ€™re balanced this year, but they still probably have four good teams.â€ť
Baseball Prospectus is in the business of projecting big-picture truths. Through a series of trained eyes and statistical inputs, the publication dishes out bold predictions designed to shed serious light on the performance players and teams can expect.
Letâ€™s start with a simple premise: Realistic baseball fans donâ€™t get upset over what their team looks like in the first week, or month, of the season. They know that playoff berths are achieved over a 162-game season, and that 11 postseason victories are required to rule the world.
Baseball season is a long haul, lasting from March 31 (this yearâ€™s Opening Day) through late October. Smart baseball fans just sit back and relax, knowing that players and teams will eventually achieve their normal production goals as the games pile up.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. â€” Woonsocketâ€™s Joe Gardner got exactly what he wanted on Friday night -- a very competitive fight against a former world title challenger in front of a near sellout at Foxwoods Resort Casinoâ€™s Fox Theater and a nationally-televised ESPN â€śFriday Night Fightsâ€ť audience.
Unfortunately for Gardner, he got something he didnâ€™t want -- a left rib injury in the middle of the third round that hindered him in the fourth round and saw him unable to answer the bell for the fifth of his six-round super middleweight bout against Elvin Ayala of New Haven, Conn.
The pay, some estimate, works out to about two dollars or less an hour. The days are often long, coming after a hard day at work. Family parties are missed, vacations are delayed and dinners often are eaten at odd hours of the night, if at all.
What is it that keeps high school coaches coming back each year? What draws them back to the fields, courts or track ovals? For a few area coaches, those frequent seasons have added up to 25 years to more than four decades of lending their expertise in their respective sports.
The toughest division in high school softball just got a whole lot tougher.
Yes, the heavyweights are back in Division I-North -- state finalist Mount St. Charles, Cumberland, and Lincoln -- and with each team only losing a couple of key players to graduation, they should again be forces to be reckoned with this spring.
WOONSOCKET â€” It takes a lot to get an easygoing person like Joe Gardner angry, but thatâ€™s exactly how the Woonsocket Boxing Club fighter felt on the afternoon of his first main event fight and EBA (Eastern Boxing Association) New England light heavyweight title defense on March 16.
Instead of heading to Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc.â€™s â€śBoxing At The Royaleâ€ť show in Boston for his much-anticipated eight-round showdown with Lowell, Mass.â€™s â€śIrishâ€ť Joey McCreedy, Gardner found himself staying home because the show was abruptly postponed.
CUMBERLAND â€” For the first few weeks of the spring season, the courts have been empty at Tucker Field, the home of the Cumberland High boysâ€™ tennis team.
Thatâ€™s doesnâ€™t mean the Clippers havenâ€™t been practicing for their upcoming (and very challenging) campaign in Division I after a four-year absence. While work is in the process of being done to reconstruct the courts, longtime CHS head coach John Jasionowski has managed to prepare his squad by first utilizing the courts at the Abbott Run Valley Club and then over at the nearby Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club.
WOONSOCKET â€” Mount St. Charles Academy moves up to Division I this season after winning the last two Division II state championships.
The Mounties go there knowing full well the challenge that awaits them, head coach Tom Seaver was saying on Monday night while contemplating this question:
â€śWhatâ€™s the difference between Division I and II?â€ť
Seaver weighs the query for a moment and then quickly responds.