CUMBERLAND â€“ The elite seedings for this weekendâ€™s state wrestling championships bear out the dual-meet rankings for the regular season.
Unbeaten Cumberland, the defending state team champion, collected four No. 1 seeds. Cranston West earned three, as did Warwick Veterans. East Providence was honored with two top seeds â€“ sophomore heavyweight Jonah Aurelio and senior 160-pounder Jared Burrows. Bishop Hendricken, also expected to contend for the team title, got one.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Whenever Ali Sayles competes for the Mount St. Charles Academy track & field team, there's one voice she can distinctly hear from the crowd.
To paraphrase a few lyrics from a popular 1980s song, that person may often get â€śso excited that she just can't hide it.â€ť
The face behind the voice and one of Sayles' biggest supporters this winter season and throughout her track career belongs to her mom, Ruth Pointer. That's right, the same Ruth Pointer who, along with her sisters, turned those 80s lyrics into the hit song, â€śI'm So Excited,â€ť as a member of the legendary Pointer Sisters.
PAWTUCKET --- When Lincoln and Cumberland were rivals in the old Met B league from the mid-1990s to 2004, the two neighbors hooked up in some entertaining, tightly-contested meetings that were true crowd pleasers.
Since then, they have played in different divisions, but they have still found a way to include each other on their non-league schedules.
On Monday afternoon, the two teams met again in the second annual Kyle J. McLaughlin Scholarship Fund benefit hockey game at Lynch Arena and gave the gathering on hand an excellent high school contest to watch.
The majority of high school coaches are also full-time teachers. For these dedicated souls, the world of academia does not cease once the final bell rings. True, they may trade their lesson plans in for whistles and clipboards, maneuvering from one stressful environment to the next. In reality coaches are confronted with the same pressing matter that monopolizes their time and energy during the daytime.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Kaylnn â€śK.K.â€ť Pitts put on her sweats and just sat down on the infield.
Like most of the athletes and spectators at Saturdayâ€™s R.I. Indoor Track & Field Championships, all the Woonsocket High sophomore could do was watch what was transpiring in the high jump area and marvel.
Pitts, the reigning outdoor titlist, had what she described as her best effort of the season in the high jump. Unfortunately, on this particular afternoon that would â€śonlyâ€ť get her second best in the final results.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Even though he has considerably less players than most in Division II, St. Raphael Academy coach Robert Gribbin doesnâ€™t like to use the words â€śtired legsâ€ť when describing his teamâ€™s play in the late stages of a game.
But what has been a common theme among his Saints squad this winter is it seems to lose some of its luster in the third period after hanging for the first two.
It happened again Friday night in a Div. II-North battle with first-place Cumberland at Adelard Arena.
CUMBERLAND â€” In states where wrestling holds a prominent place in the high school sports winter season -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa come to mind â€“ people flock to big dual-meets in large numbers. When two unbeaten teams meet, fans and coaches and former wrestlers fill the stands, contributing to a raucous setting not often seen in Rhode Island.
WOONSOCKET â€” Mount St. Charles Academy and Catholic Memorial got exactly what they needed from their non-league clash on Wednesday.
For the Mounties, they got a very competitive contest with one of Massachusettsâ€™ premier teams -- a game that will help them prepare for the Division I playoffs that get under way in two weekends.
But for the Knights, they picked up something a bit more important to them -- a point that moves them closer to earning a return trip to their Division 1A Super Eight state tourney.
CUMBERLAND â€” The Cumberland High wrestling program runs as deep as the roots head coach Steve Gordon has nurtured in this town since moving here nearly 50 years ago.
The Clippers finished their second straight undefeated dual-meet season on Wednesday night with a 37-20 spanking of equally unbeaten Warwick Veterans, which was the favored team heading into this showdown between Division Iâ€™s two elite squads.
WOONSOCKET --- On â€śTeacher Appreciation Nightâ€ť at Woonsocket High, it seemed only fitting that the Novans taught Smithfield High a couple of lessons in rebounding and defense in their Division I-North rematch on Tuesday.
Junior forward Kailey Fugere scored a game-high 19 points, senior center Ashley Dubois added 16, and the duo also teamed up to rip down 28 rebounds to help the Novans avenge an earlier loss to the Sentinels and soar to an impressive 57-37 triumph.