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McGAIR: Cumberland's Tommy Goggin taking throwing talents to DePaul University

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After a strong indoor season where he threw the weight a personal best of 60 feet, 9 inches, Cumberland senior Tommy Goggin committed to throw the weight and the hammer at DePaul University.

A little of this, a little of that …

• Tommy Goggin made headlines earlier this year when the Cumberland High School senior applied for the vacant post for R.I. Lieutenant Governor.

“I took AP Government and realized it’s something that piques my interest,” said Goggin. “When the opportunity came, I thought it would be cool to get my name out there.”

Goggin plans to major in political science at DePaul University. He will also throw the weight and hammer for the Blue Demons’ track program. The decision to head to the Big East school that’s located in Chicago caps off a year-long courtship where Goggin remained in frequent contact with Brandon Murer, DePaul’s throwing coach.

“I reached out to a few schools, but DePaul stuck out the whole time,” said Goggin, who was also considering UNC Charlotte. “What got me to settle on DePaul was Chicago. Being in a big city, I think there’s so much opportunity and something that can prove valuable.”

Goggin has been on the R.I. high school throwing scene long enough to witness the state’s top talent moving on to Power Five schools.

He was a sophomore in 2019 when Cole Hooper committed to Wisconsin. Goggin also saw firsthand as other Cumberland teammates continued onward to the Division I level, most notably when Phil Coppolino honored his commitment to Cornell University in Nov. 2019.

The success of others told Goggin that if he put in the time, he too could find a spot at a D-I school.

“It definitely pushed me,” he said.

Before entering the world of throwing, Goggin was a hockey player. The dream died when he got cut from the Cumberland hockey team as a freshman. As one door closed, another one opened – a point he stressed when writing his college essay as part of the admissions process.

“Finding a new opportunity with track and being able to run with it so much … to achieve that Division I level feels really good,” said Goggin, who cited Hooper as an important resource during the recruiting process.

“Cole took me under his wing during my freshman year. We became best friends,” said Goggin. “Everything I’ve done, I’ve talked to him first. I reached out to him even before getting in contact with DePaul.”

Goggin concluded the 2021 high school indoor season by achieving a personal-best 60 feet, 9 inches in the 25-point weight at last month’s Weight-O-Rama meet. He believes it’s within the realm of possibility to hit another gear during the upcoming outdoor season.

“The indoor season, we went from uncertainty to being able to enjoy having the chance to candidate,” said Goggin.

As for the political domain, don’t be surprised if you see Goggin’s name pop up as a candidate sometime down the line.


• From one Mount St. Charles alum to another, Rick LaBreche (Class of 1985) has been tabbed as the school’s new golf coach. LaBreche replaces the retired Mike Masterson (Class of 1971).

A retired Woonsocket firefighter, LaBreche formally coached the Unified basketball program at Woonsocket High. He works at Triggs Memorial Golf Course as a starter.


• It’s been confirmed that Cumberland High alum Julia Dempsey is continuing her college running career at George Washington University as a graduate student during the 2021-22 school year. With the Atlantic 10 school, she’ll compete in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track.

Currently a senior at Merrimack College, Dempsey is coming off a strong showing during an abbreviated cross-country season where she earned NEC All-Conference honors. At GW, Dempsey plans to pursue her master’s degree in public health.


• The Shea/Tolman boys co-op tennis team is looking for a coaching assistant to help head coach John Jasionowski as well a few players to join the program’s No. 1 singles player, Tolman senior/Holy Cross-bound Jeremy Clark. For those interested, reach out to Tolman Athletic Director Frank Laliberte at


• Speaking of the Tigers, former Tolman High girls’ volleyball head coach Roger Tow rejoined the program this week as the JV head coach/varsity assistant.


• Congrats to Burrillville boys basketball head coach Kevin Randall and his wife Melissa on the birth of the couple’s second child. Kylie Madison Randall entered this world at 2:31 a.m. on Wednesday. Be on the lookout for Kylie in a Bronco jersey in about 15 years.


• It’s been confirmed that R.I. high school golfers must mask up while on the course. Golf season is scheduled to begin this coming Monday, though many teams are waiting until later this month before teeing off with league matches.


• Home runs hit in simulated games have no place for inclusion in the franchise annals. Bottom line, it didn’t take place in a game that counted in the standings. To that end, the answer to the trivia question ”Which PawSox player blasted the final home run at McCoy Stadium?” will always be Cole Sturgeon and his walk-off blast on Sept. 2, 2019. The honor does not belong to C.J. Chatham, who went deep on the final day of “Sim City” on Sept. 25, 2020.


• After last Saturday’s St. Raphael-Tolman football game, I swung by McCoy Stadium to check up on the Ben Mondor statue. My reasoning was just: Easter Saturday marked the start of The Longest Game, which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The trip to see the Mondor statue also included the removal of a McDonald’s cup that had been placed at end of the bat held by Ben. Guess I’ll have to stop by every now and again to make sure a piece of PawSox history is preserved and doesn’t fall into a state of neglect.


• One can’t help but wonder if Brad Stevens is approaching “Dead Coach Walking” territory with the Celtics.


• At one time, I was a major proponent of college athletes staying in school for all four years and getting their degree before turning pro. In recent years, I’ve softened my stance. College will still be there. The window to earn life-changing money can close at a moment’s notice. It’s something to keep in mind as David Duke leaves the PC men’s basketball program with two years of eligibility remaining.


• Hopefully, the RIIL considers the idea of allowing non-playoff football teams who missed games due to COVID-19 reasons to reschedule during the same weekends as the postseason.


• What a week of highs and lows for the Red Sox, from being a lock for the first pick in the 2022 MLB draft to sweeping Tampa Bay, the defending American League champions.


• I have no problem with MLB airing games on YouTube. It’s cable companies like NESN who should be worried.


• This column would have been longer, but it’s Masters week. Time to settle in and hear Jim Nantz proclaim “Hello friends” while sitting in Butler Cabin.

Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03. Check out the “Ocean State Sidelines” podcast that appears on and

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