Boston High School: Ethan Ferreira

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
2:14
PM ET
Rhode Island’s unemployment numbers are still in double figures.

Rhode IslandThe state is grappling with a budget deficit in excess of $300 million.

But if bill No. S 0438, which was introduced by Senator Louis P. DiPalma (his district covers Little Compton, Middletown, Newport and Tiverton), is passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chaffee, student-athletes would be included in a group that would take a “hit.”

The bill is named the “Payment for and Participation in School Activities Act of 2011.” Or to put it another way, it’s a pay-to-play bill.

DiPalma’s bill states in part “In view of the current economic climate, it would be beneficial to institute a policy where students from families who are capable of paying user fees for participation in extracurricular activities, while allowing flexibility for students from those families who cannot afford such payments.”

Obviously, the aforementioned extracurricular activities include sports.

DiPalma’s bill does exempt “students eligible for USDA reimbursable school meals” and allows “a family to petition for relief from such assessments based upon financial and / or other hardships.”

The fees would authorize school committees and boards of directors for charter schools to “assess students a reasonable fee for participation by a student in extracurricular activities provided that the governing body must first make a determination that the assessment of such fees is in the best interests of the school districts.”

Among other things:
  • The Rhode Island Department of Education’s interpretation of state law precludes assessment of a fee for participation in school programs like athletics. Its spokesperson expressed the opinion that activities like athletics are considered part of basic education and should be available to all – period.
  • DiPalma’s bill fails to define what’s considered “a reasonable fee.” What might be considered “a reasonable fee” in one school district could be considered onerous in another district.
  • The bill also doesn’t detail in what ways the fees would be spent. Would they go toward equipment? Would they go to paying coaches’ salaries? Etc., Etc.
  • Both the Rhode Island affiliate of the ACLU and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Principals’ Committee on Athletics invariably have opposed user fees.

The bill is still under debate in the General Assembly but without question is likely to draw more opposition if it even nears the stage where it’s put to a vote.

END OF A TENNIS DYNASTY?
Don’t look now, but South Kingstown’s dominance of Division I boys’ tennis may be nearing an end – especially if Barrington has anything to say about it. First, the Eagles handed the 12-time defending state champions their first loss since the 2007 season when it posted a 5-2 victory.

Barrington followed that up, and improved its record to 6-0 in the process, by breaking Cumberland’s 39-match winning streak by romping to a 6-1 victory. Veteran coach Dick Ernst’s Eagles have reached the Division I finals in three of the last four years only to lose each time to South Kingstown. The team is led by a sextet of seniors: John Bogdanovic, Chris Ferro, Mitch Brosnan, John Volpe, Erik Weber and Riley Schwengel.

“CATCH” FALCONS’ DIEHL
The last Rhode Island high school catcher who appeared on the radar screen of college coaches and pro scouts was St. Raphael Academy’s Chris Iannetta who now plays for the Colorado Rockies.

Cranston West’s Jeff Diehl is doing his best so far to emulate Iannetta.

In the Falcons’ recent 5-3 victory over three-time defending Division I state champion Hendricken, approximately 10 college and pro scouts were in attendance in Cranston – and Diehl didn’t disappoint.

Diehl, a senior, belted a single and a solo home run; launched another shot that was caught on the warning track in right field; and also scored on a double steal.

LA SALLE STICKMEN MAKE THEIR POINT
La Salle Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team delivered a loud-and-clear message to two-time Division I state champion Moses Brown when the Rams belted the Quakers, 19-11.

Ironically, this was a rematch of the 2010 championship tilt won by the Rams.

Brad Carlson (five goals, one assist), Brady O’Donnell (five goals) and Ryan Poirier (three goals, two assists) paced La Salle to this key, early-season victory.

ODDS ‘N ENDS
  • St. Andrew’s School’s Michael Carter-Williams, who’s already signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Syracuse University, has been selected to play in the Mary Kline Classic on May 28 at The Pennington School in Pennington, N.J. The Classic is an elite, 28-player game that features top high school players from the Mid-Atlantic Region. It’s a charitable event that raises money to fight cancer with all of the proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society and the National Brain Tumor Foundation.
  • Several student-athletes recently committed to play college sports commencing next fall. This latest group is highlighted by Exeter-West Greenwich running back Al Georgio who’ll be playing for Norwich University. Georgio, a two-time All-State selection, led the state in scoring last year with 49 touchdowns. Others include: Hendricken’s Ethan Ferreira, an All-State baseball player who’ll continue with that sport at Harvard; Portsmouth’s Tyler Oliveira who’ll be competing for the University of Rhode Island’s track and field team (Oliveira holds six indoor school records); Mount St. Charles’ Meryl Lawrence, a three-time All-Stater who’ll be playing tennis at Stonehill College; Prout’s Emily Caswell, who led the Crusaders to their first Division II basketball championship in 26 years, will be launching shots at Caldwell College; and Hendricken’s Mike Maloof who’ll be competing in track and field for Boston University.
Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey, plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y. he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
6:39
PM ET
After dominating Division I boys’ hockey for decades, Mount St. Charles now is taking a run at Division I baseball.

Rhode IslandMount won the last two Division II state championships but is moving up to Division I this season where it will take on the likes of long-time powers such as Hendricken, St. Raphael and La Salle.

Mount coach Tom Seaver (no relation to the Hall of Fame pitcher) stated the obvious when he said “It starts with pitching … pitching and defense.”

When it comes to pitching, Mount already has an ace in 6-6 lefthander Garrett Hayward who was 10-0 last season.

Hayward, who plays outfield when he’s not pitching, is one of six players who return from last year’s team that was 17-1.

The others include shortstop Mike Hagerman, center fielder Tim Doyle, catcher Derek Deschene, pitcher Collins Utterman and outfielders Danny O’Brien and Trevor Plante.

Seaver also will look for production from third baseman Tyler Eeffert, who will bat cleanup, and Bill Campbell who’ll bat third and play second base.

The Mounties will play in Division I-North which could be the toughest of the three divisions that comprise Division I.

“There aren’t any weak sisters in our division,” said Lincoln coach Ed Hunt. “I think we have the toughest division from top to bottom whereas in the other divisions, they’re more balanced this year.”

Here’s one reason why I-North could be brutal: it includes four private schools – La Salle, Moses Brown and St. Raphael besides Mount St. Charles.

“You can say what you want about Mount because they’ve played in Division II,” said Hunt. “But I think they’re as strong as any team in this division.”

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New England Roundup: Rhode Island

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
2:31
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St. Raphael Academy bused to Johnston High on Nov. 12 for a football game and a basketball game broke out.

Rhode IslandHow else to explain the fact SRA out-gunned the Panthers, 56-50 –- in overtime, no less?

First, as a means of explanation.

Due to the quirky nature of Rhode Island Interscholastic League football, the top four teams in Division II-A and II-B commenced quarterfinal play last weekend -- while teams in the other three divisions were still jockeying for berths in their respective tournaments.

Quarterback Trevor Vasey, son of one-time SRA head coach Todd Vasey, did his best Tom Brady impersonation as he riddled the Panthers for 295 yards and five touchdowns.

Despite his aeronautic proficiency, the Saints trailed 42-28 in the fourth quarter before Andrew Pognon forced overtime by reeling off a 36-yard touchdown run.

Johnston quickly went four-and-out before SRA won it on a 12-yard run by Charles Correa.

The Saints thus advanced to the semifinals on Nov. 30 against cross-town rival Tolman.

The Tigers, who captured the II-B title with a 7-0 record, eked out a 6-0 victory over Westerly on a 35-yard touchdown run by quarterback Joselito Knapp in the fourth quarter.

Woonsocket, who finished second to Tolman, maintained its chances of retaining the Division II championship by beating Central, 34-14.

The game wasn’t anywhere near as close as the final score might indicate because Woonsocket built a 27-0 lead after three quarters on a 35-yard touchdown run by Jalen Evans, a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Reyes to Jesse Charette, a 39-yard run by Orlan Thomas and a 35-yard run by Edwin Jones.

Woonsocket will tackle Chariho in the other semifinal game on Nov. 30.

The Chargers beat Mount Hope in the teams’ quarterfinal game as Coltan Place ran for touchdowns of 22 yards in the first quarter and 21 yards in the fourth.

EXTRA POINTS
Hendricken’s Hawks displayed the mettle last week that, again, stamped them as the team to beat in the Division I Tournament.

The fact Hendricken belted Barrington, 38-14, to clinch its first undefeated league record in 15 years at 8-0 (the Hawks are 10-0 overall but play a non-league game against Toll Gate on Thanksgiving), only told part of the story.

Head coach Todd Croft missed virtually all of practice leading up to the Barrington game because his four-month-old son was recuperating from brain surgery.

In addition, Hendricken was minus All-State running back Ethan Ferreira whose season came to an end the previous week when he fractured a leg.

Quarterback Mike Maloof gave the Hawks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish when he threw first-half touchdown pass of nine yards to Zach Pacula and 45 yards to Rob Manning.

The Eagles, who captured the 2009 Division I Super Bowl, could be on the outside looking in since they also lost their previous game 28-21, to East Providence as Townie quarterback Rob Delgado accounted for three touchdowns.

Barrington (5-3) has completed its league season while the Townies (5-2), who belted winless South Kingstown 28-7 last Saturday (Delgado ran for 135 yards and two scores, has its Thanksgiving Day clash against La Salle (4-3) remaining.

Should La Salle win, it would create a three-way tie for the last two playoff berths in Division I, which means tiebreakers will determine which teams will join Hendricken and Portsmouth (6-2) in the tournament.

Elsewhere:
  • Division III champ Rogers (7-0, 8-1) tuned up for the playoffs by routing Division I North Kingstown, 34-6, thanks to three touchdowns by Chris Savage.
  • Mount Pleasant (8-0) clinched the Division IV title by beating Exeter/West Greenwich, 43-23 behind Tevin Dale’s 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
GETTING THEIR ‘KICKS’
Barrington, Smithfield and Classical emerged as the state’s three boys’ soccer champions.

The Eagles captured the 11th Division I title in school history by edging Shea, 2-1, on a pair of goals by Jeff Craven. Despite the loss, the season was memorable for the Raiders who were playing for the first time in the state’s top division.

East Greenwich entered the Division II finale riding a 38-game unbeaten streak which dated back to the 2008 season. Smithfield made that streak history by edging the Avengers, 3-2, behind the play of tourney MVP Alex Bedrossian who scored two goals.

Classical capped a season for the ages by beating Exeter/West Greenwich, 3-1, due in large part to the play of defender Jose Zarraga who was voted the tournament’s MVP. En route to winning their first state title since 1984, the Purple compiled an 18-1-1 overall record.

All wasn’t lost for the Scarlet Knights since their girls’ team nipped Lincoln, 2-1, for the Division II crown – the first in the 19-year history of girls’ soccer at the school.

Freshman Kara Shaw scored with barely eight minutes left in regulation to give EWG the title.

La Salle maintained its dominance in Division I by blanking East Greenwich, 1-0, in the finals – Mackenzie Meehan scoring the game’s lone goal with two minutes left in regulation.

For the Rams, this was their third consecutive Division I state title as well their eighth in the last 10 years.

Narragansett, meanwhile, won its first state title since 1988 when it annexed the Division II crown by blanking Middletown, 1-0, in the Division III finals. Carla Porras’ goal midway through the second half proved to be all the scoring the Mariners would need.

RUNNING WILD
Cranston West’s Bob Allen wrote his name in the Interscholastic League’s record book by posting a cross-country version of a “double double.”

Allen captured the state championship on Nov. 7 by touring the 3.1-mile course at Ponaganset High in 15:30.86.

In the process, Allen became only the second runner (male or female) in school history to win the state cross-country title.

Then, one week later, Allen journeyed to Thetford, Vt..and won the New England Championship in a time of 16:28.5.

La Salle’s Molly Keating retained her title in the girls’ state championship race.

Hendricken’s boys won a third consecutive team title while the Rams extended their streak of consecutive team titles to four.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball and hockey and minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y., he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame, which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

November, 4, 2010
11/04/10
12:59
PM ET
Can anybody remember the last year that Hendricken’s football team went undefeated?

Rhode IslandLet’s put it this way: Players on the current team were just starting to learn how to walk, and in some cases crawl.

The year was 1995 – and the 2010 Hawks have a chance to duplicate that feat if, at the risk of using a billiards metaphor, they “run the table.”

The Hawks have put themselves in position to earn the No. 1 seed in the Division I Tournament – and capture their first state football championship since 1996 - by dispatching two of their toughest rivals in recent weeks. They beat East Providence, 13-7, on Oct. 22 and Portsmouth, 14-13, on Oct. 29.

As a result, the Hawks are 6-0 and can finish a perfect regular season by beating Cranston West (2-3) on Nov. 6 and Barrington (5-1) on Nov. 15.

In the latest Rhode Island High School Football Poll, Hendricken remained No. 1 by capturing all 11 first place votes.

Portsmouth (4-2) is ranked second, Barrington third and East Providence fourth.

The Hendricken-Portsmouth game featured two teams that are the “stingiest” in Division I when it comes to allowing points.

After the dust settled, Hendricken still had allowed the fewest points (65).

The Patriots led, 13-7, early in the third quarter when Hendricken’s Mke Maloof threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Rob Manning and followed with a two-point conversion pass to Ethan Ferreira.

Portsmouth sliced its deficit to 14-13 early in the fourth quarter when Ben Willett tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mike Dublin. But when Portsmouth was hit with an excessive celebration penalty, it forced Dan Thorpe back to his 35 for a PAT attempt.

Hendricken blocked the kick and then its defense slammed the door over the final eight minutes.

East Providence entered its game with Hendricken having scored 139 points. But the Hawks held the Townies scoreless until the final minute – which, of course, rendered East Providence’s touchdown irrelevant.

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New England Roundup: Rhode Island

September, 22, 2010
9/22/10
12:13
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At the risk of stating the obvious, one game doesn’t make a season regardless of sport. But that being said, there was more than “casual” interest in the Division I football opener on Sept. 17 for perennial powers Hendricken and La Salle Academy.

Rhode IslandThe Hawks beat the Rams, 24-12, and enhanced their status as one of the two or three teams to beat not only in the race for the regular-season title but also for a probable Super Bowl championship.

From 1991 through 2009, either Hendricken or La Salle played in the Division I Super Bowl in 18 of 19 seasons.

Even though the Hawks were hit fairly hard by players who followed the “Cap and Gown Route” last June – players from a team that lost to Barrington in the Super Bowl – Hendricken isn’t exactly lacking for talent.

That was never more evident than in the Hawks’ win over the Rams – especially as far as Hendricken’s defense, which is led by senior All-State linebacker Ethan Ferreira, - is concerned.

By the time the final gun sounded, Hendricken had blocked two punts (Ryan Brannigan smothered one ball in the end zone for a touchdown), intercepted three passes and threw up a goal-line stand that would have been the envy of any NFL team.

Hendricken led by the eventual final score when La Salle marched to a first-and-goal on the 3 with 15 ticks of the clock remaining.

Four plays went nowhere and the Hawks emerged with a key, early-season victory.

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New England Roundup: Rhode Island

September, 8, 2010
9/08/10
1:58
PM ET
Ten.

Rhode IslandThat’s the number of Division I boys’ soccer state championships captured by Barrington High since the sport was added to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League in 1966.

That’s four more titles than the next closest school, La Salle Academy, has annexed.

Yet what transpired in 2009 – one year after the Eagles won their 10th title – left a sour taste in their collective mouths.

The second-seeded Eagles, who finished 16-1-1, were upset by seventh-seeded North Kingstown, 2-1, in the opening round of the tournament.

Since the Eagles return several players from that team, the question is this: Can they put that loss to North Kingstown in the rear-view mirror and focus on winning an 11th state title?

Don’t even broach the question to coach Don Denham.

“I really don’t like to dwell in the past,” Denham said quite matter-of-factly. “I only mentioned what happened [last year] maybe once or twice shortly after we began practice. I preferred to remind them what they did during the regular season.”

Barrington finished with 49 points which was the second-highest total among Division I-North, South, East and Central teams.

“We have new leaders this season. We have new seniors. Really, they must establish their own identity.”

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