Boston High School: Mo Jackson

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
4:01
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Buried amidst the rubble in Central Falls, which long ago filed for bankruptcy and has been under the direction of a state-appointed receiver, has been the fate of the coaches of the city’s lone high school.

Rhode IslandTo be precise, they’ve given new meaning to the words “volunteer coaches.”

Because of a budget freeze and ongoing contract negotiations between the city and the union representing teachers, Warriors coaches have been guiding their teams sans compensation.

That was true in the fall; it’s carried over to the winter sports season; and barring any change in developments the status will remain quo come the spring.

Ironically, Warrior teams have enjoyed an inordinate amount of success.

Coach Mo Jackson led CF to the Division IV Super Bowl in December.

Coach Rich Sousa took his girls’ volleyball team to the Division II semifinals.

Coach Carl Africo guided the boys’ soccer team to the Division I quarterfinals.

The other falls sports for which coaches weren’t paid are boys’ and girls’ cross country, girls’ soccer and unified volleyball.

CF’s winter sports include boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ track and unified basketball.

The spring sports slate includes only baseball and softball.

The 63-year-old Jackson, who’s the dean of Warrior coaches, didn’t learn about the lack of funding until midway through the football season.

“I was a little upset,” Jackson was quoted in The Times of Pawtucket. “But I wasn’t going to abandon the kids halfway through the season.

“I don’t know if I had known before the season started if I would have coached. After being here 20 years, I’d like the opportunity to make that decision. But you don’t get into (coaching high school sports) to make a lot of money.”

North Kingstown, to a certain extent, is in a similar position as Central Falls – although the South County town is far from bankruptcy.

However, it has a projected $1.6 million deficit for fiscal year 2013.

As a result, Superintendent Phil Auger is working on proposals that could include cuts that would impact Skipper high school teams.

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New England Roundup: Rhode Island

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
4:33
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Invariably, post-season play is carved in cement before the football teams from Shea High and Central Falls High commence their respective seasons. But that hasn’t been the case for the last three seasons.

Rhode IslandFrom 1998-2007, Shea qualified for the playoffs (in Division II or Division III) nine times and advanced to the Super Bowl five times. And twice the Raiders rode home with the Super Bowl championship trophy.

The Warriors, meanwhile, have made five post-season appearances during the same time frame and won the Division IV championship in 2005.

Despite each team’s respective drought, both Shea coach Dino Campopiano and Central Falls’ Mo Jackson are optimistic that a reversal of fortune is realistic.

Shea missed qualifying for the 2010 playoffs by one game due to a combination of close losses, ill-timed penalties and costly turnovers. But fortunately for Campopiano, he returns a host of players from last year’s team who could (should?) help the Raiders return to their accustomed spot in the post-season.

Topping the list of key returnees are three seniors who line up at important skill positions: quarterback Adilson Silva plus running backs Jamal Tucker and Travis Gray.

Another senior, Adem Okubanjo, also will see action at running back as will junior Dennis Lloyd – who also can play linebacker and defensive back.

The Warriors, meanwhile, return eight players who saw significant minutes on each side of the ball led by All-Division senior lineman Sension Jimenez and classmate Joel Peralta, who earned All-Division honors at tight end.

Jiminez along with fellow seniors Nico Danielson and Cristian Romero give the Warriors three experienced linemen.

Central Falls also could have one of the more impressive wide receivers in Division IV in Steven Vazquez, who played quarterback and safety each of the last two years – and who is the defending state outdoor track and field champion in the high jump.

Jackson has indicated that he may alternate junior Brandon Canuto and sophomore Tyshon Ashe at quarterback – at least until one wins the position outright.

Senior Amado Gonzalez could be the Warriors’ top back when he lines up at fullback. He’ll be joined in the backfield by Warriors like Jevon Jimenez, Josh Brandon, Julien Rivera and Kenual Lopez.

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