Boston High School: South Kingstown (R.I.)

Rhody coach Joe Trainer on local commits

February, 1, 2012
University of Rhode Island Media Relations Coordinator Shane Donaldson sends along information regarding its incoming football recruiting class, and includes comments from head coach Joe Trainer.

We're running Trainer's comments on the New England area signees below:

Tyler Catalina
Offensive Line
6-6 | 300 Lbs.
Worcester, Mass. | Kent School

Wachusett Head Coach Mike Dubzinski:
“Tyler is an athletic and aggressive lineman. He has put forth a strong effort to increase his speed and strength. We are extremely proud of Tyler and wish him well.”
Rhode Island Head Coach Joe Trainer:
“Tyler is a monster, a big guy who is well proportioned. He’s going to be a guy who develops. He’s probably already at 305 pounds and he’s well put together. He’s going to be a guy who comes in and has to learn our system, but he’d definitely going to be a very good player.”

Sean Conley
6-1 | 190 lbs.
South Kingstown, R.I. | South Kingstown

South Kingstown Head Coach Eric Anderson:
“Sean is a hard worker, a very dedicated kid. He really grew during his career at South Kingstown. He’s very familiar with the Rhode Island program, which will help. He’s a great kid who knows how to get the job done on and off the field.”
Rhode Island Head Coach Joe Trainer:
“Sean is just an exciting player. He reminds you a little bit of Matt Hansen in the sense that he does a lot of different things. He’s very active and plays a couple different positions. You can tell in watching film of him that football is very important to him. You tend to know more about players who are closer in proximity to your program physically. We know an awful lot about him, and we know we are getting a great player and a great person.”

Robbie Jackson
Wide Receiver
6-2 | 190 lbs.
Natick, Mass | Dean College

Rhode Island Head Coach Joe Trainer:
“He is a longer kid at 6-2. We have some great receivers in our program, but having that kind of length gives you a different dimension, especially in the red zone for fade routes and those situations where you want to have guys go up and compete for jump balls.”

Alex Murphy reflects on Elite 24 in Venice Beach

August, 9, 2011
As part of ESPN RISE's coverage leading up to the Boost Mobile Elite 24 even on August 27 on the famed outdoor courts of Venice Beach, Calif., basketball editor Jason Jordan catches up former St. Mark's star Alex Murphy, who played in the game last August and is entering his freshman season at Duke.

Murphy committed to the Blue Devils last February, and then transferred out of St. Mark's back to his hometown South Kingstown (R.I.) High following the Lions' season. Technically, this was his fourth year of high school; he repeated his freshman year at St. Mark's after transferring from The Prout School in Wakefield, R.I.

Considering where he's going, there probably aren't a whole lot of regrets for Murphy. But if there was one to top the list, it'd be Venice.

From Jordan:

“That’s just the best event,” said Murphy, a small forward. “It’s at Venice Beach, it’s crazy competitive and it’s just a lot of fun. I hate that I’m gonna have to watch like everyone else this year.”

He’ll tune in at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 (ESPNU) to watch 24 of the best high school players from around the country duke it out on the blacktops in SoCal.

“It’ll be way different watching as opposed to playing,” Murphy said. “But I’m happy with my decision to come to Duke a year early. I just felt like it wasn’t something I could pass up on.”

Murphy first learned he was eligible for the jump during last season, but tried to remain focused on helping St. Mark’s win. No easy feat, he says.

“It was almost impossible not to think about the fact that you can fulfill a dream a year earlier than you expected,” Murphy said. “I just talked it over with my family, and we all decided that leaving was the best decision for me.

"It’s definitely something that takes a long thought process because missing the Midnight Run at the Elite 24 is pretty tough.”

That’s because Murphy and the rest of the Elite 24 participants got a chance to square off against NBA stars like Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and DeMar DeRozan, which helped them gauge their skills.

“Just to have a chance to play against guys like that was big for all of us,” Murphy said. “Where else can you do that? It really gave us a lot of confidence to be out there on the court with them holding our own and on some plays getting the best of them. It set the tone for our seasons. Now I’m headed to college a year early.”

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced John Gorman of Catholic Memorial School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year. Gorman is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Catholic Memorial School.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior right-handed pitcher has led the Knights to a 13-6 record and a berth in the Division 1 sectional tournament, scheduled to begin May 31. At the time of his selection, Gorman owned a 6-1 record on the mound with a 0.14 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 51 innings. A two-time returning All-Scholastic honoree, he had tossed four shutouts and surrendered only 17 hits entering the postseason. Also a third baseman, Gorman batted .362 with 13 runs scored, 11 RBI, four doubles and one home run through 19 games. The 2010 Catholic Conference Most Valuable Player, he finished 8-0 as a junior with a 1.18 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 65 innings in addition to posting a .395 batting average with 25 RBI and three homers.

Also a football standout, Gorman has maintained an A-plus average in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria. In addition to volunteering on behalf of the National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions and his school’s Leadership and Service program, he has helped coordinate Catholic Memorial’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and has donated his time as a youth baseball and basketball instructor.

“He’s been phenomenal this year, especially pitching,” said Catholic Memorial head coach Hal Carey. “He’s been dominant on the mound. He works fast, throws hard and has great control of his fastball, change and curve. As a pitcher, he’s one of the best in the state. Add the hitting, and he’s tremendous. He’s done it for four years, and this is a tough sport to be that consistent. He’s great all-around, probably the best in my seven years here.”

Gorman has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Boston College this fall.

Gorman joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Players of the Year Kevin Ziomek (2009-10, Amherst Regional), Kyle McKenzie (2008-09; Thayer Academy), Scott Weismann (2007-08, Acton-Boxborough), and Jack McGeary (2006-07, Roxbury Latin School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Here are the winners for the five other New England states:


The 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior right-handed pitcher led the Blue Knights (15-5) to a berth in the Class LL postseason tournament, scheduled to begin May 31. At the time of his selection, Romano owned an 8-1 record on the mound with a 0.39 ERA, recording 91 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 54 innings pitched. A Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason High School Senior All-Region First Team selection, he batted .444 with two home runs and 24 RBI through 20 games.

Romano has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a mentoring program at an elementary school and the Mill Foundation for Kids, which benefits children suffering pediatric illnesses.

Romano has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Tennessee this fall.

Romano joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Players of the Year Colin O'Keefe (2009-10, Waterford), Matt Carasiti (2008-09; Berlin), Jason Esposito (2007-08, Amity), and Matt Harvey (2006-07, Fitch), among the state’s list of former award winners.


The 6-foot-5, 215-pound senior right-handed pitcher has led the Bears (13-4) to a berth in the Div. III postseason tournament against Stevens High, scheduled for June 2. Cote owns a 5-1 record on the mound with a 0.73 ERA, recording 72 strikeouts against just six walks in 38.1 innings. A three-time All-State selection, he owns a .480 batting average with three home runs and 24 RBI. Cote was the Class M Player of the Year in 2010 and was a Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason High School Senior All-Region First Team honoree.

Cote has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of youth baseball programs and an area nursing home.

Cote has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Coastal Carolina University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in this month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Cote joins recent Gatorade New Hampshire Baseball Players of the Year Mike Montville (2009-10, 2008-09, Portsmouth), Brad Zapenas (2007-08, Nashua North), and Brian White (2006-07, Salem), among the state’s list of former award winners.


The 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior shortstop batted .479 along with 36 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, 14 RBI and seven doubles this past season, leading the Rebels (16-8) to a berth in the Division I state tournament. A returning First Team All-State selection, Barlow produced a .630 slugging percentage and .578 on-base percentage. Also a right-handed pitcher, Barlow posted a 1.77 ERA and 15 strikeouts against just one walk in 17.1 innings. The two-time Division I South Player of the Year, he finished with a .500 batting average at the plate in addition to a 1.99 ERA over 25 innings on the mound as a junior.

Barlow has maintained a 3.44 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered as part of the Vacation Bible School on behalf of his church community.

“He’s a great ballplayer,” said South Kingstown head coach James Sauro. “He’s by far the best shortstop and one of the best pitchers in the state. For two years, he’s been the Most Outstanding Player in the league, and three of the final four teams remaining are from Division I South. Harrison’s a stud. We only had one captain this year, and it was him. Whenever things went wrong, he kept guys on task. He’s a great leader.”

Barlow will attend the University of Rhode Island this fall.

Barlow joins recent Gatorade Rhode Island Baseball Players of the Year Anthony Aceto (2009-10, North Providence), Ryan Morris (2008-09; North Kingstown), Ryan Westmoreland (2007-08, 2006-07, Portsmouth), among the state’s list of former award winners.


The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior left-handed pitcher led the Blazes to a 14-1 record entering their regular-season finale with Cheverus, scheduled for May 31. At the time of his selection, Heath owned a 5-0 mark on the mound with a 0.00 ERA, recording 41 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. A two-time All-State selection and the 2010 Telegram League MVP, he batted .390 with 18 RBI through 15 games.

Heath has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered as a peer mentor in his school.

Heath has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Maine this fall.

Heath joins recent Gatorade Maine Baseball Players of the Year Matt Verrier (2009-10, Oxford Hills Comprehensive), Chris Bernard (2008-09; Scarborough), Kyle Stilphen (2007-08, Gardiner Area), and Jarrett Lukas (2006-07, Old Town), among the state’s list of former award winners.


The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior shortstop led the Bobwhites to a 12-3 record and a berth in the Div. I postseason tournament, scheduled to begin May 31. At the time of his selection, Swim owned a .558 batting average with two home runs, 21 runs scored and 21 RBI. He’s a three-time All-Metro selection.

Swim has maintained a 3.45 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s Athletic Leadership Council, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs. He also has donated his time by mowing lawns and shoveling snow for elderly residents in his neighborhood.

Swim intends to complete a year of post-graduate study at Maine’s Bridgton Academy, beginning this fall.

Swim joins recent Gatorade Vermont Baseball Players of the Year Adam Picard (2009-10, Essex), Ryan Carter (2008-09; Proctor), Greg Lutton (2007-08, Mt. Abraham Union), and Casey Harman (2006-07, South Burlington), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Rhode Island's Murphy signs with Duke

May, 6, 2011
Duke University announced yesterday that small forward and South Kingstown, R.I. native Alex Murphy has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Blue Devils for the fall of 2011.

Murphy, a 6-foot-8 forward who previously starred at St. Mark's, committed to the Blue Devils last February as a member of the Class of 2012. Last month, he re-classified to the Class of 2011 and transferred out of the Southborough campus, to his hometown South Kingstown High School, where he is expected to receive his high school diploma.

After his freshman year at the Prout School, Murphy transferred to St. Mark's and repeated his freshman year, making this his fourth year of high school. His situation is not unlike that last spring of former Charlestown star Shabazz Napier, who transferred and re-classified to Lawrence Academy after three seasons with the Townies, only to return to Charlestown for the final quarter in order to get his diploma and head to UConn.

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

October, 5, 2010
When East Providence routed Cranston West, 35-14, on September 24 in a Division I game, the victory underscored what most fans of Rhode Island high school football thought: the Townies had a legitimate chance to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2006 – when they beat Hendricken for the state title.

Rhode IslandAmong other things, the Townies were benefitting from the return of junior running back Jalin Braxton, who missed most of last season due to injuries.

Braxton was at his best against the Falcons when he ran for a quartet of touchdowns, including one that covered 51 yards.

Now, flash forward to last weekend when the Townies visited Portsmouth – a one-time Division I power that’s fallen on hard times in recent years.

All the Patriots did was pull off one of the season’s more impressive upsets by beating the Townies, 24-14 as quarterback Ben Willett scored one touchdown and passed for three more.

Moreover, the Townies’ final score was irrelevant since it came in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. What was relevant were the 14 points Portsmouth’s defense held East Providence to – since the Townies had outscored their opponents 135-26 in four overall games.

Since Hendricken beat Cranston East, 16-8, and Barrington played a non-league game, the Hawks (3-0) and Eagles (2-0) emerged from the weekend as the only undefeated teams in the state’s top division.

Even though all coaches regardless of sport recite the “We take them one game at a time” mantra without any provocation, two upcoming games are worth noting on your calendar:

* October 22, when Hendricken visits East Providence.
* November 5, when the Townies travel to Barrington.

Both games could go a long way toward determining the division champion, who would earn the number-one seed in the Division I Tournament.


Because Exeter/West Greenwich plays in Division IV, the Scarlet Knights frequently are dwarfed by the likes of perennial state powers like Hendricken, La Salle, East Providence, Barrington, etc.

Senior running back Al Georgio is doing his best to draw attention to his team, which leads the division with a 3-0 record. In a word, Georgio is shredding opposing defenses.

Through the Scarlet Knights’ four overall games, Georgio has rushed for 975 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Since Exeter/West Greenwich has seven regular-season games remaining – plus, quite likely, at least one in the Division IV Tournament –the stats Georgio could rack up are mind-boggling.


In other games of note:

* La Salle barely staved off defeat against Division I newcomer South Kingstown on October 1 by edging the Rebels, 7-3, thanks to Josh Morris’ 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

* For the first time since 2005, Tolman is undefeated in league play (Division II-B) after three games.

The Tigers reached that mark by blanking Pilgrim, 35-0, as Ousame Samb scored on a 21-yard run and Shayne Taylor returned an interception 50 yards for a score – all in a span of 43 seconds in the third quarter.

In their three league victories, the Tigers have allowed a total of only 304 yards in total offense.

* Barrington played one of the more intriguing non-league games this season against long-time Massachusetts Division III power Bishop Feehan – and coasted to a 43-22 victory.

Alexander Spiess paced the Eagles by scoring three touchdowns, including one on an 85-yard return of a fumble recovery.

* Tiverton shed that proverbial two-ton gorilla by posting its first Division III victory of the season, 12-6 over Classical when John DeCosta threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Robert Kisor with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.


Four men will be inducted into the East Providence High School Hall of Fame at the 27th annual ceremony on October 24:

* Ed Cronan, a retired guidance counselor, coached cross country plus track and field.
His honors include being named Rhode Island Cross Country Coach of the Year and Outstanding Educator by the East Bay Women’s Club.

* Colonel Robert Germani ’79, who was a varsity hockey captain.
He received numerous awards while serving in the Rhode Island Air National Guard as Chief of Security Police, Security Forces Commander and the Detachment Commander for the 201st Mission Support Directorate.

* Robert Silva ’57, who was a standout wrestler for the Townies.
Silva was one of two students selected as the “Most Likely to Succeed.”
He was appointed as legal counsel for the Rhode Island State Resources Board, the State Lottery Commission and the East Providence School Committee.

* James Viara ’62, who also excelled at wrestling for East Providence.
A self-made businessman, Viara during his retirement served as a mentor for young men from dysfunctional families.

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.