Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-03-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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14 SPORTS & RECREATION APRIL 3-9, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION Woonsocket, Classical, Mount Pleasant, and St. Raphael Academy. Wheeler, which plays its games at the Wheeler School Farm in Seekonk, Mass., is only 25 minutes away, and the only long bus ride the team will take will be to Westerly a week from Friday. "The best part about (the 'B' subdivision) is we'll get a few Beef Barn games," said Garganese, referring to the popular roast beef sandwich restaurant that sits on the North Smithfield/Woonsocket line. "That's always big, and it's something that the kids really look forward to. Usually, at the end of a game, win or lose, we'll go to kind of bond as a team – and feast." The Cougars, who received the Division I-North's Team Sportsmanship Award last season, have three captains, seniors Dom Pontarelli and Christian Matarese and junior Nick Conte, and they will lead an 18-player roster that might be one of the team's most versatile in quite some time. Behind the plate, Garganese hopes to have senior Ben Rastelli behind the plate, but last Friday, he reported that he "has about four or five guys that we've been using in the scrim- mages and practices." At first base, the Cougars have three solid options in senior P.J. Rioles, junior Marcus Brotherns, and Pontarelli. The Cougars' dou- ble play combination of senior Tom Krikorian at second base and Conte at shortstop is back from last spring, and at third base, senior Peter Pimentel, who is back in the program after a year away from it, has been impressive in the preseason, noted Garganese. In the outfield, junior Matt Mandeville, who helped out behind the plate last season, will patrol center field, and Matarese will play right field, though he may also see time in the infield and on the mound. Left field will see either junior Ryan O'Connell or sophomore John DeCarmo playing there, and O'Connell can also be used on the mound. Speaking of the pitching staff, Pontarelli, a southpaw, and Conte are the Cougars' top two arms, but Garganese is unsure who his num- ber three starter will be. "I have arms and I have options, but nobody has established themselves," said Garganese, who got to see a lot of pitchers take their turns on the hill during scrimmages against Juanita Sanchez, Johnston, Lincoln, and Shea. "No one has really come into the forefront." As for the rest of his roster, "we have a lot of versatility," the head coach said. "All the other guys who may not be starting actually have the potential to play multiple positions." Sophomore Christopher Matarese may be one of the team's most versatile players, noted Garganese, for he can play in the outfield and may also see some time catching. Sophomore Nick Rioles, P.J.'s brother, has been playing third and the outfield and can also pitch; his classmate, Chris Harvey, could play behind the plate and in the outfield or infield, and freshman C.J. Almagno has been doing well behind the plate, but can also play the infield. Senior second baseman Xavier Henriquez, junior outfielder Tyler Scetta, and sophomore middle infielder Jeremy Gervais are also in the mix for playing time. BASEBALL From Page 13 BREEZE PHOTO BY ERIC BENEVIDES North Providence junior tri- captain NICK CONTE is back for his third season as the Cougars' starting shortstop. NP, which is playing in Division II for the first time since 2006, will open its season this afternoon by hosting the Wheeler School. Jeter shines in NP girls' lacrosse team's season-opening loss GLOCESTER – Junior goalie Sophia Jeter turned away 30 shots in a brilliant performance during the North Providence High girls' lacrosse team's Division III opener against Ponaganset on Monday night, but the host Chieftains broke open a close game with eight goals in the second half and came away with a 13-6 victory. Juniors Ashley Siravo and Raffaella Brunetti each scored twice for the Cougars and senior Nicole Mendoza and junior Stephanie Saucier added the other goals. The Cougars will face North Smithfield in their home opener on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Rhode Island's high school sports. He is the first Valley Breeze & Observer sports journalist to win the award since 2013, when Peter Connell post- humously received the honor. Also honored were Pawtucket's Ray McGee, a former coach at the three Pawtucket high schools and the athletic director at Shea High, and former Smithfield High physical edu- cation and health teacher and coach Cindy Neal, who were inducted into the RIIAAA's Hall of Fame. Ponaganset High School, which had several highlights in 2018, start- ing with its wrestling team and All- American hammer/weight thrower Gianna Rao capturing New England championships, was named the RIIAAA's School of the Year. Also recognized by the RIIAAA for 45 years of service were Mount Saint Charles Academy's Richard Lawrence and Smithfield High's Tony Torregrossa. The other winners were: • Sister Charlene Tedeschi Distinguished Service Award: Tim Brown, Middletown Boosters • NIAAA State Award of Merit: Keith Cory, Johnston High School • School Administrator of the Year: Joseph Hurley, Barrington High School • Female Coach of the Year: Denise Patsos, Middletown High School • Male Coach of the Year: John "Sandy" Gorham, Barrington High School • Hall of Fame Inductees: Frederick T. Adams, Classical High School, and Amelio "Emo" DiNitto, Warwick Schools RIIAAA From Page 13 do you know? You're holding 1 newspaper, but we fi ll 5 every week! They're all at valleybreeze.com Can't figure out how? Let us help! We can help you manage your Facebook account (Instagram, too!) Contact Brad to get started today! 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