Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-23-2019

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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North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ MAY 23-29, 2019 WOONSOCKET -- When it comes to elite high school throwers signing Division I and II National Letters of Intent to continue their careers, not many public schools in New England can top the number of athletes the Woonsocket High track and field pro- gram has sent to the next level over the past six seasons. This spring, the Novans' number increased to nine when three more throwers, Marissa Henley, Bridget Damon, and Derin Paskanik, made their collegiate plans official, with Henley (Kent State University) and Damon (Wagner College) heading to D-I schools and Paskanik attending D-II Post University. Last season, Kurowski signed her NLI to attend D-II Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and the Class of 2017 saw Jared Briere (Oregon), Jacob Greenless (Virginia Commonwealth), and Dylan Cote (Mississippi State) take their talents to D-I universities). Connor Fugere, who graduated from WHS in 2014 and continued his career at Northeastern University, and Cheyanne Nalle, who picked up her high school diploma the follow- ing year, went to D-II Texas A&M University-Kingsville. "All those kids worked hard when they were here," Woonsocket throws coach Marc Piette said next to his throwers' workout in the school's weight room last Thursday afternoon. "You have to work hard. If you don't work hard, you won't get much. It's a pretty simple philosophy." Henley was the first of her class- mates to decide on her school, doing so late last fall after paying visits to Iowa State and Towson University before checking out Kent State, which competes in the Mid-American Conference and is best known to New England Patriots fans as the alma mater of wide receiver Julian Edelman. "I said to myself, 'Oh, this is dif- ferent,'" she recalled. "I liked it a lot. When I visited there, the first thing I saw was that there was a lot of diver- sity, and that's what I wanted in a school. And (seeing) all the signs, pic- tures, and little pamphlets, (you could tell) it was a very green school." "And then I met the team and I fell in love with them," she continued. "The first day, it was friendship at first sight. One of the team members was like, 'You fit in like a puzzle piece, so why don't you just come here?' And I like the (throws) coach. (Nathan Fanger) is very similiar to Piette, because he's lenient, but strict at the same time, and that's what I wanted." Henley, who plans to major in international relations-comparative Hard work pays off for WHS throwers Henley (Kent State), Damon (Wagner), Paskanik (Post) set sights on continuing superb track and field careers in college By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ERIC BENEVIDES BRIDGET DAMON, left, MARISSA HENLEY, center, and DERIN PASKANIK show off their collegiate apparel before working out in the Woonsocket High locker room last Thursday afternoon. The trio signed National Letters of Intent to continue their throwing careers at Division I and II colleges. See THROWERS, Page 20

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