Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-31-2019

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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Cumberland Lincoln Edition Sports & Recreation @ OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 6, 2019 Playoffs are in sight for young Clippers Back-to-back victories set up Friday night's key Div. I-A football clash with Saints By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor CUMBERLAND – It was two months ago when head coach Josh Lima sat in a classroom before one of his team's morning practices and confessed that he had no idea what to expect from his Cumberland High football team this season. With nearly every Division I-A team entering this season with a veteran roster, the Clippers were on the opposite end of the spectrum. Lima and his coaching staff found themselves with their hands full in the preseason, not only coaching the basics to a young roster that was loaded with juniors and sophomores, but also one that had just four returning starters. "We were that young," he recalled. "But I said to every- one at the beginning of the year, 'If we click early, we're going to be really good early, and if we don't click early, it's going to take us time to get going.'" Unfortunately for the Clippers, they didn't click early. They lost four of their first five contests, includ- ing a last-minute defeat in their non-league opener with Killingly, Conn., and held a 1-3 mark in the division that put any playoff hopes they had in jeopardy. But the Clippers threw themselves back in the post- season picture these past two weekends by not only blast- ing South Kingstown, 49-8, two Fridays ago on their Homecoming Night, but also downing Cranston East, 21-7, last Friday night at Cranston Stadium. With unbeaten Bishop Hendricken returning to the state championship game and North Kingstown (5-1) and Shea (4-2) locked into two of the Division I-A's playoff spots, that leaves two spots open for the Clippers, St. Raphael Academy (3-3), and East Providence (2-4) to grab. East Providence, which vis- its Cranston West (5-1) – fresh off last weekend's stunning 34-13 triumph over La Salle – on Friday night, is a long- shot to capture one of those remaining spots. That leaves Cumberland and SRA in the driver's seat, and they will face each other on Friday at 7 p.m. at Tucker Field. "I told the guys, 'We're taking everything week by week,'" said Lima, whose team holds a head-to-head tie- breaker with East Providence, thanks to the Clippers' 30-21 over the Townies on Sept. 27. "'Let's just focus on that and keep stacking up W's.' But it's nice to get back to .500 in the league, which is huge." Lima talked about the Clippers' season after last Friday's win over the Thunderbolts, which saw his team jump out to a quick 14-0 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos and a 29-yard touchdown pass from Aviles- Santos to senior co-captain Shane Meerbott. Unfortunately for the Clippers, they also made their share of mistakes over the next three quarters, but their defense kept the Thunderbolts off the score- board until they scored a touchdown on the contest's final play. BREEZE PHOTOS BY ERIC BENEVIDES Left, Cranston East quarterback BEN HARDING, #10, is in big trouble and has nowhere to hide as he is sacked by Cumberland senior defensive tackle JULIAN BROOKS, #66, junior defensive back MARC DISALVO, #11, and senior linebacker ED INSCOE, #52, during last Friday night's game at Cranston Stadium. The Clippers evened their Division I-A record at 3-3 by defeating the Thunderbolts, 21-7. Right, Cumberland sophomore wide receiver CAM PEDRO, left, congratulates senior wide receiver SHANE MEERBOTT with a simple handshake after Meerbott caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with 5:14 to play in the first quarter. See CLIPPERS, Page 25 2295 Diamond Hill Rd. Route 114 (off Exit 11, Route 295) CUMBERLAND, RI BUILDING STRENGTH. FACILITATING RECOVERY. SUPPORTING YOUR GOALS. All of our experienced therapists are licensed and extensively trained to meet your individual needs. • Physical Therapy • Sports Medicine • Advanced Manual Therapy • Craniosacral Therapy • Myofascial Release 401-305-3858 Saint Anthony Holiday Bazaar &Flea Market 1413 Mineral Spring Ave. Saturday, November 2nd from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, November 3rd from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Entertainment and Games for the Children Gift baskets, Penny Social, Jewelry & Handcrafted Items A Holiday Flea Market for All! The kitchen opens at 11 a.m. serving wonderful Italian items Grand raffle $4,000 in cash prizes All proceeds benefit our Youth Ministry & Religious Education Programs NORTH PROVIDENCE

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