Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-14-2020

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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Page 13 of 55

14 SPORTS & RECREATION MAY 14-20, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION SMITHFIELD – The Smithfield High football team will return to the Division IV ranks this season, and the Sentinels will do so with a new head coach that has nearly two decades of experience in the RIIL. Glenn Castiglia, whose coaching resume includes the 2015 and '16 sea- sons as Woonsocket's head coach and the last three years as an assistant at Cranston East, has been handed the keys to the program, and he's "very eager to start the challenge" of turning the Sentinels' fortunes around. "Smithfield has always had a strong athletic program," reported Castiglia, who is also the head wrestling coach at Cranston East and teaches history at Woonsocket High. "And they have a football program that has won in the past, so you know things are in place there to get it done." The last time the Sentinels produced a winning season was 2016, a year after they went undefeated and won the Division IV championship. With the D-IV taking a two-year hiatus that began in 2016, Smithfield made the most out of that season in D-III by posting a 6-1 mark and reaching the semifinals. But the program fell on rough times over the next three seasons, compiling a 2-19 mark in D-III play and win- ning a total of five games. Last year's squad went winless in league play and was shut out in seven of its 11 games. When the season ended, "(Smithfield) was one of the first (head coaching spots) that I heard might open up," Castiglia recalled. "I knew they hadn't been successful in the last three years, and I like the idea of trying to build something and kind of bring something back. I like that challenge, so I thought that might be interesting." "And once I had my initial meet- ing with (principal) Dan Kelley and (athletic director) Chris Coderre, I felt that they were very supportive and (Smithfield) would be a good spot for me," he added. In a press release by the school, Kelley officially welcomed Castiglia to "Sentinel Nation" and noted that his new head coach "fully believes that academics, character, discipline, and sportsmanship are essential components of a high school football program." "I believe Glenn is absolutely the right person to move our football program forward," Coderre said. "His success building programs, whether it'd be football or wrestling, is well documented and really sets him apart. His vision to build a well-rounded successful program matches the expectations of the school, and I look forward to working with him in the years to come." Castiglia is a native of Elmwood Park, N.J. and 1995 graduate of D-III Lycoming College in Williamsport, Penn., where he was a defensive back on the Warriors' football team. His coaching resume also contains a decade-long run as Woonsocket's head wrestling coach, five more years as an assistant football coach at WHS, and the wrestling job he's had at Cranston East since 2012. Since Castiglia has been unable to meet anyone in person or visit the high school because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he's talked to a few of his soon-to-be seniors on Google Meet. He's looking forward to his first online team meeting, and he's been trying to gather some film of last season's team so he can start evaluating the players who should return to this fall's squad. Speaking of this fall, "I'm pray- ing, like everyone else, that we have somewhat of either a full season or as close to a normal season as possible," admitted Castiglia. "And if that's the case, I want to hit the ground running and I want to be ready to play." As for his goals this year. "I want to be competitive," he said. "I'm not going to say anything about wins and losses, but if we're competitive on a weekly basis, I'm going to be pretty excited. I think that's going to be the big step forward." Castiglia takes over Sentinels Former Woonsocket head coach embraces 'challenge' of turning around Smithfield football team's fortunes By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor Former Woonsocket High head football coach GLENN CASTIGLIA, who led the Novans in 2015 and '16, has been named the new head coach of Smithfield High. Congratulations 2020 Graduate TRAVIS JAMES PARE May 16, 2020 We proudly announce the completion of our son's Baccalaureate Degree from Rhode Island College majoring in Technology Education Magna Cum Laude. Travis's outstanding academic achievement and dedication in the field of education is commendable. 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