Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-30-2020

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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North Smithfield Blackstone and Woonsocket Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 WOONSOCKET – Drive into the parking lot at Renaud Field and take a left before you reach the baseball field and you will come across a path in the woods that leads to a wide open field that sits near the Dionne Track and contains a fenced area for discus and hammer throwers to work on their craft. Arrive at this field on a week- day morning and you will also come across a small band of teen- agers known as the Ocean State Hammerheads. This group, which features Woonsocket High track and field standouts and New England indoor champions Logan Coles and Tarik Robinson-O'Hagan and recent graduate Jesse Houle, has been tire- lessly throwing in those woods since the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the New Balance National Indoor Championships at the beginning of March, and shortly later, the entire RIIL spring season. "I told them right after they can- celed (the nationals), 'We don't know what's going to happen,'" Hammerheads coach Marc Piette said last week. "'We need to train as if someone was going to come up with a season,' because we didn't know if we were going to start at the beginning of May or at some other time." "I said, 'Listen, I can't be with you. but you guys have to get out there and get your throws in,'" Piette continued. "They couldn't get to a gym, but a couple of them had some weights at home and they did as much as they possibly could. But they got out there and threw, the three of them together, and it was as if they formed their own little team." After three months away from com- petition, that "little team" of Coles, Robinson-O'Hagan, and Houle has finally been able to test its mettle, and this trio has proved that hard work always pays off at the end. They have taken part in vir- tual meets, including last month's NSAF (National Scholastic Athletics Foundation) Virtual Nationals, which saw Robinson-O'Hagan and Coles capture All-American honors – Robinson-O'Hagan took second place in the shot put with a 60-foot-4 throw, and Coles finished fourth in the 12-pound hammer with a throw of 219 feet, two inches. They have been regulars at an RITCA throwing meet that takes place every Tuesday night at Alvarez High School in Providence, and they have crossed state lines to take on some of the region's top throwers at two Throwhawks Mini Meets at Bowen Field in New Haven, Conn. "The good news was when they started bringing in all those virtual meets," added Piette, who has been back coaching his throwers since school ended on June 15. "It gave them something to train for, and they were very successful in those." At the first Throwhawks Mini Meet that took place on the weekend of June 19-21, the three throwers placed in the top five of the weight event with throws that are currently ranked in the top 10 in the nation. Coles won the event with a throw of 229-10 that has him ranked second in the country behind two-time defending national champion Trey Knight of Ridgefield, Wash., who leads the nation with a 261-7 throw. Houle, who will be taking his tal- ents to Ohio's Walsh University this Hard work pays off for Hammerheads Ranked in top 10 in nation in hammer, Woonsocket's Coles, Robinson-O'Hagan, Houle welcome return to competition By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTOS BY ERIC BENEVIDES Left, JESSE HOULE, who graduated from Woonsocket High last month and will attend Ohio's Walsh University in the fall, gets ready to throw the weight during Monday morning's workout in the woods near the Dionne Track. Right, LOGAN COLES watches the flight of his hammer throw during Monday's workout. See HAMMERHEADS, Page 14 Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. S STANLEY TREE • Professional High Quality Service At Reasonable Rates • Licensed Arborists • Serving RI & Nearby M ass. • Our Team Of Professionals Is Fully Equipped To Handle Your Job In A Safe Efficient Manner Fully Insured Free Estimates N. Smithfield, Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-4 401-765-4677 Since 1986 www.StanleyTree.com Affordable Solutions for Your Tree Problems TREE REMOVAL EXPERTS Plant Health Care Spraying/Fertilization Tree Removal Tree Removal Pruning Pruning Cabling Cabling Brush Mowing Brush Mowing Stump Grinding Stump Grinding Crane Service Crane Service

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