Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-01-2021

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 22 of 47

Cumberland Lincoln Edition Sports & Recreation @ APRIL 1-7, 2021 CUMBERLAND – When March turned into April last spring, Ryan Slaney wasn't sure when he was going to be able to run competitively again, and that just wasn't because of the COVID-19 pandemic that was a few weeks old at the time. No thanks to multiple stress frac- tures in his legs, which wiped out his cross country and indoor track and field seasons, the Cumberland resident and Mount Saint Charles Academy senior was left wondering when he would be healthy enough to don a singlet and compete in a meet. But thanks to a superb cross country season last fall with the Mounties that caught the attention of a few collegiate coaches, including one in his neck of the woods, Slaney officially accepted a scholarship to Bryant University last Wednesday, March 24, by signing his National Letter of Intent to the D-I school in the lobby near MSC's gym- nasium. "It feels great to be going there," he said last week. "I was looking to go to a school for business and I also want- ed to run in college, and I knew that Bryant would cover both for me." When he arrives on the Smithfield campus, Slaney will be the third Cumberland athlete on the Bulldogs' roster, joining current Cumberland High middle distance runner Owen Molis, who signed his NLI to Bryant on Jan. 10, and Trey Muraoka, who graduated from CHS last spring and is a freshman high/long jumper for the Bulldogs. Slaney is also the second member of Mount's cross country team to land a D-I scholarship: Owen Noecker, who hails from Douglas, Mass., signed an NLI earlier this year to St. Bonaventure University. Slaney's story is truly a marvel- ous one, not just because he's had to battle his way back from a laundry list of injuries to establish himself as one of the state's top high school runners, but also because he's been active in the sport for more than half his life. As a 5th-grader at Ashton Elementary School, Slaney knew that he had a penchant for distance running after he caught the attention of his gym teacher, Scott Carpenter, during a mile run that he breezed through with an outstanding time. "He told me that I should start run- CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland High football team scored touchdowns on the first and last plays of its Division I opener last Friday night against Shea High, and the defense turned in a strong performance to keep the Raiders off the board and help pave the way for a 15-0 victory. Tensions and tempers flared as high as the wind speeds at Tucker Field – the officials eventually stopped the game with 1:24 to play – but the season began with a bang when Cumberland senior Ryan Larson caught the kickoff at the 11-yard line, broke a tackle, managed to keep himself on his feet, and sped away for a touch- down. "We actually wanted the ball to start the game because we knew Ryan's very athletic and he's deadly with the ball in his hands," Cumberland head coach Josh Lima said. "And Ryan brought it home for us, which was awe- some." The Clippers lined up for the extra-point attempt, but a penalty by the Raiders moved the ball a yard-and-a-half closer to the goal line and made Cumberland change its mind and attempt the two-point conversion. Quarterback Jaden Pimentel then made it an 8-0 game by pushing his way through the middle and into the end zone. For the next 57-plus minutes, this game was a defensive battle, but the Clippers played a little bit better 'D' than the Raiders and saw clutch interceptions by senior defensive back Marc DiSalvo and sophomore lineman Patrick Conserve snuff out two of Shea's longest drives. "It's crazy," Lima said about his defense's performance. "We got two new defensive coordina- tors, Gabe Gonzalez and Silas Copeland, and they've been working so hard together. They're doing a great job. Gabe has been on my staff for seven years now, and Silas came over this year, and those guys got the defense rolling tonight." Shea's best chance to score came on its second possession of the game. They brought the ball from their 46 into the red zone, but the Raiders were flagged for a delay of game and then lost a few more yards on a short pass. The Raiders then turned the ball over on downs when quarterback Anthony Morgan threw back-to- back incomplete passes. With 1:24 to play, the Clippers sewed up their victory when Larson, who will continue his football career this fall at D-III Western New England University in Springfield, Mass., broke free on a 56-yard touchdown run. After some penalties, Cumberland kicker Owen Molis tacked on the extra point. Pimentel, who was making his first start at quarterback, "got rolled up on early in the game and he was just bothered a little bit," Lima said. "That kind of took Larson, Cumberland blank Shea in D-I football opener Clippers bring out best in defensive battle, visit E.P. on Saturday afternoon By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Sports Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY KAYLA PANU Junior quarterback JADEN PIMENTEL and his Cumberland High teammates picked up a hard-fought 15-0 victory over Shea in their season opener last Friday night at Tucker Field. They will return to action on Saturday when they take on East Providence in a 1 p.m. matchup at the Townies' Pierce Field. See CUMBERLAND, Page 25 Cumberland's Slaney signs NLI to run at Bryant MSC All-Stater hopes superb cross country showing leads into successful outdoor track season By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor See SLANEY, Page 24 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:, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Landscapers Welcome Propane Filling Station Sales & Service New & Used Pick Up & Delivery Financing Available 368 Danielson Pike North Scituate, RI • 401-647-3925 Consumers Propane 762-5461 BOUSQUET OIL 769-0146 139 HAMLET AVE. WOONSOCKET, RI 02895-0628 Service – SALeS – iNSTALLATiON Of gAS & OiL heATiNg equipmeNT • Boilers • Furnaces • Hot Water Heaters WE FILL GAS GRILL TANKS

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