Looking back before looking too far forward
Winter comes on so fast that I never see it coming. One day I’m enjoying the sun, covering a football game on a warm day, and the next, I’m inside writing winter sports previews while it’s dark outside at 3:30 p.m.
That’s not an exaggeration. On Dec. 2, I watched Hendricken pull off a stunning upset of La Salle in the Division I Super Bowl, and then spent the bulk of Dec. 3 writing stories about the upcoming basketball season.
There’s not really a good opportunity to reflect on the great moments from one season before the next season gets into high gear. I was covering track on Tuesday in Providence and I ran into Hendricken defensive coordinator Mike Green, who doubles as a track coach at Classical.
Was he still basking in the glow of his team’s Super Bowl win, I asked?
Not really, he said. How could he? Track started the very next day.
That’s just the way it is, I guess, but I’m not quite ready to give up the fall season yet. Yes, winter is here and 7 p.m. games, Christmas songs, sweaters and the large, front-lawn Santa Claus in the yard of the person who lives across the street from the Beacon offices are all back, but fall deserves a little more credit before we put it to bed. It had some special moments.
I’ll remember, first and foremost, that Super Bowl win for Hendricken, which I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around. Those players and coaches will tell their kids and their grandkids about their miraculous upset, and the kids and grandkids will probably think it’s a bunch of hyperbole. But it won’t be.
Then there was the Pilgrim girls’ soccer team’s run to the Division II semifinals, where the Pats came up a goal short of reaching the finals.
They didn’t end up getting as far as they wanted to go – and probably should have gone – but they erased the bad memories of quarterfinal losses each of the previous two years. For a senior-laden team that had suffered the tragedy of losing two teammates in a car accident just last season, it was a terrific accomplishment and one that was certainly well-deserved.
I’ll look back at the fall of 2012 and think about the Hendricken soccer team, which played great soccer for most of the year but was also as snake-bit as any team I’ve ever covered. If hitting the crossbar was a measure of success, the Hawks would have dominated the competition
Still, they took part in one of the most entertaining games I saw all fall, when they lost 2-0 to La Salle in the Division I quarterfinals. They nearly took out the heavily-favored Rams (where have we seen that before?) and it was one of the best-played showings in any sport that I’ve seen on the job.
It was also a big fall at Warwick Vets, where the boys’ soccer team got its first league win since 2009 and the field hockey team got its first league win in just as long. The football team had its best year since 2008, and it nearly broke into the Division II playoffs.
I thought about all of these moments when, last Thursday, I stayed late at the office, walked outside into the cold and the wind, got into my freezing car and drove to Toll Gate for a girls’ basketball game between the Titans and Pilgrim.
I may have even cursed winter a little bit, while turning off “Feliz Navidad” on the radio.
Then I got to Toll Gate, and I watched the Titans win their first basketball game in over a year and celebrate the victory like the big deal it was to all those players and coaches.
And in my head I said, “Now that’s pretty special…”
Maybe winter’s not too bad after all.
Kevin Pomeroy is the assistant sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.