More history made this postseason

Posted 2/28/24

We are in the thick of the playoffs and with so many events on the table and now off the table, here are some thoughts of mine as we grind through the postseason.

First off, the wrestling state …

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More history made this postseason


We are in the thick of the playoffs and with so many events on the table and now off the table, here are some thoughts of mine as we grind through the postseason.

First off, the wrestling state championships were last weekend and marked a historic event.

Although our male competitors had a relatively quiet day, it was the first-ever female state championship and we had three grapplers take home first-place finishes. Those girls were Toll Gate’s Angel Bui and Victoria Salinas as well as Pilgrim’s Allison Patten.

For the state to finally include girls divisions, hopefully this will open doors moving forward and expand the sport of wrestling in the Ocean State.

Although wrestling is a male-dominated sport, there are more female competitors than ever and they have always been overlooked. In a sport as physically and mentally demanding as wrestling, any athlete that steps on the mat deserves a ton of credit and shine. Sure, the brackets were small in each weight class, but perhaps this will open some eyes moving forward and convince girls that are on the fence about competing to give it a go.

I also believe that the results are feather in the cap for the Warwick coaches. To see the city have so much success was a nice accomplishment, and I know that Winman and Vets also have some girls in their programs on the rise. Look out.

The hockey playoffs are starting up this week and I am stoked to follow along. The East Greenwich-Toll Gate co-op pulled off an upset over Mount St. Charles on Monday to advance against reigning champ Bishop Hendricken on Friday and Pilgrim squared off against Moses Brown on Tuesday at Thayer. Cranston got a big 6-1 win over Lincoln in the opening round of the DII bracket as well and will be taking on first-place Ponaganset.

For Division I, the Hawks have separated themselves a bit down the stretch and I would be shocked to see them come up short in their quest for a four-peat. Sure, Prout dealt them a loss and La Salle is always capable of getting the job done, but since the loss to Prout, the Hawks have scorched everyone in their path.

Sometimes, all a team needs is a little kick in the rear and that’s exactly what the Hawks got. Hendricken has the best offense in the state by a large margin, led by Griffin Crain, Nick Stevens and Jack LaRose. The team is no slouch defensively and has a quality tandem in net. Not to mention that this group is as seasoned as any in the state.

Pilgrim was one of my dark horses heading into the winter and although the Pats have not quite played up to the level of those top three aforementioned clubs, I still believe that they can make things interesting now healthy. Ryan Barlow and Richie Cavanagh are one of the best 1-2 punches in Rhode Island.

In Division II, it’s impossible to count the Falcons out. Although, similarly to Pilgrim, Cranston’s record is not impressive, the Falcons have gone toe to toe with some of the best teams and even got a late season win over BVS. Even if the Falcons were the home ice favorite in the opening round against the Lions, a 6-1 win is impressive.

If Cranston beats Ponaganset in the next round, then all of a sudden it becomes the division favorite.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on an event that took place at the college level.

After Wake Forest beat Duke in a big upset win in men’s basketball, the Wake Forest fans stormed the court and wound up injuring Duke’s Kyle Filipowski. This incident came just a month after a similar situation occurred when Ohio State beat Iowa in women’s hoops and injured Caitlin Clark, another big-time player.

There have since been many people speaking out against this longtime celebration method. Court storms have been a staple of college basketball, especially, for years.

I, too, feel that it is time to put an end to the practice. I love the fan section as much as anyone. The fans are what make sports great theater, especially in college basketball. The fans are the only reason I tune into March Madness, to be honest with you.

But to allow tens of thousands of fans to trample the arena’s staffers and players from all angles? Can’t happen. Sure, there is only so much that can be done against a mob of those numbers, but there needs to at least be an effort made.

If a big upset is brewing, perhaps the arenas should devote a greater security presence in the respective fan section. Perhaps there should be additional barriers and barricades put in place as well. I hate to resort to arrests and things of that nature, but it is so incredibly unsafe to allow a multi-thousand person free for all to take place spontaneously. It’s a miracle that more people haven’t been injured in this antiquated tradition. It’s only a matter of time.

pitch, history, postseason


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