SPORTS

Winning while losing and a few upsets

Posted 6/23/21

This was a rough weekend for our three teams that were playing in state championships as they went a combined 0-3.

Pilgrim boys lacrosse, Toll Gate girls lacrosse and Bishop Hendricken volleyball …

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SPORTS

Winning while losing and a few upsets

Posted

This was a rough weekend for our three teams that were playing in state championships as they went a combined 0-3.

Pilgrim boys lacrosse, Toll Gate girls lacrosse and Bishop Hendricken volleyball all came up short in hard-fought battles. All three games were competitive and each team had their moments, but ultimately they just were one step behind.

On Sunday after Toll Gate lost, I had a feeling of sadness for our three teams. When you get to know the teams you cover, there is part of you that truly roots for them. As a journalist, your job is to be as unbiased as possible, but at the high school level it is just different. It’s hard to not grow attached to those teams that are playing simply for their love of the sport.

As I was driving away from Cumberland High School, something hit me though … these kids made it to the final game of the season and successfully completed the spring.

Luckily, we are in the home stretch of the pandemic. Numbers continue to drop, restrictions are being lifted. Sure, it’s still out there and affecting the world, but we are fastly approaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few months back, we weren’t sure if there would be a season at all. We weren’t sure what restrictions would be in place, there were just so many unknowns.

Although the season didn’t end in the ideal fashion for these three teams, they got to enjoy a full season and play in the championship games which is pretty cool.

Kids are resilient and high schoolers have much more to worry about than wins and losses. It all hit me that the ones that will take the most of this spring will be the players. There’s no reason to feel bummed out for them. They had fun, including on the championship stage.

Congrats to all of our teams that played in championship action this past weekend, it was a pleasure to cover you this season.

Prior to the weekend, two of our baseball teams pulled off huge upsets. Cranston West topped Bishop Hendricken while Pilgrim beat Portsmouth.

Each club ended up being eliminated after, but for them to get through these two teams was impressive.

Bishop Hendricken has been the best program in the state over the past two decades. I don’t need to list the championships and accomplishments … we all know what they are made of.

West traveled to Warwick and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the spring and certainly one of the biggest baseball upsets of the year … maybe even the biggest.

Between sharp pitching, clean defense and timely hitting, the Falcons were ready to go and got the job done. West coach Rob Malo collected his 200th career win, it was just a great story all around.

Pilgrim beat top-seeded Portsmouth as well. Now, Portsmouth isn’t quite the power that Hendricken is, but it was one of the hottest teams in the state throughout the spring, outside of a few games, they were never really even challenged.

In came Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s Jared Reminder was the staff ace and arguably the top pitcher in Rhode Island this spring. But this time it was on Kenny Rix’s shoulders and he pitched a gem. It was one of those games that show how much a strong pitching performance can do for a team. Similar to riding the hot goalie in hockey, sometimes one player can be an x-factor.

That’s not to take credit away from the rest of Pilgrim, who had a fantastic season. But on that day against Portsmouth, it was Rix’s moment and he delivered.

We get one more weekend of championship action this week and it should feature another great slate of matchups and athletes.

When looking back on it all, we should be very proud and thankful that we were able to have a full schedule of sports and games this school year.

Was it always pretty? No. Was it always easy? No. Was it always comfortable? No. But we did it. Sports are back and 99 percent normal. By fall, it should be 100 percent.

Let’s enjoy this last week here and get excited for the summer, which I cant believe is already knocking on our doorstep.

Let me rant about a national topic here.

As many of you know by now, there is currently a big crisis going on in Major League Baseball regarding pitchers and doctoring baseballs.

In short, the league came out and said that it would be taking a hard stand against pitchers using foreign substances to establish a better grip on the baseball. Many players have spoken out against it and we have already seen numbers decline and pitchers struggle.

In my opinion, these pitchers are a bunch of cry babies that should be embarrassed. I get it, they have become used to using things like sunscreen and different forms of tack to grip the ball over the years. It was one of those things that was kind of swept under the rug until recently. I totally understand their frustration and understand that it will be a process to adjust. But for them to whine and complain, like Boston’s Garrett Richards … grow up, you’re paid millions of dollars. Figure out how to throw the ball without the aid of these substances.

At some point in their lives, whether it was Little League or high school, these guys had to learn to throw off the mound.

They also are born with a God-given ability to throw harder than ordinary humans.

So stop complaining that it is unfair or unnecessary, stop feeling bad for yourselves, and get on the mound and throw the ball. If that is too much to ask, then maybe you don’t belong in professional baseball.

My Pitch, sports

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