Running around the state the previous couple of weeks, protecting as many video games as potential and seeing as many various groups as I can makes this job a heck of quite a lot of enjoyable.
It additionally makes me lose monitor of time.
This week, I acquired an abrupt punch within the face when my e-mail field was hit up with seeds for this weekend’s RIIL Boys Tennis State Qualifying Tournaments. Playoffs? Can’t be. We simply bought carried out with the ultimate two weeks of second winter.
As I wrote tales final week, the reality was laborious to disregard. Most sports activities are on the halfway level or will formally hit that mark this week. Video games are beginning to matter extra and groups are starting to ascertain themselves as contenders.
There’s so much occurring and it’s actually laborious to maintain up with all of it — consider me.
So, right here’s the place we stand as we hit the second half of the spring season, with playoffs solely three weeks away. We’re leaving golf out of this one and monitor’s image will begin to be painted as soon as the massive postseason meets start subsequent weekend.
Plenty of the acquainted faces have been close to the highest of the Division I standings with Hendricken, North Kingstown, Pilgrim, Portsmouth and South Kingstown doing what most anticipated. Cumberland has been a nice shock in I-A and Barrington just isn’t trying significantly flustered after its transfer from Division II. The Skippers are the one undefeated workforce left, or have been when this column was written earlier than their sport with one-loss Portsmouth on Friday.
Division II has been dominated by undefeated Westerly, however Chariho, Johnston and Prout are bunched up proper behind the Bulldogs in II-B. On the II-A facet, there’s no prohibitive favourite anymore. Burrillville, St. Raphael, Woonsocket, North Windfall, Ponaganset and Mount St. Charles are all taking turns beating one another and may make for an fascinating race.
Classical was cruising alongside in Division III till struggling a 1-0 loss to Davies. The Purple play undefeated North Smithfield subsequent week in a two-game collection that may inform us so much about the place the highway to the title goes by means of. Be careful for Juanita Sanchez, which has quietly put collectively a terrific season thus far. (And if you need a darkhorse, it’s Davies.)
There received’t be a extra aggressive postseason this yr than what we’re going to see in Division I softball. When this column was written, La Salle, Bay View and Pilgrim all had one loss — with the Bengals downing the Patriots earlier within the week for his or her first L — and Coventry had two.
The scary half about Division I softball is, even with groups like St. Raphael, Smithfield, Cranston West, Cumberland, East Windfall or Burrillville/North Smithfield all hovering round .500, every has pretty much as good an opportunity as any in a single-elimination format. Count on upsets.
Division II-North has been led by Ponaganset, East Greenwich and Toll Gate, however West Warwick and Lincoln each have pitching that would flip a collection the wrong way up. Mt. Hope, led by ace Reilly Amaral, stay undefeated in II-South and is the one workforce to beat Prout. Middletown and Westerly are proper within the thick of it and Narragansett has been grinding out wins.
Division III has been all about defending champ Central and final yr’s runner-up, Shea/Tolman. Davies’ solely two losses this season have been to the Knights and Raiders, however it looks like the highest two groups are the groups to beat this spring.
Let’s make this simple: It’s La Salle and Moses Brown and everybody else is taking part in for third. The Quakers host the Rams Wednesday of their lone regular-season matchup and, if my very own youngsters have video games that day, they’re not going to must stroll.
As dominant as the highest two have been in Division I, that’s how dominant Mount St. Charles has been in Division II. The Mounties escaped with a 7-6 win over Prout/Exeter-West Greenwich on Might 3, however haven’t proven indicators of letting something sluggish them down.
It’s the identical story in Division III, the place the Revenge Tour rolls on for Pilgrim. After shedding final yr’s D-III title sport to Burrillville, the Patriots have performed with function and look to be in management. Narragansett and Toll Gate will do no matter potential to present them a run and don’t depend out Cranston West.
Division IV is a bit more aggressive. Smithfield and Tiverton every has one loss and can meet in an enormous sport on Might 16. North Smithfield, final yr’s Division III finalist, handed Smithfield its lone loss and the Northmen play Tiverton on Monday. Count on one of many three to finish up hoisting the trophy in June.
Moses Brown has received the earlier six state titles and has given little indication it received’t win No. 7 this spring. Barrington put up a combat of their matchup two weeks in the past and one-loss Lincoln College will get a shot on Might 17.
Portsmouth has been equally dominant in Division II. The Patriots are undefeated and beat one-loss Toll Gate and one-loss Burrillville by 10 targets or extra. Portsmouth misplaced the Division II title sport final yr and it seems just like the Patriots have let it gasoline their hearth all season.
Had an opportunity to see East Windfall’s resurging program play final week in a win over Mount St. Charles and the Townies have shortly established themselves as the favourite. EP has two massive video games left with undefeated North Smithfield (Might 10) and Windfall Nation Day/Blackstone Valley Prep (Might 18). Cranston East has just one loss to its title and it’s the identical story for Ponaganset. Very like the boys facet, the bottom division of lacrosse would be the best at playoff time.
North Kingstown and Hendricken have been anticipated to be contenders this spring and they’re. La Salle? That is sensible with the expertise the Rams have. Chariho? That’s the shock story of the season thus far. This part would have extra, however due to early deadlines, I’m writing it forward of the Chariho-La Salle match that happened Thursday night time.
I did have an opportunity to see Mount St. Charles/North Smithfield play on Wednesday night time and it’s clear why the previous state champs are undefeated in Division II. You’ll be able to by no means depend out East Windfall and Pilgrim has the expertise to compete as nicely. Westerly is a darkish horse, having handed Pilgrim a loss, and don’t sleep on Barrington.
After beating St. Raphael, 3-2, within the season opener, Lincoln hasn’t dropped a set, so its secure to say the Lions are the prohibitive favourite in Division III. Johnston and St. Raphael might shut that hole in a rush, although.
La Salle is undefeated and, whereas it’s simple to simply say the Rams are runaway favorites, don’t depend out Barrington. The Eagles misplaced each matchups with La Salle, 4-3, and usually are not who the Rams need to see within the postseason. Moses Brown is robust and South Kingstown is younger however proficient.
Mount St. Charles and Smithfield are each undefeated in Division II. The groups meet Might 10 to present us an concept of how the title match would possibly go, however don’t depend out Smithfield, Cumberland, Tiverton or Ponaganset. Tennis is a humorous sport and upsets are likely to occur extra usually than you suppose.
Division III is top-heavy, with undefeated Windfall Nation Day and St. Raphael main the way in which and two one-loss groups in East Windfall and Chariho. They will all be taking part in one another within the remaining weeks of the season, which is able to clear that image up so much sooner.