New England Roundup: Rhode Island

Cranston West blinked first.

Rhode IslandThe Division I state baseball champion was clipped, 6-3, by 16-time state champion Hendricken.

That victory enabled the Hawks to remain undefeated and grab sole possession of first place.

Entering the first week in May, Hendricken (10-0) held a three-game lead over the Falcons (7-3).

Tom Pannone was a one-man wrecking crew against the Falcons. Besides striking out 10 he also hit a three-run homer. Pannone picked up where he left off in a 10-5 victory over East Greenwich as he fanned 11in 7 1/3 innings.

Mike King and Reed Gamache personally wrecked Tiverton in 13-0 victory. King tossed a no-hitter replete with six strikeouts while Gamache belted a grand-slam homer.

Pannone again wielded a big bat in an 8-4 win over Mount St. Charles when he smacked a sixth-inning solo homer that snapped a 4-4 tie.


Not surprisingly Hendricken received the most slots on the All-State boys’ hockey team.

The state-champion Hawks, who ended Mount St. Charles’s run of four consecutive titles, placed goalie Bill Palmer, defenseman Dan Nolte and forward Matt Creamer on the First Team.

Palmer, who was voted MVP honors in the best-of-three finals against Mount, allowed only 13 goals in 15 regular-season games.

Creamer recorded 43 points in 27 overall games. But what was most noteworthy about this honor was that he became one of the very few freshmen ever to be voted First Team accolades.

Defenseman Ben Handanyan and forward Brian Belisle represented Mount on the First Team while forward Bryan Lemos represented La Salle.


Goalie Holly Scott and freshman forward Meaghan Rickard earned First Team All-State honors for La Salle which captured the Division I state hockey title.

Scott, who was a First Team pick last year, was voted the MVP of the championship series versus Mount St. Charles.

Rickard led the Rams with 17-11-28 totals during the regular season.

Rounding out the First Team are Bay View defender Bethany Fogerty and forward Kiley Colucci plus Mount St. Charles defender Laureen Deguire and forward Brianna Castro.


Even though La Salle beat Bay View in the Division I state championship basketball game, junior Priscilla Dunphy was the lone Ram to earn First Team All-State honors.

Dunphy, a sophomore who was voted the Division I Tournament MVP, scored 13 points in the final game against the Bengals.

The remainder of the First Team consists of Bay View’s Vandell Andrade, Pilgrim’s Danielle LeBlanc, Westerly’s Hannah Dobson and Woonsocket’s Kailey Fugure.


Classical High which has a long history of developing talented weight athletes (i.e. hammer throw, shot put, discus, etc.) lived up to its reputation at the New York Relays on Randall Island.

Ann Dagrim captured the 4-kilo throw with a heave of 132-feet, 6-inches in the Girls’ Division.

Joe Velez emulated Dagrim in the Boys’ Division by throwing the 12-pound ball 213-feet, 5-inches.


La Salle and Mount St. Charles remained the teams to beat in their respective boys’ divisions.

The Rams lead Division I with a 4-0 record, which includes a 12-8 victory over defending state champion Hendricken (the Hawks beat La Salle in the 2011 finals).

Jack Collins had a field day against the Hawks as he scored seven goals and assisted on an eighth. Teammates Sam Ricci and Peter DeSimone added two goals each.

East Greenwich (9-0) leads Division II with the Avengers’ record including an impressive victory over Mount St. Charles.

Mount led 4-2 at the half but the Avengers erupted for eight goals in the second half en route to a 10-9 victory.

Ethan Zink scored each of his three goals in the second half to key East Greenwich’s rally.


Rhode Island lost one of the state’s most-heralded football coaches with the passing of Steve Alves at the age of only 73.

Alves, who taught physical education at his high school alma mater, West Warwick, for three decades, was an eminently successful coach at West Warwick, North Kingstown, Cranston East, Shea and Coventry.

He is a member of the West Warwick Athletic Hall of Fame and the Rhode Island Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

Alves’ oldest son, Steve Jr., enjoyed a great deal of success as the head coach of Shea in the 1990s.


For the first time, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League established male and female Student-Athlete of the Year awards.

Chariho’s Mike Marsella and Portsmouth’s Rebecca McVicker received the first award which carried with it a $1,000 scholarship.

Marsella won cross-country championships at the Rhode Island and New England meets and recorded a 3.5 GPA at the same time.

McVicker, who’s on the Patriots’ soccer, basketball and track teams, is a member of the National Honor Society thanks to a 3.65 GPA.


Portsmouth Abbey coach Robert Sahms and St. George’s mentor Tom Evans have been inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame.

Sahms has coached at the Abbey for 32 years during which time he’s annexed a 173-139-6 dual-meet record.

Most recently, his boys’ teams captured the 2011 and 2022 Evergreen Independent League championships.

Evans has coached the boys’ and girls’ teams at St. George’s for nearly 30 years – after earning All-America honors at North Carolina State.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.