All of a sudden, there’s a hole in the East Providence High boys’ hockey program that resembles the Grand Canyon.
Townie alumnus Gregg Amore, who revived a program that barely had a pulse, resigned his position earlier this month, along with his entire staff.
Ironically, his top assistant, Derek Borek, shortly thereafter was named the head coach at East Bay rival Barrington.
Granted, East Providence’s glory days of the 1970s (the Townies won the now-defunct New England championship and the Rhode Island Division I title in 1975) have been long gone. But Amore restored a great deal of respectability while playing in Division III/Met C.
Amore’s teams were 86-70-4 during the regular season and 101-78-4 overall (this includes a 15-8 record in post-season play which the Townies qualified for five times).
EP hit the jackpot in the 2004-05 season as it compiled a 26-0-0 record and captured the Division III state title – the school’s first in hockey in over 30 years.
Amore inherited a program that had only nine – repeat, nine – players. He dressed 25 last season and leaves the program in much better shape than it was when he first draped a whistle around his neck.
Borek, another Townie alumnus, replaces Ken Fogarty who resigned after three seasons on the bench. The Eagles were 14-4-0 in Division I in 2009-10 but fell to 5-12-1 last season.
The primary challenge for Borek, who in “real life” is a corporal in the Rhode Island State Police (he’s assigned to the Training Academy) is to keep Barrington competitive in the highly-charged division that includes perennial state powers Mount St. Charles, Hendricken and La Salle.
SOUTH COUNTY BASEBALL RIVALRY
North Kingstown continued to make life miserable for its South County rival, South Kingstown, by sweeping the season series with the Rebels thanks to a recent 6-5 victory.
As a result, the Skippers remained tied for first place in Division I-South with East Greenwich at 12-3.
Jason Montanaro again dominated the Rebels – this time by tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief.
In two games this season against South Kingstown, Montanaro is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.72 ERA.
In other games of note:
John Kalajian and Ryan Pleroni combined on a no-hitter as East Greenwich beat South Kingstown, 9-3, in a Division I-South game.
Alex Nadiger belted a two-run homer as Pilgrim stunned three-time defending Division I state champion Hendricken, 14-3.
Coventry’s John Croft no-hit Tiverton and struck out 10 Tigers in the process as the Oakers cruised to a 15-0 victory in Division I-South.
Wailder Luna belted a three-run homer and singled home another run while Richard Guzman fanned 10 as Central (13-2) maintained its lead in Division II-Central with a 6-1 victory over Classical.
DeSIMONE IN A CLASS BY HERSELF
Lincoln junior attack Jillian DeSimone is giving opposing goaltenders a severe case of whiplash this season.
Through games of May 17, DeSimone had scored a state-best 93 goals (she’s assisted on 20 for 113 points). That’s 47 more than she scored all of last season.
In a recent game, DeSimone torched North Providence for 10 goals as the Lions mauled the Cougars, 22-13.
DeSimone attended a lacrosse camp at Holy Cross last summer and attributes the instruction she received as a major reason for her incredible success in 2011.
Lincoln leads Division II-North with a 13-0 record and has outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 175-96.
The Lions are on track for the best season in school history. In the nine years that Lincoln has had girls’ lacrosse, the most games it’s ever won in a season is four (the team was 2-10 in 2010).
What DeSimone has meant to Lincoln so has sophomore Kelly Dolan meant to Barrington.
Again, through games of May 17, Dolan has scored 61 goals and assisted of 31 for 92 points.
As a result, the Eagles are leading Division I-North with a 12-0 record and have amassed 215 goals – the most of any team in the state regardless of division.
Something not-so-funny happened to Chariho’s softball team en route to a possible undefeated season.
The Chargers bused to Cumberland with a 9-0 record and bused him with a 9-1 slate after the Clippers prevailed, 7-2, in a Division I crossover game.
Bethany Paul cooled off the red-hot Chargers who’ve won twice since their loss to Cumberland and lead I-South with an 11-1 record. Along the way, Chariho has outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 95-36.
The Clippers, meanwhile, are 10-3 in I-North and have won seven in a row.
Wesleyan University (the alma mater of Patriots coach Bill Belichick) will have the baseball services of two Rhode Islanders who graduate this spring: La Salle pitcher Nick Cooney, who has a combined 10-1 record over the past two seasons, and outfielder Matt Sorkin, who’s been a four-year starter for Lincoln.
A quintet of North Kingstown Skippers will continue their softball careers at the proverbial next level: catcher Olivia Donahue (Lynchburg College), first baseman Emily Lipsitz (Denison University), outfielder Katie Marquis (RIT), third baseman Molly Clark (naturally, at Clark University in Worcester) and shortstop Maddie Grimaldi (Rhode Island).
St. Raphael Academy junior Devan Robertson, a two-way lineman, has been nominated to play in the U.S. Army High School All-American Bowl.
Robertson last season was voted First Team All-State honors and is one of 400 players nominated to play in this prestigious national all-star game. Only 90 players will be selected.
The last Rhode Islander to play in the game was Hendricken alumnus Will Blackmon, who’s played in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.
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.