Pandemic Continues to Interrupt School Athletics
The high school athletic schedule continues to struggle through a pandemic impacted season. For the first time since 1928, East Providence and LaSalle did not play a Thanksgiving football game. Even though the longest standing Interscholastic league rivalry in Rhode Island has been watered down by league officials, the traditional game was still being played. However, the 2020 pandemic caused the game’s cancellation. The storied gates of Pierce Stadium remained closed and eerily quiet on Thanksgiving morning. Most of the other fall sports schedule has been interrupted or cancelled. A few games have managed to get through an abbreviated schedule and soccer teams at EPHS did well. The Bay View Academy team in the city managed to play well but finished with a 2-5 season record.
East Providence Athletic Director Gregg Amore did all that he could to keep student-athletes engaged. “We were pleased that so many athletes were able to compete in what was a challenging season to say the least. Girls tennis ended the season with three straight wins and continued to improve all year after graduating 7 seniors last year,” said Amore. “Both our cross country teams ran every race (rare this season) and our soccer teams were both very good playoff teams, with the girls having an undefeated season until the double overtime loss in the finals. I think the league, coaches and kids should get a lot of credit for a successful season under difficult circumstances. There was a time when we didn't think we would play at all so we are thankful that our kids, especially the seniors, had a season,” added Amore.
EPHS Girls Soccer to State Finals
The regular season undefeated East Providence High School girls soccer team made it to the state championship game, but had its hopes of a title dashed in a 3-2 double overtime loss to East Greenwich High late last month. The Townies finished the regular season with 7 wins and one tie but couldn’t make it an 8th win against East Greenwich. “This team was remarkable. They kept everything in perspective during this pandemic year,” said Head Coach Angelo Pizzi. “In addition to playing great soccer, they helped out in the community by collecting and donating to a local food pantry. It is an amazing group of student-athletes. They really showed “Townie Pride.”
The Townies were in the game and led 1-0 at halftime. The team’s eventual two goals were scored by Jordyn Brogan who was part of a well balanced Townie offense all season. East Greenwich, however, carried much of the action on the field and East Providence couldn’t build on their halftime lead. “East Greenwich is a great team and we played well also. Our girls never gave up, our captains Lilly Budnick and Ashley Dias showed tremendous leadership during and after the game. They did so all season and this team responded both on and off the field. They are a credit to their school and community,” said Pizzi.
“Our lady Townies came up just short and had a great season and a great effort in their final game. Townie Pride Never Sleeps,” added East Providence Athletic Director Gregg Amore.
The Rhode Island Soccer Coaches Association named four Townies for special recognition. Named to the All-Division team were Olivia Williams, Briana Lopes and Kaylee Davenport. Also senior Captain Ashley Dias was named to the All-Academic team.
EPHS Boys Soccer
East Providence boys soccer had a truncated season due to weather and complications due to the pandemic. After one member of the Townie coaching staff had a positive test for Covid, the team had to quarantine and was unable to complete a full season. The 4-2 Townies boys soccer team made it to the state Division I Quarterfinal but lost in a close 2-1 game to North Kingstown High. Scoring for East Providence was Martim Moniz. It was Moniz’ 5th goal of the season placing him among state scoring leaders. Getting an assist on the goal was the Townies other offensive star, Colin Capelo. Capelo was also among state boys soccer scoring leaders with 6 goals on the season. Previously the Townies defeated St. Ray’s 3-2, Davies 14-0, Shea 2-0 and PCD 8-0. East Providence tied Barrington 2-2 and lost to Central Falls 3-1. East Providence made it to the Division I Quarterfinal but lost a close game to North Kingstown 2-1.
EPHS track coach Bob Lyons is still hopeful there will be both indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. The RIIL at the present time is debating whether to move the indoor season from season 2 to season 3 while leaving the outdoor season in season 4. “In our just completed cross country season, we struggled and both the team and I are not happy with the win loss record. We all were not happy that we did not reach our goal of qualifying for the state meet. I was, however, extremely happy with the team’s effort throughout the season,” said Coach Lyons. “The kids had excellent attendance at practice and worked hard every day, they did everything I asked them to do daily. In addition, they demonstrated excellent sportsmanship at competitions and the team had excellent camaraderie through the season. We truly were a team in every sense of the word. They genuinely like and care about each other. I was also pleased that the entire team is composed of underclass men and everyone will be back next year. The team also followed all protocols and restrictions and stayed healthy during this pandemic which was the most important thing and something they should be extremely proud of. All in all the lessons they learned competing during this difficult time made the season an extremely worthwhile experience and I am proud of each one of them and proud to be their coach,” added the veteran coach.