The high school and middle school interscholastic sports schedules continue to be decimated by the Covid 19 pandemic. The popular fall football season has been held off until possibly next springtime and only limited sports in high school can resume this fall. The Rhode Island Interscholastic league issued a statement in September to all schools:
“In response to Governor Gina Raimondo’s announcement on restrictions, the following sports have been approved by the Governor for team competition this fall with safety modifications: Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Sideline Cheer, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer and Field Hockey. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League will be offering the above sports to its member schools.
Also in accordance with the Governor’s guidelines for high school sports, Football, Girls Volleyball and Unified Volleyball have not been approved for team competition this fall. Consequently, the RIIL will be adopting a four-season model and those three sports not approved to start in September will be moved to Season 3, which will be held between the winter and spring seasons at a start date to be determined. The Principals’ Committee on Athletics has voted to move the start date of fall sports from Monday, September 14 to Monday, September 21. In addition, the summer coaches contact period has been extended to Sunday, September 13. Coaches must still obtain school approval and follow all current guidelines and restrictions,” said RIIL Executive Director Michael P. Lunney.
The RIIL and Rhode Island Department of Health will continue to work together to implement safety measures and policies that will help minimize the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The RIIL also will continue to receive guidance both from the National Federation of State High School Association’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the League’s own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
“The RIIL emphasizes that its return-to-school-based athletics plan remains fluid and flexible, and health metrics and data will continue to be closely monitored. As we continue to navigate life during this pandemic, we all must stay vigilant in protecting ourselves and others from the risks and spread of the virus. Our focus will now shift to educating our member schools so that they are able to administer these programs in the safest manner possible based on the approved guidelines. It is imperative that administrators, coaches, officials, student-athletes and staff members realize the importance of adhering to the guidelines and safety measures to help preserve their seasons,” added Lunney.
No Middle School Sports Yet
Unfortunately, the news is not great for the legions of middle school athletes across the state. Because middle school academic scheduling is operating in a “pod” system whereby students stay within just a stable group of classmates, the RIIL couldn’t make sports between different teams and schools work. Even though it appeared that the Governor’s announcement made it possible for middle school sports to go on, the league couldn’t justify it with other student restrictions in place. There were also many issues with scheduling and transportation. Many middle school students wouldn’t be able to provide transportation if parents were required to do so. The Principal’s Committee is hoping that winter sports like basketball, wrestling and a unified basketball program may be allowed. It offers baseball, softball, track and field and coed tennis in the spring. As far as East Providence High School this Fall, students hope to participate in girls and boys soccer, tennis, cross country in a shortened season. The plan is to try football later in the year.
Riverside Little League Honors Ron Silva
Long time Riverside Little League volunteer and area league administrator, Ron Silva, was honored by the league and Mayor Bob DaSilva last month. Forbes Field Baseball Complex has been renamed the Ron Silva Baseball Complex. The District Two 9-10 annual tournament is named for the long time Riverside Little League volunteer. Silva, in his 80's now, lives in Arizona. However Silva continues to assist the league with paperwork and with clearing volunteers for little league involvement. Silva has been an integral part of the District Two little league division, which is the state's largest. He was in the city to participate in the naming ceremony and receive a “key to the city” from East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva. “It was an honor to join the Riverside Little League in honoring Ron Silva as they dedicated and renamed the Forbes Field Complex today,” say Mayor DaSilva.
Rumford Little League gets to All Star Final
In recent little league action, the Rumford Minor League all star team beat Darlington 6 - 3 to advance to the finals in the RI State All Star Championship Tournament. Rumford faced off against Warren at Kim Rock Field but lost a well-played championship game to Warren. The Rumford Majors All Star Squad played Cumberland in another great game. The 4th Annual Scott Grace Memorial Invitational was played at Rock Complex featuring teams from all over the region. All Star teams from RI competed on the Majors and Minors level for bragging rights. Proceeds went to benefit the family of the late East Providence firefighter Scott Grace.
EP Central LL Action
In recent Central little league action the EPCLL Juniors defeated Bristol in a night game at Colt State Park.
EP stayed ahead 1-0 after scoring in the 1st inning before opening it up in the 5th with 3 more runs and another run in the 7th. Nick Costa, celebrating his 14th birthday, took the mound and pitched 4 strong innings keeping Bristol to 1 hit, striking out 9, and walking 5. He finished the night at 84 pitches, before handing the ball over to Dillon “Bigs” Vieira who shut the door with 3 solid innings as well striking out 2, and giving up one hit and walking 2 to seal the win. The league continues with fall ball. “We’re going to keep playing ball until they shut down the field,” said coach Nate Cahoon.
ATC Townies Baseball
ATC (Athletes Turn Champion)
The Townies Baseball program is continuing to head in the right direction under the leadership of Cole Poissant and Robbie Costa. The ATC Townies are in first place with a 5-1 record. Also recently the ATC Townies MS team took both of their games vs a tough Diamond Hill team. The ATC team is made up of local youth from area schools including EPHS, LaSalle and local league players. Head coaches are Frank DeVall and Bobby Rodericks.