Townie Boys Soccer in Comeback Playoff Thriller
The EPHS boys soccer team needed a win on a cold rainy October 30th night at their home campus to advance in the state playoffs. Down a player after a referee’s “red card penalty,” East Providence incredibly scored three goals for the come from behind win against a good Central High team. “With five minutes left and down a player the team managed to score three goals for the 4-3 win. What a game, what a comeback. It was a thriller of a game on Halloween Eve,” said an excided East Providence Mayor, Bob DaSilva. DaSilva’s son, Dorian, is a senior member of the team.
“We went down 1-0 in the first half. Central captain Emanuel Moreno played extremely well netting the first goal,” said Townie first year coach Tim Calouro. Ep then tied the game. “William Rodrigues crossed the ball and it landed outside the box and Nathan Capelo laced it from 25 yards to make the game level at 1.” The teams entered half time tied at 1. Central took the lead and looked tough to stop when the second half began. The Knights Moreno scored on “a beautiful strike from 30 yards out,” and went ahead 2-1. On a corner kick, the ball was tipped to Central’s Mark Santos who sent in the goal for what seemed like an insurmountable 3-1 lead with under 25 minutes to play.
The Townies never gave up. However, an apparent EP goal was waved off by the official when he ruled an EP player made illegal contact with the goalie and the score remained 3-1 with time running out. The next sequence which propelled the Townies to the win was called “Magic” by coach Calouro. “After we received a red card and was forced to play with 10 men, I switched the boys around and had to gamble. I told our players to run and keep running, that there was no tomorrow. After we scored, they believed we could do it,” added Calouro.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, East Providence scored on a shot from Nathan Capelo that was saved, hit the post and Jordan Rodrigues knocked in the rebound making the score 3-2. “Minutes later we got a foul call for a free kick and Capelo plays it into the box with a lovely chip and found Jordan Rodrigues for his second goal. Then with 2 minutes left Nathan Capelo takes the corner and finds Sam Jackson with the header for the go ahead goal and our 4-3 lead,” described Calouro. Senior goal keeper James McShane kept the Townies in the contest with some great saves throughout. “This win was absolute magic,” added Calouro.
The Townies move on to play top-seeded LaSalle on November 3rd at LaSalle. The Rams only had one loss all season. That result will be posted on ReporterToday.com. The LaSalle head coach, Mario Pereira, is in the EPHS Hall of Fame and is a former Townie all-state soccer player. “Coach Pereira was here watching our game. He’ll have LaSalle ready. We will show up and give it our best,” added Calouro.
Prior Townie Action:
The Townies boys soccer team headed into the state playoffs after a 1-0 thrilling win over Barrington in the regular season last game at EPHS last month. William Rodrigues of East Providence scored the game’s loan goal late in the Senior Night contest. The Townies had slipped with losing their last three games before the Barrington win. East Providence needed the Barrington win and will have their work cut out for them in the playoffs. Leaders in Division I include top rated LaSalle, Hendricken, North Kingstown, Cumberland and South Kingstown. “Thank you for everyone that has supported the team,” said first year coach and former Townie player Tim Calouro. “Our player of the match (Barrington) was goalkeeper James McShane.”
The Townies had a streaky season. They were off and running to a 3-0 start with victories over Central, Classical and Central Falls. Next was a tie with Lincoln and then four straight losses. EP then bounced back with wins over Mt. Hope and Portsmouth only to lose the next three games but only by one goal each. This included a well played but 3-2 loss to Hendricken in the closing seconds. The Townies ended with a 1-0 win over Barrington and enter state playoff action with a preliminary match on October 30th. against Central High. The Division championship game is slated for noon on November 12th at Rhode Island College.
Team roster: Edward Barbosa, Logan Calouro, Nathan Capelo, Marcio Cardoso, Jorge Correia, Kendrick Costa, Dorian Dasilva, Kyle DesRosiers, Raphael Ferreira, Alexis Fortes- Silva, Samuel Jackson, Tyler McLaughlin, James McShane, Alex Montille, Tristen Nunes, Jordan Rodrigues, William Rodrigues, Brian Rutkowski and Edilson Vieira. Head Coach: Tim Calouro. Assistant Coach: Nathan Bento.
EPHS Girls Volleyball Undefeated at 15-0 Playoff Bound
East Providence defeated 10-5 playoff bound Westerly 3 games to none (25-19, 25-18, 25-21) late last month, to remain undefeated as the Townies are the number one seed in the Division II championship playoffs. In the Westerly win, the Townies Keira Mullen had nine kills, 12 assists and 4 blocks, Kate Bernhardt had 8 kills and 2 aces and Daniella Escudero had 16 digs and 5 aces. The Westerly win came on Senior Night for the team. EPHS seniors are Teagan Abatiello, Kate Bernhardt, Ella DeCosta, Daniella Escudero, Malia Mullen, Charlotte Kane and Nora Fineran. East Providence finished the season with an unblemished 15-0 record. The Townies won 45 individual games and only lost 4. Volleyball teams win the match with 3 game wins as EP dominated every opponent. The Townies Junior Varsity was equally impressive with a regular season record of 12-1.
Townie head coach Alex Butler is also the school Athletic Director. “Westerly was a good test for us. They’re (Westerly) going to the playoffs with a great in-season record and was a good preview of playoffs to come,” said Butler. “Senior Night games are always special as parents and families are invited on the court for team pictures, etc. For many athletes it can be their last athletic contest. Playoffs make things very special and extend the season.”
“I’ve done my best to let the girls know that playoff intensity is a bit different than the regular season. They seem ready for the challenge,” added Butler. East Providence last won a state volleyball girls championship in 2005 when the Townies were a dominant Division I program. Butler was the assistant coach then under head coach Luis Carvalho. The Townies have won 7 state championships including a run of 5 consecutive titles (RIHSS). The championship game, should EP get there, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1:30 pm at Rhode Island College.
Teagan Abatiello, Kate Bernhardt, Alma Crump, Ella DeCosta, Daniella Escudero, Nora Fineran, Trinity Johnson-Carter, Charlotte Kane, Azia Melse, Keira Mullen, Malia Mullen, Nazarae Phillip, Jathai Sanchez and Eliza Vest. Head Coach: Alex Butler. Assistant Coach: Kaitlyn Bellamy.
Undefeated Townies Girls Tennis Team at 16-0
The EPHS girls tennis team, led by coach Slade Sharma, is at 16-0 after a quarter final win over Toll Gate to continue the squads undefeated season. The Townies are heading into the state championship tournament at press time, with online updates to be posted at ReporterToday.com. East Providence won the opening round of the playoffs with an impressive win over Toll Gate. “Our team is playoff ready and we have seen or played most of our playoff opponents,” said Head coach Slade Sharma. East Providence came close to a title last year but lost out in a tight match against Bay View by one point. “I think we have the talent to win it this year, but we can’t be over confident. But we will be ready,” said Sharma.
The ReporterToday online will list the playoff and championship schedule. The team roster is: Emily Bairos, Mazie Baraf, Mackenzie Botelho, Tianna Brierly, Carly Cordeiro, Jayla DaGraca, Carmen Dallaire, Ava Domingues, Addison Flanagan, Ava Gagne, Bree Garcia, Sophie Grilo, Caroline Haggarty, Iasbella Hurley, Madison Luu, Gwenyth Martins, Abigail Mendo, Hope Moran, Sydney Olson, Eliana Perez, Isabella Periquito, Maggie Robinson, Payton Rutkowski, Sophia Santos, Lena Shanty, Liana Soares, Megha Tenetti and Rylee Thurber. The head coach is Slade Sharma.
After impressive wins over Saint Raphael’s (last season’s Division champion) and East Greenwich, the Townies were hard luck losers against Cranston West and Mount Pleasant high schools. In both of those losses the Townies were leading in the waning moments and even seconds of the games when penalties and long passes derailed East Providence’s chances to win. In a game that no one expected to be close, the Townies lost to perennial power Bishop Hendricken. Hendricken won the game decisively, 42-21. East Providence had its moments with an early game interception and eventually putting 21 points on the board against powerful Hendricken, but obviously the Townies were huge underdogs. The Townies Steven Clark carried the ball 18 times for a total of 132 yards. The Townie workhorse this season averaged 7.3 yards per carry against the hawks, with a long run of 34 yards. Clark added a touchdown and also ran in a two-point conversion. Townie sophomore quarterback Jacob Duarte ran the ball 7 times for a total of 33 yards and one rushing touchdown. Duarte also had 73 yards passing. Lucas Santa Cruz also scored a touchdown, receiving a Jacob Duarte pass for the score. In total, the team amassed 294 total yards.
Hendricken hasn’t always dominated the scene although they certainly have of late. It wasn’t all that long ago that East Providence led the league in state championships. The Townies with 15 state titles were finally surpassed by LaSalle (17) and Hendricken (19). The Hawks didn’t always beat back EP. Hendricken beat the Townies in the 1995 super bowl 26-12 but EP beat the Hawks in the 1997 super bowl 26-0 and again in 1999 in a 12-6 OT win. EP lost super bowl bids to LaSalle in 2002 and 2003 but defeated Hendricken for the title with a 35-13 win in 2006. Hendricken lost in 2007 to St. Ray’s and 2008 to Barrington 21-0 but went on a streak of wins from 2010-2016. They streaked again from 2018-2021 but lost last year to LaSalle. The Townies football history is rich and they hope to get back someday soon. It has become all about zip codes in the eyes of many. East Providence ends their season with an away game Friday night at Cranston East and on Thanksgiving Day morning at LaSalle in non-league action.
RI Interscholastic League to add Girls Wrestling
In an October 4th announcement, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) said that there will be additional participation opportunities for girls during the 2023-24 winter sports season beginning on Monday, November 27, 2023.” Girls Wrestling weight classes will be offered for the first time in league history as female wrestling will be integrated into the existing Dual Meet Schedule as well as In-State Tournaments offered by member schools during the regular season. The RIIL State Meet will add the opportunity to compete in 12 weight classes exclusive to females with a chance to earn entrance into the 59th New England Championship beginning on Friday, March 1st at the Providence Career & Technical Academy in Rhode Island. This will mark the first time girls weight classes are offered at the RIIL State and New England Championships.
As of January 2023, 37 states sanctioned girls wrestling as an official high school sport. “As a result of these new opportunities being offered, girls’ participation in wrestling has climbed steadily throughout the United States in the last two decades. According to the National Federation of State High Schools’ Athletics Participation Survey, national participation rose from 4,975 female participants in 2005 to 7,351 in 2010. The number of female wrestlers then almost tripled to 21,124 by 2018-19 and has since jumped to 49,127 participants in 2022-23 - a 233% increase over that four-year time period,” said the RIIL.
Rhode Island and East Providence hockey icon Tom Army passes
The father of the East Providence hockey Army family died recently at age 93. Thomas Army passed on September 29th at his home in East Providence. Tom Army played ice hockey and baseball at Providence College and was one of the first captains of ice hockey at PC. He served his country in the Army during the Korean conflict. Tom’s father, George Army, was the trainer for the original Providence Reds hockey team in Rhode Island. Tom and his wife Betty Ann raised three boys and one girl. Most of his career was spent working for the Providence Gas Company, culminating in his work as the Vice President of Marketing. When his children were still relatively young, Tom Army was one of the founders of East Providence Youth Hockey, playing out of the brand-new Dudley Richards Rink in Rumford. It became a feeder program for the city’s high school team, which quickly grew into a powerhouse. He coached local youth for decades, building innovative programs that produced some of RI and the US’s most talented players and coaches. With the opening of the Richards Rink, the formation of East Providence Youth Hockey and the popularity of Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins, interest in hockey exploded. “Everything changed at that point in East Providence. EPYH was the feeder. It boomed. It’s the Bruins. It’s Bobby Orr. That drove everyone in New England and in Rhode Island, specifically. It created such an environment in East Providence that we started to produce a lot of good hockey players from the city,’ said Tim Army. It was a glorious time to be a young hockey player in East Providence (RIHHOF).
He also worked for more than twenty years as a head off ice official for the American Hockey League, with the P-Bruins. In August of this year, Tom was awarded the Malcolm Greene Chace Award by the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame in recognition “of achievement and outstanding service by a Rhode Islander to the game of hockey.”
All three of Tom Army’s sons distinguished themselves as hockey players. Tom Jr. excelled at East Providence High School and went on to earn all-ECAC Division III honors twice at Wesleyan University. He holds school records for career assists with 115 and for assists in a season with 36.
Bill was an All-Stater at East Providence High and a star player on the Townies’ team that won the state and the New England championship in 1975. He then spent a year at Andover Academy, where he broke the school’s scoring record. He went on to be an All-American at Boston College, where he is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. He played in the NCAA national championship game against Boston University in Providence in 1978. After college, Bill played in the AHL and IHL.
Tim followed in Bill’s footsteps at East Providence High, earning All-State honors. After his senior year in high school, he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1981 NHL Draft. Then it was on to Providence College, where he was an All-American and a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1985, as the Friars reached the NCAA title game against RPI. Tim played in the AHL and in Europe before embarking on a long coaching career in Hockey East, the AHL and the NHL.
Tom was artistically gifted and was the architect and master builder of large scale, vintage, model baseball parks for which he designed a way to play a baseball game using wooden bats, cardboard pitchers, and ball bearings. His game was played and enjoyed by many family members and friends.
Tom is survived by his wife of more than 70 years, Betty; his four children and their spouses; Tom, Jr. and Virginia Army, Bill and Elaine Army, Tim and Sue Army, Beth and David Crowley; and his fifteen adoring Grandchildren; Hannah Army, Rachel Army, Bill Jr. (and Jess) Army, Joey Army, Priscilla (and Selvin) Elliott, Jeff (and Ali Russo) Church, Madeleine (and Lauren) Army, Elizabeth Army, Catherine Army, Derek (and Jenn) Army, Matt Church, Travis Army, Maddie Crowley, Ben Church, Rachael Crowley, and six great grandchildren; RéLee and Virginia Elliott, Stella and Elsa Army, and Boone and Adelina Army. Tom is also survived by his sister, Sharon DiNapoli, of Orange CT, two local sisters-in-law; Joan Theroux and Susan Lewis, and many nieces and nephews.
The family requests donations be made in honor of Tom to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html.
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