August 22nd, 2013
A coaching change is never easy.
Replacing a highly successful coach who has established a long tradition of winning and shaped a program into one of the stateâs elite is even more difficult.
That was the challenge for the Prout Schoolâs athletic department this summer after it was determined longtime volleyball coach Dan Greene would not be with the program this fall.
EAST GREENWICHâYouâre not likely going to find too many football players that are more polished in Division III than East Greenwich seniors Carney Crawford and Andrew Miner.
Crawford was one of the best running backs around last season and rushed for nearly 2,000 yards in helping the Avengers reach the D-III Super B0owl.
Equally important along the way was Miner, a quarterback who can make all the throws and adeptly pick apart a defense.
And to think, it almost did not happen.
It was by chance that Janet Freniereâs track career started. Sure, her husband Al had been a long time track and field coach and was an avid runner, competing in a number of meets annually, but Janet was not one for athletics. She had not even given them much time or thought since her formative years, even if she was the fastest girl in her class.
WOOD RIVER JCT. â For some, the arrival of August comes with the dread of summer coming to an end.
For the hopefuls of the 2013 Chariho High School football team, however, August comes with the excitement of putting on the pads and getting back out on the field.
âIf youâre a football coach and for these kids as football player, this is what you wait for,â Chariho coach Mike Kelly said after the teamâs practice Tuesday morning. âAt some point in the summer, in June and July, they enjoy themselves, but when August comes, they all start to know, âLetâs get ready to go.â
KINGSTONâFor University of Rhode Island senior quarterback Bob Bentsen this is his last chance to make a positive impact before he exits the program.
Itâs the type of pressure any starting quarterback coming off a winless season would feel but for Bentsen â who grew up in Warwick â it means a little bit more being a local guy.
âWe want to play well for the state,â Bentsen says. âWeâve had a couple bad seasons and just to go out as winners and lay down the foundation [for the future] would be something special.â
WEST GREENWICHâMonday was a good day for the Exeter-West Greenwich football team as it marked the first practice of the season for the Knights.
âIt felt really good to be out there,â EWG coach Jim Alves says. âThe kids have worked hard in the offseason. Many of the kids that are coming back are seniors that are good leaders that have been with the program for the past three years.â
NORTH KINGSTOWNâFor the first time in a long time the North Kingstown football teamâs season ended on a high note with a win over rival South Kingstown on Thanksgiving Day.
While it counted for just one win in the standings, the true value of that victory was apparent Monday when the Skippers held their first practice of the fall.
âItâs a huge confidence booster,â senior Nick Chevalier said of last yearâs win over SK. âItâs made everyone work that much harder to get to that level of play every game.â