Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Network on the John DePetro Show, 630 WPRO am

Friday, June 20, 2014




As a result of the success of Hendricken's still new and evolving sports media network, The Hawks Sports Network, the school and the program's director, Mr. John Feeny, have decided to offer a summer workshop that will introduce younger students to what is more and more quickly coming to be known as the "New Media."

It goes without saying that technology, especially technology that is redefining the concept of communication, is changing and improving on nearly a daily basis.  Not only has this changed the manner by which we communicate with one another but  also the way by which we get our news.  Obviously, the mainstream news networks are still the most powerful media agencies, but internet technology and social media sites and networks have now made it possible for anyone - from a younger person right up to a more experienced individual to entire schools and colleges - to establish their own "news" networks.

Many of us who came of age in the 1980's remember the early days of ESPN, days when that network was considered something of a strange novelty.  Here at Bishop Hendricken, we've now made the leap - for the most part, very successfully, though there is certainly still more for us to learn - from offering either a course or an extracurricular "club" of sorts in journalism or mass communication to actually running our own sports network.  Parents - especially grandparents who live in different parts of the country - have on many occasions spoken to our administrators about how much they appreciate the opportunity to watch their son(s)/grandson(s) play in games that they themselves would otherwise not have the opportunity to see.  Hendricken students do the research leading up to games, the play-by-play and analysis of live games, write accounts of games and teams' progress, participate in live sports talk shows (much like sports radio or shows that one might see on NESN), camera work, etc.  By extension, it has also opened up a whole new outlet for our young men to participate in our athletic program, only as actual reporters.

Essentially, The Hawks Sports Network brings under one roof the concept of blogging/journalism, live-streaming games, real-time highlights, real-time updates/news via Twitter and Facebook, and podcasting/radio shows.   As technology continues to develop, students will need to have the skills to use these tools, learn to use these tools carefully, appropriately, and wisely, and to use them in such a manner as to build a foundation for their potential careers and/or success.

For those interested parents and students, The Hawks Sports Network can currently be found at; however, since the network has continued to expand, we will be going to a fully-functioning website beginning in September, the address for which is not yet available.

Summer Program

The Network's summer program will be held for two separate, one-week sessions.  Those weeks will be July 28- August 1st and August 4th-August 8th.  The summer program will also coincide with the legendary Best Hoops summer basketball camp (run by former Hendricken basketball coach Steve Cesseretti and current 8-time state championship Hendricken coach Jamaal Gomes), and consequently, there will some live coverage of Best Hoops - from talk shows and interviews to live game coverage - in which the boys in The Network camp will be able to participate.

During the course of each two-week session, those in the summer program will be able to be part of the following:

*presentations in the school's theatre of segments of some of the more important Hendricken athletic contests of the past year, which includes all of the coverage of those games (live play-by-play and analysis, interviews, articles, podcasts, etc.) produced by Hendricken students

*the opportunity to talk to not only the Hendricken students involved in the media coverage of those games but also the coaches and/or  the players

*introduction to all of the social media tools utilized by the students in The Hawks    
   Sports Network
*the opportunity to learn to use all of those tools
*Shown how to set up their own sports network at home
*learn to "embed" video and audio into their own sports coverage
*learn to make their own sports videos

*participate in a LIVE, one-hour sports talk show at the end of
  each day
*participate in helping to set up and produce each daily sports
  talk show

*the opportunity to sit in on the LIVE coverage of portions of
  the Best Hoops summer basketball camp

Cost for each weekly session is $250, which will include lunch.  During those two weeks, members of the Hawks Sports Network will also be LIVE broadcasting various Hendricken summer athletic contests; specific ones are yet to be determined.  Should a summer camper wish to "join us in the booth" and to participate in the call of those games, a schedule of those games will be provided.  The cost for that add-on will be $50.


Click on each pictured sheet separately.  When the image comes up, RIGHT CLICK on the image, and select "save image as".  Save the image to your desktop.  Complete this process for both images.

Go back out to your desktop and double-click on one of the saved images.  What will then appear is a printable form that you can print and sign.  Repeat this process for the second image.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Threepeat, Banner #19, and Two Decades of Dominance

Facts, are indeed, stubborn things. 

Yes, there are plenty of first-rate high school baseball players throughout Rhode Island, and yes, there are plenty of good teams. There is only one program, however, that can clearly lay claim to being the best of the past twenty-odd years, and by extension, probably one that has had the most extended run of dominance in Rhode Island schoolboy baseball history. Of course, LaSalle has a fairly storied baseball history itself, and in other sports, one need only look at the Mount St. Charles hockey program of the past 30-40 years. 

With regard to baseball, however, it is more and more quickly becoming about the Hawks. 

Our baseball team captured its third consecutive state title and 19th overall last night, taking game #2 by a score of 6-0 and sweeping archrival LaSalle in the state title series, two games to none. True to his form and character, Anthony "AC" Cofone delivered a big-time performance under the bright lights, going the distance and shutting out the Rams on just five hits.

Cool, calm, and collected from beginning to end, it was pretty obvious from the get-go that AC was in form, flashing the leather and recording a strikeout in the early going:

Throughout the course of the game, AC's defense supported him at every turn. Shortstop John Willette was always there when needed to make a tough play:

Willette also chipped in on offense with three hits, one of which can be seen here:

Naturally, The Network staff was there in full force. Stalwarts Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, and Zach Johnson handled the play-by-play and analysis duties high above home plate in the press box, while Max Zweiner, Dylan "DT" Barron, and Johnathan Feeny handled Instagram highlights. Their work from different angles around McCoy Stadium added greatly to our coverage. 

Fans can still listen to The Network's entire play-by-play call of the game right here:

The Providence Journal's slideshow from the game can be seen HERE. 

Combined with AC's early strong work, the Hawks' offense got off the ground in the first as well. Ryan Rotondo got things rolling with a double....

....and from a different angle.

Tournament MVP John Toppa then drove him in, giving the Hawks an early lead.

In the fourth inning, the offense clicked again, as Brady Chant and Andrew Ciaciarelli combined to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

With the 2-0 lead holding up into the sixth, the Hawks then broke it open, amidst some hits, LaSalle errors, and a couple of hit batsmen. Two of the hits can be seen here. John Toppa led off the top of the sixth with a triple....

....and Sam Boulanger added a run-scoring single.

By the end of the top of the sixth, the Hawks held a 6-0 lead, and it only seemed a matter of time before we would get to see this:

From another angle -

Junior John Toppa accepted tournament MVP honors....

....and the champs hoisted the trophy.

And, so, we finally come to the end of another successful school year, both academically and athletically. Our graduates are off to some pretty impressive schools, and our undergraduates take another step toward becoming young men and future leaders. We here at The Network had a blast covering Hawks' sports during 2013-'14, and we look to an even better one next year, a year that will probably get started up again in mid-August....and with a brand-new website and expanded operations. 

Congratualtions to all our graduates and all our state champions, and don't forget....

....when Hendricken sports news breaks....The Network fixes it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Game #1 Fireworks at McCoy

In all honesty, a decent scriptwriter probably couldn't have made it up. 

State championships....arguably the state's signature team the two-time defending state champion, down by a run, one out away from going down to defeat in the first game....extra innings. Nobody on base. 

With the Rams' boots on their necks, the Hawks suddenly found a way. Three batters later, the game was over. 

Amazingly, just seconds before the final pitch of the game was delivered, fireworks could be seen out beyond left-center field.... ....and then this happened -

The game was, quite simply, everything that a fan would expect of a LaSalle-Hendricken championship series.

As far as Network coverage was concerned, the crew was up in the booth and in the stands - Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, and Zach Johnson handled the delayed audio play-by-play and analysis, as Cox Cable owns the rights to the series and had the game live on local television. The crew worked in a high-end, professional atmosphere along with all the other members of the media who were on hand.

Fans can still listen to the entire game below.

In addition to the fact that it was just an unbelievable game, last night was just a perfect night for baseball. Between the weather and the view from the press box, it was an incredible experience.

For about the first half of the game, the Hawks' Mike McCaffrey and the Rams' Tyler Schemick more or less kept the opposing offenses at bay. By the fifth inning, the Hawks had a 2-1 lead, but that precarious lead was largely due to two consecutive errors committed by the Rams' infield. The Maroon plated four runs in the top of the fifth and took what seemed to be - given the feel of the game to that point - a commanding  5-2 lead. 

In the bottom of the fifth, however, the Hawks struck right back, putting across the three tying runs. From there the two rivals matched one another, key out for key out, until the Rams scored what most in McCoy Stadium figured to be the winning run in the top of the eighth. 

And then, in the bottom of the eighth....fireworks. 

Offensively, the Hawks' 2,3,& 4 hitters - Ryan Rotondo, Gian Martellini, and John Toppa - kept our guys in the game when they most needed to, as the three were a combined 7-for-15 at the plate. In fact, it was Toppa's hit in the bottom of the eighth that won the game. 

On the mound, starter Mike McCaffrey kept his team in the game over 4 1/3 innings of solid work, and he was followed by Christian Travers and Sam Boulanger. As the tension mounted toward the end of the game, it was Boulanger who bore the responsibilty to record key outs, and he did just that. 

Game #2 is tonight - same place, same time - 6:30, at McCoy Stadium.... 

....and The Network will be there, high above the action on the field.

                                                  GAME #1 PLAY-BY-PLAY

Here We Go Again

It really is unbelievable.

Over the past decade-plus, we here in the New England reason have had plenty of opportunites to get all pumped and jacked for Red Sox-Yankees and Patriots-Jets contests.  Sports rivalries - real rivalries that border on actual dislike - are, in fact, part of the American sports landscape.

When it comes to Rhode Island high school sports, however, there's really nothing even close to Hendricken-LaSalle, LaSalle-Hendricken.  Oh, sure, the Rams have their annual grudge match with East Providence at Thanksgiving, and the Hawks have some intra-city Warwick stuff with the several schools in the area, but there's nothing like the Hawks and the Rams gettin' it on with something on the line.

Look at what we've seen just in the past few years.

For a period of two years, the Rams arguably had the best football team in the state, and had they capped their tremendous two-year run with a title at the end of either one of those two seasons - especially after having convincingly knocked off the Hawks in both regular season contests - they would have only cemented that claim.

When those two teams faced off in those Super Bowls, though, it was the Hawks who found a way to win, on their way to a current and unprecedented run as four-time defending state champions.

On the hardwoods this past season, the Rams also clearly looked to have the best team in the state, running a scorched earth campaign through the regular season and the Division I playoffs.  Along the way they twice sent a message - more like punches to the mouth - to our guys; but, when both squads had advanced to the Ryan Center for the state semi-finals, it was the Hawks - again - who found that they had more to give from within themselves and pulled the stunning upset, on their way to yet another state basketball championship. 

Baseball has been, however, a slightly different story.

While the Hawks come into the state title series as the two-time defending state champions and with a stunning record of baseball success over the course of the past twenty years, one could make the argument that it has been LaSalle that has had more 'program-wide' success during the past couple of seasons.  The freshman Rams have for two consecutive years now defeated our 9th-graders in the state title game, and last season the Rams took the JV state title from the Hawks in the championship game in extra innings.  In fact, many of those players from that JV game will be integral players in what takes place during the next two or three nights.

It's not too much of a stretch, then, to say that these two teams - the Rhody equivalent of the Hatfields and the McCoys - have more or less had a stranglehold on the baseball landscape of late, and, more generally, have had the attention of fans in most sports throughout the school year.

As the flyer above indicates, the game will be broadcast live each night on Cox local sports. For anyone who does not have Cox Cable, however, we here at The Network will  carry an inning-by-inning, delayed audio broadcast of each game.  Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, and possibly other members of The Network's broadcast team will have the call.  The link to the audiocast is here - 


The links to our coverage on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can be found here -




Strap yourselves in, everybody.

Here we go again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baseball Showdown at McCoy: Hawks-Rams, for the Belt

In Rhode Island high school sports, it is, quite simply, the Rivalry of Rivalries.

Hendricken-LaSalle; LaSalle-Hendricken. No matter the side on which you fall, it's hard not to love the intensity at the core of these showdowns.  The Hawks have had their way on the gridiron of late, and the basketball games this past season largely belonged to the Rams, though our guys found a way and pulled the upset down at the Ryan Center when it mattered most.

Now, it's time for baseball. 

It's also not too much of a stretch to say that while the Hawks have, for the most part, been as close to a high school baseball dynasty for about two decades now, most people would acknowledge that it's been the Hawks and the Rams who've been at the top of the heap over the course of the past several years.  Even further to that point, a significant number of the the players on both of this year's squads faced off last season for the junior varsity state title, a game won by the Rams in extra innings.

In fact, while our guys come into the state title series wearing the belt as the two-time state champions, one could easily make the case that the Rams - from a program perspective - have gotten the better of the Hawks, as the Maroon has beaten us two years in a row now in the freshman state championship game, in addition the aforementioned JV contest from last season.

Last night, the Hawks and the Rams secured the opportunity to face off once again, as the Rams swept Cumberland in their state title series, winning a 1-0 nai lbiter over the Clippers in Game 2.  Our guys finished both their rain-shortened suspended game from the night before and their series in two straight as well, knocking off Cranston West, 6-1.

The Providence Journal's slideshow from the semi-final series at McCarthy Field can be seen HERE.

The game picked up at the point at which it left off, the Hawks leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. The Falcons were threatening, with runners at second and third and one out.  Coach Holloway made an immediate pitching change to start, bringing in senior Gus Culpo to put out the fire, and that he did.  On only seven pitches, the threat was extinguished on a short flyball to centerfield (which wasn't even deep enough to bring the Falcons' runner home from third on a sacrifice fly) and a groundball to shortstop John Willette. 

The Hawks later added three more runs in the sixth inning to effectively put the game away, and senior Christian Travers finished things off on the mound.

The state championship series will take place next week at McCoy stadium, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and (if necessary) Thursday nights.  Unfortunately, Cox Sports owns the rights and will be broadcasting the games live on local cable.  The Network will, however, have a full staff on hand for various types of coverage - most importantly, we'll have an inning-by-inning, delayed play-by-play available on our Audioboo site, which can be found HERE.  We'l also have live updates, on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well, and we're even planning on breaking another Network barrier or two during the course of the series.  

For now, that'll have to remain a state secret.  Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Baseball Advances to McCarthy, One Win from McCoy

Reports of The Network's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Seemingly an interminable amount of time has passed since we've had any time to devote fully our attention to Hawks' sports.  Lots of year-end, practical matters have gotten in the way.

In any event....we're back.

When last we left our guys on the diamond, they'd coughed up the opportunity to put the South Kingstown Rebels away in a quick and timely fashion.  Further, what we'd seen from the Hawks over the course of the season - namely, an offense that simply and routinely ran over its opponents  - had, if not altogether disappeared, only been showing itself in fits and starts during the playoffs.

Not so much in the winner-take-all regional final on SK's home turf.  In a matter of two swings during the course of the game, it was, for all intents and purposes, over.

Gian Martellini crushed a three-run homerun in the first inning to spot our guys an early lead, and then Brady Chant delivered the hammer blow in the fourth inning, a grand slam that put the Rebels away.



The Providence Journal's entire slideshow from the game can be seen HERE.

Those two swings, combined with the consistent, shut-down pitching of staff ace Mike McCaffrey, sent the Hawks on their way to the state semis at McCarthy Field.  The 11-0 win over the Rebels also seemed to indicate that not only was the offensive firepower ready to re-awken but also that, perhaps, the Hawks' penchant for 'mercy-ruling' their opponents had as well.  After five innings, the game was officially over.

The two of three semi-final against Cranston West was next, and our guys once again came out on top, but it wasn't easy.  Junior Mike Webb made his first start of the season and was solid over 4-plus innings of work, managing to hold the Falcons to three runs; Christian Travers took the ball the rest of the way and kept the Falcons in check.   It wasn't until Ryan Rotondo's sacrifice fly that delivered the winning run in the bottom of the extra 8th frame that the Hawks could finally breathe easy. 

Game two, played last night, was suspended in the fourth inning when the rains came down.  The game will be picked up at the point it left off - the Falcons have runners at second and third, one out, and a 3-0 count on the batter.  

The Providence Journal's slideshow from the abbreviated contest can be seen HERE.

Unfortunately, The Network is not allowed to cover the semi-finals due to contractual obligations with another entity.  If the Hawks make it to McCoy, we still will be unable to stream the game live; however, we are planning different types of coverage from the scene.  

Hopefully, we'll be seeing you all at the finals.