Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Happens When "The Three Stooges" Meets "The Stone & Z Show"?

Ah, yes....the beginning of the holiday season....turkey, cranberry sauce, talk of Santa, Rudolph, and all that snowy stuff...so festive.

Then there's Festivus for the rest of us....and that's where "The Stone & Z Show" comes in.

This afternoon, our unbiased New England-based talk show hosts were joined by the venerable Cam Brennan of "The 4th & Inches Show" for a holiday roundtable of sorts.  The primary talking points centered around the Bruins' recent surge, the Celtics' early season weirdness (do they want to lose games, or don't they?), and the Patriots and the NFL playoff scenarios going forward following the Pats' incredible comeback win against the Broncos this past Sunday night.

All this, plus technical difficulties to the left of us and to the right of us....if only we'd been clued in on a new firewall going online (perhaps that's something we might want to know about??), maybe today's show wouldn't have been such a scattered mess.

But, as Coach Belichek says, "It is what it is."

If you haven't yet had the opportunity to tune into any of The Network's high-quality original programming, next week might be a good time to start, with the NFL playoff picture beginning to crystallize and our own varsity football Hawks going into the semi-finals of the state playoffs and beginning their run at Rhode Island schoolboy history.  Viewers can interact with the shows by live tweeting to @bhsportsnetwork.

The larger portion of this afternoon's show can be seen in the UStream viewer at the top of the page.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cam and Rem Break it Down In-Studio on "4th and Inches"

Is there a better NFL talk show tandem than Cam Brennan and Remy Morris?

Well, maybe in the worlds of ESPN, WEEI, and the SportsHub, but in the amateur ranks, these two are as good as it gets.

This afternoon's show ran the spectrum from the final play of the Patriots-Panthers game on Monday night, to the developing playoff picture, to a preview of this weekend's games.  Good stuff all the way around.

Viewers can see a large portion of the show in the UStream viewer at the top of the page.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Matt & Nick Talk....Baseball???

I'm honestly not sure how to react.

Anchors Matt Rowlands and Nick Bianco returned to the studio this afternoon for another edition of their baseball show, "Covering the Bases".....well, at least that's how we here at The Network are selling it, anyway.

What actually transpired is difficult to explain....oh, there was plenty of baseball talk, but...well...let's just say that the sports talk had several different directions.  Matt and Nick did a brief World Series wrap, talked free agency, and of course, had their usual disputes about each other's likes and dislikes in what truly amounts to high-quality entertainment....kinda like watching a pair of reasonably well-educated Keystone Cops slap each other around after a hard day's work.  I don't know.  It's great stuff, anyway.

The better portion of the show can be seen in the Ustream viewer at the top of the page.

Hawks' Football Podcast for 11/20/13, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Stone & Z" Return...with an Unbiased View of Boston Sports

You know the old saying....
...when the world gets weird, the weird watch "Stone & Z".

Around the halls of Hendricken, it's a tried and true way of looking at the Boston sports world.

Two of The Network's original and most respected anchors once again sat behind the mic to discuss the outrageous call at the end of the Patriots-Panthers game, the looming monumental game against the Broncos this Sunday night, in addition to some scattered thoughts on the NBA and the baseball offseason. Watch the entire show right in the Ustream viewer.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Got Rivalry??

During the first week of this past June, Rhode Island high school sports fans - especially the fans of Hendricken and LaSalle - had an unexpected treat: a baseball doubleheader of Rhody's equivalent of a Red Sox-Yankees matchup.  The Hawks and Rams squared off at McCarthy Field in West Warwick for first the Junior Varsity state championship, and then immediately following that, both schools had at it again for the Freshman state championship.

As it turned out, it was a great day for the Rams, as they swept the doubleheader and took home the hardware for 2/3 of the baseball titles for 2013.  Both were great games, as the players on both sides acquitted themselves well, both in performance and respect for one another.

This past weekend, fans of both schools had a second opportunity to watch a doubleheader between the two rivals, but this time it was on the gridiron.  In a classic contest Friday night, our guys outlasted the Rams, 27-22, and secured the #2 seed in the upcoming state playoffs (The Network's account of the game can be seen in the column immediately preceding this one); then, yesterday, the Freshman Hawks turned the trick again, only this time it was in the Freshman Super Bowl.  The young Hawks walked off the field with a 38-22 victory and the 2013 state championship in hand.
Assistant Coach Manning reacted to the win shortly following the game:

For the Freshman football program under Coach Stringfellow, yesterday's win brings our recent spate of success to five titles in the past seven years.  If one were to go back even a bit further, two more titles were racked up under the venerable Coach Quigley, who now serves as an assistant coach.

It was a remarkable season for the young Hawks.  Including yesterday's title win and the 34-0 win over Portsmouth in the state semi-finals, the team finished the season 9-1.  They'd entered the playoffs as the #2 seed, behind regular season champion LaSalle.  In fact, another point of interest in the ongoing rivalry between the Hawks and the Rams is that under Coach Stringfellow, the Freshman team has lost only six games in seven years, but the last three of those six - including last year's Super Bowl - have come at the hands of the Rams.  Yesterday's win over our archrivals, then, was even a bit more satisfying.

While all the young guys played exceptionally well yesterday, there were a number of standout performances.  Kwity Paye scored four touchdowns and intercepted a pass, and TD's were also scored by Andrew Hopgood and Sam Hill.  QB Chris Hindle only had to throw nine times throughout the course of the game, but he completed five of those passes, one for a touchdown, which was the completion to Hopgood, a play which can be seen here:

Anthony Witherstone also had an interception, and the offensive line was a force for the entire game. Witherspoon's INT can be seen right here: Ironically enough, today is one of our Open House Sundays, so with any luck, some members of a Freshman state championship football team in 2014 will be walking through our doors. Congratulations to all our Freshman players, and let's hope for the varsity state title in the coming weeks.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hawks and Rams Stage Another Classic

Any account of last night's Hendricken-LaSalle football matchup has to begin with one very broad acknowledgement -

Wow.  What an atmosphere for Rhode Island high school football.

Every single ingredient for an outstanding night for everyone there - the teams, the athletic complex, a heated rivalry based on genuine mutual respect, an overflow crowd totally into the game - was all there.  Throw in the need for our guys to win in order to secure the #2 seed in the upcoming state playoffs and their shot at Rhode Island high school football immortality, the Rams' desperate need to win in order to secure a spot in the playoffs,  MaxPreps showcasing this as one of the eleven games nationwide in its rivalry series, and a classic contest on top of all of it...and...well...

WOW.  What a night.

Of course, The Network was there with full coverage, led by the outstanding play-by-play and analysis work of Cam Brennan and Stone Freeman.  We even unveiled the new, official Network banner last night from high above the 50-yard line:

By game's end, it was cold - really cold.  It's doubtful, though, that anyone actually noticed. The game had everyone's undivided attention.  If we here at The Network ever have the opportunity to run "classic" games similar to ESPN, this will undoubtedly be one of the games that is shown over and over again.

The Hawks were coming off a tough 7-0 loss to top-seeded Barrington last Friday night, a game in which the Eagles did a magnificent job of running a ball-control offense in order to keep the ball out of the Hawks' hands and of putting a premium and trust in their defense. They executed both beautifully. The Hawks played smashmouth with them all night, but, in the end, came up just short. As a result, our guys entered this game needing to do two things: putting themselves back on the rails leading to the playoffs and securing the #2 seed. It's a pretty good bet that they either sensed or knew that it wasn't going to be easy, as the Rams entered the game in a win-or-go-home position, and, as Coach Pantaleo pointed out in this week's podcast, when you're faced with a rivalry game like this, all the other stuff - records, stats, matchups, etc. - go right out the door. It's a different game entirely.

Prophetic words. LaSalle came ready to play and did so on even terms for the full 48 minutes.

Operating out of an offensive formation that they used with success throughout the night, the Rams struck early and they struck fast, taking a 13-0 lead barely halfway into the first quarter on Kyron Lopes's 26-yard run for a touchdown, and then, following a Hawks' fumble, CJ Waite rumbled 14 yards and broke the plane again.  The Rams failed to convert the extra point after the second TD.  The Rams ran what appeared to be a basic, no-frills wildcat offense, with the quarterback/running back taking direct snaps and running the ball off tackle or around end.  They made little to no use of any wide receivers, and the back taking the snaps varied, depending on the game situation and down-and-distance.

By the middle of the second quarter, a general shift in momentum occurred as a result of Matt Duffie's pick-6 for a touchdown and Remington Blue's 20-yard dash for a touchdown. Duffie's interception for a score can be seen here:

Remy put the Hawks in position to score the second time with this run, ...and followed it up with this touchdown run - If you were either a LaSalle player, coach, or fan at halftime, you had to wonder what had just happened. For the majority of the first 24 minutes, you'd largely outplayed the Hawks, but you trailed, 14-13. It didn't seem to be a promising situation for the Maroon. If that was their mindset, however, they sure didn't let it show in the second half.

Our guys lengthened their lead to 21-13 about halfway through the third quarter on Pat Gill's 7-yard touchdown run, and at that point, it appeared that the momentum was clearly with the Hawks and that they were on the verge of putting the game away.  A bit further along into the quarter, the Hawks pinned the Rams deep in their own territory, at their own seven yard line.  Once again operating out of their basic wildcat, Keon Wilson broke through the Hawks' first line of defense and was off to the races, coming to a stop only when he had crossed into the end zone after a 93-yard run.  The Rams went for the two-point conversion, which failed, but suddenly it was 21-19.

On Hendricken's next possession, QB Pat Gill rolled left, and, throwing against his body, attempted to hit one of his receivers in the flat; unfortunately, a Rams' defensive back read it perfectly, intercepted the pass and ran it back deep into Hawks' territory.  Our defense stiffened and refused to allow the TD, but LaSalle converted the turnover into three points, and with the fourth quarter just underway, the Rams had the lead, the momentum, and most importantly, their confidence; this game no longer had anything to do with records and statistics.  This was now a Rivalry Game.

The teams traded possessions for a large portion of the final quarter, both defenses refusing to give in.  With less than two minutes remaining and the Hawks beginning what would most likely be their final possession at their own 47, it looked as though LaSalle would tough this one out, upset their archrivals, and keep their season alive.  On first down, Pat Gill threw incomplete; on second down, however, he hit wide receiver Lee Moses on the left sideline. Lee did the rest, breaking a couple of tackles, keeping his balance, and managing to stay in bounds all the way to the house on a 53-yard scoring play.  With about a minute-and-a-half to go, the Hawks had a 27-22 lead.

The Rams had one more shot, though, and a touchdown - no conversion necessary - would win the game.

They almost did it, methodically moving the ball into scoring position.  The Hawks were there, though, to pick off the Rams' last-ditch attempt to score in the end zone, and with about 20 seconds to go, the game and all the potential heart attacks that were about to happen on the Hendricken side of the stands, were mercifully over.

Following the game, Coach Croft accepted the MaxPreps rivalry game trophy from organization officials and members of the National Guard and acknowledged what an incredible game had taken place as well as the tremendous atmosphere for high school football.


From here the Hawks have a bit of a break, with their only remaining regular season game being the annual inter-city Thanksgiving matchup against Toll Gate.  They finish the D-1 regular season as the #2 seed with a 7-1 record, and including their opening-season win over St. Ray's in a non-league contest, go into the Thanksgiving game with an 8-1 record overall.  The Rams are, quite obviously, a very, very good football team, but as a result of some unlucky breaks over the course of the season, finish their D-1 schedule out of the playoff picture.

So, in a couple of weeks, it'll be time to ramp up for the playoffs and a shot at history.  

The Network will be there with the coverage.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hendricken Football Podcast for 11/14/13, Parts 1 & 2

Sunday, November 10, 2013

XC Wraps Up Season with Strong Showing in New Englands

Sure, coaches Doyle, Brennan, and Lourenco would have loved to have taken home another New England crown, which would have been the program's third in a row and fourth in the last five years.  Consider, however, all that this year's cross country team has accomplished:

*the Freshman runners markedly improved their times between the beginning of the season   in the Injury Fund competition and the state championships, more so than any other 
  team in the field

*after having taken the state title five years in a row, this group of Hawks' runners wasn't      given much of a chance to repeat; they responded by winning the program's sixth state 
 championship in a row, the first Rhode Island high school program to turn that trick
*senior standout and all-state runner Colin Tierney was the individual champion at the state   ccompetition and the tenth runner in school history to accomplish the feat

*and, yesterday, the Hawks finished third at the New England championships, with Colin
  placing fifth overall and junior Michael Potter taking 20th.  
The effort at the meet and
  throughout the season was tremendous from all our runners.

So, with the fall season and cross country in the books, it's on to indoor track...

...and The Network will be there with continued coverage.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Eagles Swoop in, Silence Hawks

The results of last night's huge D-1 high school football matchup between the undefeated Barrington Eagles and Hendricken Hawks - a matchup that, as the weeks progressed, seemed to become more and more of a possibility - ended in disappointment for Hawks' players and fans, as the Eagles emerged from Hayden Stadium with a 7-0 victory, a victory that allows them to continue to dream of an undefeated season, a state championship, to secure the #1 seed in the approaching state playoffs, and to break our guys' run of three consecutive titles.

For all in the Hendricken community, though, 'disappointing' is the correct word.

Disappointing, not painful.

Yes, it was a tough loss, no doubt, but that one loss - if it's the only one, which is by no means a guaranteed thing - will only mean two things in the end: we'll be the #2 seed, and if we advance to the Super Bowl in December, and it happens to be against Barrington, then we'll be wearing white jerseys.


Take those simple realities and put them up against the toughness of last night's struggle and the final score, and it's easier to see that all is far from lost.

One thing is certain, however: the Barrington Eagles are a very good football team.  Very good.  

The Providence Journal's photo gallery from the game can be seen here, and a portion of last night's contest can be seen in the Ustream viewer at the top of the page, in addition to other segments on The Network's Ustream link at the bottom of the page.

Consider these facts: the Eagles played last night without their leading senior tailback (out with a quadriceps injury), who had been churning out yardage at an alarming rate and helping the Eagles to control the ball all season; yet, the Eagles seemingly did not miss a beat, as the combination of running back Nick Jensen and quarterback Matt Rota managed to control the ball by steadily moving the ball against what is a stellar Hendricken defense.

Ball control - it was obvious from the get-go that that was the Eagles' plan of attack, to move the ball in small chunks, if necessary, but to keep moving the chains and to keep the ball out of the hands of the Hendricken offense, which has proven all season that it has real quick-strike capability, most notably with the running of Remy Blue.  On a couple of occasions in the first half, it appeared that the Hawks' running attack might start to break through, but the Barrington "D" continually stepped up and met the challenge.  Two of the tough runs by the Hawks can be seen here:

That's where the Barrington defense came in.  They came to play, and it was clear that they weren't going to allow Remy to beat them.  In fact, at one point in the third quarter it looked as though the Eagles were completely daring the Hawks to pass, as they seemed to bring at least nine - and quite possibly all 11 - defensive players into the box.  Hawks' quarterback Pat Gill managed to hit on several passes of some significance, but the one that would have made all the difference in the game, a 35-yard pass into the end zone, was tipped by an Eagles' defensive back and intercepted, preventing the Hawks from tying the game in the second quarter.

While I'm sure that Coach Croft and his staff aren't exactly thrilled with the outcome, I'm sure that they'll remind their players of one important fact: the Eagles won the game 7-0.  They scored one touchdown.  Our defense did its job.  There's a long way to go before the final story is written of what we hope to be an historic season.

The Express has been derailed a bit, but knowing our guys, they'll jump right back on the tracks.

And they jump back on those tracks next Friday night, at, of all places, the home of our respected archrivals: LaSalle.  On Academy Avenue.

The Network will be there.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

At Long Last...."4th & Inches" Returns

Three weeks....maybe a month.  Either way, it's been quite some time since Network anchors Cam Brennan and Remy Morris occupied the table in their usual Thursday afternoon time slot to talk all things NFL.  And, truth be told, they return with a lot on the table for discussion: Aaron Rogers's injury and its effect on the Green Bay Packers, the hazing incidents down in Miami, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and their 9-0 record.  So, if you're inclined to watch a segment of the show, it's available at the top of the page in the Ustream viewer.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

AJ Smith, Hendricken Grad of '67 and NFL Executive, Sits Down with The Network

Opened in 1959, Bishop Hendricken High School has, in a relatively short period of time, established both a history and a tradition of excellence.  We often hear about some of the young men who've gone on to true greatness in their respective fields: Frank Caprio, a Harvard graduate and former State Treasurer of Rhode Island; James Langevin, current congressman in Washington, DC; Craig Mullaney, West Point graduate, US Army veteran, and author of The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education; in addition to two of the more recent greats, Rocco Baldelli of the Tampa Bay Rays and Will Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is, however, another alumni who has gone onto the heights of success in his field, a man who has directly had a hand in building championship teams in the NFL: AJ Smith, most notably the general manager of the San Diego Chargers and currently a senior executive with the Washington Redskins.

Mr. Smith was on campus visiting his old stomping grounds on Wednesday, re-connecting with old friends, taking a tour of our facilities, and spending time with our students.  He was gracious enough to take some time for an interview with Network anchors Stone Freeman, Cam Brennan, and Johnathan Feeny.

Unified Sports Give the Hawks Even More Options

It goes without saying that throughout our entire community and here at The Network, we get to celebrate and comment upon the state championships that we annually rack up.  With the school year only 1/4 into the books, we've already taken the Cross Country state title - the program's sixth in a row - and we're looking forward to seriously contending in football, basketball, swimming, wrestling, hockey, and baseball, in addition to others.  Now, however, we can add yet another banner to the many already handing from the rafters:

the 2013 Unified Volleyball State Champions.

This past Sunday our guys came, saw, and conquered.  The Barrington Eagles - a worthy opponent - stood in the Hawks' way, but only one of these birds of prey emerged holding the trophy, that being the team led by the likes of Austin "Great Wall of Volleyball" Crawford, Matt Mangili, Chris Zimmerly, Antonio Piccarillo, and Josh Mernick.  From outstanding serves, great front line work, and some incredible rallies, all members of the Hawks' Unified Volleyball squad contributed to the two victories, which came by scores of 25-16 and 25-15.

Congratulations go out to all members of the team, as well as Coaches Mr. Graney and Miss Shank, both of whom put so much time and so much of themselves into this year's team. Awesome accomplishment.

Coach Graney and the entire team expressed their feelings and their excitement about winning the state championship in an interview with The Network's Bobby Bordieri:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Open Forum..."Stone & Z" Take on Cam from "4th & Inches"


Petty difficulties all the way around at The Network this afternoon.....wi-fi issues, "Z" was late, ostensibly to finish a lab (as though he'a actually a legitimate student), Mr. Feeny running two productions at once, cats and dogs living together....simply mass hysteria.  In the middle of all this chaos stepped Cam Brennan of "4th & Inches" fame to save the day's programming, only to be re-joined by "Z" at the last minute.  So, we figured, 'why not?' Open forum it was.

As the Red Sox proved this year, chemistry can be a beautiful thing, and the sports talk during this segment was truly first-rate, ranging from the Red Sox and their looming decisions in free agency, to an assessment of the Patriots' 7-2 record heading into the bye week, to the Celtics' 0-4, somewhat weird start to the season.  A segment of the show can be viewed in the Ustream viewer at the top of the site, and, if you're so inclined, other segments of the show can be seen by clicking on The Network's Ustream link at the bottom of the page.

Good stuff here.  Good stuff.

Monday, November 4, 2013

...And the Beat Goes On....

Let's face it, fellas....we all know that Hendricken is about a lot more than athletics, even though the naysayers throughout the state love to say otherwise.  There may be those who accuse us of being the proverbial "gym with a school attached", but we know that our faith, our academics, and our community speak for themselves.

Competing successfully in the athletic arena may not define us....but it sure is a whole lot of fun, now ain't it?

With all due respect to Mount St. Charles's historic hockey dynasty (well deserved, of course), consider several of our sports: swimming (24 consecutive state titles), baseball (three consecutive titles, in the context of roughly a decade-and-a-half of dominance), basketball (recently champions of seven consecutive state titles), and, of course, football (making a serious run at a fourth consecutive Super Bowl state title this season).

If we hadn't earlier, we can now add cross-country dominance to that list.

On Sunday, the Bishop Hendricken XC team became the first team in state history to rack up a sixth consecutive state title, all the more impressive since seemingly no one gave our guys a serious shot at the crown this year.  The team was lead by senior standout Colin Tierney, who finished as the state's individual champion and the tenth individual state champion in school history. Other standout performances on the day came from Michael Potter (3rd), Tom Grizzetti (6th), Colin Manning (9th), and Dom Parlato (18th).  In fact, it was Dom's stretch run that helped to provide the team with its eventual five-point margin of victory.

There's been plenty of media coverage of the Hawks'accomplishment as well. A fantastic article highlighting our guys at MileSplitRI: ...and NBC10, ABC6, and the Providence Journal all weighed in as well:
All in all, it's been an unbelievable fall season for the cross country team. Just the look on those two fellas' faces says it all, now doesn't it? The Hawks aren't finished yet, though - next, they travel to Manchester, NH, this Saturday to compete in the New Englands. Hopefully, they bring home even more hardware to the hallowed halls. 

And The Network will be there with the coverage.