Rhode Island Super Bowl Preview

Rhode Island Super Bowl preview
Photo Credit: Bishop Hendricken High School

For eight R.I. high school football teams, there’s still one more game left to play. This weekend marks the culmination of a journey that began under hot summer skies and concludes with Thanksgiving quickly approaching.

Win or lose, it’s about savoring the Super Bowl experience that will unfold over consecutive days on the artificial turf surface of Cranston Stadium. Turning dreams that first took shape in August into championship reality is what schools like North Kingstown, Cranston West, Woonsocket, East Greenwich, Central Falls, Pilgrim, North Smithfield/Mount St. Charles Co-op, and Tiverton are seeking.

Regardless of division, the coaches and players from all the participating teams share a common bond. They had to work hard and then some in order to arrive at the final destination. Here’s a look at the four matchups:

 

DIVISION I SUPER BOWL – NORTH KINGSTOWN VS. CRANSTON WEST

When: Saturday, noon

Where: Cranston Stadium

Regular season meeting: Did not play

 

NORTH KINGSTOWN

Head coach: Joe Gilmartin

2018 record: Division I-A – 6-1; Overall – 9-1

Playoff results: Defeated South Kingstown in D-I quarterfinals, 35-6; defeated Cumberland in D-I semifinals, 21-6

Players to watch: Dylan Porier, senior, OL/DL; Tyler Khalfayan, junior, RB/DB; James Osmanski, junior, QB/DB

Fun fact: The Skippers are looking for back-to-back titles, albeit in two different divisions. Last year, North Kingstown captured the Division II crown.

 

CRANSTON WEST

Head coach: Tom Milewski

2018 record: Division I-B – 4-3; Overall – 7-3

Playoff results: Defeated Shea in D-I quarterfinals, 34-14; defeated Central in D-I semifinals, 27-14

Players to watch: Cameron Alves, junior, QB/S; Andrew Dionizio, junior, RB/LB; Brennan Stetson, sophomore, RB/LB

Fun fact: The Falcons are appearing in a Super Bowl title game for the first time since 2004.

 

DIVISION II SUPER BOWL – WOONSOCKET VS. EAST GREENWICH

When: Sunday, noon

Where: Cranston Stadium

Regular season meeting: Woonsocket, 44-12

 

WOONSOCKET

Head coach: Charlie Bibeault

2018 record: Division II-A – 6-1; Overall – 9-1

Playoff results: Defeated Middletown in D-II quarterfinals, 24-13; defeated Westerly in D-II semifinals, 22-21

Players to watch: Emmanuel Gomes, senior, RB/DB; Geraldi Paniagua, senior, QB/DB; Dwayne Robinson-O’Hagan, senior, WR/DB

Fun fact: The Villa Novans return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2012. Woonsocket won back-to-back D-II titles in 2009 and 2010.

 

EAST GREENWICH

Head coach: John George

2018 record: Division II-A – 6-1; Overall – 9-1

Playoff results: Defeated Mount Hope in D-II quarterfinals; 17-6; defeated Burrillville in D-II semifinals, 31-28

Players to watch: Kevin Licciardi, senior, RB/DB; Conrad Swanson, junior, QB; Matt Licciardi, junior, RB/LB

Fun fact: Andrew Licciardi – older brother of current EGHS contributors Kevin and Matt – is currently a freshman wide receiver on the Syracuse football team.

 

DIVISION III SUPER BOWL – CENTRAL FALLS VS. PILGRIM

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Cranston Stadium

Regular season meeting: Central Falls, 36-6

 

CENTRAL FALLS

Head coach: Jeff Lapierre

2018 record: Division III – 6-1; Overall – 8-2

Playoff results: Defeated North Providence in D-III semifinals, 34-6

Players to watch: Dutchie Arroyo, senior, WR/S; Leo DeVeiga senior, RB/CB; Luis Gonzalez, junior, WB/LB

Fun fact: The Warriors seek the program’s first Super Bowl title since 2005.

 

PILGRIM

Head coach: Blake Simpson

2018 record: Division III – 4-3; Overall – 6-3

Playoff results: Defeated Tolman in D-III semifinals, 30-14

Players to watch: Mike Borges, junior, QB/LB; Demitri Ayres, junior, RB/DB; Cesar Pascual, junior, RB/LB

Fun fact: The Patriots are looking for their first Super Bowl since capturing the Class A championship in 1975.

 

DIVISION IV – NORTH SMITHFIELD/MOUNT ST. CHARLES CO-OP VS. TIVERTON

When: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Where: Cranston Stadium

Regular season meeting: North Smithfield/Mount St. Charles, 19-14

 

NORTH SMITHFIELD/MOUNT ST. CHARLES CO-OP

Head coach: Wes Pennington2018 record: Division IV – 7-0; Overall – 9-0

Playoff results: Defeated Toll Gate in D-IV semifinals, 56-6

Players to watch: Jason Meriweather, senior, WR/S; Jack Puccetti, junior, QB; Jordan Allard, sophomore, RB/LB

Fun fact: The Northmen and Mounties formed a partnership prior to the 2016 season. This season marks the program’s first-ever appearance in a Super Bowl.

 

TIVERTON

Head coach: Bob Murray

2018 record: Division IV – 5-2; Overall – 7-2

Playoff results: Defeated Ponaganset in D-IV semifinals, 40-14

Players to watch: Daniel Garde, senior, WR

Fun fact: Murray has guided the Tigers to three Super Bowl wins during his first 36 seasons on the Tiverton sidelines. The 2018 campaign marked his 37th at the helm.

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