The Rice Memorial Green Knights displayed their aggressive base running all day as this spectacular collision with Falcon catcher Andrew Gonyaw (left) shows. Coming in to score is Green Knight Tommy Fitzgerald, who recorded seven stolen bases on the day as teammate Timmy Shea (number 11) looks on. Photos by Richard Creaser
copyright the Chronicle June 4, 2014
by Richard Creaser
NEWPORT — While the Falcons were unable to match a 20-year-old record, they did equal their best record since 2007, finishing the season at 8-8 on Saturday. Had the North Country baseball team won one or both games over the weekend, they could have matched a more than 20-year-old record, Assistant Coach Jared Gonyaw said.
“They’ve put together a great season, and this is without a junior varsity program,” Coach Gonyaw said. “We had three underclassmen pitch today, and they held heir own.”
Finishing with a .500 record is an especially significant feat given the peculiar nature of the 2014 spring sports season. The Falcons played nine regular season games in the last two weeks and only seven games in the first three weeks of the season.
NEWPORT — It was a bittersweet homecoming for Kendrick Gray, who returned to the North Country gymnasium for the first time this season on Friday night. Gray, a former North Country Falcon freshman, now plays for the Rice Green Knights (12-3) as a potent sophomore forward.
“Coming in as an opponent was pretty nerve-wracking,” Gray said after Rice’s 74-39 win. “I just wanted to do my best and everything kind of came out. I wasn’t expecting to have as good a game as I did.”
Gray exhibited the kind of skills that made him a fearsome opponent for any team. His 17-point performance, tops among both teams, including shooting 4 for 9 from the free throw line, a three-point basket, and five other baskets including a crowd-inciting dunk in the first quarter. The fact that his heroics inspired cheers from both halves of the crowd was not lost on the amiable sophomore.
“I knew I couldn’t hide forever and I’d have to come back sometime,” Gray said smiling. “I love my Newport peeps. I love this place.”