May 28th, 2012
PAWTUCKET â€” If Ron Johnson had any doubts or reservations about his status among the baseball cognoscenti, a phone call from Dan Duquette quickly erased them.
It was a phone call that was straight to the point with Duquette taking a run at Johnson to gauge his level of interest in the managerial job with the Norfolk Tides. Sure, the two share a past, but what heightens the importance of this particular phone call is the timing of when it occured.
LINCOLN â€” There had been a fair share of dominant Division I teams during the past decade that ruled their regular seasons and captured state championships, but none of them were able to accomplish what Lincoln wrapped up on Monday afternoon.
For some high school sports like baseball and softball, the road to postseason glory begins this week. For other sports such as lacrosse, the action continues with teams setting their sights on reaching the finals, set for next weekend at Rhode Island College.
With the exception of softball, all of the brackets have been released. In an exercise geared toward setting the record straight, we present a brief overview of whatâ€™s in store for the local teams fortunate enough to still be competing in meaningful games at this time of year.
PAWTUCKET â€” A day earlier, Devan Dube and Ben Degrange earned a point without having to set a single foot on the courts at Slater Park. Less than 24 hours later under humid conditions, the No. 3 doubles team for North Smithfield found themselves in a position where the fate of the Division III championship rested on their slender shoulders.
Oh, the drama.
WARWICK â€” Dan Rhault knows that in order for a high school baseball talent to get noticed, one has to venture to where college coaches and recruiters gather.
The belief that if youâ€™re good, â€śtheyâ€ť will seek you out no longer applies. Recruiting has become such a cutthroat business that if you snooze, you lose, and if you snooze some more, you just might see your baseball career end at the high school level.
â€śWeâ€™re going to them,â€ť Rhault, a Lincoln native, said matter-of-factly.
WEST CHESTER, Pa. â€” Itâ€™s been quite the debut for Jad Prachniak, West Chester Universityâ€™s new baseball skipper.
Thanks to the tutelage of the former Lincoln resident, the Golden Rams closed their regular season with a stellar 42-10 slate, captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Division II World Series after winning four straight games in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.
WOONSOCKET â€” In a rare Sunday session, the City Council voted 5-2 last night to ask the state bring in a budget commission to take over the cityâ€™s finances.
Pro-commission councilors blamed lawmakers for forcing their hand by failing to okay the cityâ€™s request for a 13 percent supplemental tax bill last week.
Woonsocket police officers, from left, Andrew Broccoli, Jeffrey Gagnon, Justin Mowry, Sean Rochette and Mitchell Voyer, are sworn-in as police officers during a ceremony at police headquarters Friday. The five new officers graduated from the Rhode Island Police Academy earlier in the day.
BURRILLVILLE â€” The town is getting ready to begin a revaluation of all properties within the community.
The state-mandated 2012 revaluation project kicks off within the next few weeks when inspectors from Certified Revaluation Company, Inc. (CRC) â€” which the Town Council has contracted with â€” fan out throughout the town with property record cards and aerial maps. The inspectors will visit every type of property, from residential to commercial to industrial.
WOONSOCKET â€“ The Woonsocket Teachers Guild has issued a statement criticizing State Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's handling of the supplemental tax increase issue.
The teachers union described Baldelli-Hunt's â€śwaffling positionâ€ť on the tax increase as resulting in the measure being sent back to committee.
The statement issued by the Guild maintained that while â€śthere has been much debate over whether this supplemental tax increase is the best solution for Woonsocket, right now the schools have no other current alternative to fund operations.â€ť