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The opportunity to play America Pastime during the summer throughout the River Valley has become nearly non-existent endeavor. Granted there are Little League and Babe Ruth teams, which will be completed by mid-July. But, once a teenager reaches a certain age, the lone option is to move on, if he still desires to play baseball.
It certainly hasn't always been that way because there in existed American Legion baseball. An entry existed in Rumford through Napleon Ouellette Post 24 and even two years ago in Dixfield-Post 100. The disbanding resulted from a two-fold situation: The first was a lack of funding by the aforementioned Posts, still the teams completed and proved to be competitive against better-funded team through out Zone III.
Secondly, which is still a mystery, was the lack of interest by the players. Even though the need to be employed draws some, there is an abundance of individuals who find themselves intertwined in video games or hanging out at the nearest PLP (public leaning post). Although, there will always be cries and moans regarding having nothing to do.
A foursome of individuals have decided to step up to the plate and commit to playing legion baseball. Izaak Mills has returned to Locke Mills and will be joined by Ben Holmes and Tyler Frost of Dixfield. Mills, a 2012 Mountain Valley graduate, plays baseball for Saint Joseph's College.
Holmes was on the Dirigo state championship teams in 2010 and 2012, while Frost was on the 2012 and 2013 teams. Recent MV grad Adam Volkernick will be playing for Andy Valley in Turner. Locke Mills plays on Lombard Diamond at Gould Academy, while Andy Valley is at Leavitt Area High School.
Dirigo had to hire a new assistant principal/athletic director for the second time this spring. Micheal Hutchins will take over July 1 at the RSU10 school. Hutchins has coached and is a basketball official. The board had initially hired Steve Ouellette to replace former AP/AD Chris Moreau. Ouellette, who lives in Winthrop, has been filling as athletic director at Gardiner since February, decided to return to Gardiner when the position opened up. Interestingly, Ouellette has been filling in for former Dirigo assistant principal and athletic director Jeff Turnbull.
Three RSU 10 schools played in the Western Regional finals in baseball and softball, for the second straight year. The Dirigo and Buckfield baseball teams each won regional championships in Class C and D, respectively. Dirigo baseball repeated as state champions. Dirigo softball had won a regional title in 2012.