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Ponaganset High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Induction Class of 2018

Mr. Pete Connell
Community Contributor


Reporter, The Valley Breeze & Observer

We first saw Pete on the sidelines of Ponaganset Football, Basketball, and every other sport played on the fields or courts of Ponaganset. He would often be off to the sides, out of the way with his pad and pencil. Occasionally he would ask a coach or fan the name of a player. After working 31 years for the State of R.I. Pete became a sports writer for the Observer, later known as the Valley Breeze. Pete covered Smithfield, Scituate, Burrillville, Lincoln, North Smithfield and Glocester. He was the consummate professional. His reporting never showed favor or negativity. He always said hello to coaches, fans and especially the players. The Athletes all knew who Pete was. It became a routine with parents of Athletes to run and get the Observer to see if Pete mentioned your child’s name. After a few seasons Pete no longer took notes from the end zone. He was a welcomed sight right on the sidelines with the Ponaganset staff. On a particular Saturday at a away game, we all noticed Pete was on our sideline and not the home teams. Pete would always mention he had to be nonpartisan, but it started to become obvious to us all. Individually He would whisper to all of us how he loved Ponaganset. He liked the coaches, the athletes, the place. He loved it all. His writings stayed non-partisan and never a negative word toward anyone.  At Ponaganset we all knew Pete was one of ours. Pete was the local sports writer for 21 years at the Observer. And now its time to recognize Pete as a Chieftain.

Pete umpired men’s softball leagues in the early 70’s then little league. Pete umpired High School baseball for 20 years. He was a member of the Association of Baseball Umpires of Rhode Island. Pete was an active member of Society for American Baseball Research.

Beside his Family and Sports, Pete loved his country, his church, his heritage. Pete proudly served our country for six years in the Vietnam era. Pete served as a lector at St Phillips church for 40 years. He was a member of the Ireland 32 society and the Irish Ceilidhe Club of Rhode Island visiting Ireland many times.

We lost Pete in October of 2012. He leaves his wife Dorothy, two sons Peter and William, a daughter Colleen and four grandchildren, Shawn, Meghan, William and Kaliegh

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