The following is reprinted from my column in the July Edition of the Valley Patriot.
Since the Lowell based movie The Fighter was so popular I thought it would be fitting to RANK The Council and School Committee incumbents and challengers and has the race unfolds I can change the rankings.
Lowell City Council
Rita Mercier – Heavyweight, Undisputed Champ who will reign has long has she wants.
Jim Milinazzo – Heavyweight, Been around the block, knows how to take a punch and stays on his feet.
William F. (Bill) Martin, Jr – Heavyweight, Once and probably future Mayor, a battler
Kevin Broderick – Heavyweight, Survived brutal beating by the Sun and won the last round handily.
Rodney Elliott – Light Heavyweight, Better Days are behind him, lost some punch and was nearly knocked out in the last round.
Franky Descoteaux – Junior/middleweight/super , surprised many with a strong showing and has held her own in her first year.
Patrick Murphy -junior/welterweight, lost his first fight in the Heavyweight division but made a respectable showing dropping down a couple categories. Will he fight again this year?
Joseph Mendonça – junior/lightweight, A battler and tough street fighter but also gentle man with health issue hurting his ability to keep fighting, people are worried about him.
Armand Mercier – Heavyweight lost the last fight due to health but wants one more fight to prove he still has it
Ed Kennedy – Heavyweight, another comeback attempt by an aging fighter who has as many defeats has battles won.
Fred Doyle – Heavyweight, another comeback attempt by a guy who’s been nothing more than a stepping stone for even the most novices of fighters like Ben Opara and Ryan Berard
John Leahy – Cruiserweight, after a long successful career moving up to the heavyweight category. Will be a contender
Marty Lorrey – junior/bantamweight, Long time sparring partner who’s stepping into his first solo fight. Will show he has trained long and hard and is ready.
Paul Belley – junior/welterweight, lost his first fight but has been training since. Battler with a never give up attitude, will fight to the end.
Corey Belanger – junior/welterweight, lost a good first fight in the light heavyweight division and drops down a level hoping he can show he can take a TKO yet win the next fight.
John MacDonald – junior flyweight/flyweight – A newcomer but has a talented, respected training crew along with the REAL Fighter in his corner. Hoping to be the Franky Descoteaux of 2009 but could end up as the 2011 Paul Belley, hard worker who just misses the knock-out punch,
Van Pech, Vesna Nuon, Robert Merrill, Fredrick Wanjiku – straw weight – Unknowns who may be stepping in the rings for the first time. Some may chose not to fight at all.
Lowell School Committee
Connie Martin – Heavyweight, Proven winner, takes many punches but hasn’t been knocked out yet. Will again win the fight
Jackie Doherty – Heavyweight, Veteran fighter who has been there before and can dish it out and take it. Good toe to toe fighter
Dave Conway – Cruiserweight, Two fights to run away wins. Will again be tops and is firmly entrenched.
Jim Leary – Cruiserweight, One his first two fights handily and has battled the Union Pres. and Sun Editor but has shown he can take a punch and give a few back.
Alison Laraba – Junior/lightweight, Like Franky Descoteaux came out of nowhere in 2009 but not nearly has strong or polished. Loner who is waffling on one more fight or early retirement.
Kristen Ross Sitcawich – junior/welterweight, Lost a heavyweight fight in 2007 but recovered and has the experience to capture the one uncontested seat. A real gamer
Bob Gignac – Novice – Been training has the head of the young Democrats and knows the basics. May need to take a hit or two before he wins his first fight. Young and positive.
Kim Scott – Novice – Lots of heart and a strong support staff could be a contender and knock off Laraba or if Laraba retires could take the 2nd open seat.
Greater Lowell Technical
Mike Lenzi – Heavyweight, Job is his has long as he wants it. Well known and well liked
Dave LaFerriere – Junior/lightweight, aging fighter who has gotten knocked down but gets right back up. Does he have one more fight left?
Erik Gitschier – Novice – Trained under Fred Bahou and is his protégée. Hard worker who could surprise and defeat a veteran or lose in his first solo bout has his mentor did.