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Presque Isle High School hall of fame to induct 4

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Danielle Donovan Johnson, Paul Plissey, Steve Smith and Brianna Blanchard Rodgerson will be the newest members of the Presque Isle High School Athletic Hall of Fame when induction ceremonies are held on Jan. 11, 2013.

The four members of the hall’s third annual induction class will be joined by Melissa Blackstone, a member of the 2011 class who was unable to attend last year’s ceremony.

Danielle Donovan Johnson, a 1997 PIHS graduate, was a four-year participant in cross-country, varsity basketball and track who earned All-American status in cross-country and helped the Wildcats to three Eastern Maine Class A championships and state Class A titles in 1993 and 1994.

She also set the Aroostook county record (5:24) in the 1,600-meter run and school record in the 800, 1600 and 3200 runs and was a three-year starter in basketball who played point guard on the school’s 1997 state championship team.

Johnson went on to run track for four years at the University of Maine and captained the Black Bears as a senior. While at UMaine she earned nine varsity letters and was a six-time America East Academic Honor Roll selection.

Paul Plissey (1983) starred in cross-country and track at Presque Isle, winning a cross-country state championship as a senior as well as three Eastern Maine titles and a 5,000-meter state crown in track.

He also finished second in the 15-16 age division of the 1981 AAU national cross-country championships and later during his career placed seventh in the 17-18 age group at the AAU Junior Olympic national championships.

Plissey went on to compete as a scholarship athlete at Boston College, where he captained the school’s cross-country team. A knee injury during his junior year ended his running career.

Plissey has had a successful career as a singer/songwriter and folk musician, releasing 17 albums and winning 14 Boston Music Awards.

Brianna Blanchard Rodgerson (2000) was one of the most prolific scorers in Presque Isle girls basketball history. She finished her career with 1,502 points, including a school single-season record 540 as a senior, and was a finalist for Miss Maine Basketball as well as a two-time All-Maine selection.

Rodgerson was a two-time all-state choice in soccer for the Wildcats and in track set school records at the time in the long jump, high jump, shot put and 4-by-400 relay.

She went on to have a standout basketball career at Saint Anselm College.

Steve Smith (1961) won 13 varsity letters in basketball, baseball, cross-country and track for the Wildcats, helping his team to a cross-country state title and also earning All-Maine honors in basketball as a senior.

He went on to play four years of varsity basketball at Brandeis University, where his coach as a senior was former Boston Celtics star K.C. Jones. Smith also competed in indoor track for one year and broke 50 seconds in quarter mile.

Smith went on to compete for the U.S. Army basketball team while stationed in Hawaii, and later coached varsity basketball for several years at Belfast Area High School.

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