|THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS||VOLUME XVIII NUMBER 3 Spring 2003|
Owls Take Over Spaulding
Over 100 former Owl players, along with their families and friends, attended Keene State's first-ever Athletic-Alumni Recognition Day on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Spaulding Gym. It was an opportunity for past to meet present as athletes from Keene Normal School, Keene Teachers College, and Keene State marched side by side.
"It's cool to meet some of the older guys I never played with," said Lakota Denton '01, KSC's most recent men's soccer All-America. "I met Wally Dwinnells '71. He was talking about what the program was like back then." Dwinnells, who had the chance to play for both Sumner Joyce and Ron Butcher, also played a role in helping a future KSC women's soccer team. As a coach at Hopkinton (N.H.) High School, he helped recruit Tia Meiler '01, who became a three-time All-LEC player for the Owls.
There were six All-Americas and several KSC Hall of Fame members in attendance, including Paul Trocki '80, track, and Rob Edson '91, cross country, who were national champs in their sports. Other faces in the crowd were baseball player John Luopa '89, who still owns the career batting average mark, and Laura Bennett Kules '92 and Chris Coates '02, first and second respectively on the women's and men's basketball career scoring list.
Melinda Treadwell '90, Michelle Zeigler '90, Mary-Nesbit White '91, Heidi Brittan Yeaw '91, and Laura Bennett Kules '92, all members of the only Keene State women's basketball team to earn an NCAA Tournament berth, were reunited.
Ed Silk '72 recalled playing for the last KSC baseball team to win a title. He was a member of the 1970 Owl team, which captured the New England State Athletic Conference Championship. "I was a decent fielder, but known for my hitting," he said.
A pioneer, Deb Parker '73 had the distinction of playing on the first softball team at Keene State. She remembers the team's trip to the University of Nebraska at Omaha for the AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) National Tournament. "It was fun being on a developing team," she said. "We were surprised to be chosen for the tournament." Parker is still involved in Keene's modified fast-pitch league.
Many KSC athletes, including present Owl coaches Peter Thomas '77 (cross country/track), Ken Howe '87 (baseball), and Denise Lyons '90 (women's soccer) have gone on to have outstanding coaching careers at the high school and collegiate level. Amber Webster '01, a cross country and track athlete at KSC, has switched sports to become an assistant wrestling coach at Bellows Falls (Vt.) High School. "It's hard for females to gain respect in the sport," said Webster, who wrestled four years for Bellows Falls.
While Aaron Lipsky '68 (tennis), Mary-Lou Moscaritolo Smith '75 (gymnastics), Don Carle '52 (hockey), and Bill McGahie '84 (skiing) represented sports that have been disbanded, Alan Stevens '52 played two of them (tennis and hockey) – as well as soccer – at Keene Teachers College. "I liked them all," said Stevens, who didn't pick up soccer or tennis prior to attending the College.
The honor of being the oldest athletic alums that day belongs to Paul Perkins '39 (basketball), Hal Street '42 (baseball), and Doug Kimball '43 (baseball and basketball). Perkins, a former KSC alumni board president, recalls playing in the old Spaulding Gym. "When we won a game, it was a big affair," he said.
Kimball, who was called to duty following his junior year, said the memories from his KNS days helped him during the war. "I remember sitting in the foxholes and thinking about the games, the dances and great times I had at the College," he said.
The event was also attended by several recent grads, such as Jason Campbell '02 (track). "I thought it was a great day and I hope they do it again," he said. "Athletic-alums are some of best fans. They have a lot of spirit and elevate the performance of the teams."
Stuart Kaufman is KSC's sports information coordinator.