THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS VOLUME XXII NUMBER 1 Fall 2006
  
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Who's Making News in Owl Sports

Owl Notebook
Lucey Changes Course    Owl Volleyball Team on the Rise
Butcher Reaches KSC Milestone    Watson Earns 200th Career Win
Running with the Fourth Graders    Wagner Chasing Lyons
Alumni Updates    Success on the Gridiron

Breanne Lucey Lucey Changes Course
A two-time national champion and four-time All-American on the track, senior Breanne Lucey showed she can also get the job done on the trails. Competing in her first cross-country race for the Owls, the Keene native finished second in a competitive field at the Dartmouth Invitational. Lucey demonstrated impressive endurance and versatility on September 30 when she competed both in cross-country and in soccer. She won the 5K KSC Invitational handily with a time of 17:59, went for a four-mile cool-down run, then suited up for the soccer game against rival Plymouth State. Lucey scored a goal in the Owls' 3-2 overtime win.



Owl Volleyball Team on the Rise
The biggest surprise of the 2006 fall season has been the emergence of the Keene State women's volleyball team. Under the direction of second-year coach Bob Weiner, the Owls are set to smash the school record for wins (18) and make their first postseason tournament appearance since 1982.


Butcher Reaches KSC Milestone
Dr. Ron Butcher added to his legendary career by earning his 500th Keene State coaching win with the Owls' 2-0 victory over Rowan (N.J.) University. Last season, Butcher became just the sixth coach in men's college soccer to reach the 500-overall-wins milestone.


Amy WatsonWatson Earns 200th Career Win
Keene State field hockey coach Amy Watson also celebrated a milestone win with her team's 3-0 triumph over Framingham State. "It just shows how long I've been doing this," says Watson. "The victory was doubly sweet because it was a conference win and a shutout." Watson, in her 17th season coaching the Owls, had a career record of 200-113-11 following the September game.




Chepina Witkowski and her cross-country crew. Photo by Brian Rumsey
Running with the Fourth Graders
Chepina Witkowski '05, a four-time All-Little East Conference runner for the Owls, came up with a novel idea for her fourth-grade students at St. Joseph's School in Keene. She started her own cross-country team.

"Running has been such a positive part of my life," says Witkowski, a Keene native. "I wanted to create a similar experience for the students." She says she had two major goals when she began the team: the kids would have fun and they would develop a strong team community. "Cross-country is the first sport most of them have ever done," she says. "Some students might not take the time to exercise if they weren't given this opportunity."

The response was positive. In just one year, the team grew from nine to 24 runners. This fall, they hosted their first meet at Keene State. With the "William Tell Overture" playing in the background, the young runners took off on the 1.4-mile course. Prizes included ribbons and Owl T-shirts and hats.

Witkowski, recipient of Keene State's 2005 Scholar-Athlete award, says the program encourages the students to do well in the classroom. "In order to run on the team, they have to keep their grades up," she says. "That's really important to me. Some of the runners from last year's team had their best grades ever during the season."

Chepina stays in shape by running with the young harriers. "I run with the team, but not like I did at Keene State," she says. "I miss the big races and the pressure of running in the meets."


Tara Wagner Wagner Chasing Lyons
Tara Wagner, a senior on the Keene State women's soccer team, entered the season four assists shy of Coach Denise Lyons' career mark of 31. Wagner, who stands five-foot-one, is the smallest player on the Keene State roster. A fearless competitor, the pony-tailed midfielder races up and down the field and doesn't shy away from headers. "My dad always yells at me for it. I must look like an idiot, but you have to win some of them," she says.




Alumni Updates
Former Owl basketball player Steve Treffiletti '97 has joined the Fordham University program as an assistant coach. Prior to his appointment, Treffiletti spent two years as a graduate assistant at Florida State, where he earned a master's degree in sports management.

John Maryanski '05 just completed his first season as the strength and conditioning coach for the Bakersfield Blaze, the Texas Rangers' A team in the California League. The wear and tear of a 142-game schedule was challenging, says Maryanski, who played four seasons of baseball for the Owls. "You build a lot of relationships throughout the year with staff and players," Maryanski says. "Even though we finished dead last in our league, 12 players got promoted to Double A over the course of the season. That's what minor-league baseball is all about, development for the higher levels. Being around a sport I love while being part of a team and getting paid for it was a dream," he adds.

Maryanski, named a 2005 All-America athlete by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, is hoping to get a promotion next season to the Rangers' Double-A team in Frisco, Texas. Like the players he works with, his ultimate goal is to reach the majors.


Success on the Gridiron
There are no goalposts at Keene State's Owl Athletic Complex. Football was discontinued as a varsity sport in 1932. But Eric Laudano '99, who graduated nearly 70 years later as an athletic trainer, ended up on a football field anyway. "I wanted to be a head football trainer before I was 30, and I achieved it," he says. This fall, the 29-year-old Laudano took over as head football trainer at Indiana State University (ISU) in Terra Haute.

Eric Laudano (left) helps an injured ISU player from the field. Photo courtesy Eric Laudano Even though KSC lacks a football team, Laudano knows the school's athletic training program prepared him well to work in the sport. "Thanks to the excellent classroom instructors and clinical instruction, the program doesn't limit your opportunities when you graduate," Laudano says. At KSC, he worked with several Owl teams and the Keene High football squad. "The program exposed me to the truth of athletic training in terms of the long hours, road trips, early mornings, and late nights," Laudano says. "But it taught me to work hard and always strive for your goals."

After graduation, Laudano worked as an athletic trainer at Yale University, in the Arena Football League, and with the Buffalo Bills. He also did summer camp work with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers before landing his position at Indiana State.

Known as the school where Larry Bird played basketball, Indiana State is rebuilding its Division I-AA football program. Occasionally, the Sycamores move up and play top teams. This season, ISU began its season in front of 50,000 fans at Purdue University.

Laudano had to go onto the field several times to attend to an injured player. "When you're on the field during a big game everything becomes silent. It's pressure, knowing millions of eyes are on you, but that's what makes this profession so much fun." says Laudano. "Your books are not with you on the field, so your work in the classroom and as a student is priceless.

"When I was at Keene State, I never thought I would get this far. But I never gave up on becoming a head football athletic trainer, and I'm thankful every day to everyone who helped me along the way. And it all began with the staff and program at Keene State."