'Jacks induct 2006 Hall of Fame class
Warner, Wilson-Robbins, Wheeler, Tipton and ’05 baseball honored
WYE MILLS A standing-room-only crowd welcomed the Class of 2006 into the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday night at the college’s Todd Performing Arts Center.
Former student athletes Skip Warner and Carol Wilson-Robbins, late swimming coach Howard Wheeler, and longtime equipment manager and trainer Mike Tipton officially entered the Hall of Fame. Chesapeake College President Stuart M. Bounds noted that each inductee went on to significant achievements after their time at Chesapeake.
Warner and Wilson-Robbins have gone on to careers in education and Wheeler was an NCAA Division II Coach of the Year at Furman University. Tipton , who started at Chesapeake as a student athletic assistant, is now superintendent of the Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Facility.
"We are certainly honoring these individuals for their athletic achievements, but we are also honoring them for their personal accomplishments over a lifetime of achievement," said Dr. Stuart M. Bounds, Chesapeake College’s president.
Chesapeake also enshrined the entire 2005 baseball team, which won region and district championships and finished fifth in last year’s NJCAA Division II World Series. The team set numerous records along the way, including longest winning streak (10 games) and most wins (40).
Dr. Maurice Hickey, currently president of Clinton (N.Y.) Community College, was presenter for a student athlete he helped recruit (Wilson-Robbins) and one he coached in two sports (Warner).
"Carol was a key player on our most successful women’s softball team in history (1981 Region XX champions) and still holds Chesapeake’s record for best one-season winning percentage as a pitcher," said Dr. Hickey, noting Chesapeake students now benefit from her presence on campus as an associate professor of kinesiology. "Skip is a person of few words, but was one of the best college goalies I coached in addition to being a very good middle infielder in baseball."
Dr. Ed Baker, a professor of kinesiology at Chesapeake who coached with Wheeler, noted Wheeler "developed into one of the nation’s best swim coaches, coaching over 40 All-Americans while at Furman University." Dr. Jack Cistriano, Chesapeake’s first athletic director who hired Tipton as equipment manager and team trainer, said "Tippy was the man you went to in order to get things done."
Dr. Bounds personally presented the 2005 baseball team for induction.
"This team overcame incredible odds just to make it to the World Series, winning the regional after being seeded sixth out of eight teams," noted Dr. Bounds. "They then had to beat a very tough team from Monroe Community College of New York in the district playoff to get to the World Series, and played three very competitive games in the Series itself."
Just prior to the final event a walk over to the gym where the Athletic Hall of Fame Wall already included a plaque for each of the new inductees American Legion Post 278 representative Hugo Gemignani made a surprise presentation. Gemignani, who also served as an assistant coach on the 2005 baseball team, provided a check for $17,000 for baseball scholarships as part of the Robert E. McCauley Scholarship.
The McCauley scholarship, started by American Legion Post 278 as an endowed scholarship, has amassed $35,000 in its endowment. The interest from that scholarship funds scholarships for Chesapeake College student athletes. The $17,000 check that Gemignani presented Szymanski Thursday night is in addition to Post 278’s endowed scholarship.
Gemignani, who was part of the traveling squad when the 2005 team went to the Division II World Series in Tennessee, said he hopes the money will "be used for next spring’s trip to Grand Junction, Colorado," the site of the Division I World Series. Chesapeake College moves up to Division I as of the 2006-2007 academic year.
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