Chesapeake College inducts ’08 Hall of Fame class
Dilling, Stubbs, Supers, Willey praised for special contributions
WYE MILLS Cory Willey may not have been present, but he was well-represented.
Willey, currently playing winter baseball in Venezuela, was inducted into the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night along with fellow former Skipjacks John Stubbs, Carrie Dilling, and Mandy Supers. Willey’s wife, Jessie, accepted the honor on his behalf, with Willey’s parents and in-laws also in attendance.
"Cory has probably the most determination of anyone I’ve ever met," Jessie Willey, who met her husband while both were students at Chesapeake College, told those in attendance at the Todd Performing Arts Center. "I know with the determination he has that the major leagues are not far away. This experience has been hard we’ve had no money and we’ve struggled, but it’s probably been the best time of our lives."
Jessie Willey, who had been down in Venezuela with Cory, told those assembled she also brought back a message from her husband.
"He wanted me to tell you that Coach Szymanski gave him his pitching career . . . and that he owes everything to Coach Szymanski," said Jessie Willey as her voice broke.
Willey graduated from Cambridge-South Dorchester High in 1999 after starring in the outfield and first base for the Vikings, but first-year Chesapeake head baseball coach Frank Szymanski saw a left-handed power pitcher. Szymanski, who served as Willey’s presenter, said Willey was one of the key players on his first team that laid the foundation for a baseball program that went to the 2005 NJCAA World Series.
"What it (Willey’s decision to sign with Chesapeake) brought was instant credibility," recalled Szymanski. "I was able to go out and tell other recruits, ’Cory Willey’s coming to Chesapeake why don’t you?’ "
Willey, who went on to become a pitching ace for both the Skipjacks and Salisbury University, has compiled a 22-8 record in four minor-league seasons while playing for teams in Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He played in the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies organizations, reaching the Double A level in 2007, and spent 2008 with the Newark (N.J.) Bears of the independent Atlantic League.
Willey who has posted a winning record in each of his minor-league seasons has compiled a 16-5 mark over the past two years. He went 9-3 in 2007 while splitting time between the Phillies’ Double A Reading organization and the High-A Clearwater Threshers, where he won a minor-league championship. Willey went 7-2 this year with Newark, posting a 2.96 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched.
Stubbs was presented by Talbot County Councilman Buddy Harrison IV. Harrison noted Stubbs still holds the Skipjacks’ point-scoring record in men’s soccer after never previously playing the sport and was a strong enough outfielder that he "was rated by several major-league scouts as having a major-league arm."
Stubbs held the college’s career goal-scoring record for men’s soccer for three decades, scored 15 goals in one season, and made two all-region soccer teams. The Queenstown resident was a Region XX Honorable Mention in 1973 and Second-Team All-Region choice the following season.
In baseball, Stubbs served as a 1974 team tri-captain before starting for two years in Frostburg State University’s outfield. He went on to become a men’s softball standout, earning All-American honors at the 1987 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) national tournament, and was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Dilling was presented for induction by both Chesapeake College Professor Dr. Ed Baker and Dilling’s brother, Keith Watson.
"There’s much talk in athletics about core strength, working on the core," said Watson. "My sister has always had the core physical strength, but what Carrie also possesses is core strength of spirit and character."
"You’re talking about a very special person," noted Dr. Baker.
Dilling was the women’s basketball team MVP in both 1993 and 1994, and was also named Chesapeake College’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1994. She came back to Chesapeake in 1995 to play for the college’s women’s softball team, where she was also named team MVP.
Dilling earned a spot on the All-Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference Second Team in basketball as a sophomore, and was named the college’s Outstanding Graduate in Architectural and Drafting Technology in 1994.
Dr. Midcap, who presented Supers, recalled that signing Supers in 1997 was a "great recruiting coup for Chesapeake College." Supers had just led Queen Anne’s County High to its first undefeated Bayside Conference girls’ basketball season, and had been selected 1997 Bayside Conference Player of the Year.
"Jody Hyde (Supers’ girls’ basketball coach at Queen Anne’s County High) recently called Mandy one of the hardest-working players he’s ever coached," said Dr. Midcap. "According to Coach Hyde, Mandy made herself into a great player because she was never satisfied she was always trying to improve her game.
"That’s the same Mandy Supers we saw here at Chesapeake. She turned herself into one of the top players in the country through hard work and dedication to her sport," said Dr. Midcap.
Supers finished her prolific women’s basketball career as Chesapeake College’s single-season and career scoring and rebounding leader. As a sophomore, she finished seventh in scoring and fourth in rebounding in the final NJCAA Division II national statistics.
Supers also left Chesapeake with school records for most free throws made in a season and career, and was both the women’s basketball Team MVP and Chesapeake’s Female Athlete of the Year for 1997-98.
Photo caption: Four new members were inducted into the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night. Pictured, left to right, are Jessie Willey (who accepted for her husband, Cory, who is playing winter baseball in Venezuela); John Stubbs, Mandy Supers and Carrie Dilling. (Photo by Tom Miller)
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