Cannon, Delawter headed to Hall of Fame along with state championship net teams
Chesapeake College event features former Ravens coach Billick
WYE MILLS G.R. Cannon and Will Delawter all-Americans in men’s soccer and baseball, respectively will be inducted into the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame on October 19th along with the college’s first two state championship teams.
Cannon was a two-time all-American third team as a junior and first team as a senior at NCAA Division III Wesley College after leaving Chesapeake. Delawter was a third-team NJCAA Division II all-American in 2005 as a freshman when he helped the Skipjacks to their first-ever World Series appearance.
Both men will be inducted along with the 1972 and 1973 state championship women’s volleyball teams. The induction dinner’s featured speaker will be former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, who led the team to its only Super Bowl championship following the 2000 season.
"It’s a tremendous honor although a little bit unexpected," said Delawter of his election to the Hall of Fame. Delawter, who is a third-grade teacher at Eastern Elementary School in Washington County, added, "It’s something I will certainly cherish for the rest of my life."
"It’s an honor to be part of something like this," said Cannon, who is owner of Talbot County-based Cannon Soccer Academy and director of coaching with Bayshore Soccer Club. "I’m thrilled and humbled at the same time."
Cannon, who graduated from St. Michaels High School, actually started his collegiate career at Wesley College in 1998 before transferring to Chesapeake. In 1999, he helped the Skipjacks to their only winning regular season between 1994 and 2008 before returning to Wesley for all-American campaigns in 2001 and 2002.
Cannon, first-team all-Pennsylvania Athletic Conference in both 2001 and 2002, was runner-up for PAC Player of the Year as a senior. He recorded 15 goals and 15 assists for 45 points at Wesley College, the 11th-best career points total in school history.
Cannon then played professionally in both the United States and Europe, including a stint with D.C. United of Major League Soccer, the highest-level professional league in the country.
"I was a late bloomer," said Cannon, who credited "the three D’s dedication, determination, and discipline" with helping him build a career that led to the pros.
Delawter is one of the most decorated of all Chesapeake College baseball players. The first baseman was twice named to the all-Region XX and all-Northeast District first teams, and twice selected for the Maryland JuCo second team, as well as being named to the 2005 NJCAA Division II All-American third team.
Delawter is already in the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 2005 World Series team, which was inducted as a team in 2006. He finished his Chesapeake career with a .383 batting average, 96 RBI and 94 runs scored.
"Will is an outstanding person and solid student from a great family," said Frank Szymanski, Chesapeake College’s athletic director and head baseball coach. "He was a clutch hitter and pitcher for us. He and his family have been very loyal to the team and the college."
The honors continued after Delawter moved to Division I University of Maryland Baltimore County. He was twice named to the all-America East Conference squad, hitting .370 with 15 home runs and 88 RBI in two years with the Retrievers. Delawter was also twice named to the America East all-Academic team, was UMBC’s 2007 Athlete of the Year, and was named first-team All-East Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2008.
Cannon and Delawter will be inducted along with the two state championship volleyball teams, which join the college’s two World Series participants the 2005 baseball squad and 2009 softball team that were previously inducted as teams.
The 1972 squad went undefeated in the regular season including wins over four-year programs at Salisbury State College and the University of Delaware. The 1973 squad then repeated as state champion, thanks in large part to a dramatic 6-15, 15-13 and 16-14 victory over rival Anne Arundel Community College.
Janet Fountain, who played on both state championship volleyball teams, credited late head coach Mercedes Lesser with being the glue that held those teams together.
"Mrs. Lesser had the drive to make us the best," said Fountain. "She was always there for us and made playing volleyball so special."
Billick’s participation will make this year’s induction ceremonies even more special, according to Chesapeake College President Barbara Viniar.
"We’re thrilled that Coach Billick is able to make the time to join us in honoring this year’s inductees," said Dr. Viniar. "I know that his participation will make it an even more memorable occasion for our inductees, their families and our other guests."
Billick coached the Ravens from 1999 to 2007, leading them to the playoffs four times while compiling an 80-64 regular-season record and 5-3 mark in the playoffs. He guided the Ravens to a 34-7 win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV in his second season as head coach.
Prior to joining the Ravens, Billick spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings after holding assistant coaching positions at San Diego State, Utah State and Stanford. Since leaving the Ravens, Billick has worked on both Fox and the NFL Network as a studio analyst, game analyst and draft analyst.
Tickets for the induction are $75, which include entry into the 6 p.m. social, the dinner and the induction ceremony. Tickets may be reserved by contacting Barbara Smith (410-827-5843, or firstname.lastname@example.org). Checks, payable to Chesapeake College with "Hall of Fame" on the notation line, may be mailed to: Chesapeake College, c/o Barbara Smith, P.O. Box 8, Wye Mills, MD 21679.
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