WCSU News

Hall of Fame Banquet to honor achievements in WCSU athletics

Dinner and induction will honor Colonials alumni, 2002 softball team and ‘Voice of Western’

DANBURY, CONN. — Five Western Connecticut State University alumni who left lasting sports legacies at WCSU, a longtime supporter of the WCSU Athletics program, and the legendary 2002 Colonials women’s softball team will be honored at the WCSU Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. 

The dinner, sponsored by the WCSU Alumni Association, will celebrate this year’s Hall of Fame inductions of former WCSU student athletes in baseball, football, women’s softball, men’s soccer and women’s basketball, as well as a professor emeritus, coach and longtime public address announcer for WCSU football and basketball games. The event also will recognize the Hall of Fame induction of the 2002 softball team that captured Little East Conference (LEC) and NCAA Division III regional tournament titles.

The banquet, part of 2018 Homecoming Week events at WCSU, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road in Danbury. Admission is $75 per person or $700 to reserve a table for 10. Registrations may be made online at http://alumni.wcsu.edu/alumni-events or by calling the Alumni Association office at (203) 837-8298.

The honorees will be enshrined in the WCSU Athletic Hall of Fame at an Induction Ceremony at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the O’Neill Athletic and Convocation Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The ceremony will take place in the Hall of Fame at the front of the O’Neill Center. Admission is free and the public is invited.

 

image of 2002 Softball Team

2002 Softball Team

The 2002 Colonials women’s softball team finished with an overall record of 34-9-1, and coach Alicia O’Brien claimed her 300th career win

image of Softball Coach Alicia O'Brien

Softball Coach Alicia O’Brien

during that historic season. The squad posted a conference record of 12-1-1 to place first during the regular season and captured the LEC tournament championship. The team went on to win the NCAA Division III New England regional tournament and became the first Colonials team to appear in the Division III women’s softball championship. The team achieved a ninth-place ranking in the final 2002 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III poll, and shortstop Cherie Bailey and pitcher Sarah Zaslaw were named to the 2002 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-American first team.

 

This year’s Hall of Fame induction will award the prestigious Lifetime Support recognition to Bill Walton, professor emeritus

image of Bill Walton

Bill Walton

and former department chair in the university’s communication and theatre programs. Walton’s contributions to WCSU Athletics include his roles as an assistant baseball coach and as academic adviser for baseball student athletes for the past 26 years. He has been well known to generations of Colonials fans for more than a quarter century as “The Voice of Western Athletics,” providing continuous service as the PA announcer at home games for the WCSU football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs since 1992. During his academic career, he earned several university recognitions for teaching excellence, and he has been a master of ceremonies at many WCSU events.

 

Alumni who will be honored for their contributions to WCSU Athletics during their competition in intercollegiate sports include:

  • Conor Bierfeldt, baseball from 2010 through 2013. As an outfielder, Bierfeldt set records in the Colonials baseball
    image of Conor Bierfeldt

    Conor Bierfeldt

    program for offensive production, achieving a career batting average of .412 and 148 RBIs as well as new highs for doubles and triples. He was named in both 2012 and 2013 as Baseball Player of the Year in the LEC, and also earned New England Player of the Year honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Other honors included selections for three years to All-LEC and All-New England teams, and for two years to All-American collegiate squads. Selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Biefeldt has played professional baseball with the Aberdeen IronBirds, Delmarva Shorebirds, Frederick Keys, Bowie Baysox, New Britain Bees and Rockland Boulders.

 

  • Adam Kennett, football from 1996 through 1999. Kennett still holds the WCSU record for most field goals in a career at
    image of Adam Kennett

    Adam Kennett

     

    27, as well as records for most field goals in a game and in a season. His prolific field goal production per game achieved a seventh-place ranking nationally in 1999, when he also earned recognition as Special Teams Player of the Year and as a second-team All-American. He received All New England first-team selections in 1999 from ECAC and from the New England Sports Writers for NCCA divisions II and III. Other honors included selections as a second-team All-Star in 1998 and a first-team All-Star in 1999 by the Freedom Football Conference.

 

  • Kim Lynch, women’s softball from 1998 through 2001. Lynch achieved a .399 batting average in her four years as a
    image of Kim Lynch

    Kim Lynch

    Colonial, setting WCSU career records for slugging average at .686, total bases at 330 and doubles at 61. A durable player who set a single-season record for games played at 50, she was named LEC Offensive Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000 and made the All-Tournament teams in LEC and NCAA post-season competitions from 1999 through 2001. She also was recognized as a Northeast Regional second-team All-American in 1998 and first-team All-American in 1999 and 2000.

 

  • Matt March, men’s soccer from 1967 through 1969. Serving as co-captain for the 1968 and 1969
    image of Matt March

    Matt March

    seasons, March led the soccer team to consecutive winning regular seasons in both years and to a runner-up result in the 1969 Pre-season Invitational Tournament. He established a lasting legacy as one of the most prolific goal scorers in Colonials history: He scored 25 goals in the 1969 campaign and still holds the WCSU single-game scoring record with a remarkable eight goals. He was awarded the Sportsman of the Year prize in 1969 by the Men’s Athletic Association at Western and was named to the elite Top 20 Players recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

 

  • Melissa Teel, women’s basketball from 2007 through 2011. Teel helped to lead the Colonials to three NCAA Division III
    image of Melissa Teel

    Melissa Teel

    tournament appearances and two LEC tournament championships, and became the first WCSU basketball student athlete ever to achieve more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Her 1,052 rebounds and 367 blocked shots shattered previous Colonials career records. She became only the third player in program history to be named to the State Farm Coaches All-American Team in 2011, and also was named in 2011 as Player of the Year by the New England Women’s Basketball Association and as All-MET Division III Co-Player of the Year. She received LEC honors in 2010 and 2011 as the conference’s Player of the Year and as an LEC first-team selection. Her prowess on defense was recognized with selections to the LEC All-Defensive Team in 2009 and 2010, and as the LEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. She also was named in 2010 to the Women’s Division III News All-American fifth team. She received selection to the D3Hoops Northeast All-Region first team, and was a member of the USA D-3 All-Star Team Brazil tour in 2010.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.