By Andrew Chirico
In the midst of all Fall athletics competing for Centennial Conference playoff berths, the Washington College Athletics department will hold their 36th annual Athletic Hall of Fame Celebration. There will be 13 new inductees welcomed on Saturday, Oct. 1.
This year’s class is a historic one, the largest ever, with inductees ranging from the Class of 1956, to the Class of 2005. The following inductees will include:
-Roger Lee Smoot, Jr. ‘56 – Soccer & Baseball
-Matthew Michael Cordrey ‘75 – Lacrosse
-Matthew T. Burke ‘84 – Baseball
-Erin O’Neal ‘91 – Lacrosse & Field Hockey
-Trevor Christian Hurd ‘93 – Tennis
-Jeremy M. Stoehr ‘00 – Lacrosse
-José Lejarraga ‘02 – Tennis
-Betty Ann Weller Reed ‘03 – Lacrosse & Soccer
-Peter Wesley Taylor ‘04 – Tennis
-Richard Lyle Yost ‘04 – Lacrosse
-Margaret Lee Klag Eshenour ‘04 – Swimming
-Laura Scimeca Gibson ‘05 M’09 – Field Hockey & Softball
-John G. Haus – Lacrosse Coach
Athletic Director Thad Moore had the experience of working with seven athletes and one coach to choose the 13 new inductees. Moore recognizes the significance of being inducted.
“It means you’ve become a member of an exclusive club. They are one of the best to ever wear a WC uniform throughout our history. This sometimes means over 200 plus year of athletes,” Moore said. “They all had outstanding careers and are more than deserving of this honor.”
Phil Ticknor, the Assistant to the Athletic Director for Communications & Academic Support, also serves on the selection committee, which considers upstanding athletics alumni every year for the annual induction. Like Moore, Ticknor has had the pleasure of seeing many of the former student-athletes and coaches either play or coach. Ticknor takes pride in his position on the selection committee and looks forward to the inductions that happen every year.
“I take great pride in being a part of the Hall of Fame Board. Our College has a long and storied athletic tradition and those inducted into our Hall of Fame are the very best. It is an honor to be part of the process,” Ticknor said. “The inductions are always a great night for inductees to reflect on their playing careers, catch up with former teammates, and remember everything that made their time at WC special.”
Although José Lejarraga will not be able to make the ceremony, he is delighted of the recognition and reflected back to the past at WC.
“It feels great that all your efforts and accomplishments are recognized by the WC community; it certainly makes me proud. I only have positive memories from my four years at WC,” Lejarraga said. “It also means getting back in touch with former team-mates who I haven’t contacted in years, and with the excuse of the award we are now in touch again. To me it’s always good to remember my days at WC.”
Like Lejarraga, Matthew Burke, ex-Shoremen baseball player, was able to contribute much success to the program. The year prior to Burke’s arrival, the team’s record was 11 games under .500, and dead last in the Centennial Conference. Burke had a huge impact on the program, leading the Shoremen to play in the conference championship twice, and winning the championship in his senior season.
“I am excited to be joining my teammate Pete Morgan who was inducted into the WC Hall of Fame two years ago,” Burke said. “We have been friends since we were 11 years old, having grown up in the same town, Maywood N.J.”
When asked about what he’s looking forward to most during the ceremony, Burke said, “The chance to spend an evening with some of my former teammates. They are all such good people who have been so successful in both raising their families and managing careers.”
From the field to the water, Margaret Lee Klag Eshenour never even had a guaranteed spot on the swimming team, and now she is recognized as one of the greatest to swim at WC.
“This award is a huge honor for me. I was a ‘walk on’ to the swim team and never dreamed of competing at the collegiate level and going on to compete in national championships,” Eshenour said. “Swimming was a hugely meaningful part of my college experience and I built lifelong relationships.”