WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College welcomed its latest Athletic Hall of Fame class and honored the memory of one of its charter inductees Thursday night.
Susan Myers Nagel, Jordan Glessner, and Clarke Rollins were inducted as individuals while two championship squads – the 1981 state and region titlist women’s softball team and the 1973-74 men’s basketball state co-champs – were inducted for their team accomplishments. Those inductions followed a moment of silence for the late Dave Haslup, who died earlier this month after a courageous, 12-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Dr. Barbara Viniar, Chesapeake College’s president, noted Haslup was a member of the inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2003 and that his charitable organization, the Haslup/Gehrig Foundation, was inducted four years later for its work in providing athletic scholarships to Chesapeake College students. She then quoted from a 2004 email in which Haslup wrote, “ALS has never lost a game, and it might beat me someday, but it will have to go extra innings in order to do so.”
“The game ended last week and it is safe to say he was the winner,” said Dr. Viniar.
The inductions began with the 1973-74 men’s basketball squad, which was coached to a share of the state title by Dr. Ed Baker. Dr. Baker, who remains a professor at the college, saluted both the team’s accomplishments and their toughness.
“When these young men played we’d go to practice and lock the doors,” said Dr. Baker, who only hinted at what went on in his legendarily tough practices. “Like Las Vegas, whatever happened there, stayed there.”
“I could not coach today because I could not find 13 or 14 young men who would dedicate themselves the way that these did,” added Dr. Baker. “Their won/loss record stood as the best at Chesapeake for 34 years. That is an incredible accomplishment. I'm grateful to have 13 of them back here tonight.”
Alleen Berkey Hawkins, the coach of the 1981 women’s softball team who was inducted as a coach in 2007, was unable to attend Thursday’s induction dinner. Dr. Carol Wilson-Robbins, an associate professor at Chesapeake College who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an individual for her pitching exploits on the 1980 and 1981 softball teams, welcomed her 1981 teammates into the Hall of Fame.
“This team was truly special,” said Dr. Wilson-Robbins, noting many had played against one another in high school but became a close-knit group at Chesapeake. “The softball program here was still in its infancy. It was incredible we were able to accomplish what we did. Some of our records still stand today.”
Dr. Wilson-Robbins said the on-field accomplishments were secondary to the personal relationships that formed on the team.
“The most important thing is that we were a family,” she said.
Nagel, who helped lead the 1972 women’s volleyball team to the college’s first state championship, was presented for her induction by her father, Emil Myers. He noted his daughter had been inducted into the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame last year as part of that title-winning volleyball team and that this year’s induction was actually her third.
“On the day she was born she entered into our Hall of Fame,” said Myers, speaking for himself and his wife.
Nagel, who also starred on the college’s women’s basketball team, thanked all of her family for their support. She also noted the “constant encouragement” she received from the late Mercedes Lesser, her volleyball coach at Chesapeake.
Lesser’s example, and Nagel’s own soul-searching, led her to “realize I needed to become more encouraging to my teammates,” and helped her make the transition to intercollegiate athletics after an illustrious high school career at North Caroline High.
Rollins was presented by Frank Szymanski, Chesapeake’s athletic director and head baseball coach, who was Rollins’ coach during the 2004 and 2005 baseball seasons.
“It was a pleasure to coach Clarke,” said Szymanski. “He played with passion and desire on every pitch and in every situation. He worked hard in the classroom and was a role model for his teammates. He was one of the best players to ever put on a Chesapeake College uniform.”
“I'm very passionate about Chesapeake College,” said Rollins, who helped lead the Skipjacks to their only NJCAA World Series appearance in 2005. “Chesapeake left a lasting impression on me and I carry those memories with me every day. Going to the World Series was one of best experiences of my life. This (induction) means so much to me.”
Glessner, an all-Region XX selection in both women’s volleyball and softball, returned to Chesapeake to become head women’s volleyball coach at the age of 22 just months after graduating from Salisbury University in 2011. She is also a first-year physical education teacher at Colonel Richardson High, where she starred as a high school athlete before coming to Chesapeake.
In presenting her for induction, Dr. Baker said he is pleased “she will touch so many lives” in her teaching and coaching professions.
“Jordan is a great leader, person and student,” said Dr. Baker. “She has established a high standard for herself in everything she does. She is one of the most special young ladies I have ever met, and speaking for her is an incredible honor.”
Glessner thanked her family and friends “who have always been so supportive” and all those at Chesapeake, including Dr. Baker and Szymanski, “for accepting me with open arms from Day 1.
“I also want to thank my girls for being here, for working hard, and for having passion,” said Glessner, referring to the attendance at Thursday’s induction dinner of this year’s volleyball team.
Marcie Molloy contributed to this article.
The Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame inducted the 1973-74 men’s basketball team that won a share of that season’s state title as part of Thursday’s Class of 2012 induction ceremonies. Those attending, pictured, left to right, are (back row) Everett Lee, David Johnson, Clifton “Gus” Johnson, Kevan Chester, Bill Harper, Ronnie Russum, Marvin Benson, head coach Dr. Ed Baker, (front row) Tom Palmer, Joe Trammel, Gene Phillips, Marty Bailey, Garry Coleman, and trainer Mike Tipton.
The Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame inducted the 1981 state and region championship women’s softball team during Thursday’s Class of 2012 induction ceremonies. Those attending, pictured left to right, are: trainer Mike Tipton, Donna Stotts, Lisa Orem, Denise Sapienza, Kim Whitten, Kim Honeycutt, Dawn Quinton, Carol Wilson-Robbins, and statistician/photographer Gene Robbins.
Photos by Gloria Faulkner