WYE MILLS – Three individuals who played key roles on championship teams and two title-winning squads comprise the Chesapeake College Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.
Susan Myers Nagel, Jordan Glessner, and Clarke Rollins will be inducted along with the 1981 state and region championship women’s softball team and the 1973-74 state co-champion men’s basketball squad on October 18th. The dinner and induction ceremonies will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and may be reserved by contacting Barbara Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org; 410-827-5843).
“It’s going to be a night to celebrate champions,” said Chesapeake College Athletic Director Frank Szymanski. “These individuals and teams represent some of the best moments in the college’s athletic history.”
Nagel (then Susan Myers) helped lead the 1972 women’s volleyball team to the college’s first state championship while Glessner was a key player on the 2009 women’s softball squad that won the program’s first region championship in 28 years. Rollins was a standout on the 2005 baseball squad that won the program’s first region and district championships and became the first college team to reach the national tournament.
The 1981 women’s softball team, which won the state title a year after finishing as the state runner-up, also won the college’s first Region XX championship. The 1973-74 men’s basketball team tied Allegany College of Maryland for the first state crown in college history.
Nagel played two years on both the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, serving as a captain on each squad during her sophomore year. The college’s 1972 Female Athlete of the Year, she also played with the first women’s basketball team in Western Kentucky University’s history.
“I loved my two years at Chesapeake College and being involved in so many activities there,” said Nagel, who also excelled in club and intramural sports at Chesapeake. “Playing every women’s sport that was available at the time was a joy!”
Nagel has stayed active in sports since leaving Chesapeake, including coaching and officiating in both field hockey and basketball. She has also served as a motivational speaker and spiritual counselor for high school girls and business and professional women, in addition to working nearly 39 years with Cru, an international non-profit Christian organization.
“I’m very humbled by this high honor of being inducted as a member of the Hall’s ninth class,” said Nagel of her selection.
Rollins was a captain on the college’s 2005 NJCAA Division II World Series qualifier that went 40-18 overall, including 8-2 in the postseason. He helped the Skipjacks set schools records for overall wins and winning percentage (.690) and postseason wins and winning percentage (.727).
“Clarke had a great work ethic, solid character, and he was a leader on and off the field,” said Szymanski, who was Rollins’ baseball coach. “He came to practice every day ready to improve and he was a great teammate.”
“It’s a great honor just to be asked (to join the Hall of Fame). That means a lot to me,” said Rollins, who lives in Southern Maryland and works for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.
“I just remember Chesapeake being like a second home to me,” added Rollins, an outfielder who was all-state and all-region as a sophomore in 2005. “As soon as I came here, it felt like exactly where I needed to be. And I remember how dedicated Coach Szymanski was and how dedicated he made us to the team. Those were two of the best years of my life, for sure.”
Glessner was a two-sport standout, earning all-Region XX honors in both women’s volleyball and softball. As a sophomore she helped the women’s volleyball team to its best finish in years, reaching the NJCAA Division II Region XX Final Four, and was the shortstop on the 2009 women’s softball team that won a Region XX title and advanced to the NJCAA Division II World Series.
“We had some obstacles to overcome,” said Glessner, referring to the Skipjacks’ 6-17 record a year before their World Series run. “Coming back in the second year we had a lot of new talent to go with the returning players. Durrie (Hayes, the Skipjacks’ head coach) started talking that fall about going to the World Series (the next spring). It seemed farfetched, but we worked hard to achieve it and it was really a whole team effort.”
Glessner, who graduated from Salisbury University in 2011, returned to Chesapeake last fall as the Skipjacks’ head women’s volleyball coach. Now in her second year as head coach, Glessner indicated her selection for the Hall of Fame is another great opportunity that has presented itself since she originally came to Chesapeake in 2007.
“Being able to play here as a student athlete and come back as a coach and now be in the Hall of Fame . . . it’s another part of being a member of the Chesapeake family,” said Glessner.
Dr. Ed Baker, one of Glessner’s Chesapeake College instructors and a member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, enthusiastically endorsed her selection for the Hall of Fame.
“Not only was she such an outstanding athlete, but she was also such a good student at Salisbury and we’re so pleased to have her back as coach,” said Dr. Baker.
Dr. Baker, head coach of the 1973-74 men’s basketball team that shared the state title, said that squad’s “biggest strength was team chemistry.”
“Even though there were great players on the team, nobody acted that way and they all meshed beautifully,” said Dr. Baker, who was inducted in the coaching category as part of the Hall of Fame’s initial class in 2003. “Our top eight or nine were so good and we had such a strong bench.”
Chesapeake and Allegany split regular-season games as the teams shared the state small-school title, with Allegany creating the tie by beating the Skipjacks at home by rallying from a six-point deficit in the game’s final minute. The Skipjacks then lost to a strong Baltimore City Community College squad in both the state and regional tournaments.
Dr. Carol Wilson-Robbins, a Chesapeake College faculty member who pitched for the 1981 state and region championship women’s softball team, also said team chemistry was a key to that squad’s success.
“One of the obvious strengths was that we had talented players. Several players had to play more than one position on a regular basis because we had a small team,” recalled Dr. Wilson-Robbins. “However, I think an even bigger strength was our connectedness as a team.
“We were friends on and off the softball field,” added Dr. Wilson-Robbins. “Our team song was ‘We are Family’ by Sister Sledge.”