Athletic Hall of Honor 2008
Story by Patrick Byrne
"When you get to training camp, look around--those will be your best friends at school," David Lane's older brother told him before he set off for Gordon in the fall of 1980. His brother was right--athletics creates memories, bonds and triumphs that last a lifetime. This was evident among the many Gordon and Barrington alumni who gathered January 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Peabody for the second annual Athletics Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony. The event was sponsored by the Highlander Club, an association of alumni, parents and friends committed to strengthening and advancing Gordon's athletics.
Over 150 Gordon and Barrington alumni, coaches, administrators and friends gathered from all over the country to reminisce. Christian bonds formed in the athletic arena drew guests who had not returned in years. Among those who attended the festivities were Dr. David Horner, former president of Barrington College; Nancy Salonpuro '76B, who gave so much as an athlete and coach to both schools; and Maggie Murdoch '50, wife of the late Hal Murdoch '54--who coached the men's basketball team for 21 seasons--was perhaps the most sought-after guest of the night.
The excitement in the room before the ceremony--cameras clicking, faces beaming--took the guests back to their playing and coaching days. The anticipation paralleled:
The induction ceremony began with Jack Augustine, popular former head coach of Barrington men's basketball, presenting Daryl Lane. Lane spoke of the blessing of being where Christian men and women were gathered not only to celebrate athletic achievements but to share in all the blessings of their lives. Lane's humble personality and demeanor is the other side of a man who dominated the Barrington basketball court 1970-74.
Marc Whitehouse '70, current associate athletic director and women's soccer coach, seemed to have a connection with everyone in the room. He smiled broadly as he presented David Lane, who was joined in the room by more than 20 of his teammates from the early- to mid-1980s. Lane told those who came to witness his induction just how much they meant to him--that they continue to be his best friends. Lane quoted Romans 5:3-4--"But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope." These are lessons Lane learned on the field and took with him.
Becky (Craig) Hylton was also introduced by Whitehouse. A star on a first-year varsity women's soccer program in 1992, she told her story of transferring to Gordon, where there was no women's soccer program at the time. Soon after her arrival, however, the program was started and, in fact, built around her. "I put God first by coming to Gordon, and then He gave me back soccer," she said. Hylton was an All-American in the program's third year in existence, and is still the only Gordon women's soccer player with that distinction.
Barrie (Twyon) Daigneault was honored to have former coach Nancy Salonpuro usher her into this Hall of Honor distinction in the presence of her former teammates, and she expressed gratitude for Salonpuro's modeling of the traits of hard work and dedication for her and the rest of the "cast of characters" on the women's basketball team in the mid-1980s.
Jim Petty was another star from the early 1990s. His 1,902-point total on the court remains untouched by the men's basketball team, but Petty was more than just a macho basketball player. In fact, to the chagrin of his former coach, Steve Heintz '87, Petty was anything but macho-looking, coming in at 6 feet, 9 inches and barely over 200 pounds. Nevertheless, Petty stood out not only on the basketball court but also as a member of the Gordon gospel choir. Reminding attendees that athletes are not focused solely on their sport, Petty recalled that choir was one of his favorite activities.
The final inductee of the evening was Ember (Brosius) Verma, the only Gordon runner to ever qualify for the NCAA National Championships. Verma noted that running is often overlooked in the world of sports and spoke of her trip to Nationals in 2000, explaining how truly aggressive and competitive cross country can be. Verma fondly remembered the supportive bonds formed as she and teammates suffered through punishing workouts together and reminded attendees that sports can be taken into life after college--not just the physical activity but the bonds formed; bonds unmatched in any other walk (or run) of life.
Patrick Byrne is the sports information director at Gordon.