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August 5, 2009

PSU Athletic Hall of Fame to induct eight new members

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University will honor its athletic heritage next month when eight new members are enshrined into the PSU Athletic Hall of Fame

            This year's induction ceremony, set for Sunday, Sept. 13, marks the 25th anniversary of the event, and matches the class of 1989 as the largest contingent to be enshrined.  The group honors the best of Panther athletics in the sports of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and skiing, including four individuals who were two-sport stars.

             The 2009 inductees are:

* Betsy Bruce (‘96), who graduated as the all-time leading scorer in Panther women's basketball history and who helped the team to its only NCAA appearance in 1995.

* Dave Gibson (‘98), former All-American linebacker and Freedom Football Conference Player of the Year who helped the Panthers to NCAA and ECAC playoff berths.

*Tim Hennessey ('90), former standout baseball player from 1986-89 who holds Panther career records for triples, home runs and runs scored, helping the team to three ECAC post-season berths.

*Lee Richard ('06), former two-sport star at Plymouth State from 1978-82, earning All-America honors as a defensive back in football and setting slugging records as an outfielder in baseball.

*Bill Savage ('61), a former letterman at Plymouth Teachers College in soccer and baseball who enjoyed a distinguished career in high school athletic administration.

*Katie Sheridan ('05), a former two-sport Panther star who was conference player of the year in both soccer and lacrosse and finished as one of the all-time scoring leaders in NCAA lacrosse history.

*Whitney Swaffield ('05), a former two-sport Panther captain and four-year starter who earned First Team All-Conference honors in field hockey and was a seven-time All-America in alpine skiing.

*Scott Walden ('00), the Panther men's lacrosse career scoring leader who set a national single-game scoring record and is the only men's player in school history with at least 100 goals and 100 assists.

            The Hall of Fame activities on Sept. 13th will be at Prospect Hall on the PSU campus, beginning with a reception at 12:00 p.m., followed at 12:30 p.m. with a banquet and the induction ceremony.  This year's group increases the total number in the Hall since it began in 1985 to 130 individuals and six teams.

            The entire list of inductees and profiles on each member, as well as a nomination form open to the public, is available on the PSU Athletics Website at athletics.plymouth.edu. For tickets or more information, call 603-535-2770.  

Betsy Bruce             BETSY BRUCE ('96):  A power forward from Dover, N.H., Bruce led the Plymouth State women's basketball team in scoring three straight years from 1992-95 under head coach Nancy Feldman.  She became only the third woman in school history to score more than 1,000 points in a career, and after breaking the school scoring record in 1995, her career total of 1,264 points still ranks third on the all-time list.

            After leading the team with 14.0 points a game as a sophomore, Bruce averaged a career-best 17.3 points her junior year, leading the team to an 18-9 record.  She led a balanced team in scoring her senior year with 10.9 points a game, helping the team to a then-school record 21 victories (21-7) and the only NCAA Tournament berth in school history.

            Bruce was named First Team All-Little East Conference following her junior and senior seasons after earning honorable mention as a sophomore. She helped her teams to a combined 64-42 record in her four years.  

Dave Gibson                DAVE GIBSON ('98) A star linebacker for the powerful PSC football teams of the mid-1990s under coaches Don Brown and Mike Kemp, Gibson was a three-time All-New England selection from 1995-97 and a consensus All-America as a senior in 1997.  He went on to play professional football in Europe after graduation.

               A native of Middletown, R.I., Gibson led the Freedom Football Conference in tackles three straight seasons (1995-97) and was named First Team All-FFC each year.  He was voted FFC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1997, when he was also selected First Team All-East Region, Second Team All-America by Don Hansen's Football Gazette and Third Team All-America on the Hewlett Packard Division III Team.

               Gibson was a reserve linebacker as a freshman on the 1994 PSC team and a starter as a sophomore on the 1995 team that each went 9-0 in the regular season, captured the FFC Championship and competed in the NCAA Division III playoffs.  He helped the Panthers capture their only NCAA post-season victory in 1995.  Gibson also led the Panthers to an ECAC post-season berth in 1997 and helped his teams to a combined four-year record of 31-10.

Tim Hennessey             TIM HENNESSEY ('90):  One of the top hitters in Plymouth State baseball history, Hennessey was a standout outfielder for the Panthers from 1986-89.  An All-New England selection in 1989, he posted a career batting average of .378, which ranks in the top 10 on PSU's all-time list.  Hennessey graduated with career records for games played, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases, and his marks for triples (11), home runs (19) and runs scored (119) still stand.

            A native of Walpole, N.H. (Fall Mountain High School), Hennessey was an outstanding all-around player, hitting for power and average as a mainstay in the Panther outfield.  He batted a career-best .412 in 1987, and had at least 12 extra-base hits and nine steals every season for four years.

            Hennessey helped lead the Panthers to a 75-61-1 record in his four seasons under coach Dennis McManus, with three ECAC post-season berths.  He led the team to a 24-14 record as a senior, when he was named All-New England, and the 24 wins that year still stands as the school standard for victories in a season.

Lee Richard             LEE RICHARD ('06) One of the top two-sport athletes in school history, Richard was a star for the Panther football and baseball teams from 1978-82.  He earned All-America and All-New England honors as a hard-hitting defensive back in football, and holds some of the top hitting and slugging records in Panther baseball history.

            A high school player in Portsmouth, N.H. and Balboa High School in Panama, Richard helped build the foundation for PSU's football program.  He was named Honorable Mention All-America and All-New England in 1980, and he was All-New England on the 1981 team that went 9-1 and captured its first of eight straight New England Football Championships. He also holds the school record with a 102-yard interception return.

            Richard hit for both average and power for the baseball team.  He led the team in hitting three times and owns two of the top single-season batting averages (.435 in 1979 and .415 in 1982).  His career batting average of .385 ranks seventh in PSU history and third in the last 40 years.  He also holds school records for home runs and total bases in a game and slugging in a season and career.

Bill Savage                BILL SAVAGE ('61):  A former two-sport athlete at Plymouth Teachers College, Savage played three years of varsity soccer and four years of varsity baseball in a Panther uniform.  He was a student leader, serving as the first president of the Plymouth Men's Athletic Association and helped organize the first southern trip for the baseball team in 1958.

               A native of North Stratford, N.H., Savage enjoyed a distinguished career as a high school athletic administrator.  He started his career as a coach and athletic director in New Hampshire at the Carpenter School and Governor Wentworth School District (1962-68) before spending nearly 20 years as athletic director for schools in Vienna and Fairfax, Va., and six years as an assistant principal in Fairfax.

               Savage returned to New England in 1994 as assistant principal at Keene High School, where he served until becoming executive director of the Council of New England Secondary School Principals Association in 2003. He has served on numerous  council and committees in his career, including several with the NHIAA, benefitting the advancement of youth in physical education and sports.

Katie Sheridan                KATIE SHERIDAN ('05):  One of the top two-sport athletes in school history, Sheridan earned Little East Conference Player of the Year honors in both soccer and lacrosse ,and as a senior was named All-New England in both sports.  A native of West Sayville, N.Y., Sheridan made her biggest marks in lacrosse, finishing as one of the top scorers in NCAA Division III history.

               Sheridan was a two-time All-Conference selection in soccer, and earned All-New England and LEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2003.  She helped the team to a pair of post-season berths in her four years, playing several different positions on the field.

               With a career total of 270 goals and 363 points in her lacrosse career, Sheridan ranks fifth in NCAA history in goals and seventh in points.  She was the LEC Offensive Player of the Year three straight years from 2002-04, and holds every PSU scoring record in the books.  Sheridan led the Panthers to a four-year record of 59-11 with four straight conference championships and two NCAA Tournament berths, helping the team go undefeated in 2003 until the NCAA regional final.

Whitney Swaffield             WHITNEY SWAFFIELD ('05) An All-Conference defender in field hockey and an All-American in ski racing, Swaffield is one of the top two-sport student-athletes in school history.  She left her mark both on and off the field and slopes, serving two years as captain of the field hockey team and three years as captain of the ski team.

            A native of Wolfeboro, N.H. (Kingswood H.S.), Swaffield started all 74 games of her field hockey career, back boning an outstanding Panther defense. She helped the team to a 59-19 overall record with three straight Little East Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances from 2000-02, and she was named First Team All-Conference as a senior in 2003.

            Swaffield earned seven All-America honors in ski racing, three times in the slalom and twice each in the giant slalom and combined alpine. She finished in the top three in the combined alpine at the Eastern Regionals three straight years from 2002-04, and the captured the Eastern Regional giant slalom title in 2004.  She helped the Panthers to the regional title in 2001 and top-six finishes at the national championships three times in her four years.

Scott Walden              SCOTT WALDEN ('00):  A star attackman for the men's lacrosse teams of the mid-1990s, Walden was one of the top scorers in the nation in his era and finished as Plymouth State's all-time scoring leader.  A three-time Cox Conference All-Star, he scored at least 40 goals each of his four seasons, and is the only men's player in school history with more than 100 goals and 100 assists.

               A native of New London, N.H. (Proctor Academy), Walden broke on to the scene in 1993 with 45 goals.  He followed with 42 goals and a school-record 52 assists as a sophomore and a single-season record 94 points. He also broke the NCAA single-game scoring record with 21 points, tallying nine goals and 12 assists in a win over Norwich, a mark that still stands today.

               Walden scored 40 and 49 goals over his final two years, finishing in the top six in the nation in goals, assists and points as a senior, He broke the school's 22-year-old career scoring mark, finishing with 176 goals and 323 points, with his 147 assists ending up three shy of the school mark.  Walden also led the Panthers to three winning seasons in four years, and was selected to play in the prestigious East-West Senior All-Star game.

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