Hall of Fame Induction Spurs Reminiscing, Recognition
Hall of Fame weekend presented Oswego State athletes and coaches with memories of their once-upon-a-time home and introduced five new members to the Oswego State Athletic Hall of Fame.
SUNY Oswego Alumni Association inducted four former Oswego student athletes and one coach emeritus Nov. 12 in the Hewitt Union Ballroom.
With 125 people in attendance, the ballroom was alive with the excitement of the day's ceremonies. Discussions among former athletes and coaches floated through the air as strangers were introduced, familiar ties were revisited and honorees were inducted.
The first inductee of the evening, Harold Furrer '65, was recognized for his accomplishments in wrestling. He used his time on stage to express his appreciation and gratitude for Oswego.
"I'd like to thank Oswego and my coach, Jim Howard," Furrer said. "Oswego is a wonderful place. I made many good friends and I'm glad to see quite a few of them today."
Furrer wrestled from 1961 to 1965, serving as captain for two years. He was a SUNY champion in the 130-pound weight class for three years and a Section 8 champion in 1961. He qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1964 and 1965 and had a dual meet record of 44-0.
"Oswego has grown a lot bigger, but it is still a beautiful Oswego," Furrer said.
Former lacrosse standout Ken Walker '80 reminisced about his days as a student athlete and how they came to be.
"When I chose a college it wasn't for lacrosse, it was just to get away," Walker said. "If I knew about the lake effect and 50 mph winds, I'd probably be doing this speech at Stony Brook," he joked.
Walker played lacrosse from 1977 to 1980, becoming the all-time points leader in Oswego lacrosse history with 205 points. He was the all-time scoring leader for nearly three decades with 148 goals. An All-SUNY Athletic Conference selection, Walker was among the top 10 scorers in the nation in 1979 and 1980.
"We had a lot of talent and worked toward a common goal," Walker said of his teammates. "When you put those two things together, you accomplish a lot."
A team player in three sports, Charles Stanek '65 excelled in basketball, soccer and baseball.
Stanek said he learned both fair play and teamwork, which helped him face personal and professional challenges.
Stanek won Athlete of the Year in 1964 and was runner-up in 1963. He participated in the SUNYAC basketball championship in 1963 to 1964.
Stanek was named to the All-SUNYAC baseball team in 1964. He was a co-captain of Oswego varsity soccer in 1963 and 1964, and co-captain of Oswego varsity baseball in 1964.
"My Oswego playing days are over, but they resulted in some fine memories," Stanek said. "I will continue to cherish this memory.
"I am both proud and humbled to be in their company," Stanek said of the other inductees.
Fellow inductee Ken Peterson coached and taught at Oswego State for more than four decades.
"It was 1959 when I went away to college," Peterson told the audience. "Almost 52 years later, I [was] still in college."
He received SUNYAC Coach of the Year honors in 1987, 1988 and 1993. He has coached 105 All-SUNYAC players, 25 All-New York state players and four of his players received SUNYAC Player of the Year awards.
"All through my career early on, I thought it was about the wins, ties and records," Peterson began. "I came to realize it was more about the young people you were working with and all the people you met.
"It's not what you take with you, it's what you leave behind," Peterson said.
Peterson has left behind quite a legacy, including the men's indoor track program he started in 1971 and various players of the year in women's soccer. He also taught in the athletics and wellness departments from 1968 to 2010.
The Oswego Alumni Association also recognized Diane Gilligan '85, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Gilligan is the all-time leading scorer for field hockey with 162 points. She also played for the women's ice hockey team.
— Erin Marulli '13
From left, Ken Peterson, Charles Stanek '65, Ken Walker '80 and Harold Furrer '65 were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony Nov. 12.
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