2012 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
The Oswego Alumni Association and the Oswego State Athletic Department will induct five members of the Laker sports legacy into the Oswego State Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 27 on campus. Women's soccer, men's ice hockey, men's track and field, men's tennis and wrestling will all be represented.
This year's inductees include:
* Richard Nelson '69 made his mark on the tennis courts, where he posted three second-place finishes in the SUNY Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Championships. He recorded more points for the team championship in a three-year span than any other player. Nelson was a team co-captain and most valuable player, and was a two-year member of the men's basketball team.
After leaving Oswego State, Nelson coached several championship players at Geneva High School before becoming the principal at Onondaga Central High School. He retired as a magistrate in Virginia, where he continues to play competitive tennis. As a singles player, Nelson presently ranks second in Virginia and fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Region in U.S. Tennis Association Men's 65 Tennis.
* Wallace Yelverton '77 established three school records in the shot put in indoor and outdoor track and field and the 35-pound weight throw during his intercollegiate athletic career. All three records still stand today.
He solidified himself as one of the greatest throwers in Oswego State history by winning four SUNYAC indoor and outdoor as well as four New York state track and field shot put titles in 1976 and 1977, as well as the 1977 state weight throw title. Yelverton went on to earn All-America status twice after recording seventh- and ninth-place finishes in the shot put at the NCAA Championships in 1976 and 1977, respectively. Professionally, he has served as President of the Southern Tier Technology Education Association and was recognized as the 1990 STTEA Regional Teacher of the Year.
* Mark Bowman '83 wrestled as a starter from 1979 to 1983. Bowman was a three-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship and a four-time SUNYAC placewinner. In 1980, he became what is believed to be the first Oswego State freshman to receive All-America recognition in any sport while wrestling at 142 pounds. Three years later, Bowman closed out his career with a runner-up finish at the 1983 NCAA Division III Championship in the 158-pound weight class.
Bowman continued to be involved with education and wrestling after graduation. He has served as a high school coach for over 25 years, resulting in multiple Ohio Capital Conference team championships, multiple state champions, and a citation from the Ohio House of Representatives for community service.
* Donna Clark Gayne '89 graduated as the premier scorer for women's soccer, holding the distinction until 1999. Gayne was the first player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau and ranks third in points (104) and goals (48). She was a two-time SUNYAC All-Western Division Team selection in 1987 and 1988, while also being named the 1988 SUNYAC Western Division Most Valuable Player. During her senior year, Gayne was a member of the squad that went 13-3-1, which is the highest single-season winning percentage in school history.
* Sean Fitzgerald '89 was a left winger for the Oswego State men's ice hockey team from 1985 to 1989 who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. Fitzgerald ranks fourth on the Laker all-time scoring list with 236 points on 125 goals and 111 assists in 125 games. His best season came in 1988-89 when he was named First Team All-SUNYAC, SUNYAC Player of the Year, Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and First Team All-American. During that year, Fitzgerald also set the current NCAA Division III men's ice hockey record for power-play goals in a season (27) and career (44). He is one of 13 players in Division III history to score seven goals in a game, and ranks 11th all-time in goals scored among all Division III players. Fitzgerald serves as a minor hockey volunteer coach and firefighter in the Buffalo area.
The Alumni Association established the Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to Oswego State Athletics.
— Adele Burk
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