The 2008-09 Oswego State winter sports season saw a number of teams reap the success of their athletic accomplishments and saw several individuals collect plenty of postseason accolades at the end of their respective seasons.
Four members of the Lakers men's basketball team received conference and regional honors after leading the team to a 16-11 overall record and a share of the SUNY Athletic Conference regular-season championship. Tommy Downing '09 and Kyle Reuter '09 were named to the All-SUNYAC First Team, while Stanley Francois '10 earned an honorable mention. Downing also received additional honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches as a second-team selection on the All-East Region Team.
Chad Burridge '12, who broke the single-season school record for blocks (85), capped an outstanding first season by being named to the SUNYAC Basketball Championship all-tournament team, and garnered Rookie of the Year accolades from SUNYAC, D3Hoops.com, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Forward Kayla Ryan '12 of the Oswego State women's basketball team earned second team All-SUNYAC accolades while also being named Rookie of the Year by the SUNYAC and ECAC after leading the team in scoring (14.0 points per game) and rebounds (183, 7.0 pg) en route to helping the Lakers to an 11-15, record and 9-7 mark in conference play, qualifying for the SUNYAC championship tournament.
The Oswego women's ice hockey team had plenty of success on and off the ice in 2008-09. Led by head coach Diane Dillon and first-year assistant coach Joe Heydenburg, the Lakers finished with an 8-16-1 mark, reaching the postseason for the first time in three seasons as a varsity sport in qualifying for the ECAC Women's West Division III Championships. Oswego also showed its success in the classroom as six players, Erica Shapey '10, Tiffany Duquette '09, Angie Friesen '10, Jenna Kirkwood '10, Kendra Lemire '10 and Stephanie Esposito '09, were named to the ECAC Women's West All-Academic team.
Ryan Ellis '09 and Eric Selleck '12 represented the Lakers men's ice hockey team on this year's All-SUNYAC team. Ellis made the team for the fourth straight season, earning second-team accolades after finishing second on the team in scoring with 26 points, registering 11 goals and 15 assists. Selleck, an honorable mention on the all-conference team, was also named the SUNYAC Rookie of the Year, the eighth Laker ice hockey player to earn the honor since the conference began awarding the honor in 1984. He finished as the team's fourth leading scorer with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) and was also the top freshman scorer in conference play, tallying 19 points on nine goals and ten assists.
Head coach Mike Howard '90 saw his Laker wrestling team named a Scholar All-America Team by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, with three individuals garnering individual Scholar All-America accolades.
Captain Derrick Smith '09, a three-time NCAA Division III national qualifier, claimed scholar All-America honors for the second straight year after posting a 3.82 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in adolescence education. Michael Howard '10 and Eric Leusch '10 were first-time selections. Howard carries a 3.51 GPA as an adolescence education major, while Leusch, an early childhood education major, has a 3.32 GPA.
The Oswego State men's and women's swimming and diving teams, under the direction of second-year head coach Mike Holman '96 and diving coach John Moore, had six members earn second-team accolades on the SUNYAC All-Conference Team, with Nicole Dean '11, Hannah Slaga '10, Eileen McMahon '10 and Jenny VanEtten '10 named for the women, and the diving duo of Shawn Merlin '10 and Eric Messina '12 representing the men.
VanEtten, Merlin, and Messina also garnered invitations to compete in the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis. VanEtten established school and conference records in both the 100- and 200-yard breast stroke events, collecting All-America citations with top eight performance in the finals of each (seventh in the 200, eighth in the 100), and also posted school and conference records in the preliminary heats of the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.77), finishing 27th overall.
Merlin claimed back-to-back All-America finishes in the one-meter (eighth, 435.15 points) and three-meter (fifth, 479.80 points) springboards, representing the fifth straight year that an Oswego diver claimed All-America accolades. Messina finished ninth on both boards, earning honorable mention All-America honors after narrowly missing the final round in both events.
-- Mark Coley
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