Posted: Jul 16, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Western New England University Director of Athletics Dr. Michael Theulen has announced the 16th induction class of former Golden Bear greats who will be enshrined to the Downes Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend on Sep. 12-13. The signature Downes Hall of Fame Dinner event will take place at Rivers Memorial Hall on Friday (9/12), starting at 6 p.m. Contact JoAnne Bovat at (413) 782-1202 in the Western New England Athletics Department to reserve seats.
The six new inductees represent six sports including Adam Cherry '07 (men's lacrosse), Gary Crowley '84 (men's cross country), Kristy Kehoss '06 (softball), Elena Massa-Masiuk '04 (women's swimming), Mike Raymond '02 (men's tennis) and Steve Sugermeyer '78 (wrestling).
The sextet brings to 82 the number of individuals honored in the Downes Athletics Hall of Fame, which was established in 1999 to pay tribute to the outstanding performances of student-athletes, contributors, coaches, administrators and teams that have shaped the rich history of WNE Athletics today and to preserve that legacy tomorrow. There have also been four teams--1975 Men's Soccer, 1998 Women's Soccer, 2003 Softball, 2005 Men's Soccer--for inclusion.
"The Downes Hall of Fame induction dinner is a major highlight of Homecoming every year, as it once again kicks off Homecoming Weekend 2014. Our Athletic Family is extremely excited and proud to announce this new class of inductees," Dr. Theulen said. "These former student-athlete standouts were true pioneers who played an integral part in our program's history. It is a privilege to honor them for all that they have done for us and to welcome them back home. Every one of them has also led very successful professional lives and represent the very best of Western New England University and the Golden Bear ideal."
In the days leading up to the ceremony, WNEGoldenBears.com will have an in-depth feature of each nominee.
The following is a brief capsule of each inductee's career...
Cherry racked up a school-record with 267 points on 190 goals and 77 assists from 2004-07, helping the Golden Bears to 59-17 record (.776), back-to-back Eastern College Athletic Conference New England titles in 2004-05 and 2007 NCAA Quarterfinals appearance after a Pilgrim League championship during that span. The four-time all-conference performer was twice voted the Pilgrim League Player of the Year (2006-07) and he was academic all-conference on three occasions. The attacker had one of the best seasons any WNE senior student-athlete has had in any sport in 2007 when he was named both Scholar All-America and third-team All-America by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, first-team All-Pilgrim League, WNE Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, WNE Male Coca-Cola Athlete-of-the-Year,¬†ESPN the Magazine College Division Academic All-America Men's At-Large Second Team and player of the year by three organizations while putting up 43 goals and 62 points in 17 games. He earned a degree in business administration and now works as a learning and development specialist for Webster Bank in Waterbury, Conn.
Crowley was among the early pioneers of Golden Bears Cross Country even though he didn't start his academic career at Western New England. He spent his 1979-80 freshman year at Springfield College and then attended Springfield Technical Community College the following academic year. Crowley began his Golden Bears career during the program's second varsity season in 1981, a breakthrough year when the junior proved to be the second-best runner on a 9-4 dual-meet WNE squad that ended up seventh at the NAIA New England Championships. He began the 1982 campaign as a senior co-captain and became the team's top runner, just missing qualifying for Nationals after taking seventh place in the New England region meet. A fifth-year senior in 1983, he was the Pop Crowell Invitational champion with a time of 31 minutes and 36 seconds for 10,000 meters, a fourth-place finisher at the NAIA New England Regional Championships in Lyndon, Vt., and ran in the NAIA National Championships in Kenosha, Wis. In addition, he was selected to the NAIA Scholar All-America Team as the only student-athlete in the East named with the honor. He majored in computer information systems and currently works for the U.S. Postal Service Forest Park Station.
Kehoss capped her distinguished WNE softball career with a slew of accolades during her senior year in 2006, including WNE Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference First Team, GNAC Tournament MVP, GNAC All-Tournament Team, WNE Most Valuable Player, New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches Association Division III All-Star First Team and ESPN the Magazine College Division Academic All-America First Team. That was also her best season as she posted career highs in average (.472), hits (76), runs scored (59), home runs (9), slugging (.745) and on-base percentage (.520). As a junior, she was named to the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team after winding up with a .328 batting average. For her career, she helped lead the Golden Bears to a 141-34 ledger (.806), a pair of NCAA Division III Championship appearances and four GNCA tournament titles while hitting .385 in 153 games that included 141 starts. Today, she is a social studies teacher at Guilford (Conn.) High School, where she also serves as the varsity softball assistant coach and freshman volleyball coach.
Massa-Masiuk was a three-year member of the Golden Bears Women's Swimming team from 2002-04, holding 12 school records--five still stand today--by the time she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in biology. She made her WNE debut during her sophomore season of 2001-02, earning All-New England honors after placing sixth in the 50-yard freestyle at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships. As a junior, she repeated her All-New England status in the 50-free and set a school record in the 50-breaststroke (33.89 seconds) while helping the team to one of its best seasons--with an 11-3 dual-meet record--in program history. She co-captained the Golden Bears during her senior year, leading WNE to the GNAC crown, re-setting her own school record in the 50-breast to win the conference title in that race and swimming on two GNAC-winning relays in the 200-medley and 400-free. She finished her career as the 11th-highest point-scorer in school history. Not only did she make her mark in WNE Athletics history, but she also went on to being an accomplished athlete in the triathlon by qualifying for the 2012 World Championships in Hawaii and as a distance runner who completed the Boston Marathon.
Raymond compiled an 86-26 singles and doubles record while winning 76.8 percent of his collegiate matches in his four years with the Golden Bears. He holds the school record for singles wins at 45 and also ranked first in doubles (41) at the time of his graduation, while posting the second-best winning percentage in both categories at .776 and .759, respectively. He was also 11-1 all-time (6-0 in singles and 5-1 in doubles) in the GNAC Tournament. He came into his own during his sophomore year when he earned team MVP honors, made the GNAC All-Tournament Team in No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles. A year later, he led WNE to the conference regular-season title as he posted a 24-5 record (13-2 at No. 2 singles/11-3 at No. 1 doubles). He repeated on the GNAC All-Tournament Team after capturing the No. 2 singles crown. As a senior co-captain, he fashioned a 26-5 record (13-3 in singles/13-2 in doubles) to set a WNE benchmark for wins in a season, swept conference titles in both No. 1 singles/doubles to be named the GNAC Player of the Year and led the Golden Bears to their first GNAC tournament team championship. Today, he serves as the men's and women's tennis coach and club sports coordinator at Lake Forest (Ill.) College.
Known as a pioneer in the sport of wrestling at the University, Sugermeyer competed on the club team as a freshman in 1974-75, served as a junior varsity captain and was team MVP in 1975-76, and was a junior member of the first varsity squad in 1976-77. After placing second (118 pounds) at the 1976 New England JV Championships, he turned in an even better performance during his junior campaign when he finished with a 13-1 record and qualified for the national championships. As a result, he was the recipient of what is now known as the Joe Leto Award for greatest contribution to team effort. A two-time varsity captain, he wrapped up his career after the 1977-78 season as a senior scholar-athlete and all-college performer. He still remains close to his pursuit, serving as a two-year Faculty Fellow to the WNE wrestling program; three different stints as a volunteer assistant coach in 1979-80, 1984-86 and 2002; as a Western Massachusetts wrestling official (1978-86); and coaching the youth wrestling program at the Scantic Valley YMCA the past 10 years. Today, he is a General Partner at Gauthier & Sugermeyer, CPA in Ludlow, Mass., and is on the faculty at WNE.
(Editor's note: Information has been clarified under Inductee's Gary Crowley '84 bio)