Members of the 1970 Stonehill Knights football team were present for their induction ceremony. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
College inducts four former standout student-athletes, two-sport head coach and first football team in school history
Stonehill Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Individual Honorees (l-r): John Kuzmiski '73, Colby Confer '05, Jack Granato '04, Pam Arpé and Becky Barrett '99. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
EASTON, Mass. (November 9, 2017) – Stonehill College held its 29th annual Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony with four former standout student-athletes, a former head coach of two sports and the 1970 Stonehill Knights Football Team being honored for their success and contributions to the athletic program at the Pettit Atrium inside the Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center over the weekend.
Stonehill's most recent Athletic Hall of Fame class includes Stonehill first football team, the 1970 Stonehill Knights, former field hockey and women's tennis head coach Pam Arpé, and former student-athletes John Kuzmiski '73 from the baseball program, Becky Barrett '99 from women's basketball, men's tennis standout Jack Granato '04 and Colby Confer '05 from the women's lacrosse program. With its six new Hall of Fame members, Stonehill's total inductees since the first ceremony in 1989 have increased to 148, including 111 former individual student-athletes.
1970 Stonehill Knights Football Team
The 1970 team emerged following an intramural all-star game at Saint Anselm College the year before. Under the direction of the team's first head coach, Dave Knight, the Stonehill Knights (believed to be named either after their head coach or the disbanded semi-pro team on Long Island from which their first powder blue and maroon uniforms came from) played their home games that year at Keith Field in Brockton. The out of service field was overgrown with weeds, but the team dedicated themselves to getting the field in shape leading into its inaugural season. The team made their debut against Worcester State and Western New England, before playing its first home game against Bristol Community College in October. Mike Berry scored the team's first touchdown with a three-yard run against Worcester State. The Knights' first win was a 14-12 home triumph over Saint Michael's in early November. Coach Knight is largely credited with giving the team instant credibility, while Paul Finn, Mark Welch and Ernie DeSimone were key members of the team's student leadership that got the team off the ground. The Knights won just one game that inaugural season, with five of the six games decided by a touchdown or less. While the team maybe did not have the success it hoped for on the field that first season, the groundwork was laid for what today is a vibrant and competitive program that competes at the NCAA Division II level.
Dave Knight (Head Coach)
Kirk Shaw (Assistant Coach)
Tom Shenette (Assistant Coach)
Steve Burbank (Athletic Trainer)
Freshman Kate Cunningham presented Arpé for induction to the Hall of Fame. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Pam Arpé (Head Coach, Field Hockey & Women's Tennis)
In nearly 15 years of service to Stonehill College, Pam Arpé elevated two programs, field hockey and women's tennis, to both conference and national prominence, while also serving as a valued administrator.
Arpé led the Stonehill field hockey program for eight years, posting a 112-54 (.675) record from 2000 through 2007, with a pair of Northeast-10 championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the National Semifinal round in 2005 with a program-best 19-3 record overall. Arpé produced seven All-Americans and 18 All-Northeast-10 selections during her time as field hockey coach. Arpé's teams excelled academically, with 34 student-athletes being named to the NFHCA National All-Academic team and 15 earning NE10 All-Academic honors.
Arpé led the women's tennis program for ten successful seasons from 2005 until her retirement following the 2013-14 season. Stonehill qualified for postseason play each year, posting the first two 20-win seasons in program history, including a program-best 21-4 clip in 2008-09 when the Skyhawks reached the NCAA Division II Championships Round of 16. She led the program to a 157-49 (.762) overall dual match record over her ten years, including a 107-13 (.892) clip in NE10 play, with seven NCAA Tournament appearances, three NE10 regular season championships and two Conference tournament titles.
Arpé produced 37 All-NE10 singles performers and 17 All-NE10 doubles pairings over her tennis coaching career at Stonehill. Stonehill had its first regionally ranked singles student-athlete and doubles pairing under her leadership. The teams performed in the classroom, producing six NE10 Academic All-Conference selections with 2012 NE10 Sport Excellence recipient Paige Frost, '13 also recognized with the 2013 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr., Division II Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship, the first ever from Stonehill to receive the prestigious honor.
Current junior Matt Rocco presents Kuzmiski for induction to the Hall of Fame. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
John Kuzmiski, Class of 1973 (Baseball)
John Kuzmiski, a 1973 graduate of Stonehill College, is one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of the Stonehill baseball program.
Kuzmiski joined the Stonehill baseball program after a heralded career at nearby Randolph High School, earning Boston Globe All-Scholastic honors. His Stonehill career got off to a terrific start with a one-hit shutout against Ricker College of Houlton, Maine, adding an RBI in the 4-0 win.
Armed with a powerful fastball and "dependable" curve, Kuzmiski made headlines his junior year, when he pitched Stonehill to a 1-0 triumph over a Providence College club that would go on to compete in the NCAA Division I Tournament. He scattered five hits, with eight strikeouts, in the complete game win, making a fifth-inning run stand. Kuzmiski finished his junior year with a 4-2 record, a save and 1.68 earned run average, with 36 strikeouts in 48 innings, including three complete games.
Battling arm injuries his senior year, Kuzmiski still posted a 1.78 ERA, with two wins in four appearances, striking out 23 in 30.3 innings.
Kuzmiski, also a defenseman on Stonehill's club ice hockey team for two years, went on to play in the Cranberry Baseball League, helping Randolph to a league championship, and the Boston Park League. He would later enjoy a fine youth baseball coaching career.
Barrett was presented for induction by current senior captain Samantha Hyslip. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Becky Barrett, Class of 1999 (Women's Basketball)
Becky Barrett, a 1999 graduate of Stonehill, was a standout point guard and defensive standout for the women's basketball program.
Barrett was a two-time Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, who led the NE10 in steals as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was named to the All-NE10 first team her junior season in helping lead Stonehill to the NE10 Championship game and the third of four NCAA Tournament bids.
Barrett finished her career with a program-record 372 career steals, a total that still ranks second all-time in NE10 history. She started 93 of 123 games over her career, finishing with 1,067 points and 454 assists - good for ninth all-time at Stonehill. Her 3,303 career minutes played is the fifth-highest total in program history.
Barrett helped guide Stonehill to four NCAA Tournament appearances, winning the NE10 Tournament Championship with a 57-48 triumph over rival Bentley in 1997. Stonehill won 20-plus games three times, including a 26-6 mark her sophomore year.
Barrett owns three of the top ten single-season steal totals in program history, including her career-high 119 steals in 1996-97, which ranks second in Stonehill history and fourth all-time among NE10 single-season leaders. Her 3.7 steals per game as a sophomore and junior also rank second in program history.
Senior captain Tom Buckley presented Granato for induction to the Hall of Fame. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Jack Granato, Class of 2004 (Men's Tennis)
Jack Granato, a 2004 graduate of Stonehill College, was a standout member of the men's tennis program.
The Vern Cox Northeast-10 Player of the Year his senior year, Granato was a four-time All-NE10 performer over the course of his career, earning first team honors at No. 1 singles as a senior, while also earning second team honors at No. 1 doubles. He also earned All-Conference honors at No. 1 singles as a freshman and junior.
Granato led Stonehill into the NE10 Tournament all four years, reaching the semifinals as a senior and captaining the program to its first NCAA Tournament bid in program history in 2004, starting a run of six NCAA trips over the next seven years. Stonehill posted an 8-0 record at home his senior year on its way to the NCAA bid.
Granato won a combined 71 matches while competing at No. 1 singles and doubles all four years. He finished with a 38-18 career singles record, including a combined 22-8 over his junior and senior seasons. Granato and doubles partner, Pat Blomberg, posted an 11-7 mark at the top flight in 2004 as well, leading Stonehill to a second place finish in the NE10 with a 9-1 mark.
Confer was presented for induction to the Hall of Fame by current senior Bailey Herr (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Colby Confer, Class of 2005 (Women's Lacrosse)
Colby Confer, a 2005 graduate of Stonehill College, was a two-time All-American with the women's lacrosse program.
Confer helped lead Stonehill to a pair of NCAA Division II Championships her sophomore and senior seasons, scoring the game-winning goal in with 11-seconds remaining in the 2003 Championship against Longwood on what is now Skyhawk Field, while totaling a tournament-high ten points with eight goals and two assists on the way to the 2005 Championship. She earned IWLCA All-America honors as a sophomore and senior, while collecting All-Northeast-10 first team honors three times, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team at the 2002 and 2005 NCAA Championships.
A dependable offensive player over her Stonehill career, Confer became just the second in program history to surpass 200 career points, finishing with 252 points, which currently ranks sixth all-time. She ranks fifth in program history with 197 goals. Confer's 67 ground balls as a sophomore still ranks third in program history and her 65 goals as a senior is still the fourth-highest single-season total all-time.
Stonehill posted a 67-11 record over her four-year career, including a perfect 25-0 mark in 2005 on the way to the program's second NCAA Championship in three years. Stonehill was a perfect 38-0 in NE10 play over her career, sweeping the Conference regular season and tournament titles all four years.
With 21 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. While finishing in the top three of the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup standings for overall athletic performance 13 straight years, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first six years of the program's existence of honoring institutions with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 97% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for fifth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs.
For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.