The Athletics Hall of Fame banquet held their ceremony in the Mabel Brown Room last Friday, Sept. 29.
There were four honorable inductees that earned their place with the many other alumni Owls who strived at Keene State College.
As the ceremony began, familiar faces reminisced with one another and laughter rang throughout the room.
The first inductee to be honored was Brent Elwell, who was inducted by former Keene State men’s soccer coach, Dr. Ron Butcher.
Brent was a videographer and beloved manager at Keene State College, helping with the Owls’ soccer and basketball programs, as well as in the Sports Information Department.
He received the Keene State Outstanding Service Award from the KSC alumni association in 2010.
However, his life ended short, at just the age of 33. Brent died at his home from health issues he had been battling his entire life.
“He had this way of motivating you, he had this way of getting you to listen…Little did I know that he would take our college by storm in many different ways. His love of the games, his love of the student athletes, his love of traveling with the teams, sitting with them, eating with them…was something special to see. Every student athlete that came in touch with Brent became a fan of his and he became a fan of them,” said Dr. Ron Butcher.
The many personal stories told of how Brent was able to touch the lives of those around him, impacting them in positive ways.
He represented Keene State College like the ultimate Owl and dedicated his time and life to making others lives better.
Ned and Marylou Elwell, Brent’s parents, also spoke in his honor. “He did everything…I’ve said it years ago, the Celtics have their leprechaun, the Owls have Brent,” said Ned.
The next inductee was former women’s field hockey player Erin Dallas, who was inducted by Head Coach Amy Watson.
Not only did Dallas overcome a life-threatening illness in order to return and play as an Owl, but she was also a three time All American field hockey player.
Dallas remained the only player in the history of the Little East Conference (LEC) to be named both offensive player of the year and defensive player of the year.
Dallas played three years at Keene State College and, with her team, earned a pair of LEC Tournament titles and one Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship.
Dallas was able to finish her career as the Owls’ all-time and single-season leader in assists, while ranking in the top 10 for scoring and defensive saves.
Dallas reflected on her accomplishment, as well as expressed her gratitude for all of the people that helped her through her journey.
“Thank you and congratulations to my fellow inductees. I am very honored that my play on the field was deemed commendable for this prestigious honor, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would be up here today if it hadn’t been for the support of my coaches, my friends, my family and all of my teammates. It was their kindness and patience that allowed me to grow and build myself as an athlete, as well as a parent, a friend, anyone on the side.”
The third member to be inducted was former Keene State basketball player Tyler Kathan, who was inducted by former men’s basketball coach Rob Colbert.
Kathan finished his career as Keene State’s third all-time leading scorer, having a total amount of 1,805 points during an All-American career.
Kathan’s name is among many in the Keene State record books now.
He finished in the top 10 for shots, three-pointers, free throws and rebounds, as well as set a record for starting more games in school history than any other player has.
Kathan was also the only player in the history of the LEC to be named the Rookie of the Year as a first-year and be named Player of the Year twice.
Kathan also signed professional contracts in England and Germany to play abroad after graduating from KSC.
Like Dallas, Kathan also took his award with extreme honor and pride.
“I’m just honored and so proud to be up here and part of the Keene State family. I want to say congratulations to everyone being inducted and, again, it’s just an honor. I want to say thanks to my family, my coaches…I can’t imagine being up here without them. It was a family away from family.”
The last group to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame was the 1999 women’s softball team, who were all inducted by former softball coach Charlie Beach.
The 1999 women’s softball team set the event and school record for Keene State College for most wins and won the program’s first LEC regular season and tournament championships, reaching the final of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions III Northeast Regional.
This team was able to capture the first LEC regular season championship with a 13-1 mark in conference play. The Owls finished their season as the NCAA runner ups.
All 15 players rose as their former coach highlighted each one of their accomplishments, recognizing their hard work and dedication as athletes and as Owls.
Each speaker highlighted the attributes that each inductee obtained to deserve their title-a love for Keene State College, representing the true Owl way, and working hard. With four new members, Keene State honors their new members.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org