KSC hall of famers

Four individuals and one team are inducted in the KSC Hall of Fame for excellence in athletics

archive photo KSC 83’ men’s soccer team’s first time to qualify for the NCAA tournament, ranked in the top 10. Won 14 games during the season. They were one of four teams to qualify for the NCCA tournament in KSC history

Caroline Perry

Senior Reporter

Past success is being recognized once again at Keene State College, with four alumni athletes and one team earning a spot in the KSC Athletics Alumni Hall of Fame.

The four alumni athletes include Jennifer Adams, Brittany O’Bryant, Bryan Kolacz, and Matt Johnson. The 1983 men’s soccer team will also be inducted alongside the four individuals.

Each inductee was an accomplished athlete at KSC, all five inductees being national champions.

Jennifer Adams graduated in 2008. She was a cross country and track and field champion, claiming the title of All-American ten times. Adams was also a two-time national champion. Her distance medley relay team won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2006, during her sophomore year. In 2007 she won the New England Regional Cross Country meet. After, she was named New England Cross Country Runner of the Year and New England Regional Track and Field Athlete of the year. As a senior in 2008, she won the 5,000 meter national championship. Her overall times in the 5,000 meter race earned her a spot as one of the best in the nation. This title followed her into the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships that season. Till this day, Adams still holds the school record in the 5,000 meter race, her time being 16:46.32. Adams led her team to four LEC championships in cross country and the LEC title in track and field. During her senior year she was awarded the title LEC Runner of the Year. She also earned Keene State’s Female Athlete of the Year award, finishing her college career on a high note (KSC Athletics).

Brittany O’Bryant holds three school records in volleyball, those being KSC’s all time leader in kills (1,641) and attacks (4,221), as well as having the highest combined block total of 425. She also holds the second best in solo blocks with 211 and block assists with 214. During her sophomore year in 2006, she earned Second Team All-LEC. As a junior, O’Bryant was able to earn First Team All Conference honors, being awarded that title again during her senior year. Her junior year her team finished undefeated through the LEC conference, which earned them the title of LEC regular season champions. During her senior year in 2008, they made it to their first LEC tournament championship. They won their second consecutive LEC regular season crown and defeated Western Connecticut State, moving them to the semifinals. After winning against UMass Boston, they made history and were sent to the NCAA tournament for the first time in KSC volleyball history. O’Bryant rallied the team into a record-setting season, making her one of the best in KSC volleyball (KSC Athletics).

O’Bryant said, “Honestly it feels so surreal. I remember going to a Hall of Fame dinner when I was attending KSC and watching the inductees giving their speeches. I never thought in a million years that could be me. I was so excited when my coach called to tell me the news. At first I was in shock and it still hasn’t sunk in.”

When reflecting on her time at KSC, O’Bryant said she found her best friends at the college and had the chance to win a championship with them.

“I grew as leader, teammate, and as an athlete. KSC allowed me to flourish in so many ways that it’s hard to even explain how I feel. KSC allowed me to see my true potential and showed me the best version of myself.”

Bryan Kolacz was a name to remember in KSC track and field. Kolacz was a national champion, earning the title of All American three times. He holds three school records in weight, discus, and hammer. As a first-year, Kolacz was awarded LEC Rookie Field Athlete of the year in both outdoor and indoor track. He would also go on to be LEC Field Athlete of the Year his sophomore, junior, and senior year. Outdoors Kolacz was a four time conference champion in discus and the hammer. His hammer throw of 198’-1” still remains as an LEC championship record. Kolacz won the LEC outdoor championship in shot put his first, junior, and senior year. Kolacz did just as much indoor, being a four time LEC champion in shot put. He held a high status, earning All American honors in the hammer as a national champion (KSC Athletics).

Matt Johnson started dominating as a lacrosse goalie early on, earning LEC Rookie of the Year his first year. Johnson was able to earn LEC Defensive Player of the Year his sophomore, junior, and senior year, as well as a four time All LEC First Team selection throughout his entire college career. With great performance, Johnson earned an Honorable Mention All American Honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association his junior year. Johnson still holds the school records in saves with 699, save percentage, goals against average, and wins by a goalie with 46 (KSC Athletics).

The 1983 men’s soccer team was the first ever KSC soccer team to qualify for the NCAA tournament. With a finishing record of 14-2-3, the Owls scored 58 goals that season, only allowing 14 to get by them. The men’s soccer team was able to rally the entire season, leading them to the NCAA tournament, where they were ranked top ten in the final poll of the season. They were one of four teams in KSC history to finish with two losses or fewer (KSC Athletics).

The KSC Interim Director of Athletics, Denisha Hendricks, said, “When I was just hearing about the things they accomplished while they were here… you have All Americans and conference champions and also All American academics. What an awesome representative of the college and just a great way to showcase the talent and the skill and the type of people they are.” Hendricks added that the council really looks to balance out the inductees from year to year, pulling each person from a different sport.

“These folks are professionals in their own fields and they’ve achieved a lot of things, so you just think about the broad reach of the college because of its alumni.”

Assistant AD for Sports Information Compliance & Operations, Abe Osheyack, said, “One of the interesting things about this group is that it is one of the first Hall of Fame classes that is primarily individuals from Keene State Colleges’ Division III era. We are now twenty-plus years into our history as a Division III school, and we are starting to see that be recognized in our Hall of Fame inductees.

Osheyack added, “They are some of the best of the best in their respective sports and we look forward to welcoming them back on campus next fall.”

The induction ceremony will take place on September 20, 2019 in the Mabel Brown Room. This ceremony will be a part of the college’s reunion ceremonies.

Caroline Perry can be contacted at

cperry@kscequinox.com

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