The Keene State College Athletic Hall of Fame, which had its first class inducted in 1986, according to the Keene State Athletics website, recognizes players, coaches, administrators, teams and other staff members in the athletic department that greatly contribute to the success of the KSC athletic program.
Sports Information Director Abe Osheyack, described the process of how nominees are elected for possible selection by anyone through the online nomination form, which can be found on the Keene State Athletics’ website.
Although the process seems simple, the nominees have to meet two requirements in order to be eligible.
Number one, they must have been five-years-graduated from the school; and number two, any other nominee must no longer be a member of the KSC staff according to Osheyack.
Osheyack added that the hall will add to its ranks in the coming weeks as the committee in charge of sorting through the nominations makes its picks of who will be given KSC athletic immortality.
An achievement that left a couple of last year’s induction class members in a state of shock, disbelief and happiness to the point of tears.
According to keeneowls.com Seanna Matthews Lombardo was a member of the Keene State women’s swim team from 1995 until she graduated in 1999, a year in which the swim team went undefeated during its season.
Lombardo was inducted into KSCA Hall of Fame in 2013, an honor which she said overwhelmed her with emotion.
“I was shocked when I got the phone call, actually. When John Ratliff called me, I cried. I was so touched. I was really blown away … Just to be nominated by a school that I cared about so much — it was great,” Lombardo said.
Lombardo added that being nominated is something that should not be taken lightly.
“Being nominated in-and-of itself was an honor, but to be chosen and to go through that, it was one of the most touching experiences of my life,” Lombardo said.
Joe Branciforte was enshrined in the same class as Lombardo and also had a similar reaction when he got the phone call.
“When I first got the phone call I was completely surprised … It was absolutely an honor, a shock, and I was absolutely thrilled to be part of it and to be honored for it,” Branciforte said. As a member of the men’s lacrosse team from 2001 to 2004, Branciforte earned his credentials for a nomination into the Hall of Fame. The KSC alumnus said that he was very happy with his experiences both as a student and as an athlete. “I loved every second of it. I had a great time,” Branciforte said.
Wilson Perez, a cross country and track and field runner and a member of the 2012 induction class, commented on the opportunity to have his name on a plaque in the Spaulding Gymnasium along with all the other KSC hall-of-famers.
“It’s a great opportunity to be up there with the other elites of Keene State,” Perez said. Soon the 2014 hall of fame class will enter into an exclusive club where the greats of Keene State College Athletics will be remembered for generations because of their hard work and dedication.
Nominations for the Hall of Fame will be accepted through Nov. 3, and the inductions will be on Feb. 7, 2014.
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org