SUNY Oswego inducts 7 into Athletic Hall of Fame

OSWEGO — Seven former standout athletes at SUNY Oswego recently joined the ranks of 82 other accomplished individuals who have been voted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame, forever enshrined in the college’s athletic history.

Seven Oswego alumni were inducted into the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies earlier this month on campus. In attendance at the Nov. 8 induction luncheon in Sheldon Hall ballroom were, from left to right, Sean McLaughlin, class of 2000; Tracie DiFlorio, daughter of the late Edward Zorn, accepting his posthumous award; Nancy S. Lobb, class of 1983; and Gerald W. Vredenburg, class of 1968. Greg Prestion, class of 1978, was inducted prior to a men's ice hockey game. Inductees Mark Levine, class of 1985, and Warren Jamie Rutherford, class of 1985, could not attend.
Seven Oswego alumni were inducted into the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies earlier this month on campus. In attendance at the Nov. 8 induction luncheon in Sheldon Hall ballroom were, from left to right, Sean McLaughlin, class of 2000; Tracie DiFlorio, daughter of the late Edward Zorn, accepting his posthumous award; Nancy S. Lobb, class of 1983; and Gerald W. Vredenburg, class of 1968. Greg Prestion, class of 1978, was inducted prior to a men’s ice hockey game. Inductees Mark Levine, class of 1985, and Warren Jamie Rutherford, class of 1985, could not attend.

The college officially welcomed the inductees to the Hall of Fame at a ceremony earlier this month in the Sheldon Ballroom on campus: baseball player Mark Levine, class of 1985, of South Easton, Massachusetts; basketball and softball player Nancy S. Lobb, class of 1983, of Providence Forge, Virginia;  baseball and basketball player Sean McLaughlin, class of 2000, of Camden; baseball player Warren Jamie Rutherford, class of 1985, of Portland, Maine; soccer player Gerald W. Vredenburg, class of 1968, of LaFayette; and soccer player Edward Zorn, class of 1963, of Hamlin, inducted posthumously.

Ice hockey player Greg Preston, class of 1978, of Greensboro, Georgia, was recognized recently at a 50-year anniversary celebration of SUNY Oswego men’s ice hockey.

“This year’s honorees represent some of the best athletes in Oswego State’s long athletic history,” said event organizer Laura Pavlus Kelly, class of 2009, director of Alumni and Parent Relations. “We are honored to recognize them.”

Athletic Director Sue Viscomi congratulated all the Hall of Fame inductees, and provided a historical perspective on Oswego’s athletics facilities as well as updates on renovations and new developments since the former athletes competed on campus.

She paid special note to the new $2.37 million artificial turf field currently under construction, and thanked the members of the Hall of Fame selection committee for their time.

“Times have really changed for the better for our athletes,” Viscomi said.

Mark Levine, class of 1985, of South Easton, Massachusetts, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was a four-year member of the baseball team, where he played a significant role in one of the most successful periods in program history.

Levine was named to the SUNY Athletic Conference All-Conference team in each of his four seasons, including taking first-team honors as a freshman, junior and senior. In his freshman campaign, Levine was recognized as an All-America catcher as well as being named NCAA All-Northeast Region. He also collected the same regional honors in 1984 and 1985. Levine still holds the college’s records for four-year batting average (.442), career RBI (167), career doubles (36), single-season hits (61) and single-season RBI (56). Levine helped Oswego win three SUNYAC Championships from 1983 to 1985.

Nancy S. Lobb, class of 1983, of Providence Forge, Virginia, earned a spot in the Hall of Fame for her achievements in both basketball and softball. As a senior, Lobb helped lead the softball squad to the postseason, collecting All-NYSAIAW Tournament Team honors in 1983. The softball program made the NYSAIAW Tournament each of Lobb’s final three years as a Laker, laying the foundation for Oswego to take the crown in 1984 and runner-up in 1985. On the basketball court, Lobb was a dominant guard, setting college records that still stand. She ranks first on the career steals list with 310 and holds the single-season steals record with 118 as a sophomore during the 1980-81 season. Not only did her defensive skills create possessions for the Lakers, Lobb also developed scoring opportunities for her teammates, as she still ranks second on the career list with 381 assists. Her 143 assists during the 1980-81 season were the most in any season and stayed in the top spot for the next 24 seasons.

Sean McLaughlin, class of 2000, of Camden dominated men’s basketball and baseball. As a basketball player, McLaughlin earned All-America honors from DIII News as a fourth-team member following the 1998-99 campaign. That year, he was named the SUNYAC Player of the Year as well as being a member of the All-Conference First Team. McLaughlin earned several more conference honors over his career, including another first-team selection in 1997-98, a second-team accolade in 1999-2000 and All-Tournament nods in 1998 and 2000. On the diamond, McLaughlin succeeded in his two years on the squad, not only by Oswego standards, but by national standards. McLaughlin won the NCAA Division III batting title as a senior, hitting .563 with 45 hits in 80 at-bats to lead the country. That batting average remains the single-season record at Oswego. He earned All-SUNYAC First Team that season and holds the college’s record for career batting average (two years, .494).

Preston was a four-year student-athlete on the men’s ice hockey team. Nearly 40 years after his career began at Oswego, Preston still ranks 11th in points (172) in the storied program’s history. The forward’s 94 career goals currently sits in a tie for fifth place on the all-time list. Preston is just one of nine players in the program’s 50-year history to be named a First Team All-America, his coming from the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). He was just the second to achieve the honor, which came after his senior season in 1977-78, following in the footsteps of Olympian goaltender Pete Sears.

Warren Jamie Rutherford, class of 1985, of Portland, Maine, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was an integral part of Oswego’s baseball success in winning three-straight SUNYAC championships from 1983 to 1985. Rutherford was named All-America following his junior year for his efforts both at the plate and manning center field. He was named an NCAA All-Northeast Regional Team member each of his final three seasons as a Laker and was also a First Team All-Conference performer in those years. As a freshman, Rutherford nabbed All-Conference honors, being placed in the Honorable Mention squad.

Gerald W. Vredenburg, class of 1968, of LaFayette is the last men’s soccer player to earn All-America accolades at SUNY Oswego. He garnered All-America Honorable Mention as a goalie from the NCAA for his efforts during his junior season. Over the course of his career, Vredenburg was also named First Team All-SUNYAC and Second Team All-State. Vredenburg also holds the distinction of being the goalie on the only Laker men’s soccer team to capture the SUNYAC championship, winning the crown in 1966. The goaltender’s 29 saves against Oneonta on Oct. 24, 1967, is still the second-most in program history. After his time at Oswego, Vredenburg taught at the LaFayette Central Schools from 1968 to 2001, staying heavily involved in athletics. He coached varsity football, boys’ basketball, girls’ soccer and lacrosse throughout his career and was named the United States Lacrosse Association Central New York Coach of the Year in 1984.

Edward Zorn, class of 1963, of Hamlin, the only 2014 inductee to receive the honor posthumously, is one of only three men’s soccer All-Americans at Oswego, collecting Honorable Mention in 1962. During his senior season, Zorn was also named First Team All-State and First Team All-SUNYAC. Zorn was the second-straight Laker to earn All-America honors, as the program’s first-ever All-American, Bob Thole, class of 1962, earned his recognition in 1961. After his time at Oswego, Zorn taught industrial arts while coaching varsity soccer at Greece Olympia High School in Rochester. He spent his free time growing, promoting and advancing youth soccer in Hamlin.

“These individuals’ athletic achievements and contributions to Oswego State Athletics and their communities are truly remarkable, and we are honored to welcome them into our Athletic Hall of Fame,” said emcee Jeff Rea, class of 1971, writer and editor in Oswego’s Office of Public Affairs.

The Alumni Association established the Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to Oswego State Athletics. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of people who have brought honor, distinction and excellence to Oswego State in athletics.

For more information, visit oswegolakers.com