James Bethel named ECWC ‘Co-Wrestler of the Year’

Apr. 8, 2019

James Bethel selected as ECWC Co-Wrestler of the Year

Accolades keep rolling in for the senior

Ithaca, N.Y. – The Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference (ECWC) has announced its 2018-19 individual award winners. The announcement came after a week-long process of open voting for three distinct awards, as the conference looked to crown honorees for Wrestler of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year. Earning honors as Co-Wrestler of the Year was SUNY Oneonta senior James Bethel who shared the honor with Jake Ashcroft of Ithaca College.

“James being selected as the Co-Wrestler of the Year for the ECWC is yet another exceptional accolade to add to his extremely long list of achievements both on and off the mats here at SUNY Oneonta,” stated Head Coach Duane Ritter. “It has truly been a pleasure to coach and mentor this wonderful young man throughout his amazing journey to the top. His legacy has been forever forged not only in the record books, but in our hearts as well and will remain there for many years to come.”

This is the latest accolade for arguably the greatest grappler in the nearly 60-year history of the wrestling program. Bethel capped an amazing final chapter to his career by finishing third at the NCAA Division III championships to earn his fourth All-American honor, a first for Oneonta. He had a season to remember posting an overall record of 50-2 for the year, which included an NCAA Mideast Regional Championship and a fourth trip to NCAA Nationals.

Bethel’s 50-2 campaign was impressive not just because of the sheer volume of victories, but also the dominance in those triumphs. Of his 50 wins, 30 came by way of falls. He was named NCAA’s Most Dominant Wrestler in Division III, averaging more than five team-points per bout in the composite average designed by the NCAA.

For his career, Bethel posted a final record of 167-16 with over half of his victories (91) coming in pins. His 167 victories not only rank first in Oneonta’s program, but also rank at the top in the history of NCAA Division III.

Bethel also was a standout in the classroom during his career, earning his third NWCA Scholar All-America and third ECWC All-Academic Team honors this season.

Steve Perry to receive Distinguished Service Award in May

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has announced that retired Vice President for Student Development Dr. Steven Perry will receive the Dr. Patrick R. Damore Distinguished Service Award. Perry will receive his honor at the Awards banquet on Tuesday, May 14, during the spring conference meetings at the Embassy Suites in Syracuse.

The Dr. Patrick R. Damore Distinguished Service Award is the highest award given by the conference and honors a retired institutional or conference affiliated individual who has made a significant contribution to the conference and has served the SUNYAC for at least 10 years.

Dr. Perry began his association with SUNY Oneonta in 1984 when he joined the college as the Director of Career Development, Admissions and Academic Advisement. He came from St. Bonaventure University where he served as the Assistant Director of Career Development from 1978-84. Thirty-one years later he retired as the Vice President for Student Development.

Dr. Perry was given direct oversight for the department of athletics in 2002 and proceeded to guide the department through one of its most successful periods in history. Under his guidance, the department flourished while growing in participation numbers. Teams and student athletes earned unprecedented accolades including the college’s first team national championship in 2003. His commitment to equity, diversity and a vision for conference success saw Oneonta add men’s and women’s track and field, which celebrated four individual and two relay national champions during his tenure. He also partnered with the conference to secure an NCAA automatic bid for Field Hockey.

“It was a great honor to be led by Dr. Steve Perry,” stated Athletics Director Tracey Ranieri. “His servant leadership allowed Oneonta Athletics to grow, adapt and celebrate some of the best decades in sports history for the college.”

“His commitment to the conference was also shown through the improvements to several campus athletic venues that allow for a positive experience when we hosted conference competition,” Ranieri continued. “He was a kind leader and mentor. These words ring synonymous with the revered Dr. Patrick Damore, two men who through their care and vision, improved our circumstances exponentially.”

Dr. Perry developed and championed “Winning with Character”, which has become the mantra of the athletics department. His foresight and proactive approach to his management allowed not only athletics, but all students at the college to thrive. Perry was honored in 1996 with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and, in 2011, he was the recipient of the Ross Cordell Contributors Award from the athletics department. Dr. Perry was an Honorary Inductee into the Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2018.

“Dr. Perry’s commitment to a “Win with Character” mentality perpetuated a caring and competitive environment,” Ranieri added. “His message was consistent; “achieve at your highest level academically,

make good decisions socially, and add this to a dominant work-ethic in your sport, and winning will happen.”

Ranieri concluded, “Dr. Perry’s passion for the values that athletics aspires to, and the power coaches and administrators have to change lives, was an inspiration. His leadership encourages all of us to emulate the qualities that make SUNYAC great.”

Field hockey team honored for academic excellence

SUNY ONEONTA Field Hockey Team Honored for Academic Excellence

Six Players Earn Individual Academic Honors from NFHCA

GILBERT, Ariz. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association has announced its Division III National Academic Individual and Teams for the Fall 2018 season, and SUNY Oneonta was one of 131 schools to earn team honors. This year, 1,746 student-athletes from 147 Division III institutions also earned recognition on the 2018 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad.

Oneonta was eligible for the National Academic Team Award by compiling a combined team grade point average of greater than a 3.0 for the fall semester. The Division III National Academic Squad program honors student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.3 or higher through the first semester of the 2018-19 academic year.

A total of six Red Dragons earned recognition as part of the National Academic Squad for their work in the classroom. The honorees include senior Carissa Warren, junior Danell Jones, sophomore Carly Byman and freshmen Carly Eaton, Emily Raymond and Alex Ryan. Jones is being recognized for a third time while Byman is earning honors for a second time.

The Red Dragons finished 10-9 overall and 5-1 in the SUNYAC earning a second place finish during the regular season. This is the 14th time since 2004 and the 13th consecutive year the team has earned national honors.

Madeline Frank earns Academic Honors from CoSIDA

SUNY Oneonta senior basketball player Madeline Frank has earned academic honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Frank was selected to the Google Cloud Academic All-District 3 First Team, which earned her automatic consideration for national honors.

Frank is earning District 3 First Team accolades for the first time. District 3 is made up of all the colleges in the state of New York. Each athlete is nominated by their respective Sports Information Offices who are members of CoSIDA.

Frank was selected to the All-Conference Third Team for a second consecutive year. She led the team in rebounding collecting 218 (8.4 rpg) and was seventh in the SUNYAC in rebounding (8.2 rpg). She was second on the team in points with 249 for an average of 9.6 points per contest. She recorded five double-doubles this season with a high of 18 points versus Williams College on Nov. 17th while posting a season high 14 boards against Plattsburgh on Feb. 15th.

Frank finishes her career with 785 points to go with her 776 rebounds. Her rebounds are the all-time record surpassing the old mark of 720 held by two players. She was a career 72 percent shooter from the free throw line and recorded 145 assists and 87 steals.

As a biology major, Frank has earned numerous academic accolades including induction into Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society while being the recipient of the Susan Sutton Smith Award. She is a Provost’s List student and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.

On campus, Frank has earned Silver Level status in the College’s Leadership Academy. She is a certified EMT and is a member of the Oneonta Emergency Squad.

About the Academic All-America ® Program

To be eligible for nomination at the district level, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

In May of 2018, CoSIDA entered into a partnership with Google Cloud and NCAA®, where Google Cloud became the title sponsor of the Academic All-America® Program. The agreement was developed in collaboration with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports. The Academic All-America® program has honored thousands of student-athletes since its inception in 1952. It encompasses all sports in which the NCAA conducts championships. There are four divisions in this national program, with NCAA Division I, Division II and Division III teams and a separate College Division program combining NAIA, Canadian and two-year school honorees. There are separate teams selected in football, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country. For student-athletes in other sports, such as swimming and diving, tennis, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse and more, they are eligible for the Academic All-America® men’s and women’s at-large programs. The Academic All-District® teams (in eight geographic districts) are voted on by the CoSIDA membership at large, with First Team selections advancing to the national Google Cloud Academic All-America® ballot. At that point, First Team, Second Team and Third Team Academic All-America® performers are chosen by vote of the CoSIDA Board of Directors, general membership and Academic All-America® Committee members.

James Bethel and Michael Smith earn national academic honors, Red Dragons earn team award

Two SUNY Oneonta wrestlers were recognized as NWCA Scholar All-Americans for their work in the classroom. Oneonta also earned honors as a team placing 25th overall in Division III. Earning individual recognition was senior James Bethel and sophomore Michael Smith. Bethel is being recognized for a third straight year while Smith is being honored for the first time.

Bethel became the first wrestler in program history to earn All-American honors four times when he placed third at the NCAA Division III championships. He will leave the program as its all-time leader in wins (167) and pins (91), which includes a record of 50-2 this season. He captured his fourth Regional title this winter and was selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Mideast Regional championships. His dominance on the mat earned him the distinction as this year’s Most Dominant Wrestler Award for Division III.

Bethel has been inducted into two National Honor Societies, is the SAAC President and has been a Student Director on the College at Oneonta Foundation Board.

Smith, a Criminal Justice major, finished his season 13-13 overall with four pins. Smith’s season culminated with a fifth place finish at the Mideast Regional championships earning All-Region honors.

To be a Scholar All-American, wrestlers must have been a national qualifier in this season or placed in the top six at the NCAA Regional tournament or have a minimum record of .500 won/loss while competing in 50 percent of the team’s NCAA sanctioned schedule. They must have a cumulative GPA over the previous two semesters OR cumulative GPA of 3.2+. They also are eligible if they had a winning percentage of 67% but did not place in the Top six at regionals.

The Red Dragons finished its 2018-19 campaign with an overall dual-meet record of 12-7 while finishing in 19th place at the NCAA Championships. The Red Dragons also placed 10th at the NYS Collegiate Championships and fifth at the Mideast Regional Championships.