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Three former Juniata student-athletes voted into Sports Hall of Fame

(Posted December 11, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A two-time All-American from football's golden era, the only two-sport All-American in Juniata history, and a men's volleyball standout who helped build a early tradition of Juniata success in the sport make up the Class of 2008 voted into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame.

Football center and linebacker David Croft '50, men's volleyball outside hitter Tim Shawaryn '98, and women's volleyball outside and middle hitter Melissa Myers '98 will be inducted in ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, in Huntingdon.

The inductees will be recognized during halftime of the Juniata men's basketball game against Moravian College, which begins at 4:00 p.m. A reception will be held following the game in the Gibbel Lobby of the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, with the induction dinner taking place at 7:15 p.m. in the Sill Boardroom of the Von Liebig Center for Science

Croft was a four-year member of the Juniata football squad and played a key role in the teams that began the football program's "Era of Excellence". A two-way player he started all four years as the team's center and a linebacker. He was the first Juniata football player selected as an AP Little America when he received Honorable Mention recognition in 1948.

Croft repeated that feat following his senior year, in 1949, making him the first two-time Little All-American in the history of the football program. During his senior season, Croft anchored an offensive line that helped Juniata average 220.9 rushing yards per game, and was a linebacker on a defensive squad that allowed just 136.7 yards per game on the ground.

Former Juniata College football coach and Hall of Famer Bill Smaltz once remarked to Juniata Hall of Famer Don Everhart '49 that Croft was the "best single-wing center he had ever seen."

Croft later served as Juniata physician and worked as the athletic department physician for all sports teams from 1965-1968.

A Volleyball magazine Small College First team All-American in 1997 and 1998, Shawaryn helped lead Juniata to its first Division III men's volleyball national title in 1998, with a 3-1 victory over the University of La Verne. For his efforts, Shawaryn was named Most Valuable Player of the Molten Division III National Championship. He would also earn Tournament MVP honors of the 1998 EIVA Division III Championship, after recording 43 kills over two games, with five digs and five blocks in the championship win over Springfield College. He completed his senior season ranked sixth in the nation among all NCAA divisions in kill average (4.97) and ninth in service ace average (.374), and was the recipient of Juniata's 1998 Stanford Mickle Award.

Shawaryn was a three-time First team, EIVA All-East Division III selection, as well as a three-time EIVA All-East All-Star honoree - earning first team honors in 1998. He completed his tenure at Juniata as the school's all-time leader in kills (1,655) and service aces (142), and ranked second in career digs (710) and fifth in career blocks (280).

Myers cemented her place in Juniata's sports history as an All-American in both track and field and volleyball - the only two-sport All-American in College Hill annals.

Myers' performance on the court was perhaps the most memorable of her time at Juniata. It was there that she earned the honor of being the MAC Player of the Year in 1997 after picking up player of the week distinctions from the conference twice in the season.

The numbers Myers posted in 1997, her senior season with the Eagles, are staggering. She led the squad in kills (485), kill average (3.91), and service aces (93). She also posted a .266 hitting percentage as well as 63 blocks (20 solo) and 72 digs. Her performance that season earned her AVCA First team All-America honors, after earning All-Region laurels the previous year.

Myers' impact on the Juniata record books over her four years in Blue and Gold was impressive. In terms of single season records, Myers' performances ranked fifth in kills (519 in 1997), second in attacks (1325 in 1997), sixth in aces (96 in 1997), and ninth in aces (91 in 1996). Among Juniata's all-time leaders, she finished her career 10th in attacks (2977) and fourth in aces (301).

In track and field, Myers earned All-American honors in 1998 in the shot put when she finished sixth in the event with a Juniata-record throw of 43-6. The previous record of 42-8 �½ was also owned by Myers, set only weeks earlier in her first place throw at the MAC Championships. Myers still holds Juniata's pentathlon record with 2249 points.

Anyone interested in attending the Hall of Fame Dinner can contact "Bub" Parker, Director of Alumni Relations, at 814-641-3444 or by e-mail at parkerm@juniata.edu. Tickets are $30 per person, which includes a reception at 5:45 p.m. in the Gibbel Lobby of the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center, as well as the dinner and induction at 7:15 p.m. in the Sill Boardroom of the von Liebig Center for Science.

The following nominations for the Sports Hall of Fame have received enough votes to be carried over for consideration in the Class of 2009:
Wilson Antoniuk '94 (men's soccer), Joe Beyer '50 (track & field/cross country), Don Burnich '60 (men's basketball), Steve Cavanaugh '96 (football/baseball), Tom Cherok '54 (golf), Casey Craig '97 (men's basketball/baseball), Bob Crossey '87 (football), Cubby Davis '89 (football), Robin Diehl '97 (women's volleyball), Al Dungan '60 (football/men's basketball/baseball/track & field), Jess Emrich '97 (field hockey), Jason Falvo '98 (football), Pat Frazier '63 (men's basketball/coach), Terri Eckenrode Gillam '82 (women's basketball/softball), Raymond Grabiak '72 (football), Steve Grater '89 (men's soccer/swimming), Shawn Habakus '90 (men's basketball), Coy Hicks '51 (football/men's basketball/track & field), Shad Hoover '93 (wrestling), Klaus Jaeger (coach), Kirsten Kenyon '98 (women's swimming), Wade Kurzinger '95 (football), Jack Lang '49 (baseball), Nina Mathers '97 (field hockey), Ed McEwen '82 (baseball), Jack McCullough '76 (track & field/cross country), Suzanne McMannus '92 (field hockey), Bernie McQuown '59 (football/coach), Walt Nadzak (coach), Mandy Pile '98 (women's basketball), Ron Poruban '63 (football/baseball/track & field), Mike Pringle '97 (baseball/football), Tim Reed '79 (football), Alison Reeves '79 (field hockey/women's basketball), Jim Rivello '97 (football), Duane Ruble '65 (football/wrestling), Joe Scialabba '86 (golf/coach/administrator), Mindy Selby '91 (women's volleyball), Mike Slough '75 (track & field), Carrie Sokolowski '97 (softball/field hockey/women's basketball), Tom Streightiff '75 (baseball), Kyle Sweitzer '96 (football/track & field), Maurice Taylor '72 (football), Joanne Thomas '89 (field hockey), Carl "Joe" Trimber (football/track & field), Kathy Bednarczyk Walch '87 (softball), Denny Weidler '72 (cross country/track & field), Chrisan Weyant '95 (softball), Kris Witchey '90 (women's volleyball), Steve Yerger '87 (football), and Chad Zaring '97 (football).

Anyone may nominate an individual for the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame. The nomination form can be found on the Juniata Athletics website, www.juniatasports.net; the nomination period for the Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2009 closes on May 1, 2009.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.