by Robert D. Cornell
The winter winds of Central New York continue to send their chill through the Chenango Valley, but inside Starr Rink and Cotterell Court the competition is getting hot with the post-season playoffs just around the corner.
While most of the playoff season will be over before this Scene reaches your doorstep, there have been several important developments in athletics away from the fields of competition.
Tucker Neale's #20 joined #11 and #24, worn by Ernie Vanderweigh '49 and Bob Duffy '62 respectively, in retirement at Cotterell Court. Neale '95, who is Colgate's all-time leading scorer with 2,075 points, was joined by his parents Jim and Judy and coach Jack Bruen during the halftime ceremonies at the Holy Cross game.
Athletic director Mark Murphy has announced that Tony Whaling '59 recently committed a leadership gift to the artificial surface field project. The field will be named in memory of Tony's son, Tyler '93, who died early this year. Tyler was a standout for the Red Raiders in both football and lacrosse.
Construction of the field is expected this summer. A number of fall and spring varsity sports for men and women, as well as intramurals, will compete and practice on the surface.
Alumni hoopsters made it deja vú all over again as they ripped up the hardwoods and played above the rim.
One year ago, when Dick Biddle was named head football coach at Colgate, he immediately reached back into Red Raider gridiron history to convince former head coach Fred Dunlap to come out of retirement. This past December, Biddle reached back again, this time hiring former head coach Mike Foley '77 as offensive coordinator and line coach. Foley had been an assistant coach at Harvard for the past three seasons.
The former Red Raider captain and All-East center will be taking over the offensive coordinator duties from Dunlap, who will be cutting back his load with the Red Raiders.
"We are very lucky to be able to bring back a fine coach like Mike Foley," Biddle said. "Mike has been a big part of Colgate football, and has a deep love for the program."
"I'm extremely happy with the opportunity to work with coach Biddle again and the rest of the staff," said Foley. "They have the program pointed in the right direction, and I'm excited about helping them continue to move forward."
Bearded Luke McGuiness '97 had his post season off to a flying start. He won the mile in 4:13.83 at the Patriot League championships and anchored Colgate's winning distance medley relay team. McGuiness also ran in the Millrose Mile at the IC4As held in Madison Square Garden. Betsy Cunningham '97 was Colgate's only other winner in the Patriot League event. She finished first in the mile.
In other football news, Colgate senior linebacker Adam Sofran, who led the Patriot League in tackles, has been named first team All-America by the Football Gazette. He also was named third team All-America by The Sports Network.
Joining Sofran on the Football Gazette All-America team are freshman quarterback Ryan Vena, sophomore wide receiver/return specialist Corey Hill and senior running back Anthony Caravetta. These four players were instrumental in the resurrection of the Colgate football team, which rebounded from an 0-11 season in 1995 to 6-5 this past fall.
Sofran led the Patriot League with 151 tackles, which was the fourth best single-season total in the school's history. His statistics also include four fumbles caused, one fumble recovery, six quarterback pressures, three and a half quarterback sacks, three interceptions, two passes broken up and seven tackles for losses totaling minus 42 yards.
Jen Hughes set up the winning goal as the East beat the West 3-2 in the Umbro Senior Select All-Star soccer game played in Florida just before the beginning of the spring semester. Hughes was selected to the all-star team after completing a remarkable career at Colgate. The Red Raiders' all-time leading scorer was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and was named the MVP in both the league and ECAC championship tournaments.
The Colgate women finished fourth in the Patriot League swimming and diving championships and the men placed fifth. Army, which hosted the event, won the men's meet and Navy took the women's title.
The Red Raider hockey team prepared for the Brown/Harvard weekend by practicing on Taylor Lake. With the Hill as a backdrop and surprised motorists slowing down on Rt.12B, Colgate returned to hockey's roots with some pond shinny and hijinks. While mini-games raged, players waiting their turn to compete led cheers. The sun had long set behind ATO before the players left Taylor Lake. "We were taking ourselves too seriously," said Vaughan, who centered one hard skating line. The special practice had mixed results. Colgate beat Brown 10-7 but lost to Harvard 5-2.