LI Enshrines Inaugural Hall Of Fame Class

From left to right, 2021 LI Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees: Erik Kwiecienski ‘75 (ski team); Mark Wheeler ‘76 (1975-76 ski team); Michael Wheeler ‘79 ( 1976-77 ski team); Mark Kwiecienski ‘76 (1975-76 ski team); Mark Weigel ‘82 (HOF Inductee); Janet Kwiecienski-Daughhetee ‘77 (HOF Inductee); Mickey Goodwin ‘55 (HOF Inductee); Ron Sherburne ‘58 (1956-58 track team); Lori Dane-Alexander ‘77 (HOF Inductee); Ron Dunphy ‘59 (HOF Inductee); Andrew Johnson ‘96 (HOF Inductee). Missing from photo: Dot Dudley ‘57 (1954 basketball team). (Photo by Javin Leonard)

LYNDON CENTER — Lyndon Institute enshrined its 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Class on Friday night (Oct. 1) at Alumni Auditorium. Nine individuals and four teams were honored in the inaugural event.

The individual inductees included Michael “Mickey” Goodwin, Rick Cameron, Bob Heath, Mark Weigel, Judi St. Hilaire, Janet Kwiecienski Daughhetee, Andrew Johnson, Ron Dunphy and Lori Dane-Alexander. The teams were the 1975-77 Vermont and New England champion boys combined ski champions, the 1954 girls basketball team District B champions, the 1966 football team state champions and the 1956, 1957, 1958 boys track state champions.

More on the inductees below:

Individuals

Michael “Mickey” Goodwin, ‘55

Mickey enjoyed sports from his youngest years in elementary school and excelled there as well as at LI (1951-55). He was a well-rounded student and particularly enjoyed music and the arts. Bertha Koury, Mickey recalled, opened up a whole new experience for him.

Mickey was a starter on the varsity football team all four years and played quarter back his first three years and running back as a senior. He was third in the state his senior year for points scored in the state and in one game, versus Newport, ran two kickoffs back for touchdowns. He was selected for the VT Shrine Team as a punter, return man, and running back helping VT record a 12-6 victory.

In track Mickey participated in long jump, javelin, shot put, pole vault, and the 100-yard dash. He held the LI record in the long jump at 21’ 1 ½’ until it was broken by Milt Norway. In one meet his track coach, Mr. Lewis, asked him if he’d try the high jump as they needed a point to edge their rival that day. Mickey agreed, placed third, and gave LI the victory. After high school Mickey stayed active with baseball, softball, and archery among other pursuits. He won the 1963 VT Indoor Archery Championship.

Mickey’s children with his wife, Frances Ann (Aiken), also participated in sports at LI: Brad ’85, Casey ’87, and Joy ’89. His grandchildren followed in those big shoes as well. Dylan ’09, Breanna ’11, Rossen ’18, Sawyer ’21, and Brody, Emma, and Brinley are waiting in the wings. Mickey was a Corporator and Trustee for LI and served as a member and President of Lyndonville Rotary. He also was on the boards of the LOC and the Caledonia Forest and Stream Club.

Rick Cameron, ‘67

Cameron was born in St. Johnsbury. In 1971, after graduating from college, he married his high school sweetheart, Jane Howe, ‘67. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren. At this point in his life he enjoys an active retirement with his wife and family. In Rick’s own words:

“As a young child I started my schooling at the Baker Hall located on the LI campus. In first and second grade I became exposed to LI and its athletes by watching them practice and play their games on the football field (Lewis Field).

“During my eight years of elementary school and having gone to many LI sporting events I knew I was destined to play sports for LI. During my four years at Lyndon, I competed on the football, basketball, and track teams. I was chosen by my fellow teammates to be their team captain in both football and track.

“Football was my sport of choice. At the end of my senior football season 1966 the team was crowned Vermont State Champions. During that year I set several school football records, was selected to the State of Vermont All-North and State All-Star teams as well as being selected captain of those teams which were made up of the best players in Vermont. In the spring of 1967 I achieved one of my major high school athletic goals, selection to the Vermont/New Hampshire Shrine Bowl game. The team’s selection to the LI Hall of Fame is a great honor.

“I would like to thank my high school football coaches Al Reilly, Bob Stone, Bob Heath, and Don Erskine to name a few. With their help I transformed my raw, yet unskilled, talents into an athlete who had strength in skill and determination. Thank you to all the members of my LI and greater Lyndon community for their support.”

Bob Heath, ‘58

Bob was a star in football, basketball, and track. The ’56, ’57, and ’58 teams were state champs in an era when all teams were grouped in a single division. He was a two-time state champion in the 220 and the first of only seven LI throwers to reach 48 feet in the shot put.

Bob led his football mates in scoring his senior year and set records for punting and receiving. His accomplishments led to his selection for the VT Shrine Team. He was honored to be recruited by Syracuse University as their punter but chose to stay home to work while also attending Lyndon Teachers College. He did note that Syracuse became National Champions in 1959.

At LTC Bob competed in, and excelled at, soccer and track. He won a New England championship in the 220 and along with his exploits on the pitch was selected to the Lyndon Athletic Hall of Fame’s second induction class.

Bob returned to LI in 1964 where he was a teacher, coach, and administrator, retiring in 1998. He remained a fixture on campus coaching track athletes long after his retirement, many of whom went on to set their own school records, and win their own state championships. Bob was inducted into the VT Principals Association Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mark Weigel, ‘82

Mark was a three-sport star: football, basketball, and track. His accomplishments and records were many at LI as they were up the hill at LSC. He was inducted into the LSC Athletic Hall of Fame. Rather than submit a list of his athletic achievements Mark sent the following:

“I have spent the past 32 years doing exactly what I always wanted to do, work with kids and be around athletics, which is why I have the best job I could ever imagine: teaching physical education. I have spent the past 30 years at Thetford Academy and look forward to more. The bulk of my coaching career took place in the 90’s. I coached varsity boys’ soccer and basketball. I was fortunate to have coached some great people and to win championships in soccer, ‘93 and in basketball, ‘94. All of my success began with great coaches and great teammates at LI!

“I left paid coaching positions to volunteer coaching as my children came through the youth sport’s programs. Once they reached the high school level, I stopped coaching and became a dad and fan for my three boys. Once my boys graduated from high school, I returned to coaching varsity soccer at Thetford Academy. I coached for eight years before I decided it was time to stop. I think back to my playing days and realize I can’t appreciate my mother enough. She was a single mom with four children, yet she attended all of my games, made sure I was fed, and where I needed to be. I owe her everything.”

Judi St. Hilaire, ‘77

Judi St. Hilaire was the finest female runner (and occasional XC skier) ever to wear the Vikings maroon. All four years (Class of 1977) she set and broke records in fall XC running and in track when spring finally rolled around. She skied XC in her junior year and the LI girls won their first state championship! Judy led her fall XC teams to championships in 1974, ’75, and ’76. She replicated the feat in track as LI rolled to state titles from 1973, ‘76, and ‘77. She won the 440 in ’74, the 880 in ’75, ’76, and’77, and the mile in 1975 and 1977.

Judi went on to great success at UVM, winning All-American honors in a wide number of running competitions. In 1981 she was named VT Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Athlete of the Year. In 1991 she was inducted into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

Judi enjoyed a long post-collegiate professional running career (1981-96) under the Nike banner, winning numerous major road races and named first in world road race ranking in 1993. Previously she was named to the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and placed eighth in the summer games running the 10,000 meters.

Upon turning 40 Judi returned to competition in the Masters division, winning more major races and getting involved with triathlons and road biking up to the present day. Judi also lent her knowledge and experience to young athletes at Boston College and Case High School in Massachusetts. Somehow, she found time to meet and fall in love with Paul Coogan, getting married in 1989, and wisely advising him as mayor of Fall River, MA.

Janet Kwiecienski Daughhetee, ‘77

Janet and her brothers Erik and Mark learned to ski at the Lyndon Outing Club. They began competing in Northern Council III & IV division races for LOC and soon transitioned to training at Burke Mountain. Janet claimed the title of girls state champion during her final year in the USEASA Division III & IV. She eventually qualified to compete in the eastern Can-Am circuit. During her high school years at LI, Janet was on school athletic teams (field hockey, skiing, track) every season.

Academically, she was inducted into the National Honor Society for her junior and senior years and graduated with high honors in 1977. Personal high school skiing achievements include: state champion in slalom (four years), state champion in giant slalom (three years), Skimeister, New England champion in slalom and New England Skimeister (all senior year), leading her team to the state championship (junior year) and earning her a presence in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of Sports Illustrated Magazine in March of 1977.

Andrew Johnson, ‘96

Andrew joined the athletics staff at Middlebury in 2013-14 as the head coach of the Nordic ski program. The former Panther skier and two-time United States Olympian came to Middlebury from the University of Vermont, where he served as an assistant coach for three years, helping the Catamounts to the 2012 NCAA title.

Andrew was honored as the 2017-18 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Coach of the Year after the Panthers qualified a full squad for the NCAA Championships. Before joining the Catamounts, Andrew was an assistant Nordic coach at the University of Utah during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. While at Utah, he earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies.

A native of Greensboro, Andrew was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1999-2007. He competed in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. He also competed in the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Andrew was the U.S. National Champion in cross-country skiing in 2005 and 2006. Andrew began his career at Middlebury where he was a three-time NCAA All-American from 1997-99 under head coach Terry Aldrich. He was the U.S. Junior National Champion in cross-country skiing in 1996.

Ron Dunphy, ‘59

Dunphy competed in football and track. His natural speed and agility contributed to both teams enjoying great success. Ron started making his mark his sophomore year on the track team as he grew stronger and started to train seriously. That hard work began paying dividends and in his junior year he became the first recipient of the Burns and Lewis Award for earning the most points in a single season, 45. Also that year, he was state champion in the 100, 220, and 440 setting both LI and state records in those events. The boys track team won the state championship that year and competed in the New England Championship.

The team repeated its championship the following year and Ron again captured the title in the 100-yard dash. Ron considers himself grateful for his LI years not only for his accomplishments but also because he got to train and compete with other athletes such as Bob Heath, Tim Simpson and Ralph Devereaux.

Ron married his high school sweetheart, Leora (Thompson) Dunphy in 1960, who was also a classmate. They had four daughters Pamela, Patricia (Tissy), Paula and Peggy, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Ron joined the National Guard after graduation and worked as head of maintenance at the Lyndon Town School. Ron and his family have a long tradition at Lyndon Institute as his mother, his brother, his children, and some of his grandchildren are LI grads.

Lori Dane-Alexander, ‘77

A true product of the Northeast Kingdom, Lori was born the second of four children to Marion and Dick Dane of Sheffield. At LI, she participated in cross country, track, indoor track, and gymnastics. Lori excelled in all her athletic endeavors during one of the true “Golden Ages” of LI athletics in the mid-1970s. An excellent student, she was inducted into the National Honor Society during her senior year.

Lori entered the University of Vermont in 1977 on a partial track scholarship. She graduated from UVM in the spring of 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Reading. Lori taught in the NEK for 30 years, retiring in 2011. She is currently in her 40th year in education, teaching kindergarten in North Charleston, SC.

Lori has two adult children, Damon and Morgan, from her marriage to Kerry Smith of Wheelock and has recently been blessed with three grandchildren. She currently resides in Charleston, SC with her husband Jerry Alexander.

Four Teams

1975-77 Vermont and New England Champion Boys Combined Ski Champions

The decade of the 1970’s was truly one of the Golden Ages of LI Viking athletics, especially in cross country running, Alpine and XC skiing, and track and field. Many of the names being inducted into the inaugural LI Hall of Fame were stars in those years.

The boys ski team of 1974, led by Paul Wheeler, had drawn a bead on the Vermont title only to see their hopes slip away as a host of broken XC skis on an ice-encrusted course left them mere seconds from first place behind host Brattleboro. Those not graduating vowed to train harder, ski faster, and jump longer the next winter and bring the trophy back to LI where it had not resided for several years. They probably had no idea their dedication and coaching would lead to three consecutive years of championship skiing.

Soon after the championship years the title format was changed. First, ski jumping was eliminated (liability fears) both in high school and in college. Then alpine skiing and cross country became separate sports and the New England Ski Championship meet was discontinued which is the current format today, making LI the last of the four-way powerhouse ski teams in Vermont and New England.

1954 Girls Basketball Team District B Champions

Coach Jim Riddervold’s undefeated girls’ basketball team had its best season in 1953-54, copping 11 straight games straight with not one loss. The six league games with Derby, Orleans and Newport offered little trouble giving the Lyndon Lassies a nice trophy as Champions of the Northeastern Girls’ Basketball B Division for the third time in a row for the senior members.

The starting six were Marjorie (Greenwood) Legge, Nancy (Shonyo) Rahm, Sybil (Shonyo) Hazen as forwards, and Nancy (Davis) Hill, Mary Ann (Greenwood) Dennis, and Mary (Charron) Farino as guards. Good teamwork, faithful bench substitutes and junior varsity players did a lot towards making a successful season.

1966 Football Team State Champions

Football at LI generates spontaneous enthusiasm and pride from the entire student body. With this support the Vikings are encouraged to train and play in unison. The 1966 team was decked in flashy new uniforms and had the determination to win. On the helmets white wings, designed by the school’s art teacher, Miss Koury, became a symbol of the team’s speed and stamina. For the first time training camp was conducted in late August. During the 11-day training sessions the boys developed in mind, muscle and competitive spirit.

A telegram from the Minnesota Vikings Football Club was received that year sending them “The best of luck in one of the oldest rivalries in football-Beat St. J!” “To win all games and then lose to St. Johnsbury…this is like eating cake without the frosting, you can have anything in this world if you want it bad enough” – Coach Al Reilly. With these oft-repeated words ringing in the team’s ears, the Vikings crowned the season 7-6 against the Hilltoppers. Because of the exceptional record posted, Lyndon Institute was named co-champions Class II, by the Vermont Headmasters’ Association. The team members and coaches remember when Fred Bona fulfilled his promise to the team and footed the bill for a steak dinner prepared by many of the LI Boosters at the Lyndon Outing Club.

1956, 1957, 1958, Boys Track State Champions

The 1956 track team had only won one dual meet, yet was the first team in history to win a state championship without placing first in any of the events. Bernie Simpson, Jim Willard, Ron Sherburne, and Tim Simpson took fourth in the mile medley to put the team in first place.

The 1957 team only lost three out of eight meets, but came back to win the state meet. This was the second time in a row for the first-place finish.

The 1958 team went undefeated. The best track team to represent Lyndon Institute at that time, and perhaps the best track team to represent any school in Vermont, they won the state interscholastic championship for the third time. This was not a divisional championship; this was the best team in the entire state.

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