Mary Jasinski

Mary Jasinski

The Vermont Principals’ Association annual meeting with the media covered myriad topics this month including the VPA Hall of Fame.

Getting someone to nominate people for their HOF is a little like getting Woody Hayes or Darrell Royal to throw a pass. OK, my references are slightly dated but there is always Google. Besides, everyone loves to air the ball out now, right?

Mike Donoghue, a member of the VPA Hall of Fame committee, was at the meeting. He said that the nominations tend to be pretty good for athletes of recent vintage but it is the athletes from earlier eras that tend to get overlooked.

Jay Nichols, the VPA’s Executive Director, pointed out that female athletes seemed to be slighted most in the nomination process.

There are numerous categories that someone can be considered for when it comes to the VPA Hall of Fame. Officials, administrators, contributors and coaches in addition to athletes are all considered.

But in keeping with the comments from Donoghue and Nichols, here are three female athletes from earlier eras who should be iron-clad locks for the VPA Hall on the women’s side.

Oxbow’s Karin Dwyer: She was a 1,000-point scorer at Oxbow in basketball before graduating in 1982 and followed that up by scoring 1,256 points at Cornell University.

A more impressive line on her resume comes in the track and field arena. She won the state pentathlon championship in 1980 and then when the girls’ event was switched to the heptathlon in 1982, she won that state title, also.

She is in the Cornell University Hall of Fame.

Heather Pancake: Brattleboro’s Pancake won the Vermont heptathlon in 1996 and went on to become a national champion in the event at Wheaton College in Illinois.

She was a four-time NCAA Division III All-American at Wheaton where she won the national heptathlon championship in 1999 and 2000.

She did not limit herself to one sport at Wheaton. She scored 944 career points and hauled down 692 rebounds in basketball.

She is in the Wheaton College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mary Rose Jasinski: Jasinski was the first 1,000-point scorer in girls basketball at Springfield High School. She amassed 1,121 points before graduating in 1977.

But her calling card for the VPA Hall is her exploits on the softball diamond where she was a dominant pitcher.

Jasinski rang up a gaudy 60-5 record and had one stretch where she won 31 straight games. She pitched the Cosmos to state championships in 1974 and 1976.

Her softball achievements earned her a spot in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section.

There are so many more deserving athletes, male and female, who have been overlooked or forgotten over the years.

These are only three of the many who are HOF worthy without question.

VPA Associate Executive Director Bob Johnson stressed that the committee is looking for more than names. They want documentation of the nominee’s career.

He also said that more weight is given to the athletes’ high school career but that performances after high school can be part of the package.

My guess is that if you are a sports fan anywhere in Vermont, from Richford to Rockingham, you can think of someone in your hometown who truly deserves induction.

Everyone who has been inducted into the VPA Hall of Fame is listed on the VPA’s web site in alphabetical order.

Check it out. I think you might be surprised at who is not on the list.


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