CASTLETON — There was a theme developing as each of the three former Castleton University athletes spoke at their Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday. They were grateful for their Castleton experience and what it did for them in their lives since.
Mat Parker, Carolyn Griggs Brown and Mike Cronin made certain to show their gratitude to the school and those who helped them along the way.
Parker, the Director of Athletics, Activities and Program Development, for the Rockford Public School District in Illinois, said of Castleton “I was not recruited by anyone and you guys gave me the opportunity.”
He said teammates like Justin Brink would tell him when he was “going down the wrong path.”
Brink introduced Parker, calling him “an incredible teammate.”
Parker, a 1997 Castleton graduate, has the second-best 3-point field goal percentage in Castleton history and the second-most 3-pointers.
During his final year, Parker reached double digits in scoring in 25 of the 28 games.
Griggs was one of the most outstanding field hockey players to wear the Spartan green. She scored 63 goals in her career.
She was introduced by her Castleton coach Tammy Landon and her high school coach at Mount Abraham Mary Stetson was also on hand for the ceremony.
“Carolyn is talented as an athlete and always humble and always kind,” Landon said. “She certainly made her mark on Castleton field hockey.”
Griggs spoke of the trip the Castleton field hockey team took to Argentina, helping out at an orphanage.
“We had a blast,” she said.
She said she was not too excited about going to college originally.
But field hockey was a key ingredient in the overall experience.
“I not only loved the game but it was my outlet,” she said.
She said Landon helped make her days at Castleton that much richer.
“Her door was always open,” Griggs said.
She also said that Stetson was instrumental in her success.
“She took me under her wing. I would not have gone to college without her,” Griggs said.
She referenced the support she got at home.
“My parents have shown up since day one even though they knew nothing about field hockey,” she said.
Griggs Brown lives in Lincoln where she works as a home-to-school liaison.
Cronin is still actively involved in athletics at the age of 73. Following the Hall of Fame ceremony, he was off to officiate a semipro football game. He officiates games in three different semipro leagues.
Hall of Fame inductions are nothing new to him. The 1972 Castleton graduate is in the American Football Association’s Hall of Fame and the Capital District chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
Yet, when it comes to coaching, basketball is the game he is most readily associated with. He coached the Argyle High boys basketball team in New York State for nine years. The Scots compiled an impressive 144-43 record and had lavish success in the postseason.
He had a brief stint coaching in Vermont right out of college as the varsity boys basketball coach at Whitcomb High of Bethel.
He also served as the mayor of Hudson Falls, New York for 10 years.
The newest members of Castleton HOF were also introduced to the large homecoming crowd at halftime of the Castleton football game.