UNION, N.J. (2/24/17) – Kean University director of athletics Jack McKiernan announced that the Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame will be receiving seven new members into its ranks as the Class of 2017. Melissa Beyruti (women’s basketball), Pascal Clerigo (men’s soccer), Johanna Hedler (softball), Ebony Jackson (women’s basketball), Melissa Nunez (field hockey & women’s lacrosse), Perry Schatzow (baseball) and Jay Sgaramella (football) will be the honorees at the Hall of Fame’s April 20 induction ceremony.
The inductees were chosen by the Kean Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee and will take their place among the 124 current members of the Kean University Benisch Hall of Fame in April.
Melissa Beyruti is Kean’s all-time leading scorer and was a three-time MVP of a program that went to three NCAA Elite 8’s. She won two D’Angola Awards and is mentioned seven times in the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Record Book. She retired as the NCAA’s all-time leader in both three-pointers and games played. She was a part of three NJAC titles, was a three-time WBCA All-American and two-time D3Hoops.com All-American.
Pascal Clerigo was an important cog in the 1992 Kean Men’s Soccer national title-winning team. He helped lead the Cougars to their first national championship in any sport as the Cougars hosted the 1992 finals on East Campus. He was a three-time all-region selection by the NSCAA and All-NJAC in each of his four years.
Johanna Hedler was a standout both on the field and in the classroom for the softball program. The shortstop was twice named Kean’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned two degrees from the University. She garnered all-conference recognition all four years, retired as Kean’s all-time leader in runs scored and helped lead the Cougars to their first NCAA berth in 13 years in 2008.
Ebony Jackson owns the program record for assists in women’s basketball with 639 – the 20th most of anyone in Division III history. She ended her career fifth on the program’s all-time leading scoring chart with 1,250 points. She was an honorable mention All-American by both the WBCA and D3hoops.com and led the women’s basketball program to two NJAC titles and two Elite 8 appearances.
Melissa Nunez was a two-sport standout for the Cougars from 2001-05 in women’s lacrosse and field hockey. She was a dominating offensive player on the lacrosse field, where she typically took possession in the defensive zone and carried it down the field. She was named women’s lacrosse team MVP in 2005. She is one of only two Cougars ever to earn All-ECAC honors. In field hockey, she was a skilled midfielder and was twice named team MVP.
Perry Schatzow was one of the first in program history to be awarded the prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove for his defense during the 2007 National Championship campaign. He earned the game-winning hit in extra innings against Emory in the 2007 National Championship game, giving the program its first NCAA title. He was a two-time all-region selection.
Jay Sgaramella was the heart and soul of the football team during his four-year starting career. He led the Cougars for three consecutive years on the field as a starting quarterback before unselfishly switching positions for his senior campaign. He was a two-year captain, retired with the then school-recorded for completed passes and was second in both passing yards and yards from scrimmage.
The 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 20 in the North Avenue Academic Building. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact Jack McKiernan, Kean Director of Athletics, at (908) 737-0604 or [email protected]