There may be six new inductees into the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Athletic Hall of Fame this year, but for MCLA athletic director Scott Nichols, there are two who stand out as first among equals.
Ron Shewcraft, who coached men's soccer at the school for 29 years, is going into the Hall of Fame for the second time. He is already in as the head coach of the 1978 North Adams State team that went to the NCAA Division III Final Four.
"He's a longtime legend at the college," said Nichols. "I thought it was a great time to honor him."
Nichols said honoring Nick Cote, who graduated in 2004, also stands out because Cote played for the last hockey teams, as the school dropped the sport after the 2003 season.
"It's a great recognition," said Nichols. "He's one of the greatest players in the school's history."
The two of them will join Pittsfield native Jennifer Maloney Roosa, Kristin Parzych Hildabrand, Bob Delaney and Mike Mason as inductees.
They will all be honored on Feb. 22, at the Bounti-Fare Restaurant in Adams. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Shewcraft was on the coaching staff in North Adams for 30 years, spending the first year as an assistant. Shewcraft's career record is 292-184-46. His teams made seven NCAA Division III tournaments and made 16 postseason appearances. MCLA won five MASCAC titles under Shewcraft.
Dave Pereira and Brian Harlow, both members of the MCLA Hall of Fame, were named All-Americans in 1992 and 1986, respectively. They are two of eight soccer players who played for Shewcraft in the Hall of Fame. The latest is Mason, who played on the 1978 team and then played for the 1979 MASCAC champions.
"In the history of the college, you look at Joe Zavattaro and Ron Shewcraft as icons of the school," said Nichols. "Nobody had the impact they did at the school or in the community."
Shewcraft may not be coaching soccer any more, but he is still the chairman of the college's department of physical education.
Cote played three years for MCLA, scoring 73 goals and 31 assists. He led the Trailblazers to the ECAC championship game in 2001-02. He led all of Division III in goals in 2002-03 and was a first-team All-ECAC selection for two consecutive years.
"To be able to recognize someone who played on the last team and is one of the best players is a special thing," said Nichols.
Roosa was a three-sport athlete at Pittsfield High School, playing soccer and basketball and running track. In college, the former Jen Maloney scored 41 career goals and helped lead MCLA to the 1994 MASCAC regular-season title. A two-time All-New England pick, the 1996 graduate was also the team's MVP twice.
Delaney, who graduated in 1976, played baseball for Zavattaro, was the team's MVP in 1975 and was the men's soccer MVP in 1973. He captained the soccer team in 1974.
A softball standout, Hildabrand holds the school record for career stolen bases (62), runs batted in (110) and runs scored (146). She also ranks in the top four in hits, home runs and batting average. Hildabrand, who graduated in 2000, was a two-year captain.