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Bethany Athletics Hall of Fame to Induct Five New Members

Oct. 7 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct five new members this weekend during Homecoming festivities on campus, October 10-11.

Starting the weekend will be the tenth annual Hugh “Tiger” Joyce Golf Outing, which will take place on the morning of Friday, October 10. The golf scramble will be held at the Highland Springs Golf Course on Washington Pike in Wellsburg. Following the event, the Hall of Fame dinner will be held in Commencement Hall on Bethany’s Campus at 6 p.m.

The 2014 Hall of Fame Class includes softball standout Jodi Jackfert (’98); men’s tennis All-PAC winner Michael Mezerski (’99); women’s basketball star Jill (Kamerer) Smith (’01); women’s swimming & diving standout Kathleen (McGowan) Wack (’98); and men’s basketball sharpshooter Nevada Smith (’02).

Jackfert, a graduate of Buckeye Local High School, was a star pitcher for the Bison between the years of 1995-1998 and helped Bethany to two conference championships in 1995 and 1997. A two-time First-Team All-PAC selection, Jackfert was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year in 1997. In the following season, Jackfert was named an All-Region Third-Team selection by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The top season for Jackfert was 1997, as she finished the year with five single-season Bison records. She totaled 25 wins in that season and finished the year with 30 complete games in 32 starts. She also pitched in a record 211 innings and posted 10 shutouts on the year. It has been 17 years since Jackfert completed those accomplishments, and the records remain standing today. In ’97, Jackfert also helped the Bison win the PAC Championships and earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Tournament, the first NCAA appearance in program history.

Upon her graduation, Jackfert held the all-time marks in wins (61-30), strikeouts (221), games started (91) and complete games (88). She also was second on the all-time list in earned run average (1.44) upon the conclusion of her career. Currently, Jackfert still holds the records in starts and complete games, ranks second in wins, fifth in strikeouts and fourth in ERA.

Jodi, who earned a degree in psychology in 1998, currently resides in Martins Ferry, Ohio, where she works as the school psychologist and Special Education Director for the Martins Ferry school system.

Mezerski, a Wheeling Park graduate, was a four-year letterwinner for the Bison men’s tennis program and helped the Bethany men’s tennis team to a few successful seasons, including a 17-1 mark in 1999. Mezerski was a four-time First Team All-PAC selection, and earned Second Team honors twice.

Both in 1997 and in 1999, Mezerski took home two titles. During the ’97 season, he won both the No. 2 singles championship and the No. 1 doubles crown. After earning second-place in No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles in ’98, he repeated his 1997 feat by once again taking titles in No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.

Having won over 100 matches in his career, Mazerski posted a record of 58-14 in singles action during his tenure while also earning national rankings in 1998 and 1999. Also a champion in the classroom, Mazerski earned Eastern College Athletic Conference and PAC Scholar Athlete awards as a senior in 1999. He also earned the Bethany Presidential Scholarship and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in financial economics.

Michael currently resides in Mars, Pa., with his wife Maggie and nine-month old daughter, Mackenzie. He is employed as a legal officer in business development for ChemADVISOR, Inc.

Smith, a graduate of Buckeye Local High School, was a four-year letterwinner for a Bison women’s basketball program that won four PAC Championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. As a freshman, Smith averaged 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds as a reserve player, helping Bethany to its first PAC title. After missing most of the ’98 season due to an injury, she bounced back to earn her initial First-Team All-PAC award, leading the conference in scoring at 16.6 points per game.

Smith then when on to earn First-Team All-PAC honors in both the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons. In 1999-00, she led the league in scoring (19.7 points per game) while ranking first in field goal percentage (51.5) and third in rebounds (7.5/game). In the following year, Smith was named conference MVP after leading the conference in points per game for the second straight year (20.5). She then averaged a double-double in the PAC Championship Tournament (19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds) in helping the Bison to their third NCAA Tournament appearance.

Smith finished her career as the Bison’s all-time leading scorer at 1,914 points, a record which still stands today. She also held the Bethany single-season record for points (551) until it was broken by Kelley Richardson in 2002.

Jill currently resides in Erlanger, Kentucky with her husband Justin and two sons, Jace and Jett. A graduate of the Bethany physical education program, Smith is currently employed with the Grant County School District as a physical education instructor.

Wack was a four-year letterwinner for the Bison Swimming & Diving team and was recently selected as a member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference 60th Anniversary team. She was also a standout performer in both cross country and track & field.

In the pool, Wack earned All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference honors 20 times, including three second- team awards. Making her mark in relays, she has held records in the 200, 400, and 800 yard freestyle relays, as well as the 200 and 400 yard medley relays. She was named Bethany’s Most Valuable Swimmer in 1996.

As a runner, she earned Cross Country Academic All-American three times, and was a previous record holder in the 800-meter run for track & field.

Academically, Wack was a NCAA Woman of the Year winner for the state of West Virginia, and was a nominee for the National award. She was also a PAC Academic Honor Roll recipient six times, including the fall and spring semesters in ’95, ’96 and ’97. As a graduate of the Bethany physical education program, she earned Summa Cum Laude and was also a member of the Gamma Sigma Kappa Scholarship Society as well as the Phi Delta Psi Physical Education Honorary Society.

Kathleen currently resides in Wheeling with her husband Josh and their children Shannon, Brennan and Caroline. A member of the Brooke High School Hall of Fame, Wack currently works at West Liberty University as an instructor of physical education.

Smith, a Kiski Area High School graduate, was a two-sport athlete for the Bison, playing both basketball and golf while at Bethany. Smith earned four All-PAC honors during his tenure, capturing three in basketball and one Second-Team All-PAC honor on the golf course. On the basketball court, he helped the Bison to back-to-back conference championships in 2001 and 2002.

After earning Honorable Mention status in 1999-2000, Smith garnered a First-Team All-PAC selection following the 2000-01 campaign. During that year, Smith led the nation in made three-point field goals (101) and ranked in the top five in three-point field goal percentage (49.5).

During his senior campaign, Smith helped lead the Bison to another PAC title, finishing the year with 109 made three pointers while shooting 46.0 percent from deep. That season, he also set the Bethany single-season record for free throw percentage, shooting 93.5 percent from the charity stripe for the year.

Smith, finished his career as Bethany’s leader in three pointers made (313) and free throw percentage (87.0). He also posted a .466 three-point percentage in his four-year tenure, ranking him second on the all-time list. He played in 105 career games, which ranks eighth all-time at Bethany.

Following his playing career and after graduating from Bethany with a degree in sports management, Smith went into coaching. After time as an assistant, he spent two years at Keystone College as the head men’s basketball coach. During that time, the Giants posted a 39-16 record and made it to back-to-back CSAC Championship Games.

Smith was then hired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the National Basketball Association’s developmental league, where he currently serves as the team’s head coach. The Vipers are the D-League team of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. In his first season, the Vipers posted a 30-20 record, ranking first in the D-League in points per game (123.1). He also led the Vipers to the NBDL semifinals in his first year.

The newly inducted members of the Bethany Hall of Fame will be presented their plaques at Bison Stadium during a pregame ceremony before the Homecoming football game against Carnegie Mellon.