The Class of 2008 Inductees:
A freshman would have a difficult time making a bigger impression than Steve Camara (Southeastern Massachusetts University '77) did to the Corsair baseball team in 1973. A year out of pitching at Fall River's Durfee High, Camara walked into Coach Bruce Wheeler's baseball program and posted a 6-0 mark in his first season. Camara continued to carry the load for the Corsairs throughout his four-year career, setting several pitching records, including one that stands out more than 32 years after his final game. Camara holds the UMass Dartmouth career record for shutouts with nine, while also holding second in both career strikeouts (220) and complete games (22) and is third in career starts (37). What isn't apparent in the record books was Camara's competitiveness. During an era when then SMU traveled throughout the region and beyond playing Division I and II schools, Camara's performance against the University of Maryland in 1976 stands out. After the Corsairs took an early 1-0 lead, only to go on to lose 18-1 in the first game of a doubleheader, it was left to Camara to salvage the day. He responded with a one-hit shutout (the hit deflected off his glove) to lift his team to a doubleheader split. In his nomination letter, teammate Steve Taber wrote, "Steve was a true competitor in every sense of the word. When Steve took the mound, we always knew we had a very good chance to win and most of the time we did."
As part of Bob Dowd's track and field program which produced a handful of national champion, countless All-America selections and several candidates for the Corsair Hall of Fame, Dale Whiting (Southeastern Massachusetts University '85) accomplished a rare feat during his collegiate track and field career. Whiting was the first Division III student-athlete from New England to ever win the All-New England Outdoor Decathlon Championship. Competing against the best track athletes from all divisions in the region, Whiting won the New England championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships. He also won a second New England Division title during his career. Twenty-four years after establishing the UMass Dartmouth decathlon record of 6,452 points, Whiting's mark still stands among the record-setting performances by UMass Dartmouth track and field athletes. Since the Olympic decathlon champion is often considered the "best all-around athlete in the world," the argument could be made that Dale Whiting is the best all-around athlete to ever represent this institution. According to his long-time track and field coach Bob Dowd, "Dale Whiting's athletic performance in ten events, ranging from running to throwing to jumping to vaulting, over a two-day period is one of the best overall athletic efforts I ever witnessed in my coaching experience."
Bill Casey (UMass Dartmouth '96) is the first Corsair football player to be inducted into the Corsair Hall of Fame in the 20-year history of the sport at UMass Dartmouth. In his first season Casey did everything asked of him, playing wide receiver, defensive back and special teams. Casey took his first snaps at quarterback late in his freshman year and was the starter as a sophomore. By the end of his career he had led the Corsairs to their first championship season and post-season experience. As a sophomore, Casey was the Corsairs' second-leading scorer with nine touchdowns, rushing for 560 yards as UMass Dartmouth posted a 5-3 mark in 1993. Casey's junior year was the breakout campaign for Corsair football as Casey led them to a then-school record of 8-3, a share of the New England Football Conference title, and an invitation to the ECAC North-West Bowl game. Casey was the NEFC First Team All-Star quarterback and first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in season when he picked up 1,123 yards. Casey led the NEFC in total offense with 164.3 yards per game, and threw for nine touchdowns and another 611 yards. In his senior season, Casey rushed for 493 yards, threw for another 561 yards, scored three touchdowns and threw for five more. For his career, Casey finished with 2,202 yards rushing, an average of 4.3 yards per carry, 22 touchdowns, 18 TD passes, 10 pass receptions, and two interceptions. For his career, he accounted for 4, 299 yards of total offense. Casey's accomplishments are many but one of his records will live forever in NCAA football history. Casey tied an NCAA record with a 99-yard run from scrimmage in a 13-0 win over Norwich in 1995.
Maura McDonald (UMass Dartmouth '99) finished her four-year collegiate career by competing in the 1999 NCAA Division III National Track and Field Championships. A national championship qualification was a fitting end to a career which spanned five years with competition in both cross country and track and field. McDonald's accomplishments are numerous and distinguished, having achieved regional and national success in both events. McDonald was the 1996 Little East Conference cross country champion, while helping her team to the LEC title. She was LEC runner up in 1998, also earning All-New England Regional Team honors that same year. During the outdoor track season of 1998, McDonald posted the LEC record in the 3000 meters, a mark that still stands at 10:57.09. Her best year in track was 1999 when she set the LEC outdoor record in the 5000, took second indoors, earning Div III All-New England Honors and was the ECAC Indoor champion at 5000 meters, posting a personal best 17:30. She qualified for the 1999 NCAA Div. III Indoor nationals, placed seventh nationally, and earned New England Alliance championships at both 1500 and 1000 meters. In total, she earned four LEC conference championships indoors and two more outdoors. In the UMass Dartmouth track and field record book, McDonald has seven top-six records, her best is second all-time in the 1500 meters and a pair of thirds in the indoor 1000 and outdoor 5000 meters.
Mike Lane's (UMass Dartmouth '02) name is prominent in UMass Dartmouth's record books, holding four individual records more than 10 years after his last collegiate competition. A four-time NCAA Division III All-America, Lane's best finish was a second place in the 200-yard Breast at the 1997 NCAA Division III championships along with three other top-eight national championship race finishes. During the 1997 season, Lane rewrote the Corsair record book in the breast stroke, establishing school records in the 50 (26.58), 100 (56.89) and 200 (2:03.35), while also setting the record for the 100 IM (54.63). Lane was a three-time New England Intercollegiate champion and record holder while going undefeated in dual meet competition in eight individual events. Lane's collegiate swimming career is only part of a body of competitive work that has spanned almost his entire life. He has over twenty years of competitive swimming experience. During that time, Lane was a 16-time All-American and a 5-time national individual and relay champion in collegiate and masters' swimming. At the age of 35, Lane was a finalist at the 2006 Speedo Sectional Championships in both breaststroke events. In the summer of 2006 at the Final Masters World Championships he took three individual top-five places and three relay top-three finishes including a World and American record-breaking finish in the 200-medley relay.
The 1997-98 UMass Dartmouth ice hockey team was represented by (front row, left to right) Jon Ruel, Nick Siciliano, Brian Keavaney, Coach Rolli, Jim Egan, Jeramie DiBona, Chris Cunningham and Shawn Alles. Standing in the rear are (l-r) Rainer John Burke, Kim Clarke, Ryan Sloper, Mark Aguiar, Steve Bartkus, Bob Marrone, Jared DiBona and Jamie DiBona.
In 34 ice hockey seasons at UMass Dartmouth, the record for most victories in a four-year span belongs to the senior class of 1998. Their overall record of 92-14-2 (.861 winning percentage) produced three ECAC championships in four years with only an overtime loss in 1996 preventing a four-year sweep. The 1997-98 Corsair Ice Hockey Team capped that great run with a 22-5 overall record and a third league championship. Coach John Rolli's team finished the season with a 4-2 ECAC North/Central/South championship game victory at St. Michael's College, their third straight road victory in the tournament. Defenseman Kayne Beaudry selected as the game's Most Outstanding Player, scored the game-winner late in the first period. Goalie Ryan Sloper completed a solid playoff run with 23 saves for the victory, his third in as many games. Captain Steve Bartkus and Beaudry were ECAC Central All-League selections as well as New England Hockey Writers Division III All-Stars. Bartkus was the team's leading scorer (28-30-58), with Jim Egan second (21-21-42), followed by Jamie DiBona (20-17-37) and Pat Shultz (17-19-36). Sloper and Louis Weimann shared the Corsairs' goaltending duties as Sloper posted an 11-3 record with one shutout, a 3.80 GAA and a .892 saves percentage, while Weimann was 10-2 with a 3.87 GAA and a .880 saves percentage. Bartkus and Schultz placed their names in the Corsair record books. Bartkus set power play records for both a season (13) and career (29). Schultz set shorthanded goal records for a single-season (seven) and career (8).