Glory Days

Coach Kelly Wakeman

Former women’s soccer coach Kelly Wakeman waves to supporters at the spring reunion event.

In celebration of Montgomery College’s 70th anniversary, the Alumni Office and the Athletic Department welcomed home more than 40 former student-athletes from six different teams in February. Alumni from men’s and women’s basketball, football, tennis, women’s soccer, and track and field enjoyed a catered reception and an introduction to the fans between the women’s and men’s basketball games.

The group included athletes from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and more recent players from the 1990s and 2000s. Several members of the 2011 National Championship women’s soccer team and their coach, Kelly Wakeman, were recognized in celebration of the five-year anniversary of their championship season. Several attendees agreed to help reinvigorate the dormant “MC Club,” the alumni letter winners’ society.

Tony Upson, Andrian Stewart, and Daniel Scott

Tony Upson, Andrian Stewart, and Daniel Scott

Among the former athletes introduced was Dr. Peter Hartsock ’66. In the 1960s, Hartsock, now age 70, was a member of MC’s first track team (he has not stopped running since).

“I remember good people at the College, especially on the team,” says Hartsock. “When you are intensely involved with people on a daily basis, you get a good feeling working out together and being together hours and hours every day.”

Even after many decades away, Hartsock remains enthusiastic about the value of a Montgomery College education. “MC is a good place and you won’t end up in debt for all eternity; you get a good education and go on from there. The College gives you a stepping stone and you move on,” he says. Hartsock did just that, earning a PhD and spending much of his career as an AIDS researcher.

Socrates Koutsoutis ’56 attended the College between 1954 and 1956 and played on the football team as well as an intramural boxing team. He says it was a thrill to play in the College’s first bowl game—against North Carolina’s Chowan College—which MC won 12–0 in November of 1954. Koutsoutis and his teammates were inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame last year.

And like Dr. Hartsock, Koutsoutis says the College provided him a much-needed education boost. “I was a bad student in high school and did as little as possible to get through. At MC, the attention from instructors and small classes gave me the foundation to move forward in my education.” Today, he generously helps the students who followed in his footsteps with the Socrates and Anne Koutsoutis Statue of Liberty Endowed Scholarship for first-year students.

Women’s basketball alumni (left to right): Shaniquewa Barnes, Porcha Davis, Melissa Weithman, LaKisha Nickens-Gaither, Angela Noel, and Tiffani Williams (back row)

Women’s basketball alumni (left to right): Shaniquewa Barnes, Porcha Davis, Melissa Weithman, LaKisha Nickens-Gaither, Angela Noel, and Tiffani Williams (back row)

Coach Wakeman’s satisfaction with her time at MC comes from seeing her former student athletes succeed.

“It’s been great to see how lives grow; girls that have gotten married, have finished degrees, have jobs,” she says. “I think one of the true measures of a coach comes later down the line when you see your former players as people, as members of the society,” Wakeman says. “The fact that they are contributing so much and are such positive people is as meaningful to me as a national championship.”

Greg Enloe, director of alumni relations and associate athletic director, calls the event a success—not only in terms of a full house, but in terms of connections made. “If you can link the past to the present,” he says, “you help ensure a strong future for these programs and the College.”

And a strong link it is. With the alumni in the stands cheering on the current men’s and women’s basketball teams that afternoon, both emerged with decisive wins over Harford Community College.

—Fritzi Bodenheimer

Fightin’ Knights Remembered

Nearly 200 former players, coaches, and team personnel from the 1960s through 2002—including Hall of Fame Coach Phil Martin—gathered at the College’s inaugural Football Reunion last December. Special recognition was given to the 1986 Fightin’ Knights, who lost in the Mid-American Bowl, the NJCAA national championships.


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