HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Hampden-Sydney College and the Athletics Hall of Fame recently announced its 25th class to be inducted on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at 11 am in the Kirk Athletic Center. Included in the Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are former soccer and lacrosse greats, and three Hampden-Sydney athletics fixtures. The five man class features soccer star Jeff Mencini '84, lacrosse standout Tom Oast '00, and three special citation alumni in John Ellis ’70, Bill Kirk ’72, and Joe Viar ’63.
In his three year soccer career, Jeff Mencini was a two-time ODAC Player of the Year, earning the title along with First Team honors in 1981 and 1983. He still stands as one of the program’s best goal scorers as his 21 goals in 1981 are a school record, and his 15 goals in 1983 stand second. He ranks second in career goals with 46 and career points with 105, and his 47 points in 1981 are a program best. In the ODAC ranks, he is in the top ten for career goals though just playing three years. His rookie mark of 21 goals is tied for third in league history.
Tom Oast is regarded as one of the best lacrosse defensemen to play at Hampden-Sydney. Oast was a four-year letter winner from 1997 to 2000 while helping the Tigers to an ODAC Championship in 1998 and NCAA appearances in 1998 and 1999. As a junior, Oast earned First Team All-ODAC and Third Team All-America honors. He topped his junior year by earning First Team All-ODAC and First Team All-America honors while being named the 2000 ODAC Player of the Year. In addition, Oast led the nation in ground balls that season with 123 – a mark that ranks second all time in school history.
Ellis, a 1970 graduate, played one year of varsity baseball in 1967 before founding the College’s rugby program in 1968 and serving as team captain for two years. Ellis has since been a vital part in increasing rugby’s status to a varsity club program – the only in the state of Virginia. Heavily involved as a student, he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Circle K Club, and the president of the Virginia Association of Student Governments. Ellis’ strong involvement has continued in his post graduate years as he has served on the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees for nine of the last 11 years and helped support the College and the athletic department in immeasurable ways.
Kirk played four years of football and two years of wrestling and saw success at both. On the gridiron, Kirk was a four-year starter and earned All-State and All Mason-Dixon Conference honors as a senior while leading the Tigers to their first ever 10-0 season in 1971. The defensive tackle started on a defense that led the nation in total and scoring defense. As a wrestler, Kirk finished fourth overall in the 1970 Mason-Dixon Tournament. Since his graduation, Kirk has served on the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees for five years. In addition, he was the major benefactor for the Kirk Athletic Center, drastically improving the athletic department.
Viar was a two-way player on the football field as a defensive end and tight end from 1959-62. As a senior, he led the team in receiving yards with 204 to go with a touchdown. He was also named First Team All Mason-Dixon Conference and All Little-Eight that season. Viar has shown continued support and devotion to the College throughout the years, highlighted by co-founding the Athletics Hall of Fame with Hall of Fame Athletic Director Louis “Weenie” Miller; he has served as the Master of Ceremonies of the induction ceremony for a number of years. In addition, Viar serves on the Gridiron Club Advisory Board and has served on the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees for ten of the last 12 years. He is now a Trustee Emeritus.
The Hampden-Sydney College Athletic Hall of Fame was created in 1988 and is designed to honor men who have made outstanding contributions to Hampden-Sydney athletics and have helped bring recognition, honor, excellence and distinction to the College and its intercollegiate athletics program. Members are selected annually by the Hall of Fame Committee from nominations submitted by alumni and friends of the College.