Herkimer College Announces Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Herkimer College announces the upcoming induction of five individuals and one team to the Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, September 29. The inductees selected for the Class of 2017 have made outstanding contributions to the institution through intercollegiate athletics. Cindy Kemler, Newport, NY, is being inducted for her contributions as a student-athlete.

Kemler led the Generals to their first two regional championships in women’s basketball in 1979 and 1980. She was the first woman from New York State to be named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball All-American (1980). She averaged 18.3 points per game and 15 rebounds per game at the national tournament and was named to the All-Tournament team. She is a former West Canada Valley high school standout and is employed by Herkimer Elementary School. Kemler is also a well-respected basketball and soccer official for Section III.

Chris Wittman, Utica, NY, was a member of the 1985 and 1986 men’s basketball teams. In his first year, he averaged 12 points per game and 10 assists, followed by 10 points per game and 10.2 assists his sophomore year. In both years, Wittman and his team were Mid-East Regional Champions. In 1986, Wittman set a single game school record with 19 assists. Also that year, Wittman was named 1st Team Region III All Zone All Star along with 1st Team Region III All-Tournament Team recognition. The team ended the 1986 season ranked 4th nationally and with a 30-0 record in New York State and a Region III championship. Whittman was then recruited by several schools, and accepted a division full athletic scholarship to Rutgers University in New Jersey. Whittman is currently employed with Aldridge Electric in Illinois where he is a project engineer for the drilling division.

Brandon Jones, Sacramento, CA, was a baseball star at Herkimer College in 2009 and 2010. He was team captain in 2010, and was named 2010 Region III Player of the Year, Region III All-Tournament Team, First Team All-American, First Team All-Region and All Conference Team. Jones holds single season records for homeruns (9), runs batted in (55) and hits (76). Jones continued his education at the College of Saint Rose, and is a sales and service technician at Zap Termite and Pest Control.

Richard Law, Canastota, NY, was a successful lacrosse player at Herkimer College in 1978. Law was the first lacrosse All-American at Herkimer and led the country in scoring 40 goals, 27 assists and 67 points in 13 games. He was the team captain for two years and received the Herkimer College MVP Lacrosse Award in 1978. Law was recognized with First Team All-Region honors for two years and was named First Team All-American in 1978. After graduation, Law was recruited by several major universities to play lacrosse, but instead chose to enter at his father’s business, Robert H. Law, Inc., and eventually took the company over in 1992.

Perry Nizzi, Frankfort, NY, served as head men’s soccer coach from 1981-1998, with a record of 291-56-11. He guided the Generals to three NJCAA Division III championships in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Herkimer established a national collegiate record for the longest winning streak in any sport with 97 consecutive victories. As a result of those accomplishments, Nizzi was inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Nizzi received the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association award for outstanding contributions in the field of intercollegiate soccer in 1999. He was inducted into the Rome Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Nizzi graduated from Rome Free Academy where he earned high school all-America honors. He enjoyed an all-America playing career at Mohawk Valley Community College and continued his education at SUNY Cortland. He was one of eight inducted into Cortland's C-Club Hall of Fame in 2009. Nizzi is in his 19th year as head soccer coach at Hamilton College.

The 1994 men’s soccer team, coached by Perry Nizzi, will be inducted for winning the men’s soccer program’s first-ever national championship in 1994. Team members included: Juan Arboleda, Emilio Biello, Matt Carey, Matt Convertino, Marcello Corea, Brian Dutcher, Matt Earl, Paul Fekete, Mike Fornino, Andy Gifford, Matt Green, Nate Horton, Matt Malowski, Dan McCall, Frank McKenzie, John Murray, Morgan Scott, Rich Mussi, Brian Myers, Adetoye Oshoniyi, Jeff Rauber, Mike Rochette, Chris Saggese, Dave Seipp, John Shafer, Peter Sisera, Brian Thomas, Josh Thomas, Tami Thomas, Enrique Wissar and Rich Zysik.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Friday, September 29. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a strolling dinner and cocktails, induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. followed by a social hour with dessert. The fee is $45 per person. For reservations, contact the Herkimer County College Foundation Office at (315) 574-4015.

More information about the Herkimer College Athletic Hall of Fame is available at www.herkimergenerals.com/hof.

Herkimer County Community College’s national championship athletic program is a Division III member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and has amassed 53 national, 105 regional and 148 conference championships. Herkimer is ranked first in the nation among NJCAA non-scholarship athletic programs by winning the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup, based on athletic success in championship competition.

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