BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Maria DeBonis Braxmeier '09; Tracy Fitzpatrick Franklin '09; Jeff Pukszyn '97; Jason Toedter '04 and Nathaniel Tussey '08 make up the class of 2019 that will be inducted into the Moravian College Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 11 in Johnston Hall. The 2005 women's soccer and 2007 softball teams will also be inducted that night while Gene Medei '61 will receive the Robert Martin Herbstman Award.
Maria DeBonis Braxmeier, who graduated from Moravian in 2009, was a four-year member of the softball squad although she missed her freshman season after an injury while competing for the Greyhounds' volleyball team in the first week of her collegiate career. DeBonis was selected to the 2007 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-America Second Team while helping the program to the NCAA Division III World Series, and she was the Commonwealth Conference pitcher of the Year in 2007 and the Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2008. DeBonis earned spots on the Commonwealth All-Conference First Team in 2007, and the Landmark All-Conference First Team in 2008 and 2009, making the squad as both a pitcher and designated player in 2008. She was also honored on the NFCA All-East Region First Team in 2007 and 2008 and the Second Team in 2009. DeBonis, Moravian's Co-Senior Female Athlete of the Year in 2009, tossed 435 career innings in the circle to go with 528 strikeouts, 51 victories, a 1.01 ERA, 22 shutouts, six no-hitters and four perfect games. At the plate, DeBonis had a .337 batting average, 110 hits, 74 runs, 77 RBIs and 13 home runs in her career.
Tracy Fitzpatrick Franklin, a 2009 Moravian graduate, was a four-year letterwinner on the women's soccer team. Fitzpatrick, who missed her sophomore campaign with an injury, was named the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2008 while making the All-Conference First Team each season. She was also selected to the Commonwealth All-Conference First Team while helping the Greyhounds to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Fitzpatrick earned spots on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team in 2005 and 2008 while making the Second Team in 2007. Fitzpatrick, who was Moravian's Co-Senior Female Athlete of the Year in 2009 with DeBonis, finished her career with 33 goals and 21 assists, at the time a school record, for 87 points in her three seasons on the pitch.
Jeff Pukszyn, who graduated in 1997, was a standout on the football gridiron for three seasons after transferring from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Pukszyn was a three-year starter on the defensive line while earning All-Middle Atlantic Conference First Team honors in 1994 and 1996. He finished his playing career with 118 tackles including 12 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, five fumble recoveries, two interceptions and three passes defended. Pukszyn moved from the field to the sideline when he joined the Moravian coaching in 1997, becoming Head Coach in 2010.
Jason Toedter, a 2004 Moravian graduate, was a four-year letterwinner on the men's tennis team. Toedter won the 2004 Middle Atlantic Conference Men's Tennis Singles Championship, and he was selected as the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year the same season. He was a four-time Commonwealth All-Conference First Team honoree, and Toedter was also honored as the Commonwealth Rookie of the Year in 2001. Toedter completed his career with a 54-18 singles mark with the 54 victories a school record that still stands today, and he was 37-24 in doubles action in his four seasons.
Nathaniel Tussey, who graduated in 2008, was a standout on the men's indoor and outdoor track & field teams for four years. He was an eight-time NCAA qualifier, earning All-America honors three times with fifth place finishes in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles outdoors in 2008 and an eighth place in the 55-meter hurdles indoors in 2006. Tussey was an eight-time conference champion, winning the Middle Atlantic Conference titles in the 55-meter hurdles indoors in 2005 and 2006, the 110-meter hurdles outdoors in 2006 and the 400-meter hurdles in 2006 and 2007 and capturing Landmark Conference titles in the 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles and 4x400-meter relay in 2008. Tussey, who was honored as the Moravian Blue & Grey Senior Scholar-Athlete in 2008, was the Landmark Conference runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles outdoors in 2008, and he still holds the school record in the 400-meter hurdles outdoors.
The 2005 Women's Soccer Team coached by Eric Lambinus '94 captured the program's first-ever NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament appearance and victory while posting a 2-1, double-overtime win versus Washington & Lee (Va.) University in the first round at Dickinson College The squad, which finished the year at 16-6-1, was led by senior forward Megan Collins, who had 16 goals with eight game-winners and six assists, and Fitzpatrick as a freshman, who had eight goals and eight assists, as both players were named to the Commonwealth All-Conference First Team. Senior defender Erin Gonda and freshman Caitlin Corrigan were selected to the Commonwealth All-Conference Second Team.
The 2007 Softball Squad coached by John Byrne '82 made the program's second trip to the NCAA Division III World Series before finishing the year with a 35-7 record. The Greyhounds captured their eighth straight Commonwealth Conference Championship after going 13-1 during the conference regular season, and the Hounds won the NCAA Division III Montclair, New Jersey Regional by sweeping three games. DeBonis went 18-2 in the circle and also had a .317 batting average while earning her All-America honors. The team had DeBonis, sophomore outfielder Erica Klepeisz and junior infielder Beth Paly named to the Commonwealth All-Conference First Team and sophomore pitcher Kristie Pellicani, sophomore catcher Deanna Mangieri and second first baseman Lauren Homa selected to the Commonwealth All-Conference Second Team.
Gene Medei, who graduated in 1961, was a two-year letterwinner on the baseball team followed by two years as a letterwinner for the wrestling squad. The Robert M. Herbstman Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna whose qualities of teamwork, leadership, and selflessness exemplify the spirit of Moravian College athletics. Medei was a co-captain for the wrestling team and was undefeated in dual meets in his two seasons on the team.
Information on the induction ceremony as well as online registration and payment will be available soon.