BENNINGTON, Vt. – Monday night, Southern Vermont College Director of Athletics Michael McDonough inducted the Southern Vermont College/Saint Joseph College Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016, honoring three previous Mountaineers who are all current head coaches as SVC as well.
Kathleen Newton, SVC Class of 2004, Dave Gage, SVC Class of 2010, and Alyssa Davis, SVC Class of 2012, were all bestowed with their ceremonial Hall of Fame plaques as they became the 28th, 29th and 30th members inducted to the Hall while bringing the total of former student-athletes now inducted to 26.
"SVC Athletics is a special endeavor for two reasons,” claimed McDonough. “The amazing student-athletes we are blessed with, and the dedicated coaches who teach, motivate and mentor them. The Mountaineer Hall of Fame Class of 2016 epitomizes both. Kathleen, Dave and Alyssa represent everything that is the value of sport. Their success as collegiate athletes enriches our past while truly enhancing our present. We are incredibly proud to call them Mountaineers."
Kathleen Newton ‘04
Newton, who is also a third-year head coach for the Southern Vermont men’s and women’s cross country teams and the second-year head coach for the College’s outdoor track & field squad, graduated from SVC with an Associate in Science degree and still holds the Southern Vermont records for 5,000 meter and 6,000 meter races. The Rensselaer, N.Y. native (Rensselaer High School) ran a 20:07 5K in 2002 at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship and a 24:09 6K in the 2002 NCAA DIII New England Regional Championship.
“I was very surprised and not at all expecting to be inducted,” Newton said. “I'm very honored to be thought of and be in the SVC/SJC Hall of Fame. It's humbling – to say the least – looking at past nominations. I could not have done this without my family's support. My husband, Bob, supported me through this process, as well as my children: Sierra, MacKenzie and Torrey. Everyone made adjustments and sacrifices to make it work. Whenever I thought I couldn't do this, I thought of them. They gave me strength when I needed it, love, and complete support. I could not have done it without them!”
As a Mountaineer, Newton ran for head coach Scott Kilgallon and was named to the All-GNAC Team twice; she registered a third-place finish at the Conference championship in 2003 and a fourth-place finish in 2002.
Newton was named the Vermont Indoor Track Coach of the Year twice as the head coach of the Mount Anthony Union High School varsity boys’ and girls’ teams, collecting her second straight such honor in February of 2013. She led the Patriots to a third-place finish on the girls’ side that year and a fourth-place standing for the boys.
“I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to run and compete for SVC, being a non-traditional student,” added Newton. “I took competing very seriously and was proud to represent Southern Vermont. It was a balance and adjustment for me. I was a full-time student, mom of three, head coach for track & field at the local high school, and worked at a restaurant a few evenings a week. I took my education also very seriously and maintained a 3.8 GPA. I felt this was not only an opportunity to improve my life, but my family’s as well. Competing against women that were much younger than me at all races was challenging. I often went into races with blinders on, trying only to concentrate on my pace and effort. I trained hard and pushed the envelope at each race. I wanted to finish each race knowing I gave my best.”
“Scott K., the head cross country coach and SVC athletics director at the time, really convinced me to run and be on the team,” Newton ended with. “I had never been on a team and had never been coached. I trained and ran races on my own, so it was a new experience for me. Despite the age difference I enjoyed the team and the support we gave each other. It made me appreciate being on a team and having a coach. I can still hear him saying, "Go, Newton- Go!”
Dave Gage '10
Gage, the fourth-year head coach for the SVC baseball program, grew up in Gloversville, N.Y. (Broadalbin-Perth High School) and was then an outstanding four-year player for the Mountaineers’ baseball team from 2008-11 while also being a huge contributor to SVC’s men’s soccer program from 2008-10. He graduated in 2010 as the College’s valedictorian with his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in business administration/sports management in 2010 before returning to SVC to complete his athletic career and graduate again in 2011 with a bachelor’s in business administration.
“I'm very honored to be inducted into the SVC/SJC Hall of Fame,” Gage commented. “It is a great honor that I am deeply thankful to many people for, most importantly my family. Matt Gage has always been my best friend and has always pushed me to achieve my best. To my mom and dad: thank you for everything; I couldn't ask for more supportive parents who travel the world to watch me play and coach.”
Gage started in the second-most baseball games in program history (139) while having ended his playing career at second on the program’s all-time batting average chart (.305). He is still the team’s record holder for the highest career on-base percentage (.480), and he graduated with the second-most hits in SVC history (137). Additionally, he still sits at second for the most runs scored in team history (111) and graduated with the most walks worked by a Mountaineer (67). Gage took 82 hit by pitches – a mark that still sits atop the team’s record book – racking up 32 in 2011 to be the NCAA DIII statistical champion in the category. On the mound, he recorded the most saves in team history with nine.
Gage helped the SVC baseball team to the NECC playoffs in 2009, 2010 and 2011, going to the
championship round with the Mountaineers in their first-ever title appearance in ’11. He also assisted the men’s soccer team in getting to the NECC postseason in 2009 and 2010, going to the league’s semifinals before falling in the championship game his senior year. He was named to the Association of Division III Independent’s Baseball All-American Second Team in 2008 before getting voted to the All-NECC First Team in 2011. Gage also earned his way to three straight NECC Academic All-Conference spring teams and two consecutive academic fall squads.
“The things I remember most about my playing career are my teammates; we had a lot of great moments on and off the field, as well as great bus rides together,” Gage continued. “I want to thank all of my college teammates who made the experience great. As a competitor, I always strived to be the best I could. My teammates did a great job of pushing me to always be better. However, our main focus was to always win a championship.”
“I’m incredibly thankful and blessed to be named to the Hall,” Gage concluded. “Thank you to my coaches in college, especially Tim Penrod. Thank you to my athletic trainer, Ashley Hodges, who kept me on the field after getting hit by all those pitches. Thank you to Eric Wells who would spend hours with me in the cage getting better. And thank you to Greg Gilmore who always drove me to be a better athlete with his competitive nature.”
Alyssa Davis ‘12
Davis, now the third-year head coach for the SVC softball team, was a four-year member of the program while also playing for four seasons with the Mountaineers’ women’s basketball squad, setting a slew of records for both crews. The Sutton, Vt. native (Lyndon Institute) was named the Scott McKenzie Sportswoman of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, becoming the first-ever SVC student-athlete to pick up the honor more than once. She was also named to the All-NECC Softball First Team in both of those years.
“Being inducted to the Hall of Fame is a true honor,” said Davis. “I am so thankful for all that this place has given me over the past eight years- four as a student-athlete and four more in my coaching career. Looking back at my years as a student-athlete, I remember all the days I never took the opportunity for granted and the coaches that helped me do so. I knew that I had a pretty good run during my softball years, but I never expected this would come. I more-so focused myself in making our program successful, and now pushing my student-athletes to exceed what I had accomplished while competing here.”
Davis graduated in 2012 with her bachelor’s degree in business administration/sports management after having played more softball games with the Mountaineer jersey than any other player before her. She tallied the second-best (.488 – ’11) and fourth-best (.462 – ’12) single season batting averages in program history, helping herself rank second on the team’s all-time average list with an outstanding mark of .434. She also turned in the best-ever on-base percentage, her .487 being 82 points higher than the second-best in the category. She racked up 55 hits to cap her career in 2012, helping herself total 152 while at SVC; that still sits as 54 more hits than the second-best tally as Davis is the only player in program history to break the 100 hits mark.
Additionally, she scored 47 more runs than any other SVC player, crossing the dish 104 times in her four years. Davis holds the Southern Vermont home run record with 17 dingers, and she also sits atop the RBI list with 75 runs driven in as a Mountaineer. She graduated as the team’s top walks leader (34), and she still sits as the program’s stolen bases leader with 63 swipes. On the hoops side of things, she graduated with two of the top-three best seasons for made three-pointers (42 in 2008-09, 38 in ’09-10) to conclude her tenure at SVC as the program’s most successful shooter from beyond the arc with 138 made threes.
“I want to thank Leanne Baker,” Davis added. “She came into my softball career and life at the right time. I don't know if I would be here without her. The support she has given me as a student-athlete, coach, and friend is more than I could ever ask for. I want to thank her for always being there and for always pushing me to do my best. She’s shown me there is always light at the other end of the tunnel, and through hard work and positive thinking, you can always get there!”
“Lastly, I just want to stress to all the student-athletes here at SVC: how important this place will be in their lives,” finished Davis. “Being a student-athlete here is nothing to take for granted, because before they know, it will be gone. This is the time to live in the moment, experience it all, and take the life lessons they learn here – both in the classrooms and in their selective sports – and make those a part of them. The sports they are playing now are shaping who they are. Don't lose sight of that. In softball, only 5.1 percent of high school athletes get the chance to continue on and compete at the collegiate level. I hope that they embrace that, because they are among the select few who get to experience it. They should never take that for granted. SVC will make something out of you if you make something out of it!”