Five Rangers Inducted into Hall of Fame

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Josephine Emanuelli

Founded in 1991, the Drew Athletic Hall of Fame held its 27th annual induction ceremony on Friday, October 6 at the Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, New Jersey. The Hall of Fame now has 104 members whose accomplishments span athletics history, contributing to the rich history of tradition and success that Drew prides itself on. This year’s class included four individuals from several different teams as well as long-time head men’s lacrosse coach, Tom Leanos. Courtney Cunningham (‘07) of the women’s basketball and lacrosse teams, Rick Freedman (‘80) of the men’s basketball team, Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft (‘07) who played for women’s basketball and softball and Michael Woessner (‘04) of men’s soccer were all inducted.

Cunningham was highly decorated during her illustrious career as a Ranger. When Drew was a part of the Freedom Conference, she won Conference Rookie of the Year during the 2003-2004 season. She was also selected to the first team all-conference twice and currently ranks sixth overall for career points with 1,288 points over her four years. On the lacrosse field, Cunningham led her team to two MAC Championships as well as two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Her work on the field earned her two Regional All-American awards and an All-America Third Team honor her senior year. Currently, she ranks fourth for all-time assists (119), fifth in total points (300) and sixth in goals (181).

Freedman was instrumental in leading Drew to four Independent Athletic Conference championships in a row, culminating in a 57-44 overall record. During the 1979-1980 season, the Rangers won 19 games, the single-season school record for most games won. During that record-breaking season, Freedman earned 121 assists, adding to his career 386 assists, the second highest in school history. Over his career, he tallied 852 points.

Kraft was the second two-sport athlete inducted, turning in all-conference performances for both the women’s basketball and softball teams. In basketball, she ranks second for all-time scoring, netting 1,664 points over her career. She is also in the record books Top 10 for rebounds, as well as assists. In addition, Kraft holds all the records for the most three pointers in a game with nine, in a season with 72 and over a career with 324. These impressive stats earned her First Team All-Freedom Conference three times during her career in the Forest. Also an unstoppable force on the softball team, Kraft was a member of the 2007 All-MAC First Team for softball. She set records for hits, total bases and slugging percentage that season. She currently ranks second for all-time home runs with seven.

The final athlete to be inducted was Woessner, who during his time in the Forest earned NSCAA All-America Second Team honors his senior year in 2003. During his time at Drew, he was also a three-time First Team All-MAC Freedom selection. In 2003, under his leadership the defense set an NCAA all-division record for their 21 shutouts that season. Drew went 58-8-5 over the three years he played, winning conference championships in those years as well. Adding to his accolades from his strong performance on the backline, Woessner is the only player in program history to score a goal in the NCAA Championship Game, which he did in 2003.

In addition to inducting four phenomenal athletes into the Hall of Fame, Leanos was inducted for his successes over thirty years of coaching the Rangers. His tenure spanned from 1988 to 2017, during which he collected 255 wins, Coach of the Year awards five times, two conference championships and six ECAC titles. He retired as one of the Top 20 winningest coaches in the NCAA. Leanos also coached four conference players of the year, six USILA All-Americans and 98 all-conference players.

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