Wilmington College is pleased to announce its five-member Hall of Fame Class for 2013. Four of the members were selected in their first year of eligibility.
The class, which will be formally inducted prior to Saturday's football game, is swimmer Kerry (Fortman) Orszula, football player Don Sizer, wrestler Jimmy Wallace, women's basketball player Megan (Woodruff) Slivka and track & field athlete Kyle Wolf.
KERRI FORTMAN ORSZULA , Class of 2003 is the first swimmer to enter the Wilmington College Hall of Fame. Hers was a meteoric rise for a student-athlete that didn’t learn to swim until she was 11, and didn’t join a swim team until her junior year in high school.
Orszula said, “My high school (St. Mary’s Memorial) didn’t have a swim team until my junior year, so that was kind of my push.”
Having a limited background in the sport, she knew she had plenty of room for growth.
"I had a lot of room to improve with more practice time, and learning more technique,” said Orszula. “It was still fairly new to me. I knew I had the opportunity to be better.”
And get better she did.
By the conclusion of her four-year career at Wilmington College, Orszula held six school records – two of which still remain. She was a three-time Ohio Athletic Conference champion in the 50 freestyle and a two-time OAC champ in the 100 freestyle.
Due to Wilmington’s provisional status as a new member of the OAC during her freshman season, she wasn’t eligible for league titles. That technicality prevented Orszula from being only the third OAC athlete to win an event for four straight seasons.
She credits head coach Trip Breen for her development and the growth of the program.
“Trip was phenomenal,” said Orszula. “Without him, the program wouldn’t have taken off.”
Orszula and her husband, Tim, reside in Waynesville, OH. She is currently the microbiology team lead at Alkermes in Wilmington.
DON SIZER, Class of ’88 is one of three players in Wilmington College football history to be a three-time All-American, yet he questions the notion that he was the best player on WC’s defense during his tenure.
“We had a ridiculously good team,” Sizer said. “I didn’t think I was the best player on our defense. I think having great players freed me up to make plays.”
In addition to being surrounded by great players, Sizer credited the Wilmington coaches with placing him in the position where he could make the greatest impact, which was at linebacker. He finished his career with 393 tackles, third all-time in school history.
“A big reason for my success was the defensive coaching staff,” said Sizer. “I was supposed to make the plays, and I did to help my team.”
Wilmington made the NAIA playoffs his first year on campus, but he missed the entire season with an injury. It was the last time the Quakers qualified for the playoffs.
Yet, despite not playing in the playoffs in his Wilmington years, Sizer enjoyed his time as a Quaker.
“It was small-college football with a big-time feel,” said Sizer. “From the players, coaches, athletics staff and trainers, you could tell their commitment to the program.”
Sizer and his wife, Ann (Adler) – a 1992 WC grad – reside in Mount Orab, OH with their two children, Mary (14) and Wil (11). He is currently the head football coach at Batavia High School, and teaches at Western Brown High School. He has won 77 games during his 13-year coaching tenure.
JIMMY WALLACE, Class of 2003, completed his stellar Wilmington College career at the top of his sport, intercollegiate wrestling.
A four-time All-American, Wallace went a perfect 30-0 in winning the 2002 NCAA Division III National Championship at the 157-pound weight class. Wallace was also named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2002 championships. He remains the only male National Champion in school history.
The final match culminated what Wallace had believed would happen all year. After falling short the year before with a third place finish, he worked with the singular goal of being at the top of the podium.
“For the whole year, I felt I was going to win,” said Wallace. “I was dying to get that National Championship, and I was willing to do anything it took. It’s one of the best feelings anyone can have, other than having a child. The emotions were unreal.”
He placed fifth in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, before the aforementioned third place result as a junior.
The results also solidified Wilmington was the right place for him.
“The people and staff had a whole lot to with my wanting to attend WC,” Wallace said. “They had a commitment to the student-athlete, but for me, coach Jim Marsh made the difference.”
Wallace is the father of four, Bailey (8), Brady (5), Mercedes (3) and Bo (18 months), and lives in Germantown, OH. He works with special needs children at the Montgomery County Educational Learning Services.
MEGAN WOODRUFF SLIVKA, Class of 2003, became familiar with head coach Jerry Scheve and the Lady Quakers basketball program at a young age. She attended the WC basketball camps starting in the third grade. The combination of feeling comfortable on the College campus, coupled with the opportunity to play close to home on a quality team sealed the deal for one of the College’s all-time greats.
“I remembered back to the camps and looking up at those plaques in Hermann Court, and all those players I looked up to,” Slivka said of her thoughts when she first learned she was elected into the Hall of Fame. “I hope I can be a role model for the campers in the future, like Kathy Sprenz and Suzanne Coyne were to me.”
One of two first-team basketball All-Americans in school history, Slivka was equally impressive off the court. She was a two-time Academic All-American, the 2003 Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, winner of the 2003 NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship and the 2003 OAC Clyde Lamb Scholarship winner.
Slivka still holds the school’s three-point field goal percentage record of .390 and the NCAA Division III career record for free-throw shooting percentage — 85.3 percent. She is second in school history in assists with 580 and sixth in points with 1,536. Her 64 three-pointers made and 209 assists in 2002-03 remain WC season records.
Wilmington went to the NCAA tournament in three of Slivka’s four seasons, including an Elite Eight appearance following the 2001-02 season and a Sweet 16 berth following the 2002-03 year. In her final two seasons at Wilmington, the Quakers lost just three regular season games. No doubt, Slivka’s success as a role model was a key to the team’s future success, which in 2003-04 resulted in the National Championship.
She and her husband, Dustin, reside in Omaha, NE, with their daughter, Claire. Slivka manages data for Employee Health Promotions and teaches fitness classes at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
KYLE WOLF, Class of 2003 is Wilmington College’s most decorated male track and field graduate.
He is a six-time All-American was the national runner-up in 2002 in the pole vault, losing to a 2012 member of the United States Olympic team. Also, Wolf has scored more points in a Division III National Meet than any male WC athlete.
In his primary event, the pole vault, Wolf claimed eight of his 10 conference championships. He also has two all-conference honors in the hurdles.
Interestingly enough, Wolf visited Wilmington on a whim.
“I had one more get out of school free pass, so to speak, from my guidance counselor — so I came up,” Wolf said. “What really sold me wasn’t really the track program, although it was getting better. It was the people that really sold me. When I left, I told my parents, ‘I wanted to go to Wilmington.’”
He was part of some outstanding teams at Wilmington as well. As a sophomore, the Quakers claimed the OAC indoor and outdoor track and field championships. Following his graduation, Wolf served as assistant track coach at his alma mater. He shared his knowledge of pole-vaulting with a talented multi-sport student-athlete a WC, Ashley Johnson. She went on to win the NCAA Division III national championship — and also went on to become Wolf’s wife.
The couple resides in Wilmington with their children, Miles (2) and Lydia (seven months).