Blankenship, Stoner, Thompson, Vasko, and 1994 NAIA Soccer Team to Join Wesleyan Hall of Fame

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

West Virginia Wesleyan College will induct its newest class into its Athletic Hall of Fame, October 20.  The inductees include legendary high school women’s basketball coach Stanley Blankenship, softball standout Adriene Mertz Stoner, All-American Soccer star Michael Thompson, women’s basketball great Becky Lazzari Vasko, and the 1994 NAIA Men’s Soccer Championship Team.  The dinner and ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Benedum Campus Center Social Hall on Wesleyan’s campus.

Blankenship was a three-sport athlete in the black and orange, playing football and basketball as well as running track. After graduation, he took the reins of the John Marshall High School girls’ basketball program where he became West Virginia’s all-time leader in coaching victories.

Mertz Stoner was a standout in the circle for Steve Warner’s softball program from 1999-02. Mertz is one of two pitchers to be named WVIAC Pitcher of the year each of her four seasons of eligibility, and was selected to the All-Great Lakes Region Team once. She led the Bobcats to three WVIAC regular season championships and a pair of conference tournament titles. She compiled a 61-26 overall record with a 1.32 ERA.

Thompson was a starting midfielder on the 1988 NAIA National Semifinalist Team and 1989 and 1990 NAIA National Championship Teams. He was a two- time NSCAA/NAIA All-American, 1989 All-Region and three-time All-Conference WVIAC member.  He was named to the NAIA All-Tournament Team in 1989, when he was the MVP in 1990.  He was part of three WVIAC Championship teams and was named the WVIAC Player of the year in 1989 and 1990.  He also went on to play professionally with the Raleigh Flyers after college.

Lazzari Vasko was a standout on the basketball court, where she netted 1,820 points, the fifth most in WVWC history. Lazzari earned second team All-WVIAC honors both her freshman and sophomore season and was selected to the league’s all-tournament team as a junior and senior. She led NAIA in three-point shooting as a junior. Lazzari led the WVIAC in assists per game as a freshman.

The 1994 Men’s Soccer team claimed the NAIA National Championship under the direction of head coach Gavin Donaldson. The National Title marked the fifth in the program’s rich history. The team was led by All-American duo Ian Burgess and Thomas Ulbraten. Burgess was tabbed as the WVIAC Player of the Year and Donaldson was named NAIA Coach of the Year.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children under 10. Please contact Pam Putzulu in the Department of Athletics at (304) 473-8099 or if you would like to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony.