MCCC to Host Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 11

Nine Athletes, Three Championship Teams To Be Honored; Tickets on Sale Now


West Windsor, N.J. - Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is getting ready to celebrate MCCC’s sports greats – teams, student-athletes, coaches, and administrators dedicated to athletic excellence with the records to prove it.

The MCCC Athletics Department and MCCC Foundation will host the college’s Second Annual Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, June 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cobblestone Creek Country Club in Lawrenceville. All proceeds from the event will go to scholarships for current student-athletes and the improvement of the college’s athletic facilities.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2022 includes three Vikings national championship teams: 1968 men’s soccer, 1974 men’s basketball, and 2000 women’s tennis. Nine outstanding individuals will also be inducted: Dan Gakeler (Baseball), Carole Gibilisco (Athletics Administrative Assistant), Diane Rose Kelly (Soccer and Softball), David Leckie (Soccer), Peter Lindauer (Soccer), Jennifer Lopresti Such (Softball), Robert Marchetti (Track and Field), Robert (“Bobby”) Sands (Basketball), and Mary Smith-Jones (Basketball). 

According to Dan Klim and Charles Plohn Jr., returning event co-chairs, the Hall of Fame was established in 2020 by the Mercer Athletics Committee to recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to Mercer’s proud sports history over the past 50-plus years. The inaugural ceremony took place in June 2021 with the induction of three championship teams and 15 individuals.

“The Mercer athletics program has played such a positive role in the college’s history,” said Klim, who serves as the vice chair for the MCCC Foundation Board. “It has helped to cement Mercer’s reputation for athletic excellence nationally and has shined a bright light on the college as a whole. It’s a legacy that continues to this day, and with community support, will continue well into the future.”

In addition to Klim and Plohn Jr., Hall of Fame Committee members include Herb Ames, Lisa Camillone, Lori Danko, Elyse Diamond, Tatiana Dodge, Charles Inverso, Kevin Kerins, Mani Kissling, Al Leister, Charles Plohn, Michael Procaccini, Kimberly Saul, and Mel Weldon, along with MCCC Athletics Director John Simone, Professor of Exercise Science John Kalinowski and Associate Athletics Director Keir Livingston.

Tickets are on sale now. Individual tickets are $100 per adult and $50 per child (12 and under). Tickets include live music, dinner, complimentary beer and wine, and the awards ceremony.

Community members may also show their support by becoming an event sponsor or placing an ad in the ceremony booklet. All sponsors will be recognized at the event, in MCCC’s 2022 Annual Report, and on the MCCC Athletics Hall of Fame website. The MCCC Foundation also welcomes Hall of Fame donations here.

Sponsors thus far include an anonymous gift at the Viking (top) level; Community Foundation Inc. (Gold Sponsor); Case's Pork Roll Company, Inc., Aamir R. Rehman and Hina Z. Ghory Family Charitable Fund (Bronze Sponsor); and American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey, Rivertan Risk Management, Jaime Mattioli, and Bobby and Carol Sands (Friend of Mercer Sponsors).

More information about MCCC’s Hall of Fame event and to learn about sponsorship opportunities is available here. Or, email or call (609) 570-3607.

MCCC participates in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIX and the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). In its close to 60-year history of sports excellence, the Vikings have earned 14 national championship titles and numerous conference and regional championships, with nearly 250 student-athletes achieving All-American honors. Over the past decade, more than 40 students have been recognized as Academic All-Americans. A long list of MCCC athletes have continued their athletic careers at four-year colleges across the country, and some have gone on to play at the professional level.


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Some of MCCC's 2022 Hall of Fame inductees joined committee members at a kick-off event for the June 11 ceremony. From left are Meredith Azarchi Sodie of Hamilton (Women's Tennis All-American, 2000 Championship Team), Barb Pleva of Allentown (Women's Tennis, 2000 Championship Team), Mary Smith-Jones (Basketball), Bob Marchetti of Trenton (Track and Field), and Jaime Bowsz-Mattioli of Plainsboro (Women's Tennis All-American, 2000 Championship Team).


With their second national title in five years, the 1968 MCCC Men's Soccer Team helped to establish a soccer dynasty. The Vikings have gone on to win six more titles. 


The 1974 Men's Basketball Team, pictured in front of the previous year's banner, put MCCC and the East Coast on the map at the national tournament in Hutchinson, KS, with their repeat title win. 


On top of the world! The 2000 women's tennis team on a side trip to the Grand Canyon following their first place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. The team repeated as champs with just two returning players from the 1999 squad. The Vikings earned additional titles in 2001, 2006, and 2011. Pictured are: back row, from left, Lisa Pak, Jamie Zabodyn, Barb Pleva, Marc Vecchiolla (holding trophy), Meredith Azarchi and Jaime Bowsz; front row, from left, Ralph Bencivengo, Naomi Okubo and  Ashley Clarke (behind Okubo).