A really nice event last night on the campus of Ocean County College as the latest group was welcomed into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The 7th Hall of Fame Class was headed up by a pair of student-athletes who best personify what OCC is all about.

Lynda Friggle was an outstanding soccer player at Manchester Township High School and admitted when she enrolled at the college it was a difficult time in her life. However she found her place on the soccer field, even while dealing with the pressures of being a student and young mother.

Friggle would go on to be an All-American and was saluted as the school’s outstanding student-athlete. She would later earn that same honor at William Paterson and today is a case manager for the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities`. Ironically her daughter Chelsey is not only a student at Ocean County College but plays for the Vikings soccer team, which finished third in the nation this season.

The other former student-athlete saluted last night was Rene Martinez, who was an All-American swimmer and also played softball for Ocean County College in the early 90’s. After graduating from OCC she swam at The College of New Jersey where she earned a dual degree….later Rene also earned her Master’s Degree.

She would go on to teach and coach at Brick Township High School and became active in the OCC Alumni Association. However she married a career military man in 2001 and her travels have taken them to North Carolina, Hawaii and now Florida and along the way she picked up her PHD in Education. Martinez and her family gladly made the trip back to the area last night for the ceremony.

Not to take anything away from former Vikings coaches Peggy Graham Matthews and Len Anen who were also inducted into the Hall of Fame but the stories and success of Lynda Friggle and Rene Martinez are similar to many others who found just what they needed at Ocean County College. I was thrilled to be part of last night’s ceremony and special thanks to Athletic Director Ilene Cohen and Joanne Padrone for their efforts to make it a great evening and event.

Belated congratulations to Mark Geiger who recently was named Major League Soccer’s Referee of the Year. A math teacher at Lacey Township High School, the 37-year old Geiger played youth soccer in Beachwood and began his officiating career working games for the Beachwood Soccer Club. Now in his 8th season as an MLS referee he was chosen for the honor by fellow referees, coaches, general managers and members of the media.