by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Four athletes and one team will be inducted into the Dickinson College Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. All made significant contributions to their sport—and, in the cases of two individuals, to more than one. The Dickinson community will gather to celebrate their accomplishments during a Homecoming Weekend ceremony.
Andrew Ackley '07.
Andrew Ackley ’07 was a record-breaker in football and track and field.
As defensive back, he earned the distinction as one of the best in Dickinson’s history, ranking in the top 25 in the nation in interceptions in both 2004 and 2005 and among program leaders with seven interceptions in 2005 and six in 2004. Ackley recorded more than 200 tackles in his career, including 183 solo stops, placing him fourth in the conference record book. His play helped the Red Devils rank 18th nationally in scoring defense in 2004 and 18th in rushing defense for the 2006 season, and he tied another school record with three pick-offs against Juniata in 2005. As team captain, Ackley led the Devils to two conference championships and an NCAA playoff, earned first-team All-Centennial Conference (CC) honors in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and was a Third-team All-Region honoree all three years.
On the track, he set a school record in the decathlon, and that record remains unbroken, 10 years out.
Ackley was elated to learn about his Hall of Fame induction this fall. "I dreamed of that day when I arrived at Dickinson in 2003 and saw all the photos of previous inductees in the Kline Center," he says.
Ryan Stearrett ’07 also leaves two sports legacies at Dickinson. He played as tight end in his very first year on the football team and earned the McAndrews Award during his senior year. In between, Stearrett broke conference and college records for receptions by a tight end, and he still holds the tight-end school record, ranks second in the conference and is seventh among all receivers at Dickinson. Stearrett was also a D3football.com honorable mention All-American and First-team All-Region selection in 2006, and he earned First-team All-ECAC honors during his junior and senior years. During his senior year, he was selected to play in the Aztec Bowl, helping the USA to a 28-7 victory over an all-star team in Mexico.
“That was definitely a highlight,” he says, adding that he also fondly remembers the NCAA playoffs during his senior year. Because it was hosted in his home state of Delaware, family and high school friends were able to be there to cheer him on.
As a four-letter baseball player, Stearrett captured Second-team All-CC honors in 2006 and honorable mention in 2004. He served as a captain in 2006 and 2007 and was voted the Most Valuable Player in 2006. Stearrett led the Devils to a conference playoff berth in 2004 and secured a number of team and individual school records, including school records for career games started, hits, at-bats, doubles and single-season hits. He also hit a record 14 doubles in both 2004 and 2006.
Heather Ganley-Smith '97.
Soccer standout Heather Ganley-Smith ’97 broke school records for career points and assists, earned First-Team All-CC honors twice, and was a second-team selection—all in just three seasons. Ganley-Smith was named MVP during her first two seasons and made two straight All-CC appearances. When she returned to campus after studying abroad junior year, Ganley-Smith served as team captain; added 11 goals and four assists, moving to the top of program lists for points and assists; and ranked second in goals scored, earning All-CC honors for the third time. During her time on campus, the Red Devils posted a record of 30-23-1 and added school records as a team with 51 goals and nine shutouts.
“I loved the camaraderie, the competition and the coaches—everything about my soccer experience was positive,” she says.
2004-05 women’s basketball team member Allyson Teatom Fullmer ’07 will be honored twice at the Hall of Fame ceremony, both as a member of the 2004-05 women’s basketball team and as an individual athlete. A four-time All-CC selection who earned first-team honors in 2005 and 2007 and second-team in 2006, she ranked high in the record books in multiple categories.
Fullmer earned D3hoops.com All-Region honors, making second-team appearances in 2005 and 2007. She scored 1,362 points in her career and still ranks fifth on the all-time list. She also pulled down 896 rebounds and blocked 120 shots, remaining second in both of those categories. At graduation, she ranked third and ninth for rebounds in a season, and she still holds top ranking field-goal percentage (fourth) and free throws made (fifth). She remains in the top-10 with 269 rebounds as a sophomore and is among the program leaders in single-season field goals made, field goal percentage and blocked shots.
Today, Fullmer attends Red Devil basketball games in the Philadelphia area as often as she can and makes a point of visiting teammates while traveling. “These women will always be my family,” she says.
The 2004-05 women's basketball team.
The 2004-05 women’s basketball team earns the spotlight for setting school records for wins in a season and consecutive victories. Led by Head Coach Dina Henry, the team was unbeaten on its home court during the regular season and enjoyed a 13-game winning streak on the way to 24 wins. After seizing the regular season title, the team earned the program's first berth in the NCAA Division III tournament. The Red Devils were also one of the top defensive teams in the country that year, ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense in 2006-07, allowing just 48.1 points per game.
As Director of Sports Information Charlie McGuire reports, the team’s “tenacious, high-pressure defense and strong rebounding” made this team “as exciting to watch as they were successful.” He adds that electricity was in the air as Dickinson hosted Westminster University in a neck-and-neck opening round of the NCAA playoffs. “Westminster escaped with the win, but the effort, determination and truly amazing journey of the players and that team are what people still remember today.”
Like McGuire, Fullmer still recalls the capacity crowds that turned out to see her and her teammates that year and adds that moments of recognition like these transcend the typical Division III experience. “The school spirit during my collegiate playing years somehow should have made the record books,” she says, explaining that Division III women’s sports typically do not enjoy a huge turnout at games. “I couldn’t be more thankful to all the fans throughout my playing career for banging pots, chanting and simulating a Division I experience for us.”
Published September 19, 2017