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NWU Athletics Announces 2017 Hall of Fame Class

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Wesleyan University is pleased to announce its 2017 induction class in the Athletic Hall of Fame.  The seven-member group and team will be formally inducted during ceremonies on campus on Saturday, Sept. 30 as part of the NWU homecoming festivities.  The Hall of Fame breakfast is set for 9:00 am on Saturday in Snyder Arena.

NWU’s Class of 2017 is comprised of six former athletes: All-American women’s basketball player Taci Laws ’95 who was the first women’s basketball All-American in school history; softball player Kelly (Scheaf) Mullendore ’96 who set multiple school records as a pitcher; football player Justin Rice ’97 a 2-time All-American on the field and 3-time Academic All-American; Nate Thomas ’98 the starting basketball center on NWU’s national runner-up team; two-sport star Josh Beaver ’00 an All-American football player and national champion in the discus and baseball standout Justin Hertzel ’03, the school record holder in career batting average.

The 2006 men’s golf team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as they brought home NWU’s first ever team national championship in any sport.  Team members include Travis Davis, Jon Deines, Jeff Holm, Tyler Lawson and Aaron Stockton with head coach Brett Balak.

Additionally, Dick Janda has been selected for the Hall of Fame as the Spirit of the Plainsmen award winner.  Janda has served as the “voice of the Prairie Wolves” calling Nebraska Wesleyan football and basketball games on the radio.

Since 1970, NWU’s Athletic Hall of Fame has recognized the outstanding contributions of former student-athletes by inducting teams and individuals, as well as other strong supporters of the athletic program.

Taci Laws, Women’s Basketball, ’95 (Pleasant Dale, Neb.)

  • 1st-All-American in program history
  • Two-time 1st-Team All-NIAC as a center in 1994 and 1995
  • Averaged a double-double in each of her final two seasons

Kelly (Scheaf) Mullendore, Softball, ’96 (Lincoln, Neb.)

  • Three-Time All-NIAC as a pitcher
  • Named NAIA District 11 1st-Team pitcher twice
  • Set school records for wins, complete games and innings pitched

Justin Rice, Football, ’97 (Grand Island, Neb.)

  • Twice named NAIA honorable mention All-American at defensive end
  • Set school record with 26.0 quarterback sacks, a record that still stands
  • Three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American

Nate Thomas, Men’s Baseketball, ’98 (Henderson, Neb.)

  • NCAA III honorable mention All-American center in 1998
  • Leading scorer for 1998 team that was ranked No. 1 in nation starting year 23-0
  • Set school record for career field goal percentage (64.4%)

Josh Beaver, Football/Track & Field, ’00 (Lincoln, Neb.)

  • Two-time All-American tight end on NWU football team
  • Caught 20 career TD passes and led NWU to 2000 GPAC Championship
  • 2000 NCAA DIII National Champion in the Discus
  • Five-time All-American in track & field

Justin Hertzel, Baseball, ’03 (Lincoln, Neb.)

  • Three-time 1st-Team All-Conference selection as an outfielder
  • Led NWU to 2000 NAIA National Tournament and 2001 GPAC Championship
  • Set school record with career batting average of .428 playing form 2000-02

2006 NWU Men’s Golf Team

  • Won 2006 NCAA III National Championship
  • Won six team titles during season, including 3rd straight GPAC championship
  • All five team members were All-Americans

Team members:
Travis Davis (Lincoln, Neb.)
Jon Deines (Beatrice, Neb.)
Jeff Holm (Cozad, Neb.)
Tyler Lawson (McCook, Neb.)
Aaron Stockton (Bellevue, Neb.)
Brett Balak, Head Coach

Dick Janda, Spirit of the Plainsmen Award

  • Voice of the Prairie Wolves serving as radio play-by-play on KFOR Radio
  • Broadcasted over 300 games for Prairie Wolves the past decade
  • Interviews NWU athletes and coaches showcasing stories of Prairie Wolves athletics
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