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Celebrating The Hill School Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023

On Friday, November 3, 2023, The Hill School inducted seven athletes, one coach, and two teams into the Athletics Hall of Fame during the Alumni Red Meat Dinner. Both events are a part of The Hill vs. Lawrenceville Weekend, which celebrated the 136th anniversary of the first game between the schools this year. *A slideshow of photos from the event appears at the bottom of the article.

Following a cocktail reception with the Board of Trustees in the Boyer Gallery and dinner in the Center For The Arts Lobby, Wilbur C. Riley Director of Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities Seth Eilberg P'22 '23 '25 welcomed inductees and their guests to the ceremony and offered an overview of the growth and celebratory achievements for Hill Athletics.

Seth also led the induction ceremony which included a tribute video to each inductee. The eight individuals and two teams honored this year are as follows:

William J. Pierre Memorial Hall: Harvey Hurd Lord 1899
Harvey Hurd Lord came to The Hill as a third former in 1895. He quickly became one of the most competitive students on campus, lettering in football, track, and crew. He is celebrated as being the player to score the only touchdown in Hill’s first-ever victory against Lawrenceville. Harvey led Hill track and field entries into the 1898 and 1899 Penn Relays with Hill turning in the fastest mile relay times of all high school or prep school entries, both years. He also set the Hill track and field record for the 440-yard run during his sixth form year.

Extraordinary Sports AchievementWillem (Butch) van Breda Kolff '41
Butch van Breda Kolff was known to walk to the beat of his own drum, and it showed throughout his basketball, soccer, and baseball careers at Hill. He averaged 9.8 points per game on the 1941 undefeated basketball team. In baseball, Butch was a solid hitter and relief pitcher. After graduating from Hill, he joined Princeton’s basketball team but soon joined the Marines during World War II. He returned to Princeton to captain the soccer and basketball teams. Butch coached Princeton to the 1965 National Collegiate Athletic Association final and two years later to a #5 national ranking. When he left Princeton to coach in the National Basketball Association, he was the third-winningest active college coach.

Butch led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA finals twice, which made him the first coach to lead a college team and a professional team to their respective championships. He also coached in Detroit, Phoenix, and New Orleans leading legendary players like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Hal Lanier. He ended his coaching career at the University of New Orleans, later accepting a high school coaching job in Mississippi, before returning to Lafayette and Hofstra for a second stint at both schools.

James Biggs '58
Jim Biggs was ranked the #1 tennis player at Hill and served as the team captain in 1957 and 1958. While a student at Hill, James won the Connecticut State Junior Championship in 1957 and 1958. He continued his tennis career at Dartmouth College, captaining the tennis team in 1962. To date, Jim is ranked as one of the school’s best tennis players. In 1961, he won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Doubles Title with teammate and former Hill classmate, Gordon Aydelott '58. Jim and Gordon were doubles partners and have played together for more than 60 years in both national and international tournaments. View tribute video.

James (Sandy) Van Kennen '62
Captain of the swim team his sixth form year, Sandy Van Kennen remained undefeated in individual events against prep and high school opponents. He set the 200-free at the Eastern Interscholastic Championships which was also an Eastern meet record. Sandy set a National Prep record in the 100-free with 49.5 during his sixth form year. At the end of his Hill swimming career, he was listed as the record holder for seven events: 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard freestyle relay, and the 200-yard freestyle medley. View tribute video.

Theodore (Teddy) van Beuren '01
Teddy van Beuren was one of the top three soccer players to graduate from Hill. He was the first-ever third former to start on a varsity team and eventually started all four years. In addition to his contributions on the pitch, he was a three-sport varsity athlete playing lacrosse and squash. In 1999 and 2000, he was Pottstown Mercury’s Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year and was named to the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches All-State Team. In 2000, he received All-American, All-Southeast Pennsylvania, and All-MAPL honors. That same year, he was awarded Hill’s Team of 1988 Boys’ Soccer award, annually given to a player in honor of the undefeated 1988 Soccer Team. To date, Teddy holds the titles of fourth in goals scored (46), fourth in assists (27), and fourth in overall points (119) in the boys’ soccer program’s history. View tribute video.

Shannon (Summers) Zwoyer '05
Shannon Zwoyer was the first alumna to lead a varsity program at Hill, serving as head girls’ soccer coach from 2013 until 2015 and head girls’ lacrosse coach from 2014 until 2018. While a student-athlete at Hill, she excelled in soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse and earned 11 of the possible 12 letters at Hill. During her sixth form year, she was awarded the Jodi Calvario ’03 Award which is given that sixth form girl who demonstrates outstanding leadership and high sportsmanship in competitive athletics her sixth form year. View tribute video.

Deanna Mayza '13
A phenomenal three-sport athlete in basketball, soccer, and track, Deanna Mayza now leads Hill’s varsity girls’ basketball team from the sidelines of the same court where she became the all-time leading scorer with 1,222 points. Deanna is also the current leader in goals scored for girls’ soccer with a career total of 67. During her fifth form year, she was named the Pottstown Mercury girls’ basketball Player of the Year and like fellow Hall of Fame inductee Shannon Zwoyer, received the the Jodi Calvario ‘03 Award her sixth form year. View tribute video.

Mark Nelson
In his tenure as head coach of the boys’ water polo team, Mark produced 18 All-Americans; accumulated a career record of 334 wins, 243 losses, and four ties; and lead the program to Eastern Prep Championship titles in 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2002. With his record of 334 wins, he is one of the most winningest coaches in Hill School history. Mark currently serves as our Head Girls’ Water Polo Coach. View tribute video.

1984-1985 Water Polo
Coached by John Schwambach and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Mark Nelson, The Hill School 1984-1985 Water Polo team is one of only two undefeated water polo team in program history. The team finished the season with an impressive record of 17-0 and as Eastern Champions. They beat Lawrenceville not once, not twice, but three times during the season and sealed the U.S. Navy High School Invitational Tournament win against #1 ranked Loyola of Chicago in overtime. Multiple All-Americans were named at the conclusion of the undefeated season. View tribute video.

2001-2002 Field Hockey
Not only are they the only undefeated Field Hockey team in program history with a season record of 16-0-1, they are one of only two undefeated girls’ teams in Hill athletics history. With five All-Area Team and five All-MAPL accolades, the 2001-2002 field hockey team helped pave the way for girls’ athletics at Hill. Coached by Jennifer Sparacio Lebo, the team was the first Hill girls’ team to win a MAPL Championship which was against longtime rival, Lawrenceville. View tribute video.