Athletics Hall of Fame 2023 Induction Class

The Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023 was inducted on Friday, November 3, 2023. View tribute videos to each inductee here.

Athlete: James Biggs '58 GP'22

James Biggs was ranked the #1 tennis player at Hill and served as the team captain in 1957 and 1958. In addition to his success on the court, he also played intramural basketball, and varsity basketball.  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, James is ranked as one of the school’s best tennis players. In 1961, he won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Doubles Title with teammate and former Hill classmate, Gordon Aydelott '58. James and Gordon were doubles partners and have played together for more than 60 years in both national and international tournaments.

From 1959-1963, James competed on the USA Tennis Association Tour and in 1959, 1960, and 1961 played in the U.S. Open Singles Championship. James played in the U.S. Open Doubles Championship five times, and in 1967 was a New England Doubles Champion. James continued to pursue his passion for tennis later in life, competing in national senior tournaments. He won three of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Championships in father-son tennis and was ranked #1 in the country in this category in 2000.

James served as a volunteer tennis coach for Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, where he helped lead the team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship Tournament in 2011. That same year, he was honored a lifetime of achievement in tennis by the USTA New England Tennis Hall of Fame.

Athlete: James (Sandy) Van Kennen '62

Sandy Van Kennen was one of the most dominant swimmers in the early years of The Hill School’s swimming program, setting many school records. In addition to his contributions in the pool, he was a member of Hill’s inaugural 1962 lacrosse team and ran cross country.

Sandy served as captain of the swim team his sixth form year, and in his two years at Hill was 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.

Sandy continued his swimming and lacrosse careers at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He only played on the lacrosse team for two years, focusing his college years on swimming. He remained undefeated in regional competition in the 50-yard freestyle during his three varsity seasons. In 1964, 1965, and 1966, he won the New England Championships in the 50 and 100-free. He was crowned a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion in 1966 in all divisions in the 50-yard freestyle and set several regional records in the event. During that event, he set a New England and Wesleyan University record of 21.39 in the 50-yard freestyle.

Sandy was an NCAA College Division champion in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle and 1964 and 1965. He placed third in the NCAA Championships in all divisions in the 50-yard freestyle in 1965. He graduated as the Wesleyan and New England record-holder in the 100-yard freestyle with 46.98 and was inducted into the Wesleyan’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Athlete: Theodore (Teddy) van Beuren '01

Theodore “Teddy” van Beuren was one of the top-three soccer players to graduate from The 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.

He continued his athletic endeavors at Princeton University where he captained the soccer team in 2004. That same year, he was the recipient of the “Robert Myslik Award,” which annually is awarded to the member of the Princeton men’s soccer team who most demonstrated the passion for life, the fiery competitiveness, the unwavering honesty, and selfless generosity of Rob Myslik.

Teddy had a passion for adventure and helping others. He spent nearly a decade of his life with Street Soccer USA, both in Philadelphia and New York City, where he was promoted to join the Board as the New York City Chairman. He also was an ironman athlete, a six-time marathon runner, and a longtime triathlete. In the spring of 2021, he earned his MBA from Columbia Business School with high honors.

Teddy tragically passed away at the age of 38 on June 26, 2021. He is remembered for the way he lived his life to the fullest and making everyone he spoke to feel like they were his closest friend. 

Athlete: Shannon (Summers) Zwoyer '05

Shannon (Summers) Zwoyer '05 was the first alumna to lead a varsity program at The Hill, serving as head girls’ soccer coach from 2013 until 2015 and head girls’ lacrosse coach from 2014 until 2018. As a student-athlete at The Hill, Shannon excelled in soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse.  She earned 11 of the possible 12 letters at Hill and was captain of the soccer and lacrosse teams her sixth form year.

She was a member of Hill’s 2004 Mid-Atlantic Girls’ Prep Hockey League (MAGPHL) Championship ice hockey team and the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Championship girls’ lacrosse team. In 2004, Shannon was awarded the Girls’ Soccer Hill Athletic Award. She also was the recipient of the Jodi Calvario ’03 Award, which is given that sixth form girl who demonstrates outstanding leadership and high sportsmanship in competitive athletics. 

She continued playing soccer and lacrosse at Franklin and Marshall College, earning All-Conference honors in soccer, and winning two national championships in lacrosse.  On the lacrosse field, Zwoyer was a two-time All-American and she was named the 2009 NCAA Division III “Midfielder of the Year.” 

Athlete: Deanna Mayza '13

Deanna Mayza arrived at The Hill in 2010 from nearby Pennsburg, Pa. A three-year varsity basketball and soccer player, she is the all-time leading scorer in girls’ basketball with 1,222 points and the all-time leading scorer in girls’ soccer with 67 goals. 

Deanna helped lead the girls’ soccer team to two Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Championships and two State Championships. She is a four-time, All-Area First Team pick and has received multiple All-MAPL First Team honors. She was also named to the 2012-2013 MAPL Academic Team. In addition to her success on the pitch and court, Deanna was a member of the 4x400 meter relay team that set a school record for track and field.

During her fifth form year, she was named the Pottstown Mercury girls’ basketball Player of the Year. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Jodi Calvario ‘03 Award, which is given that sixth form girl who demonstrates outstanding leadership and high sportsmanship in competitive athletics. 

After graduating from Hill, Deanna committed to the University of Hartford to play Division I basketball. While there, Deanna racked up multiple awards including American East All-Rookie Team (2013-14) America East All-Conference Third Team (2014-15), America East All-Championship Team (2016-17), America East All-Conference Second Team (2016-17), America East All-Academic Team (2016-17). During her junior year, she was a team co-captain and was named America East Player of the Week on November 16, 2015. She also was an America East Player of the Week on Jan. 2, 2017. In all four years at Hartford, she was awarded America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll recognition.

Deanna ended her collegiate basketball career ranked eighth in scoring, second in assists, fourth in three-point field goals made (160), fourth in free-throw percentage (.784), and seventh in free throws made (258). She holds a single season record in assists (170 in 2014-15) and minutes played (1,166 in 2014-15).

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Mayza played professionally in Europe during the 2017-18 season, but ultimately an injury caused her to retire after one season.  She returned to the United States and spent one season as an assistant coach at Montclair State University before the opportunity to return to Hill presented itself. In 2019, she became the assistant girls’ basketball coach and then became associate head coach for the 2020-21 season. In 2021, she took over at the helm of the program and continues to lead the girls’ varsity basketball team. 

Coach: Mark Nelson P'10 '13

A Bowdoin College graduate, Nelson arrived at The Hill in the fall of 1980 and immediately joined the water polo coaching staff, serving as an assistant to Jim Weaver.  Weaver stepped aside following the 1981-82 season, and Nelson became the second coach in program history in the fall of 1982.

In just his third season, the 1984 team finished undefeated and won the Eastern Championship, the first of five championship water polo teams led by Mark. The following year, he was named the Eastern Seaboard Coach of the Year.

Nelson continued to strengthen the foundation of programmatic success laid by Weaver’s teams.  He accumulated a career record of 334 wins, 243 losses, and four ties, leading the program to Eastern Prep Championship titles in 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2002.  In his tenure as head coach, Nelson produced 18 All-Americans. With his record of 334 wins, he is one of the most winningest coaches in Hill School history.

After stepping down as the boys’ head coach in 2005, Mark became the assistant coach for boys’ and girls’ water polo from 2008-2017. During that time, he also served as the assistant coach for girls’ ice hockey. He currently serves as the Head Girls’ Water Polo Coach with a record of 27-28-0. In addition to coaching, Mark is a Senior Master Teacher of Science.

Team: 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.

Multiple All-Americans were named at the conclusion of the 1984 undefeated season:  Victor Mestre '85 received First-Team accolades, team captain David Reavy '85 received Third-Team accolades, and David Dietz '85 received Fifth-Team accolades.

The team had to navigate Prep Champions Lawrenceville, which ended in a 12-11 victory for Hill. They later met again for the Cardinal Invitational Tournament, which ended with a 6-5 Hill victory. This tournament produced three All-Tournament players: Victor Mestre '85, David Reavy '85, and David Dietz '85. In the final round of this tournament, the team met with host and 10-time champion, Greenwich High School. Mestre broke his record of 64 goals, giving Hill the 12-10 victory over Greenwich High School. Goaltender Alan Woodard ’86 made 26 saves during that game. George Edelman '85, Robby Kiesel '85, Truby Voisin '87, David Dietz '85, and David Reavy '85 were all recognized for their outstanding play during the tournament.

In the Navy High School Tournament, Hill was met with #1 ranked Loyola of Chicago. The team tied the competition 6-6 putting the game into overtime. David Reavy '85 was able to get the ball into the net, giving Hill the 10-9 win. Mestre, Voisin, Edelman, and Reavy were named to the U.S. Navy High School Invitational Tournament team. Their last game was against none other than Lawrenceville, with Hill once again winning by one point 8-7.

Team: 2001-2002 Field Hockey

The Hill School’s 2001-2002 Field Hockey team is the only undefeated team in program history, and only one of one of two undefeated girls’ teams in Hill athletics history.

Coached by Jennifer Sparacio and Betsy Metcalfe, the team was the first Hill girls’ team to win a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Championship. Many of the players on the team received accolades for their success on the field. Dana Shaner ’02 received Player of the Year, First Team All-Area, and First Team All-MAPL honors. Ashley Carey '02 (captain) received First Team All-Area and First Team-All MAPL honors. Brooke Carey '03 received Second Team All-Area and First Team All-MAPL honors.  Johna Capaldo '03 and Lauren Nocella '02 both received Honorable Mention All-Area and Second Team All-MAPL honors.

The leading scorers of the season were Dana Shaner ‘02 (captain) with 16 goals; Ashley Carey '02 with 13 goals; Johna Capaldo '03 with nine goals; and Lauren Nocella '02 with seven goals. The team ended their season with a final record of 16-0-1.

Extraordinary Sports Achievement: Willem (Butch) van Breda Kolff '41

Willem “Butch” van Breda Kolff was known to tell you like it is. He was blunt, fiery, and walked to the beat of his own drum. He arrived at Hill as a sixth former in 1940 and played soccer, basketball, and baseball.

He was center halfback on the 1940 soccer team that ended their season 5-3 with a 3-0 win against Lawrenceville. During his time on the undefeated 1941 basketball team, he averaged 9.8 points per game. The team’s average margin of victory for their 11 wins was 20.8 points and only one team was able to score more than 29 points over Hill’s defense. In baseball, Butch was a solid hitter and relief pitcher. He was one of four pitchers who teamed to no-hit McDonough School, 15-0.

Butch graduated from Hill in 1941 and continued his athletic career at Princeton, joining his Hill basketball teammates Bill Vogt ’41 and Chan Brewer ’41. He joined the Marines during World War II but returned to Princeton and was named captain of the soccer and basketball teams. He eventually earned his degree from New York University and decided to turn his attention to coaching basketball.

He led Princeton to the 1965 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) final and two years later to a #5 national ranking. When he left Princeton to coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA), he was the third winningest active college coach.

Butch had a storied professional coaching career. He 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.

Butch passed away in 2007 at the age of 84 having coached almost 1,400 basketball games at all levels.

Willis 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. On November 6, 1897, Hill football entered its last game of the season with an undefeated record. In the second half, with the game scoreless, Harvey ended up with the ball and broke free into the endzone for a Hill touchdown. A two-point conversion made the final score, 8-0 with a Hill win over 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.

After Hill, he went on to University of Chicago where he continued to play football and run track under legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. Harvey returned to Franklin Field his freshman year and set another record, winning the university mile relay. In 1900, Coach Stagg invited Harvey to join his Chicago teammates at the second Olympics Games in Paris. At this time, the top collegiate athletes were invited to compete instead of national teams. Harvey ran in the preliminaries of the 400 and 800-meter races but did not qualify for the finals.