URG adding 4 to Athletic Hall of Fame

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – A pair of men’s soccer standouts, a talented softball pitcher and one of the most decorated runners in school history highlight the University of Rio Grande’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Simon Carey, Tony Griffiths, Josh Perry and Andrea Lotycz (Bowsher) comprise the quartet elected earlier this year, with the formal induction of Perry and Lotcyz set to take place on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. as part of the school’s annual Hall of Fame banquet.

Carey and Griffiths, both of whom were members of Rio’s 2003 national championship team, were formally inducted during a brief on-field ceremony on Oct. 10 prior to the men’s soccer game against Cincinnati Christian University.

The Hall of Fame banquet will follow the conclusion of the Bevo Francis Invitational Tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, at the Newt Oliver Arena.

The entire Class of 2015 – and all Hall of Fame members in attendance – will be recognized prior to the tournament’s final game at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the 21st. The banquet begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception, with the formal program to follow at the top of the hour.

Perry, a native of Rio Grande, Ohio, earned NAIA Outdoor Track and Field All-American honors in 2008 and was named Rio Grande’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Perry is the owner of the former America Mideast Conference meet record in both the 200-meter dash and the 4x100m relay and was named the league’s Athlete of the Meet in 2008.

Perry is either the sole- or part-owner of five outdoor track & field records at Rio Grande and also is the school record-holder in five indoor events (55-meter dash, 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 300-meter run and 400-meter run).

Perry also holds meet and facility records at a number of other universities and/or continued to be listed in the Top 10 Best Times as of the close of the 2014 season.

“Josh was a tremendous athlete and an outstanding runner who re-wrote the record books time and time again at Rio Grande,” said Rio Grande track & field head coach Bob Willey. “Off the top of my head, I think he broke 23 records – many of which were his own – while he was here. I remember him running the indoor 300 one year and, at the time, he was a little under a second off the world record. I had coaches from all over the United States calling me and asking ‘where did you get this guy?’. I told them he was from Rio Grande and they said ‘we know he goes to Rio Grande, but where’s he from?’. I had to tell them again that he’s from Rio Grande – he lives here in the village. He’s an outstanding Christian young man who was a hard worker that was able to accomplish a lot while he was here.”

Perry currently is employed as a teacher at Gallia Academy High School in nearby Gallipolis.

Lotycz, a native of Marysville, Ohio, was a pitcher in the Rio women’s softball program from 2002-2006, helping lead the then-Redwomen to the 2004 Region IX championship and a seventh-place finish in the NAIA World Series – the program’s only such World Series appearance to date.

Lotcyz finished her Rio career with a 60-34 record and a 2.30 earned run average, tossing 90 complete games among the 92 contests she appeared in. She authored 17 career shutouts and was an honorable mention All-America Mideast Conference selection as a freshman before earning second team All-AMC South kudos as a sophomore.

As a freshman, Lotcyz set an NAIA single-game record with 18 innings pitched in a game against Cedarville University on April 29, 2003 – a mark which stood until 2011.

“Andrea’s very deserving of this honor,” said former Rio Grande head coach David Pyles. “She won 17 straight games at one point during the season we reached the national tournament. She was a great team leader and role model while at Rio.”

Lotcyz, who currently is employed as a Kindergarten teacher by Maryville Schools, resides in her hometown with her husband, Nick Bowsher, and two sons, Kaylor (4) and Kameron (2). The couple is expecting a third son soon.

Carey, who hails from Preston, England, was a three-time All American (2001, 2003, 2004), in addition to earning first team All-America Mideast Conference honors in each of his seasons. He was named the AMC’s Player of the Year in 2001.

In 2001, Carey set Rio’s single-season record for goals with 37. He finished his career with 84 goals and 22 assists in 85 games played and his 190 points currently stand as the school’s all-time top mark.

Carey, who was also a three-time all-region selection, served as team captain during his senior season in 2004. He never lost a regular season game during his Rio career.

“Simon is one of five players to never lose a regular season contest during his career at Rio Grande,” Rio Grande head coach Scott Morrissey said. “He was a pure goal scorer and one of the most prolific strikers to ever play here.”

Griffiths, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who played at Rio Grande from 2003-06, lost just one regular season game during his four-year career. A two-time NAIA All-American, earning honors in 2005 and 2006, he was also named an all-tournament selection during Rio’s run to a national title in 2003.

Griffiths was named to the All-America Mideast Conference team in 2003, 2005 and 2006, while earning all-region honors in each of his four seasons with the Redmen. A team captain during his senior season, Griffiths scored 12 goals and assisted on eight others during his Rio career.

“Tony Griffiths, arguably, was one of the best to ever play soccer at Rio Grande,” said Morrissey. “As a left back, Tony had as much impact on every game as any player on the field.”

The weekend’s festivities will also include the induction of Rio Grande’s 2000-2001 men’s basketball team, which advanced to the Final Four of the NAIA Division II National Tournament, to the school’s Athletic Wall of Honor. Team members and coaches will be recognized in between the final two games of Friday’s schedule at approximately 7:45 p.m.

Tickets for the Nov. 21 banquet, which are $15 each, can be purchased through the Alumni Relations office at 740-245-7431.

The University of Rio Grande takes great pride in awarding outstanding alumni, athletes and former faculty members with various recognition awards. Nominations from alumni and former faculty and staff are encouraged. Nomination forms for alumni awards, Athletic Hall of Fame and Educators Hall of Fame are available through the resources link on the Alumni Relations webpage at rio.edu/alumni.

Nominations are due by Feb. 1 of each year. For more information, or questions, please e-mail [email protected]

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing