The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame formally welcomed eight new members Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md. during the 2014 induction ceremony, sponsored by RPS Bollinger Sports & Leisure and the Markel Insurance Company.
Inductees Stan Cockerton, Jay Jalbert, Erin Brown Millon, Steve Mitchell, Michele Uhlfelder, Peter G. Voelkel, Carole Wakefield (posthumous) and Margery Watson were each introduced by a short video that summarized their career highlights and included comments from a presenter. Following their introduction, each inductee was greeted by a standing ovation as they made their way forward to address the gathering of current Hall of Fame members and several hundred additional friends, family and lacrosse supporters gathered for the celebration.
Cockerton, Jalbert, Millon, Mitchell, Uhlfelder and Voelkel were each inducted as ‘truly great players’ while Wakefield and Watson were both inducted as ‘truly great contributors.’
A native of Oshawa, Canada, Stan Cockerton was a four-time All-American at North Carolina State University from 1977-80, and also received All-ACC honors in each of his four seasons. He was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002. A prolific scorer, Cockerton still ranks third all-time in NCAA Division I history with 193 career goals, first all-time in goals per game with 4.39, and second all-time in points per game with 6.36.
Cockerton’s life-long involvement on the international stage began in 1978, when he tallied six goals and three assists in Canada’s 17-16 victory over Team USA in the World Championship final, including the game-winning goal in overtime. He also played for Team Canada in 1982 and 1990, and has served as the executive director of Ontario Lacrosse Association since 1986. He became president of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) in 2012.
“Lacrosse defines my life,” Cockerton said. “My job, all my volunteer time, coaching the Canadian teams, my sons play lacrosse. Pretty much everything I do is lacrosse. Starting with N.C. State, lacrosse showed me what opportunities were available in life. The sky’s the limit, and I’ve kind of grasped that.”
Cockerton’s close friend and FIL colleague, 1989 Hall of Fame inductee Tom Hayes, served as his presenter.
Jay Jalbert, a product of Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the University of Virginia and was a pioneer in Major League Lacrosse. He was a three-time All-American midfielder at Virginia, and was named the national midfielder of the year in 1999 as he helped lead the Cavaliers to the NCAA championship. He went on to become a four-time all-star in the MLL, and was the league MVP in 2003. He was also a three-time all-star as an indoor player in the National Lacrosse League.
Jalbert was also a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2006, when he was named to the All-World team and received the Best Midfielder Award.
“The people that I looked up to in lacrosse and helped shape my career are all in the Hall of Fame,” Jalbert said. “They motivated me and pushed me along. Being amongst them now is pretty cool.”
Jalbert’s friend and professional teammate, Jesse Hubbard, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, served as his presenter.
Erin Brown Millon, from Fallston, Md., was an All-American at the University of Maryland and two-time world champion as a member of Team USA. Millon started her collegiate career at Essex (Md.) Community College before becoming a two-year starter on attack at Maryland. She helped lead the Terps to an NCAA runner-up finish as a senior in 1990, and was selected to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002.
As a two-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Millon helped lead Team USA to the gold medal in both the 1997 and 2001 World Championships. Despite achieving goals throughout her life, she admitted that reaching the Hall of Fame was never among them.
“All I was trying to do was get out there and go hard at it and play well,” Millon said. “I would see (Hall of Fame status) in other people and think that they were so great. I just never felt that for myself. Having now achieved this has meant the world to me.”
Millon’s former teammate at Maryland and with Team USA, Jessica Wilk Strosberg, a 2009 Hall of Fame inductee, served as her presenter.
Millon joins her husband, Mark, a 2009 inductee, as the only husband-wife tandem in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Steve Mitchell, from Baltimore, was a two-time All-American at Johns Hopkins University and the first long stick defensive midfielder to be selected as a first team All-American in 1987. Mitchell helped Johns Hopkins claim three NCAA national championships during his career. The Blue Jays compiled a 47-6 record during his four seasons.
Following college, Mitchell was a member of two U.S. national teams, playing on the 1990 and 1994 Team USA squads that claimed world championships. He was selected to the All-World Team in 1990.
Mitchell credited his late father, George, as a motivating influence for his success. George, who also played at Hopkins, enjoyed great success as a prep and collegiate player.
“When I would see him get together with his old friends and they would start talking, you could see how they would just light up,” Mitchell said. “I just wanted to be in that club. I just wanted to have those conversations. At Hopkins, we won three out of four titles, so there was a sense that I could have those conversations now. No one can take that away from you.”
Hall of Fame member Larry Quinn, Mitchell’s teammate at both Johns Hopkins and with Team USA, served as his presenter.
Michele Uhlfelder was a teammate of Millon’s at both Maryland and with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Uhlfelder earned first team All-America honors in 1991, and was also recognized as the national attacker of the year that season, leading the Terps to the NCAA runner-up trophy for the second straight year. Uhlfelder was also selected to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002.
Uhlfelder was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team Program from 1989-2005, and was a two-time world champion, claiming the gold medal as a member of Team USA in 1997 and 2001.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is very special,” said Uhlfelder, a native of Pikesville, Md. “Being written into the lacrosse history books and being a part of lacrosse legacy is really humbling. It’s kind of surreal.”
Uhlfelder spent four years as an assistant coach at Old Dominion and two years as an assistant at Duke University before becoming head coach at Stanford in 2000. She coached the Cardinal for eight seasons and ranks as the program’s winningest coach with an 84-46 record.
Sue Stahl, who coached Team USA and also hired Uhlfelder as an assistant coach at Old Dominion University, served as her presenter.
Peter G.Voelkel, from Baltimore, enjoyed a stellar collegiate career as a midfielder at the University of North Carolina. He was a four-time All-American, including first team honors as a junior and senior in 1982 and 1983, and was named the national midfielder of the year in 1983. He was also a three-time selectee to the All-ACC team and named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002.
Voelkel, who had the opportunity to play with two of his brothers as teammates at UNC, helped lead the Tar Heels to back-to-back NCAA national championship in 1981 and 1982, finishing undefeated both seasons. He was selected as UNC’s team MVP in 1981 and 1983.
Voelkel credited his high school and college teammates for his selection to the National Hall of Fame.
“It’s a tremendous honor, but one that I accept on behalf of the players at Loyola (Md.) High School, where I played, and my teammates at the University of North Carolina, as well as the coaches, my parents, and my brothers,” Voelkel said.
Voelkel’s younger brother, Brent, served as his presenter.
Carole Wakefield is recognized by many as being the first publicist for women’s lacrosse, serving as a writer and columnist covering the game for parts of four decades. Wakefield, who lived most of her life in Haverford, Pa., was the women’s editor for Lacrosse Magazine for 12 years, and editor of the USWLA’s Crosse Checks publication for five years.
Her granddaughter, Kirstin McGoldrick Sheehe, served as her presenter.
“She loved the sport and she loved the people,” Sheehe said. “She got hooked into lacrosse through her daughters. She realized there was no coverage of women’s sports, in our area especially, so she started writing her own game summaries, and it kind of evolved and took off from there. She was a fighter for what she thought was right.”
In addition to East Coast coverage, Wakefield soon became a fixture at the Vail Shootout Tournament, venturing to Colorado for 10 straight summers to serve as a scorer, timer and writer at the event. In recognition, she received the Vail Tournament’s Service Award in 1997.
“The game allowed her to do so many wonderful things,” Sheehe said. “Her involvement started as something she felt she needed to do, and turned into something that she loved to do. That was her life”
Margery Watson is best known as the coach who launched the women’s program at Ursinus (Pa.) College, where she amassed a record of 199-19-9 as the coach from 1957-81. Included in that run were seven undefeated seasons, as well as runner-up finishes in both the 1979 USWLA National Tournament and the 1981 AIAW National Championship. In addition, Watson was instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Colleges Women’s Lacrosse Association (PCWLA) in 1970.
In addition to coaching, Watson, previously inducted to four halls of fame, was a pioneer in the women’s lacrosse camp business, starting the American Lacrosse Camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. The family-run business marks its 41st year in 2015.
“I have a lot of former players, nine of them, that are in the Hall of Fame, so that means I’m a lot older than they are,” she joked. “I appreciate (being selected) and I’m thankful.”
Chad Watson, one of Margery’s five children and a former player at the University of North Carolina, served as her presenter.
The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a program of US Lacrosse, was established in 1957 to honor men and women who by their deeds as players, coaches, officials and/or contributors, and by the example of their lives, personify the great contribution of lacrosse to our way of life. Nearly 390 lacrosse greats are honored in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, which is located with the Lacrosse Museum at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Baltimore.