The Hobart College Athletics Department and the Statesmen Athletic Association will honor four Hobart Teams of Distinction this fall. The 1992 baseball team, the 1993 football team, the 1993-94 squash team, and the two-time IRA Championship-winning pair of Chris and Rob Desino will raise the total number of Hobart Teams of Distinction to 20.
The Desino brothers will be honored following the HWS Challenge on the Canal on Saturday, Sept. 28. The baseball, football and squash teams will be publically recognized during halftime of the Hobart football game against Rensselaer on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The Desinos were three-time medalists at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. After capturing a bronze medal in the coxless pair in 1992, the brothers won back-to-back gold medals at the national championships. 1993 was a banner year for the Desinos. In addition to winning their first IRA gold, they also won championships in the pair at the Canadian Ontario Regatta and the Canadian Henley Regatta, and competed in the Henley Royal Regatta in the Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup. They closed out their Hobart careers in an eight, competing in the Temple Challenge Cup at the 1994 Henley Royal Regatta.
The 1992 Statesmen nine set a school record with a 25-12-1 overall record and earned the program’s first NCAA Championship bid. Head Coach Rick Ferchen’s team was led by second baseman Bryan Carter and outfielder Bill Minnich. Both players earned All-State and All-ECAC honors, while Carter earned the additional distinction of becoming the program’s first All-American.
Four Statesmen hit over .300 that season, led by Minnich’s .395. The slugger also boasted team-highs in doubles (13), triples (8), home runs (9), and RBIs (50). Carter hit .368, swiped a team-high 27 bases and worked a team-high 20 walks. On the hill, seniors Scott Ruggles, Will Margiloff, and Chuck Chawgo were the work horses of the staff, combining to pitch 179 2-3 innings. Ruggles was 7-3 with a team best 2.03 ERA in a team-high 71 innings. Margiloff fanned a team-high 48 batters compiling a 5-3 record with a 2.39 ERA. Chawgo was 7-1 with a 3.35 ERA.
The 1993 football team was the first Hobart gridiron gang to earn a postseason invitation. Led by the late Bill Maxwell, the Statesmen compiled a 7-3 regular season record and an ECAC Bowl bid. At the time, the Colleges were still on a trimester schedule and the bowl game would have required the team to travel to Maine during finals, so the invitation was declined.
The team overcame a 1-2 start with a six-game winning streak. The run got started with a pair of extremes. On Oct. 2, Hobart rang up a 32-7 win at St. Lawrence. The 32 points and 25-point margin of victory marked season-highs. The following Saturday at Rochester, the Statesmen managed a paltry 2 points, but it was enough as the defense pitched the first of its two shutouts. The six-game run was capped off with a 10-0 blanking of Buffalo State.
Four Statesmen earned All-ECAC Upstate honors: offensive lineman Dave Gibbons, linebacker Rich Memeger, and defensive backs Pete Afrooz and Bill Palmer. Additionally, three garnered a spot on the Champion USA All-America teams. Palmer, who recorded a Hobart record nine interceptions, earned first team recognition. Afrooz, a second team pick, led the Statesmen with 102 tackles. Memeger rang up a team-high 13 sacks.
The 1993-94 squash Statesmen produced a 13-5 record and won NISRA Jack Barnaby Trophy as the nation’s most improved team. The team entered the NISRA Championships on a tear, winning nine of its final 10 regular season matches, including a 5-4 win over Dartmouth and a 7-2 triumph against Rochester. The Big Green turned the tables in the championship opener, but the team rebounded with a 5-4 victory over MIT and a 5-4 victory over Cornell. Hobart was ranked 11th in the nation in the final NISRA ranking. Playing out of the middle of the lineup, Drummond Bell and Peter Burke shared team-high honors with twin 15-3 records.
The Team of Distinction classification was created by the Statesmen Athletic Association to honor the very best teams in Hobart history. Teams become eligible for Team of Distinction recognition 10 years after the completion of their season. Typically, a Team of Distinction has won a conference, regional or national championship; or been undefeated over the course of its season; or considered to be one of the “very best Hobart teams ever” in the respective sport; or has overcome exceptional challenges to be successful.