2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Stephen Durant ’64 attended Williston for five years and proved himself to be one of greatest athletes to ever attend the school. As a three-year member of the varsity football team, Durant was a two-time Boston Herald All-New England Prep School Team selection. The fact that he was named to the team at two different positions – quarterback and fullback – made the feat even more impressive.
In 1964, with the football team on its way to a New England championship, Durant gained 305 yards while averaging 5.5 yards per carry and, more impressively, never lost yardage. In 1964, he was named the Stimets Trophy winner as well as the Frank Boyden Award winner, given to the Top Western Mass Prep School Scholar-Football player. In 1963 he was named the Connecticut Valley Scholar Athlete recipient.
Durant also played basketball for two years, but it was lacrosse where he found a true passion. A Second Team All-New England selection in 1963, he was named co-captain his senior year as he led the team in scoring and earned First Team All-New England honors. “At Williston I loved the routine of sports every day,” he said. “In football we went from winning one game my junior year to being undefeated in our senior year. As I remember, in our senior year between football, basketball, and lacrosse, we only lost two games, both in basketball.”
Durant was also a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, consistently earning a place on the Academic Honor Roll, while also sitting on Student Council.
Following graduation, he attended Princeton University where he played lacrosse for four years, including 1966 when the Tigers were Ivy League Champs. In 1968 he was an Honorable Mention All-American selection. After Princeton, Durant attended Yale Law School, earning a degree in 1974. Durant continued to play lacrosse for the Jacksonville Lacrosse Club, winning the 1980 Florida State Championship, until a broken collarbone forced his retirement.
Durant continues to practice law in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Tess, a 1964 graduate of the Northampton School for Girls. They both were on campus at Reunion this year, and Stephen accepted the award from Nick Garofano ’16.
Laura Hurd ’01, who was posthumously inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Reunion May 13, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and attended Williston Northampton for two years. A two-year starter in soccer, ice hockey, and track, Hurd was known for her tenacious determination, competitive spirit, and unfailing love of life. Her mother, Jennifer, accepted the award on her daughter’s behalf, and Rachel Rockwell ’16 presented the award.
After graduation, Hurd attended Elmira College, which was just starting a women’s ice hockey program. Over the course of the next four years, she rewrote the record books for Division III Women’s Ice Hockey in leading Elmira to two National Division III titles. A four-time First Team All-American forward, Hurd still holds the NCAA Division III record for career scoring with 237 points, leading the nation in scoring her senior year and being named ECAC Player of the Year. She also holds NCAA Division III records for points in a season (77), points in a career (120 goals, 117 assists), points per game in a season (2.75), points per game in a career (2.15), goals in a season (40), goals in a career (120), assists in a career (117) and assists per game (1.06).
“For me, I had never seen a kid who could finish like that. She had such a gift around the net,” former Elmira coach Jamie Wood said. “She wasn’t the fastest skater, but she was fast enough. She wasn’t the biggest kid, but she was big enough. She knew exactly where to be and when to be there. It was uncanny.”
“I think for her the stats didn’t really matter,” Wood added. “She was focused on winning and what the team was doing. We wouldn’t have won without her on the ice. She played her best in the big moments.”
Upon graduating from Elmira with a B.A. in Economics, Hurd went to work for Corning. In the summer of 2006, Hurd was tragically killed in a car accident. In January 2007, the American Hockey Coaches Association voted to rename the Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Player of the Year award after her.
Dale Lash attended Oil City High School in Pennsylvania where he was the captain of the basketball team. He then attended Springfield College where his team won the New England Championship his senior year. He graduated from Springfield in 1923 and received his master’s degree from New York University.
Dale Lash came to Williston Academy after 18 years of coaching at Wesleyan University, where he won ten Little Three Championships en-route to a 148-95 record. With a competing offer from Springfield College to coach basketball at his alma mater, he chose to accept the position at Williston because of his interest in mentoring and coaching young people. He was Athletic Director from 1942–1967 and also coached basketball, football, and baseball for 14 seasons from 1942-1956. Highlights as Williston coach were the undefeated basketball team of 1945, with outstanding player and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, Tony Lavelli, and the undefeated football team of 1947.
But it was always the day-to-day coaching and interaction with players that were his favorite role and responsibility. As he encouraged the development of their skills on the court and playing field, sportsmanship was his utmost priority as a coach and for his players. He groomed them to not only respect the rules of the game but to respect each other and the opposing team.
His support of veterans was personal and professional. He drilled army cadets in physical fitness at Springfield College. Then as veterans of World War II returned home, many found they needed a year of preparation before going to college. They were older than the typical prep school student so many lived off campus when they enrolled at Williston. He and his wife, Helen, had their sons Robert and Richard give up their bedrooms so these veteran students could live in their home.
Beneath his ready smile and gentle demeanor was a commitment to discipline, hard work, and dedication that was reflected in the steady growth of athletic programs at Williston.
Westcott E.S. Moulton ’27, one of Williston Academy’s first true ice hockey superstars, was posthumously inducted into the Williston Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Reunion on May 13.
Moulton, who was often known as Wes, attended Williston Academy for two years. During that time he played varsity football, ice hockey, and baseball. He was named captain in his senior year in both football and ice hockey, while earning All New England honors in baseball.
It was in ice hockey that Moulton truly shined. In a total of 11 games over two seasons, Moulton scored 48 goals while the rest of the team scored 29. He made an amazing 15 of 18 goals in his senior year. He was named to Williston’s First Half Century Team (1900-1950).
Following his graduation, Moulton attended Brown University, and was captain of his undefeated freshman team—scoring 14 goals in the span of two games. As a high scoring center on the varsity team, he became Brown’s first ice hockey All-American in 1931, and became known as “Mr. Hockey,” the best collegiate ice hockey player in New England. His favorite trick was to hurdle two defenders and go in alone on the goalie with defensemen converging on him. He had great speed on ice. He moved so easily that it was said his hockey stick appeared attached to his hand.
Returning to Brown in 1946, Moulton was instrumental in the revival of hockey and coached there until 1952, winning Ivy League titles in 1950 and 1951. In 1952, Moulton was asked to coach the US Olympic team; however, he turned this opportunity down to keep up with his duties at Brown. By then he had become acting Dean of Students in addition to his job as hockey coach. In 1971, Moulton became a charter member of the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame, and he also has the honor of being the fifth person to be named to the United States National Collegiate Hockey Hall of Fame.
Moulton left Brown in 1961 to return to Williston, where he worked as Director of the Williston Annual Fund, Alumni Secretary, and editor of the Williston Bulletin. Upon his retirement, a major commencement prize was named for him.
For only the second time in Williston’s history, the 1991 Girls Cross Country team took first place in the Division II New England Championships, capping an undefeated season. Out of seventy runners at the championships, Williston finished with five girls in the top twenty, led by Seana and Suzanne Zelazo, who finished third and ninth respectively. Priscilla Fusco Kanzer finished 12th, Tara Sheehan finished 18th and co-captain Natalie Munk crossed the line in 19th place. Other members of the team included Catherine Saint Louis, co-captain Mecina Bottaro, Lissy Neumann, Megan Ross, Jodi Ryder and Amanda Patterson.
As Coach Greg Tuleja stated at the time, “This is the best team I’ve ever coached. The girls are also some of the nicest young people I have met at Williston.”
After college, Seana Zelazo continued to race, winning the 2003 Philadelphia Marathon, placing 4th as the first American at the 2006 Hartford Marathon, and qualifying for the 2004 and 2008 Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. Her twin sister, Suzanne Zelazo, competed as a professional triathlete from 2009-2014, placing 6th at the 2011 Lake Placid Ironman and raced as a Category 2 elite cyclist. Tara Sheehan passed away in February 2002. In her memory and to benefit eating disorder programs, the family organized the annual “Run/Walk for Tara” on the Williston Northampton cross-country course. The Tara Sheehan Fund gives a grant each year to support eating disorder programs.