OCC Honoring Their Greats
When people are driving down to the Jersey Shore, they believe the best part of the coastline is the beaches and the boardwalks. They probably don’t know that they are driving past an accomplished collegiate athletic program as they head south for the weekend or vacation. Toms River is the home of the Ocean County College Vikings and they continuously churn out great athletes. Some of their best will be inducted into the OCC Athletic Hall of Fame on Wednesday June 29 at 6 p.m. in the Health & Human Performance Center.
OCC started its Athletic Hall of Fame back in 2003 and this year’s class is only the eighth group to be inducted. The seven member class is the largest to enter since the inaugural class of 10 in2003. The graduation dates of this year’s inductees range from 1975 to 2010. Director of the Shore Sports Network Kevin Williams is the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Here are the new Hall of Famers:
Craig Bessinger is from Point Pleasant and graduated from OCC in 1975. He participated with the Viking Cross Country and Wrestling teams, leading the Wrestling squad to the Westchester Tournament Championship by pinning his opponent in the finals and earning a 12-4 individual record that year. Bessinger concurrently came in 4th in the nation in sales of Cutco Cutlery both years at OCC winning Alcoa $1,000.00 scholarships each year. Currently he operates Bessinger Management Group based out of West Virginia, owning income property in five states.
Maggie Chussler McDuffee hails from Brick and attained great success at OCC. She played on the Viking Women’s Soccer Team (2004-2005) being named a Captain in her second year, receiving an athletic scholarship, earning All American, All Region, and All Conference honors, along with being a nationally ranked goal scorer. Chussler McDuffee graduated in 2008 from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Psychology and Criminal Justice. Presently, she is a broker at Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, SC.
Beth Root Ganley joins her Viking teammate Chussler McDuffee in the Hall of Fame as she also played for the women’s soccer team from 2004-2005. Like McDuffee, she was named captain during her second year and received All Region and All Conference honors, in addition to being named MVP. The Toms River native received an athletic scholarship to attend Fairleigh Dickinson, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing in 2009. Presently, she is Director of Marketing for Ocean Orthopedic Associates in Toms River.
Andrew Hawtin is from Lanoka Harbor and had a Viking career very similar to the ladies mentioned above. While part of the OCC soccer team from 2003-2004, he won All Region and All Conference honors. Hawtin went on to play and graduate from Division I Syracuse University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Presently, he works as a Business Development Manager for Juniper Networks.
Jennifer Nelson of Barnegat is the most recent alum of OCC as she graduated in 2010. She competed for the Viking Cross Country team and was named a captain, while earning All American, All Region, All Conference, All Academic, Female Athlete of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Individual National Champion honors. Nelson earned a Bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy with Distinction from Stockton University. She presented research at the American College of Sports Medicine World Conference. Nelson is a Physical Therapist working in an outpatient orthopedic setting.
The older one of the Waldron brothers, Brian graduated from OCC in 2005 and was a two-year member of the men’s soccer team. Waldron graduated in 2007 from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Accounting, and in 2010, he completed a second Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from Villanova University. Waldron is a Certified Public Accountant and works as an Audit Manager for Holman Frenia Allison, PC.
The other Waldron brother to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Kevin is from Lanoka Harbor and graduated from OCC in 2007. While a student at OCC, Waldron played on the Viking basketball team and maintained a 4.0 GPA. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. He went on to complete a Master’s in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton. Waldron is Vice Principal of H&M Potter Elementary School in Bayville, NJ.
Tickets are $35. To purchase tickets, call the OCC Athletics Department at 732-255-0345.