WORCESTER, Mass. – A group who set numerous school records and won several conference championships headline this year’s class of seven individuals who will be inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame this year. The 2017 inductees into the Hall of Fame are Maureen Flanagan (Class of 1988, tennis), Maggie Fontana (Class of 2005, basketball), Jack O’Connor (Class of 1963, track and field), Kate O’Shaughnessy (Class of 2002, soccer, basketball), Keith Simmons (Class of 2007, basketball), James Sixsmith (Class of 2007, ice hockey) and the Rev. Anthony J. Kuzniewski, S.J. (athletic chaplain, honorary).
These new honorees will be formally inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 6, at the Varsity Club’s annual dinner, to be held in the Hogan Campus Center. To reserve tickets to the event, click here.
Flanagan was a four-year starter on some of the best women’s tennis teams Holy Cross has ever produced, during the mid to late 1980s. She led the team to an overall record of 44-8 during her four years, with the Crusaders winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in 1986 and finishing second in 1984, 1985 and 1987. Flanagan finished her four-year career with an overall singles record of 45-6, and an 18-9 mark in doubles. She won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title at No. 3 singles as a freshman, and finished as the conference runner-up five other times – twice in singles and three times in doubles.
Fontana was an outstanding player for the Crusaders from 2001-2005. She was named first team All-Patriot League in 2003 and 2005, while being a second team All-Conference selection in 2004. Fontana was also selected as the Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2003, and the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2002. She totaled 1,575 points, 768 rebounds, 420 assists and 251 steals while playing in 119 career games, and ranked third all-time at Holy Cross in steals, fourth in rebounding, fifth in scoring and seventh in assists at the time of her graduation. Over the course of her four-year career, Fontana led the Crusaders to an overall record of 80-42 with the team winning the Patriot League regular season title three times (2002, 2003, 2005) and the Patriot League Tournament championship twice (2003 and 2005). She also guided the Crusaders to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2003 and 2005 and the school’s first and only Women’s National Invitational Tournament appearance in 2002.
O’Connor was a star member of the track and field squad for the Crusaders during the early 1960s. He specialized in the distances of 440 yards and 880 yards, and was also a key member of several outstanding relay teams. During his senior year, O’Connor ran a leg on teams which set school records in the indoor one-mile relay (3:18.0) and the outdoor one-mile relay (3:12.6). He also ran a leg on the indoor two-mile relay team, which broke the school record in 1963 (7:32.6), and was part of the two-mile relay team which won both the AAU and IC4A titles during his sophomore season in 1961. As a senior in 1963, O’Connor was a key part of the Holy Cross team which won the New England outdoor championship.
O’Shaughnessy was a four-year starter on the Holy Cross women’s soccer team from 1998-2001. She is the only player in school history to be named All-Patriot League four times, as she earned second team accolades in 1999 and first team honors in 1998, 2000 and 2001. A selection to the Patriot League 25th Anniversary team, O’Shaughnessy guided the Crusaders to three consecutive 10-win seasons and Patriot League Tournament appearances in 1998, 1999 and 2000. She was named third team All-New England during her senior season, and also led Holy Cross to its only NCAA Tournament appearance and Patriot League Championship in 2000. O’Shaughnessy finished her career with the most assists in program history (20) and ranks third in career goals (30) and career points (80). She also walked on to the women’s basketball team for one season in 1998-1999, playing in 20 games on the hardwood.
Simmons was a star player for the Crusader men’s basketball team from 2003-2007, and was selected to the Patriot League 25th Anniversary team. He was named the Patriot League Player of the Year and the Patriot League Tournament MVP in 2007, while leading Holy Cross to the 2007 Patriot League championship. Simmons was also selected to the All-Patriot League first team three times (2005, 2006, 2007) and to the All-Patriot League Tournament team twice (2006, 2007). An NABC first team All-District and Associated Press honorable mention All-America selection in 2007, he ranked among the school’s all-time career leaders in seven different statistical categories at the time of his graduation: first in games played (126); second in three-point field goals made (194) and three-point field goals attempted (463); fifth in three-point field goal percentage (41.9 percent), steals (191) and minutes played (3,539); and ninth in points scored (1,654). Following his graduation, Simmons went on to play professionally in Turkey and Germany for several years.
Sixsmith was a four-year member of the Holy Cross men’s ice hockey team from 2003-2007. He ranked as the school’s all-time Division I leader points (152) and assists (104) at the time of his graduation, in addition to scoring 48 goals. Sixsmith was named first team All-Atlantic Hockey as a senior, and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament during his junior season. He led the Crusaders to two Atlantic Hockey Association championships and the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history, including a 4-3 victory over Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA West Regional. Sixsmith also received the USCHO Sportsmanship Award and the Atlantic Hockey Sportsmanship Award in 2007. Following his graduation, he went on to play professionally in both the United States and Europe for several years.
Kuzniewski served as a chaplain for Holy Cross’ athletic teams for over 20 years. A beloved member of the Holy Cross community for decades, Kuzniewski was regarded for his distinguished scholarship and exceptional teaching, as well as his mentorship and ministry to Holy Cross student-athletes. His guidance and support engendered such gratitude and respect among Holy Cross alumni and student-athletes, that the rowing team named a shell after him and Kuzniewski Field was named in his honor. Kuzniewski celebrated mass each year prior to the Holy Cross Varsity Club’s annual dinner and led the varsity song at the event’s conclusion. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 71.