Sage announces 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Sage announces 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Albany, NY--The Sage Colleges' Department of Athletics proudly announces its class for the 2016 Hall of Fame induction.   Entering in 2016 will be former Junior College of Albany men's basketball standout, John Wagner (Ridgefield, CT), a 1985 JCA graduate, Russell Sage College women's soccer star Schuyler Kokernak (Watervliet, NY), a 2008 RSC graduate and former Russell Sage College women's volleyball all-star, Shannon Young (Utica, NY), a 2008 RSC graduate.

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Young, who now resides in Carlsbad, California, helped the Gator women's volleyball team to the 2007 Skyline Conference Championships and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2007. She capped her outstanding collegiate career as the program's all-time career digs leader with 3,249, a mark that still stands today at Sage.

A masterful defensive specialist, Young made an immediate and lasting impact for the Gators on the volleyball court. Her 6.68 career digs per set average is a Sage career record, while her year by year digs per season totals are ranked No. 1, 2 3, and 4 still to this day. As a rookie, she tallied 878 digs on the year, while adding a 96.1% service percentage on 47 aces with 91.576 reception percentage for the team after a 25-11 campaign.  She finished her first collegiate season ranked N0. 10 nationally in digs per set average with a 6.97 average. Young was also honored with a pair of all-tournament team selections as she was honored at both the RSC Invitational and the Fairleigh Dickinson University Tournaments.

She backed up her rookie season, and helped the team to an impressive 29-9 season, while adding 5.83 digs per set, which was ranked 30th in all of Division III that season. She added 741 digs on the 2005 campaign and had a program-best 94.0% reception percentage, another Sage single-season mark. Young also had 58 aces and played in 127 sets that season.

As a junior in 2006, she connected for another national ranking with her 6.85 digs per set average, which was 17th best in all of Division III for the team as they combined for a 17-16 mark.  She added an impressive team-best 801 digs in 117 sets played, while racking up 36 aces for the team with a 0.31 aces per set average.

As a senior, Young earned a selection to the 2007 American Volleyball Coaches Association, New York All-Region Team after the team went 18-17 on the season.  Along the way, the team won the program's first Skyline Conference Championship after a perfect 11-0 season in the league. Sage also earned an NCAA bid for the efforts, another first for all of the athletic teams at the College. She led the squad with her 860 digs and tallied 54 aces in 123 sets played. Young was also honored with a selection to the Skyline Conference All-Star First Team at libero after earning one player of the week citation after helping the team cap an undefeated campaign in the conference.

Nearly 10 years later, her legacy remains among not only Sage's women's volleyball program's career statistical leaders, but among the NCAA Division III leaders. To this day, she is ranked No. 4 in all of Division III with her 3,280 career digs. Her per set average of 6.65 career digs per set average is also among the all-time great performances as she stands No. 5 all-time as well. She is among the players being featured in a history of the sport in conjunction with the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship.

Young is now a physical therapist working in southern California where she works for US Healthworks specializing orthopedic outpatient care. She also worked previously at Johns Hopkins Hospital, specializing in cardiac service for organ transplant recipients. She was part of a team that helped to build electronic documentation for the acute care rehabilitation team at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She continues to be active in her community helping to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association and the America Liver Foundation, while also assisting to raise funds to assist with the building of housing projects across the country for low income families.

Kokernak, who starred for the Gator women's soccer team from 2004 to 2007, helped to establish the Gators' stingy defense during her career as the program's goalkeeper. To this day, many of her performances rank among the Sage program record standards.

As a senior, she helped the Gators transition to the Skyline Conference and by year's end, was rewarded for her outstanding performance with a selection to the 2007 Skyline Conference All-Star Second Team after the squad posted a record of 9-4-3 overall with a spot in post-season play. She finished the year among the NCAA Division III national leaders with a 0.829 saves percentage, which was ranked 29th in the country. She was also ranked in goals against average after posting a 0.776 GAA, which was 51st nationally as well.

She helped the team in 2007 as they also were among the national statistical leaders in team statistics as Sage ranked 41st in shutouts percentage (0.563) and 48th in goals against average (0.72). Over the course of the season, she tallied 13 saves in a single game not once, but twice, a feat that still ranks among the program's Top 6 performances. The team combined for nine shutouts, a feat that stands today after the team allowed just 12 goals all year, another mark that is also a Gator high-water mark.

During her junior season, Sage posted a record of 8-9-1 and she was once again among the NCAA Division III's top performing goalies. She finished the 2006 season with a .889 saves percentage (tied for No. 16) nationally, while also ranking 40th with her impressive 0.661 goals against average after making eight starts with just four goals allowed in goal.

In the 2005 season, the Gators went 7-4-7 with 2-2 tie against Meredith College in the season finale. She was part of a squad that combined for eight shutouts that year. As a rookie, she set a record for the most saves in a game with 16 in the team's 2004 match-up with RPI, a record that has since been broken. She made 19 starts that season, a mark that has been tied twice but never broken. She helped the Gators to an 8-8-3 mark that season.

Kokernak has continued her love of soccer having served as a soccer coach locally with the Watervliet H.S. and Albany Academy for Girls and Boys during her career after graduation as well as refereering area youth soccer league contests.  A history teacher at Albany Academy for Boys, she ranks among Sage's all-time women's soccer goalkeeping leaders.

Her 5,401 career minutes of service in net stands first, while her 20 career shutouts is also a Gator program standard. She also holds the program's record for consecutive shutouts with six, while adding 320 career saves, which is now No. 3 at Sage. Her 1.05 career goals against average of 1.05 with just 63 goals allowed in four years of service is also a Gator standard that has never been matched.

Wagner, who was a two-year starter for JCA's men's basketball team from 1983-1985, helped lead the Sabres to an impressive 43-19 record during his career. As a collegiate newcomer, Wagner helped the squad to a 22-9 mark and a spot in the NJCAA Region III East Tournament. He backed up his rookie season by helping team program to a repeat in the NJCAA Region III East finals after a 21-10 season.

During his career at JCA, Wagner handed out 366 assists, while averaging 5.9 assists per game for his career. He also led the program after distributing 7.1 assists per game in 1984-1985 which also another record-setting performance after tallying 221 on the season.  Considered one of the top perimeter defender on the team, he was always drawing the assignment of the top perimeter play on the opposing team.  He finished his JCA career standing fifth in program history with his 130 career steals, while having 86 steals on the year in 1984-1985, another high-water mark that ranks fifth as well.

After graduating from JCA, Wagner attended Fordham University, earning his undergraduate degree in finance in 1987, as well as a Masters' degree in 1990 from Iona College. A former teacher at Mt. St. Michaels High School in the Bronx, he also worked for several years in the athletic department at Iona College, including a brief stint as the men's tennis coach. He is now an assistant principal with the New York City Department of Education, a role he has held since 1999.

Tickets are available for $45/person, which includes cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2016.  The event will take place at Hilton Garden Inn in Albany, NY.  The 2016 class will be honored earlier in the day in conjunction with the Sage women's and men's basketball teams at Kahl Gym on December 3. The women's game tips at noon and the men's game follows at 2 p.m. on December 3.

Please RSVP by November 24 by contacting the Christina Bernardo at 518-292-1753 or via emailat benanc@sage.edu

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