POTSDAM, N.Y.—Three former SUNY Potsdam student-athletes and two Potsdam championship teams have been selected for induction into Bears Hall of Fame in 2013. Edane Barton '06, Chris Lee '04, Chris Mele '87, 1972-73 Wrestling Team and 1995-96 Men's Ice Hockey Team are the Class of 2013.
Barton, Lee, Mele and the wrestlers will be inducted during a ceremony on July 13 at the Knowles Conference Center MPR. The ceremony begins with a reception at 11:30 a.m., followed by a noon lunch and the presentations. These inductions will be part of SUNY Potsdam's annual Reunion Weekend from July 11-14. The hockey team will be inducted during the reopening of the renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena in November.
Barton, a native of Spring Valley, N.Y., was a standout for the men's basketball team from 2003-2006. During his time with the Bears, Potsdam posted a 62-27 record (35-16 SUNYAC), won two SUNYAC Championships and reached the NCAA Tournament twice. Barton played in 89 games with the Bears, totaling 1,194 points, 707 rebounds and 174 steals. He was the SUNYAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and an All-SUNYAC selection in both 2004 and 2005. He ranks seventh on Potsdam's all-time rebounding list, tied for ninth in the program's history for scoring average (13.4 ppg) and third in rebounding average (7.9 rpg). In 2006, Barton was a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor 's Scholar Athlete Award and a member of the Academic All-District Team. He currently resides in London, U.K. where he is an AIM compliance specialist with Bloomberg Trading Solutions.
Lee is one of the best hockey players to ever don a Potsdam jersey. In 110 career games with the Bears, the MacTier, Ontario native scored 41 goals and recorded 74 assists for 115 points, placing him in a tie for 10th place on the program's all-time scoring list. He was a three-time member of the All-SUNYAC team. At the conclusion of his senior season in 2004, Lee was named the SUNYAC Player of the Year and became Potsdam's fifth hockey All-American. After graduation, Lee continued his hockey career, playing professionally in the East Coast Hockey League, the American Hockey League and in Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Lee played for Team Canada in the 2012 Deutschland Cup. He is currently playing for Färjestad Bollklubb of Swedish Elite League in Karlstad.
Mele was an offensive force at attack for the Bears men's lacrosse team from 1985-87. The Albany native scored 125 goals and recorded 42 assists for 167 points at Potsdam. The totals place him fourth on the program's all-time points list and second in goals. Mele was an All-SUNYAC selection in each of his three seasons with the Bears and twice served as Potsdam's captain. He led the team in scoring in 1986 and in goals in both 1986 and 1987. Mele helped Potsdam to a then school record nine wins in 1987. Since graduating, he's coached high school lacrosse with his brother Greg. He is currently the Executive Vice President for Construction with ECOSystems Lanscape Services in Austin, Texas. He currently resides in the Austin area with his wife Anne, daughter Emma and son Evan.
The 1972-73 Potsdam wrestling team was the most talented in the history of the program's storied 28-year existence (1963-91). That season, led by Hall of Fame coach Neil Johnson, the Bears captured the SUNYAC Championship in brand new Maxcy Hall. The victory made Potsdam one of only four SUNY schools to ever win the conference title for wrestling. The Bears posted a 12-1 dual meet record that season and outscored their opponents 395-131. Potsdam was led by Bears Hall of Famers Rich Molbury (27-6), Tony Peraza (21-2), and Joe Galea (22-6), who captured individual SUNYAC Titles in their respective weight classes. Fellow Hall of Famers Keith Lyndaker (14-4-1) and Tom McCue (19-8) were conference runners-up. Four of those five grapplers went on to become All-Americans and Molbury and Peraza captured Potsdam's first National Championships a few seasons later. After the SUNYAC Tournament, Potsdam finished third at the New York State Championships and 36th at the National Tournament in an era when Division II and III schools competed against each other. The Bears were fourth in the Division III tournament two years later. This summer's induction will coincide with the SUNY Potsdam Wrestling Reunion, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program's founding.
The 1995-96 Bears men's hockey team is the lone Potsdam squad to capture a SUNYAC Championship in the program's 37 seasons. With Hall of Fame coach Ed Seney at the helm, the Bears opened the year with seven straight victories, en route to a then program-best 18-10-2 record. Potsdam was 11-3 in the SUNYAC, earning the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. After losing the first game of the quarterfinal series to Oswego, the Bears rallied for a 5-4 win in game two and advanced with a 1-0 mini game victory. In the finals at Plattsburgh, Potsdam rallied to tie the Cardinals 4-4 in the first game and never trailed in a 3-3 draw in game two. This set up another dramatic 1-0 mini game win to capture the title. Tony Matczynski was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Bears all-time leading scorer and Hall of Famer Steve Naughton and goalie Dave Dragone were named to the all-tournament team. Bears Hall of Famer Nathan Sunday joined Naughton and Dragone on the All-SUNYAC first team. Naughton became Potsdam's fourth hockey All-American two seasons later.