Benedictine College Inducts 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Benedictine College Inducts 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 Athletic Hall of Fame

Benedictine College inducted three individuals and one team into the Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend. The 2016 Class included Lisa Kissell Todd ’01, Clint Kaeding ’00, Jim Kassly ’77 and the 1976 Boot Hill Bowl football team. They were inducted at the Hall of Fame Banquet on October 29 during Homecoming Weekend.

Lisa Kissell Todd 2001 (softball)

Lisa Kissell came to Benedictine College in 1998 as an outstanding high school pitcher from Corona, California. In addition to her high school team, she was very successful with her club team, Quick Turn. Despite being recruited by NCAA Division I teams, Lisa liked the atmosphere at Benedictine better.  She joined the Lady Raven Softball team and proved to be a giant on the mound. In her four years, she racked up 571 strikeouts, which is still a record for career strikeouts, and she owns the top four spots in single-season strikeouts. She also holds the top spot in career earned run average at 1.54 and in 2001 set the single-season mark with an incredible 0.51 ERA. She is tied for the record of Benedictine College career wins at 40, with three of her four seasons still in the top 15 single-season records. She was also a natural leader and was one of the team captains.

In 2001 she had a 12-7 overall record, striking out 135 of 528 batters and walking only 12 in 136 innings pitched. She gave up just 10 earned runs for the entire season (setting the 0.51 ERA mark). Kissell also did damage with the bat by hitting .310 for the year and driving in 12 runs.

Her efforts did not go unnoticed. She was a four-time All-Heart selection, getting honorable mentions in 1998 and 1999 and then named to the First Team in 2000 and 2001. She was also named NAIA All-Region V in both 2000 and 2001. She earned numerous conference Pitcher of the Week honors through her career and in her senior year she was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Clint Kaeding 2000 (baseball)

Clint Kaeding came to Benedictine College from Immaculata High School in Leavenworth, Kan., although he actually played baseball at Leavenworth High School because the Catholic school did not have a team. He was an outstanding infielder, primarily playing third base for the Raven Baseball Team from 1997 - 2000. He was also impressive at the plate, with a .405 career batting average through his four years, still No. 2 in the Benedictine record book, and his 2000 season batting average of .449 is one of the best. He set single season records in RBIs with 72 and hits with 83. He is No. 2 all-time at Benedictine in single-season home runs with 18 and No. 3 in career home runs with 31. His 140 career RBIs still has him at No. 3 in the record book.

In his junior year, he was a Western Division first team selection. As a senior in 2000, Kaeding was a first team NAIA All-American third baseman. He was also NAIA Region V Player of the Year, Heart of America Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year, and a First Team All-Heart selection at third base.

After graduation, he signed with the Elmira (NY) Pioneers of the Independent Northern League as a third baseman. That year the team led the South Division of the Northern League with a record of 51-38.

In 2002, he played for the Evansville (IN) Otters of the Frontier League.

Jim Kassly ’77 (football)

Jim Kassly was a rarity in college football, playing both offense and defense in a time when specialists were already the standard. As an offensive tackle, he helped open holes for running back Keith Hertling’s historic 1,000-yard season. As a defensive tackle, he completely disrupted the opposing offense. He made the starting line-up on both sides of the ball his freshman year and was voted “most valuable player” by the team at the end of that season.

He was named Defensive Player of the Week after an impressive victory over Friends University during which he was credited with 10 tackles, five assists, sacking the quarterback and causing a fumble. At the time, he held the No. 2 spot in career tackles with 286. Much of his success was due to his exceptional speed and strength. He could bench press 300 pounds and his teammates always said he was the fastest man on the field, which was confirmed by his 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash.

Head Coach George Tardiff often cited Kassly for exceptional tackles and creating fumbles that made the difference in a game, especially the ones that led to the 1976 Boot Hill Bowl victory. He graduated in 1977 with Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and joined the family mortuary business.

The 1976 Boot Hill Bowl Team (football)

Head coach George Tardiff guided the Ravens to a 7-4 record, a national ranking, and a trip into the post season at the 1976 Boot Hill Bowl in Dodge City, Kan., where they defeated Washburn University 29-14. Current head coach Larry Wilcox and defensive coordinator Charlie Gartemayer were both assistant coaches for the team and current strength & conditioning coordinator and defensive ends coach Jon Stammers was a trainer.

The team included Keith Hertling, a nationally recognized running back who was the first back in Benedictine College history to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season.  In the Boot Hill Bowl, Hertling set a bowl and school record with 209 yards rushing, predominantly behind the blocking of fullback Jeff Schulte and the offensive line, including center Kerry Amsberg and tackle Jim Kassly. Quarterback Paul Durkin completed 14 of 32 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown with his targets often the wide receiving corps of Mike Thomas, Mike Spiegel, and Warren (Rocky) Langford. Kicker Cary Shaw, who was second in season scoring behind Hertling, contributed 11 points to the effort with two point-after conversions and three field goals, one a then-school record of 37 yards.

Jim Kassly, who was named “Small College Regional Player of the Week” earlier in the season, played both offensive and defensive tackle, a rarity even then. The defense cemented the victory in the Boot Hill Bowl, holding Washburn to only eight first downs and 239 yards of total offense and causing a game-changing eight fumbles! Other Raven defenders included Graylin McLeod, John Clark, Bill Soldati, Tom Latz and Matt Fenley.

In addition to Jon Stammers, Mike Fitzgerald was a trainer and Pat Langford and David Aponte served as managers. Due to an illness in his family, Coach Tardiff stepped down after the successful season.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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