Nicholls enshrines four former students into Hall of Fame

Nicholls State University Athletics Department introduced four former student-athletes into the 2015 hall of fame during half time at the Colonels’ football game this past Saturday.

“The hall of fame is a way to reconnect with our former students,” Rob Bernardi, director of athletics, said. “It is important to the history of our athletics department to celebrate the former students and their accomplishments, not only academically, but as athletes of our University.”

The Nicholls athletics hall of fame ceremony took place at the Harold J. Callais Recreational Center at 1 p.m. and enshrined the former Colonel athletes: baseball’s Bobby Dickerson, softball’s Kat Harrell Slosarek, football’s Oscar Smith and women’s basketball’s Katherine Plummer.

“At the event, we invite back all of the inductees as a reminder of the history of Nicholls athletics department,” Bernardi said. “Because our athletics’ history is fairly young, many of athletes that were part of it are still around us, and it is something to recognize.”

The hall of fame tradition at Nicholls began in 1983, and after being put on hold for a small period in the mid-nineties, it returned in 2003 when Bernardi was nominated as the athletic director. With the 2015 fall of fame, Nicholls has honored 105 members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff members.

Dickerson, native of LaPlace, played for Nicholls from 1984-1987 and still ranks in the top three of 11 categories on the Colonels’ all-time career lists. He ranks first place in games played (228), at bats (761) and total bases (3,924); second in home runs (28), doubles (57), hits (243), hit by pitches (38), assists, stolen bases (132) and stolen bases attempted (162); third in runs batted in (154). He was named All-Trans America and Second Team All-Gulf Star Conference while playing for the Colonels. After his college career, Dickerson was drafted in the 23rd round of the 1987 Major League Baseball draft by the New York Yankees. He later worked as a coach and manager in the professional league, where he currently works as the third base coach for the Baltimore Orioles.

“It is a honor to be inducted to the hall of fame,” Dickerson said. “It has been a while since I have been at Nicholls in 1987, so the induction came as a surprise for me.”

One of the most decorated players in the softball program history, Harrell Slosarek, from League City, Texas, played for the Colonels from 2005-08. She was named to the Southland Conference 50th anniversary All-Time Softball Roster once, First Team All-Southland three times (2006-08) and First Team All-Louisiana two times (2006-07). She ranks in the top 10 in nine categories on the Colonels’ all-time career list, ranking first in career batting average (.374), hits (248), doubles (44) and total bases (391); second in slugging percentage (586); third in runs scored (142); fourth in home runs (23); and fifth in triples (15) and RBI (92). She also ranks in the top 10 in single-season batting average three times (.453 in 2007, .395 in 2008 and .382 in 2006).

Plummer, from Brooklyn, New York, who played for the Colonels’ basketball team from 2005-08, was named All-Southland and All-Louisiana honorable mention as a freshman. After averaging double figures in scoring in her sophomore and junior seasons, Plummer led the Southland in scoring at 18.9 points per game, which landed her on Second Team All-Southland. On the all-time rankings, Plummer is first in free throws (340), third in assists (387 / 3.8) and steals (237 / 2.3), fourth in scoring (1,316) and 12th in free throw percentage (.728). In the 2007-08 season, Plummer’s 86 steals was good enough to set the Colonel single-season record and her 16 assists against Sam Houston matched the single-game record.

Playing four seasons for the Colonel football team from 1981-82 and ‘84-85, Smith, a native of Tampa, Florida, lead the team in rushing in each season. He was named AP Honorable Mention All-America and Second Team All-Gulf South. Smith is tied with Jose Brann as the leading scorer in the school’s history with 210 points, the second leading rusher and finished his career with 35 touchdowns.

The nominations for the hall of fame occur from January to May and the selection committee, constituted by seven representatives, selects the members to be inducted for the year’s hall of fame class during the summer.

To qualify as an inductee, a former student-athlete is required to have earned at least two letters in a varsity sport at Nicholls and gained distinction because of outstanding performance. A former coach or athletic staff member must have worked at the University for at least three years and have had recognizable performance.

All the inductees must have maintained a personal reputation for integrity that reflected favorably on the University and are only eligible to be selected for the hall of fame five years after leaving the University.