Weaver named to MAC Hall of Fame

From staff reports

WILLIAMSPORT — One of the most decorated dual-sport athletes in the Lycoming College athletics department’s history, Erica (Weaver) Wagner ’98, was selected for inclusion in the Middle Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Weaver is the first person associated with the Lycoming College softball and basketball programs to earn a spot in the MAC Hall of Fame.

“I still can’t believe it,” Weaver said. “This is a huge honor and I am very humbled. I thought it was really cool that I was selected for the Lycoming Hall of Fame, and then to be selected for the conference’s Hall of Fame is awesome. Looking at the athletes I played with and against, this is a huge honor.”

Arriving at Lycoming from West Snyder High School (now part of Midd-West), Weaver made her impact felt immediately. As a freshman, Weaver averaged 10.8 points per game as a guard on the basketball team before joining the softball team and earning Second Team All-Freedom League honors as a utility player, hitting .333, with six extra-base hits and 22 RBI and helping the Warriors to the Middle Atlantic Conference title.

“Erica was an athlete, she wasn’t just a basketball or softball player,” her basketball and softball coach, Chris Ditzler, said. “She could run, jump and worked hard. She was coming in with some other really good­ players, but Erica had the ‘it factor.’ The accolades came in both, because to beat Lycoming, you had to stop Erica Weaver.”

In basketball, she had one of the most prolific careers of any athlete in school history. The three-time All-MAC Freedom selection reached the 1,000-point mark through 71 games as a junior, the sixth-fastest to the milestone in school history.

Although her impact was felt immediately, as the Warriors won 17 and 16 games throughout her first two seasons, it was during Weaver’s final two years that stick out. In 1996-97 as a junior, Weaver led the Warriors to a 17-10 record and the second NCAA Division III Tournament at-large bid in school history while being selected First Team All-MAC Freedom and WBCA All-Region, capping that by becoming the second WBCA All-American in program history. Weaver set the single-season record of 27 games played during that run, finishing sixth in program history in steals (71), 10th in steals average (2.6) and 12th in double-doubles (five).

“My junior year, especially in basketball, was very special,” Weaver said. “We went undefeated at home and received the second NCAA at-large bid in school history. That year top dogs like Lock Haven and Scranton came to Lamade Gym and we beat both of them. I scored my 1,000th point and we went to NCAAs, so although every year was special, that one really stands out to me.”

Weaver capped off her career by winning Lycoming College’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award after earning the MAC Freedom’s MVP award as a senior. She finished her career with a school-record 1,490 points. As a senior, Weaver scored 417 points (sixth all-time), reached 20 or more points in 10 games (tied for fourth), and made 168 field goals (seventh). Her 103 games played are still the school’s standard, and although her career-point mark has since been surpassed, she is in the top 10 in 14 career categories and 11 single-season ones.

“Erica was a scoring guard that could play any position on the floor,” Ditzler said. “She knew how to put the ball in the basket in any way shape or form — from a 3-pointer to the best jump shot I’ve ever seen, to post up on the block. She was blue-collar player who did everything the right way.”

And Weaver never took time off, going right from the end of a postseason run in basketball to the softball diamond.

She helped lead the softball team to three straight 20-win seasons from 1995-97, finishing with a record of 77-29 during her career. Controlling an elite pitching staff from behind the plate over her four years, Weaver ranks third in program history for putouts (176) and has a career fielding percentage of .982, tied for eighth all-time.

“She may have garnered more of her accolades in basketball, but she was a great catcher,” Ditzler said. “Great catchers catch great pitchers, and she was the catcher of one of the best pitchers we have ever had here. She took charge as a catcher, always knew where the ball needed to go, studied the game and helped her teammates always know what was going on.”

Offensively, Weaver led the club in doubles in 1997 and is still in the top 10 in program history in triples and home runs. Her 82 career hits remained in the top 20 in program history for 20 years and her 51 RBI still rank 14th.

Weaver earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lycoming College before earning a teaching certificate from Bloomsburg University. She is a computer education teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School.

Weaver was inducted to the Lycoming College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.