Bay State Games Inducts Three Into 2021 Hall Of Fame Class
Beverly native Nicole Woods and longtime supporters Wally Collins of Collins Sports Medicine and the Waltham Recreation Department join past MLB, NBA, NHL and Olympians with Bay State Games ties.
USA National Field Hockey Team player, Nicole Woods, medical supplier and long-time supporter, Wally Collins, and host of several BSG sports, the Waltham Recreation Department, have been selected for induction into the 2021 Bay State Games’ Hall of Fame. Woods and Collins received their award at a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park on June 30 prior to the Red Sox game against the Kansas City Royals.
The Bay State Games Hall of Fame was created to recognize past participants who have gone on to prestigious and successful athletic careers, as well as former and current coaches, officials, sports organizers, and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the organization throughout its 38-year history.
Past inductees among the over 60 previous honorees include the NBA’s Dana Barros (`06), Tom Thibodeau (’17) and the late Reggie Lewis (`02); WNBA’s Rebecca Lobo (’03), the NHL’s Bill Guerin (`09) and Keith Yandle (14); Major League Baseball’s Carlos Pena (`11) and Rich Hill (`13); Olympians Nancy Kerrigan (`07), Jim Pedro (’04) and Bill Cleary (`14) as well as US Paralympic Gold Medalist Joe Lemar (’15).
Nicole Woods is a recently retired US National Field Hockey midfielder/striker. Despite wanting to play ice hockey in college growing up, Nicole became a field hockey star at Beverly High School, as she was a four-time Northeastern Conference All-Star and was named the All-Conference Player of the Year in 2012. Following a hectic recruiting process, Nicole was accepted as a walk-on to the University of Louisville field hockey team, where she quickly earned a full scholarship through her standout play. During her time at Louisville, Nicole made the top 10 of both the team’s all-time career points (71) and assists (25) leaderboards. After being selected to the Team USA U19 field hockey team in 2014 and the U21 team in 2015, she finally made the United States National team in 2017. Since joining Team USA, Nicole has made 31 appearances and has participated in three world championships.
Wally Collins and Collins Sports Medicine has been affiliated with the Bay State Games almost since the Games started back in the early 1980s. Wally won the mile in one of the first years of the games in the time of 4:11. Wally then went on to start Collins Sports Medicine, one of the largest sports medicine distributors in the country and has been donating supplies and supporting the games for the past few decades.
For over a decade, the Waltham Recreation Department has supported Bay State Games by providing high-quality venues for events in field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and softball. Nick Abruzzi, Director the Waltham Recreation Department for over 20 years and his staff have provided guidance and support to ensure that all Bay State Games athletes have a positive experience.