CONCORD — The NHTI Athletics Hall of Fame Committee announced the 2021 NHTI Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted in an in-person ceremony on the NHTI campus on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at 6 p.m. The 2020 inductees, who were not able to be inducted in person because of last year’s COVID-19 restrictions, will also be recognized at the ceremony.
The event will be live-streamed by Concord TV on its YouTube page and on Concord TV later that same week.
“We are so excited to once again be able to host an in-person ceremony to honor some fantastic athletes, coaches, and contributors,” said NHTI Paul Hogan, NHTI athletic director. “This will truly be a memorable evening for both the 2020 and 2021 NHTI Athletic Hall of Fame classes.”
The 2021 class includes Jay Atton (men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s volleyball, and baseball), Kerry Boles (men’s soccer, men’s basketball, and baseball), Ron Kleiner (men’s soccer, men’s basketball, and baseball), Jen Roy (women’s basketball and softball), Besfort Syla (men’s basketball), Shelly Winters (head coach women’s basketball and assistant coach women’s volleyball) and the 2004-05 NHTI men’s basketball team.
Atton was a four-year student-athlete at NHTI most known for his contributions on the NHTI campus. The “Mayor” was very active on campus and participated in numerous areas such as talent shows, residence hall special events, charity events and NHTI athletic events. Atton played four years for the basketball team and was a part of the 2005 USCAA Division II National Championship team. He also played three years of men’s soccer mostly as a 6’7 goal-keeper and was recognized as a NNESCC All-Star in 2003. Jay also participated in four years of men’s volleyball and a single season of baseball. Over his career, he notched 11 conference championships and numerous trips to national championships. In 2006, he was recognized during commencement as the Capital Award winner by the NHTI student senate.
Boles was a three-sport student-athlete at NHTI. He was a point guard in basketball and a catcher in baseball, but he is known for his exploits as the lead striker for the soccer team. In his final year at NHTI, he scored 20 goals and was an All-American selection. After leaving NHTI, he became the head coach of Pinkerton Academy, where in his tenure he has won five state titles and 300+ wins.
Kleiner was a stellar athlete in the early days of NHTI from 1965-1968. He was on the first ever soccer and basketball teams in 1965 and was the first student-athlete to compete in three sports in the same year. Kleiner was co-captain of the soccer team and played the left-wing position. He was also solid on the diamond, hitting for an average of .350 on the baseball team.
Roy was a star two-sport athlete in softball and the women’s basketball team. On the hardwood, she averaged 16.6 points, 9.7 rebounds per game over her career. She was a two-time USCAA All-American and was named the YSCC Player of the Year twice. She holds the program record in points, scoring just under 1,400 in her three seasons. On the softball field, she was named to the All-Conference team twice. In 2021, she was the only player selected to multiple YSCC Twin All-Decade Teams, making both the softball and women’s basketball teams.
Syla was an incredible point guard for the NHTI Basketball team. He controlled the pace of the game and had the tremendous ability to hit a shot from anywhere on the floor. His inspiring story of coming to America as a refugee from Kosovo made him a true success story at NHTI. He was dynamic and creative, finding the open man while being sneaky on the defensive end. He was known for his signature wrap-around steals. He was a four-time YSCC All-Conference selection from 2009-2013 and was a part of the 2010-11 YSCC Championship team.
Winters was an outstanding coach for the NHTI women’s basketball program and assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team. She is a two-time YSCC Coach of the Year and made five USCAA National Championship appearances. In 2006-07, she led the women’s basketball team to a YSCC championship; she also won two NNESCC championships and two YSCAA championships. She finished her career with an overall record of 179-97.
The 2004-05 NHTI Men’s Basketball team brought the state its first ever men’s basketball national championship. They finished the season with a 31-3 overall record and won the USCAA Division II National Championship in the Goldie Crocker Wellness Center on NHTI’s campus. The team members are Calvin Akers, Jay Atton, Chris Barker, Jesse Bopp, Zach Hall, Kevin Harrington, Unjum Khalid, Chris Lawes, Joel Phillips, Matt Spanos, Nate Stanton, Jason Szidat, Nate Truncellito, assistant coach Justin Gorham, assistant coach Chuck Lloyd, and head coach Paul Hogan.
The 2020 NHTI Athletics Hall of Fame Class includes Chris Barker (men’s soccer and basketball), Melissa (Warner) Carter (women’s soccer), Scott Dunlop (men’s soccer, baseball, and basketball), Ahntwan Harris (men’s basketball), and Paul Hogan (head coach, men’s basketball).
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