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Lew-Port to induct four into Athletic Hall of Fame

by jmaloni
Fri, Nov 30th 2012 08:30 pm

The Lewiston-Porter Athletic Department is holding its Athletic Hall of Fame Celebration Weekend on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, in conjunction with the eighth annual James Walker Basketball Tournament.

Four new inductees will be honored with a variety of activities and celebrations, including a banquet at the Niagara Falls Country Club on Friday, an inductee reception at the high school, and the ceremony, which will take place between games of the tournament on Saturday.

The newest inductees will have their plaques unveiled. The will plaques will be hung in the gym wing at the high school.

Tickets are $35, and can be purchased at the athletic office at Lew-Port Middle School, or by calling 716-754-8281, ext. 2160.

2012 inductees include:

Ashley Chassar - 2001

Ashley Chassar was a three-sport athlete at Lew-Port who had an incredible career that had her receive a total of 14 varsity letters in soccer, basketball and track. Across the board, Chassar is considered one of the best all-around female athletes that Lew-Port has ever seen.

In soccer, Chassar was a five-year varsity player, earning first team All-League honors in her junior and senior years. She was a member of the 1996 girls soccer team that was the Far West Regional champion.

In track, Chassar had an illustrious career. She was a first team All-League selection for four years, was the NFL champion in the 4x400 relay for four straight years, and the 800 meters in her junior year. Chassar was the Section VI Champion in the 4x400 relay as a freshman and sophomore and won a state championship as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team. In addition, at the time of her graduation, Chassar had broken three school records, and held top 10 school times in a total of six different events. She was also a three-year letter winner in basketball as well.

Upon graduating from Lew-Port, Chassar went on to Boston University, where she was a four-year player for the Terriers women's soccer team. She was the captain of the team as a junior and senior, led her team to three NCAA Tournament appearances and was a member of the America East All-Tournament team. In 2005, Chassar scored a very famous goal for BU, as she headed in a goal in the 102nd minute of the NCAA first round tournament game versus Connecticut to net a huge win. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering, and played for three years for the Boston Aztec Women's Premier Soccer League. She also ran the Boston Marathon in 2007.

Currently Chassar lives in Somerville, Mass., where she is an associate director for clinical project management at Quintiles Outcome in Cambridge.

Katharine Clark - 1999

Lewiston-Porter is proud to induct Katharine Clark into the Hall of Fame. Clark, a 1999 graduate of Lew-Port, is one of the most decorated and diversified track and field athletes that the school has seen. Her credentials are extensive and many of her successes still stand today.

Clark was a four-time Niagara Frontier League All-Star, and was a Sectional place winner for six straight years, a very uncommon occurrence for athletes today. She qualified for the New York State Meet four years in a row, and was a place winner in each of those meets. In her time as a Lancer track star, Clark set five school records - in the 100 high hurdles, pentathlon, 440 relay, 800 relay and sprint medley relay. She also finished in the top 10 in school history in six different events - the 200 meters (no. 2), 100 meters (no. 2), shot put (no. 3), long jump (no. 4), triple jump (no. 4), and the high jump (no. 6).

Upon her graduation from Lew-Port, Clark attended Columbia University, where she graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in film studies. She then was a member of the Peace Corps, working in Bulgaria for two years. Upon returning from her work in Bulgaria, she attended the London School of Economics, receiving a master's degree in history of international relations. She is currently continuing her studies, as she is attending George Washington University, pursuing another master's degree in security policy studies. She lives in Washington, D.C., and currently works at the U.S. State Department.

She is the daughter of Dr. John and Patricia Clark of Youngstown. She is also the niece and goddaughter of the late Joseph Stepien (1973), a 1983 Lew-Port Hall of Fame inductee.

Harry Lawler - Coach

Lewiston-Porter is very proud to induct Coach Harry Lawler into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Lawler coached Lancer football for 22 years, track for 29 years, and was a popular physical education teacher at Lew-Port for 33 years.

In his time as a Lew-Port football JV coach in the 1970s, Coach Lawler's teams fed a varsity program that won six Section VI divisional championships in the 1970s. When Lawler moved up to the varsity level as an assistant and later varsity head coach, Lancer teams won four Section VI Division III varsity championships and had three Section VI playoff appearances in Rich Stadium. The 1982 Lancer team has the distinction of being the only Lew-Port football team in history to win a Sectional championship at Rich Stadium.

As the longest tenured boys track coach in Lew-Port history, Lawler won five Niagara Frontier League Division II championships. The undefeated 1983 team is the only Lew-Port boys track team to win an outright NFL Championship.

Throughout his whole career as a teacher and coach, Lawler's conduct on and off the field was fitting of a Hall of Famer. He always treated his players with a deep sense of respect and taught his players the importance of being good people, ahead of being good athletes. He practiced and preached the importance of sportsmanship and his players obliged, as they all recall his lessons years later, in their lives today.

Lawler retired from Lew-Port in 2006. In retirement, Lawler continues to hunt and play hockey, two things that he has spent a lot of time doing over the years. He still is a presence and supporter of the Lancer athletic program and is at many Lew-Port athletic events - lending a hand as a cameraman for basketball games, helping with track meets and is a regular presence at Lancer football games. He lives in Lewiston with his wife Beverly and has two daughters - Jennifer ('97) and Kari ('06).

Kyle Cerminara - 2001

Kyle Cerminara had a career in wrestling at Lew-Port that has yet to be matched. He was a first team All-Niagara Frontier League selection in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. In his junior year, and again in his senior season, he was the Sectional champion at 189 pounds. He went to the state tournament as a junior and senior, finishing third in 11th grade, and was the New York state 189-pound champion as a senior in 2001. Over the course of his career, Cerminara set the school record for career wins at 171 - a record that still holds today. He also set a school record for takedowns in a season with 133 as a senior.

After graduating from Lew-Port, Cerminara went on to wrestle at the University at Buffalo, where he continued his record-setting. By the end of his career at Buffalo, he had set the record for season (41) and career (137) wins - records that still stand there today. He finished with an impressive 137-34 career record. He also set the UB all-time record for takedowns in a season with 186.

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