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New inductees into Lew-Port Athletic Hall of Fame

by jmaloni
Sat, Dec 7th 2013 07:00 am

On Friday evening, the Lewiston-Porter School District Athletic Department held its annual induction of members into the Lewiston-Porter Athletic Hall of Fame. Members of the 2013 L-P HOF Class include: Dena Elia-Armstrong, coach, presented by Pat Rose; Allie Massaro, Lew-Port Class of 2003, presented by Janet Kwarciak; Haley Mercer, Lew-Port Class of 2001, presented by Mark Johnson; and Tom Mooradian, Lew-Port Class of 1981, presented by Jim Walker.

Their profiles, as listed in the event program, follow.

Dena Elia-Armstrong - Coach

Elia-Armstrong was the pioneer of the girls soccer program at Lewiston-Porter. She was the first-ever coach of the team when it began in 1979, and started the very rich tradition of Lew-Port girls soccer that has lasted for more than 30 years. This was very significant, as girls sports programs in high schools were sparse in that time period. During her six years at the helm of the program, Elia-Armstrong managed to accrue an amazing 74-6-6 record. After winning six consecutive Niagara Frontier League and Section 6 titles with undefeated records, her only six career losses occurred when the team traveled to the Regionals to face the powerhouse teams from Section 5.

At the same time that she was coaching the girls team at Lew-Port, Elia-Armstrong was also serving as the assistant womens basketball coach at Niagara University. She left the Lancers in 1983, when she started the womens soccer program at Niagara University, and served as their head coach. Since then, she has served as vice president at Sevenson Environmental Services in Niagara Falls. Her husband Jack serves as the TV color analyst for the Toronto Raptors. They live in Lewiston with their three sons, Kevin (17), Brian (16) and Tim (15).

Allie Massaro - Class of 2003

Massaro is one of the most decorated female athletes that Lewiston-Porter has seen in decades. In a time period where three sport female athletes were rare, Massaro played volleyball, basketball and softball, earning a total of eight varsity letters - and she excelled at all of them.

In volleyball, Massaro led one of the most successful runs in Lew-Port volleyball history in 2002, her senior year. The team was NFL champions and Sectional champions, before being defeated in the Regionals. Individually, Massaro was 1st Team All League, 2nd Team All Western New York and 5th Team All State, and the NFL player of the year in both her junior and senior seasons.

In basketball, Massaro was also dominant. She averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals per game in her senior season. She was a member of the Empire State Games bronze medal-winning Western Team in 2002, was 1st Team All League, All Western New York Honorable Mention, and Western New York All-Academic Team.

In softball, Massaro was again the most prolific player on any team she played on. She finished with a career batting average of almost .400, and led her team in runs, hits and RBIs each of the three seasons that she was on the team.

Off the field, Massaro had as much success as she did on the field. She was the Hewitt Award winner, Western New York Business First Honors, a NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete, USAA All American Scholar and was on the All Western New York Academic Team. Upon leaving Lew-Port, Massaro went on to Hamilton College, where she continued her athletic prowess. She played both volleyball and basketball there, leaving Hamilton with the fourth highest number of digs and is ranked third all time for service aces in school history, in addition to earning All Academic honors all four years.

After having earned her Bachelor of Arts at Hamilton College, she earned a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University at Buffalo. Currently, Massaro is neurology resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she will graduate next year with the goal of pursuing a Neurocritical Care Fellowship.

Haley Mercer - Class of 2001

Mercer has been widely regarded as one of the best all-around athletes that Lew-Port has seen in years. She earned a total of 14 letters in three sports - track and field, soccer and basketball.

In track, Mercer was a five-time 1st Team All NFL selection, was the three-time league champion in the Open 400, and four-time league champion in the 1600 Relay. She was also a three-time Section 6 champion in the 1600 Relay and two-time winner of the high jump. Mercer qualified for the state championships four times, placing in the 1600 Relay in eighth grade and her senior year, and the High Jump in her junior and senior years.

As a ninth-grader, she was a member of the state champion 1600 Relay team. She still holds the school records in the 400 and 1600 Relays. In addition to her success in track, Mercer also earned five letters in soccer, and was a member of four NFL and three Section 6 championship teams. Haley was also 2nd Team All Area selection as a senior, and was a member of the basketball team for three years.

Upon graduating from Lew-Port, Mercer attended The United States Military Academy at West Point on a full four-year scholarship, where she ran track for three years, before suffering a knee injury. In her first year at West Point, she earned a Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award. She graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army as an engineer officer. Presently, Mercer is a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has spent two years deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning this past September.

Tom Mooradian - Class of 1981

Mooradian was unquestionably the best football kicker that Lewiston-Porter has ever seen. As a junior, he was an All Area Niagara Gazette selection, as well as a Division 3 All Star. He also set what was at the time, a school record 41-yard field goal.

In his senior year, Mooradian continued to shine for the Lancer football squad. He broke his own school record, with a new school and league record 42-yard field goal, leading the Lancers to a 3-0 victory over legendary Coach Gene Masters' Grand Island team. In season, Mooradian was honored as the Buffalo News Player of the Week, and the Channel 7 Super 7 Athlete of the Week. He concluded the 1980 season with his team making an appearance in the Sectional Finals at Rich Stadium, thanks largely in part to his three game-winning field goals during the season.

In his senior year, Mooradian was named an All Area Niagara Gazette player, All Western New York Courier Express, All Western New York Buffalo News and was a 3rd Team All State selection. In addition, Mooradian set two more school records with five field goals in a season and nine in his career. In addition to football, Mooradian was also a standout hockey player for the Lew-Port Club team that won the 1979-80 National Championship.

After graduating from Lew-Port, Mooradian played two years of semi pro football in Syracuse, before having NFL tryouts with the New England Patriots and New York Giants in 1985. For the past several years, he has been the co-owner of Mooradian Rug Company in Niagara Falls. He and his wife Linda live in Lewiston and have two sons - Tom (Class of 2008) and Connor (Class of 2013).

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