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A ceremony for the 2019 Class of the Niagara Wheatfield “Athletic Wall of Fame” will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Niagara- Wheatfield High School auditorium and cafeteria at 2292 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn.
The 2019 Athletic Award recipients include:
•Karen Conte, a two-sport athlete from 1986-90. She played conference softball and soccer, earning seven varsity letters. Conte was awarded the Best Offensive Player award in soccer for 1988. By 1989, she received the Most Valuable Player award. Her records include scoring the most goals in a game as well as most goals in a season in soccer. After graduating she played at NCCC as part of the women’s soccer team that made the NJCAA Regional Tournament. Conte was named the Most Valuable Player for both the soccer team and softball team. After this she studied at SUNY Buffalo State where she was named twice to the SUNYAC All Conference Softball Team. She has stayed in contact with the Niagara-Wheatfield school district as a resident and an employee, as well as watching her two sons graduate in 2020 and 2021.
•William Dixon Sr., a multi-NFL league champion wrestling coach, watched the N-W wrestling team win eight Section six titles, nine Niagara Frontier League titles, and amassed over 200 wins as varsity and JV wrestling coach. Dixon himself graduated from N-W in 1972 when he wrestled and played soccer for the school. Dixon lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away in 2003 at age 50. His impact is still felt today.
•Nathan George, All-WNY football and baseball player, as well as hockey player; George was varsity captain for all three. He was the 1994 defensive lineman of the year and named to the All Western NY defensive line. He was also an All Western NY pitcher while a senior on the baseball team in 1995. He had a 20-4 career pitching record and went 8-0 in his senior year, had six shutouts and one no hitter, as well as 121 strikeouts in 59 innings. George graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri with a bachelor’s in physical education. He lives in Milwaukee where he is a physical education teacher.
•Jason Herman, a five-time NFL League Champion wrestler and football player, graduated in 1999. He was the first four-year varsity football player in the school’s history who made the team his freshman year. As quarterback he led the team to the state semi-finals in his junior year. As a wrestler, he was a five- time Niagara Frontier League champion. Herman studied at SUNY Buffalo State where he played football for two years and majored in elementary education. Today he is the owner of Premier Outdoor Services, and lives in Niagara Falls.
•Jacob Koshinski, an All-State football player and two-time NYS wrestling finalist; graduated in 2007. He was a varsity starter on the 2005 and 2006 Falcon football teams and played middle linebacker, defensive end and tight end. In 2006 Koshinski led the AA North champion Falcons in tackles, 63 in seven games, and take-aways, seven fumble recoveries. In 2007 he won the Ohio Tournament of Champions at the 189-pound weight class, and in 2008 he was named one of Niagara Wheatfield’s top 60 athletes.
•Kyrstin Lekki was a High School All Star in three sports, College All Star, and graduated in 2008. She played as a three-year varsity starter for both soccer and basketball. In softball she was a four-year varsity starter. Lekki went on to play for SUNY Buffalo State, starting as shortstop in 166 games. She holds the school’s single season doubles record, 21, and is second all time in career total bases, 317, and slugging percentage, .631, as well as third in all-time career RBIs, 117, and doubles, 39.
•Byron Mulkey, an All-WNY football player, current N-W basketball points record holder, Division 1 basketball player; Mulkey graduated in 2006 and was a four-time letter winner in basketball and two-time letter winner in football, and track. He holds the record as leading scorer with 1,777 points for Niagara Wheatfield’s all-time Boys’ Basketball. After graduation, Mulkey attended UB where he played basketball. He was named Newcomer of the Year and earned an athletic scholarship starting his sophomore year.
•Jennifer Stoddard, a state champion bowler, graduated in 1997 and played soccer, bowling and softball. She received 10 varsity letters and was a WNY 1st Team member for softball. Stoddard was named Rookie of the Year in bowling, and MVP in softball. During her senior year she helped lead the bowling team to state championships. She was captain for all three sports and played with Slippery Rock University as a starter after high school.
The Niagara-Wheatfield Athletic Hall of Fame was reestablished in 2017 to honor the athletic accomplishments of the alumni and staff of the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District.
To see more about the selection process and to access nomination forms for next year’s class, go to the website at http://www.nwcsd.k12.ny.us, click on “Community”, go to the drop down menu and click on “NW Wall of Fame.” The induction ceremony is open to the public. A luncheon will be part of the ceremony; luncheon tickets are $15 and will not be sold at the door.
Send a check payable to NWCSD, and mail to: Niagara Wheatfield Central Office, Jan Ball, P.O. Box 309, Sanborn, NY 14132 by Friday, Oct. 18.