NHTI will induct its first ever Hall of Fame class with 15 former coaches, athletes and special contributors to NHTI honored on Friday, Sept. 20.
“Our first class of inductees is an amazing group of athletes and coaches,” athletics director Paul Hogan said. “Their many contributions, athletic exploits and careers have left a distinct legacy at NHTI. We look forward to celebrating their athletic careers, sharing their stories and reuniting for an exciting night of athletic memories.
Katie Stockton of Claremont is a member of the USCAA first-ever Hall of Fame class (2017). She was a three-time USCAA All-American and was recognized as the William O’Claire Female Athlete of the Year in 2005 and 2006 along with the team MVP.
Chris “Speedy” Lawes of Peterborough played all four years at NHTI and was a key member of the USCAA national championship men’s basketball team in 2005. He was a USCAA All-American while serving as the NHTI team captain and was recognized as the William O’Claire Male Athlete of the Year in 2006 and 2007. Lawes was recognized on the USCAA All-Tournament team in 2005 and in 2006.
Mel (Keeler) Crane of Concord was a dominant pitching force, leading the Capitals (now Lynx) to a 14-1 overall record and the NNESCC championship. She was a USCAA All-American, all-conference, team MVP and the NHTI 2001 William O’Claire Female Athlete of the Year. She went on to SNHU.
Shalynn (Napolitano) Ouellette of Lawrence, Mass., was the mainstay pitcher on NHTI’s NNESCC championship team. She was a USCAA All-American, team MVP and all conference. Ouellette continued her collegiate career at Assumption College.
Lauren (Daniels) Last of Concord earned MVP honors in women’s basketball, USCAA second team All-American and USCAA Academic All-American honors in 2006. Last was named YSCC All-Conference team and the O’Claire Female Athlete of the Year in 2006. Last continued her career at Plymouth State.
Nick Papamichael of Raymond led the Lynx to conference titles and a USCAA championship national runner-up in men’s soccer. He earned all conference and USCAA All-American recognition on consecutive years. Papamichael earned team MVP awards twice leading the Lynx to YSCC tournament titles in 2009 and 2010.
Nacho Hernando of Spain became a highly recognizable force on the cross-country trails, earning all-conference recognition and finishing second at the USCAA National Championships in 2013. Hernando was the NHTI MVP every season of competition while being recognized as the USCAA national runner-up in 2013 and the William O’Claire Male Athlete of the Year award in 2014.
Heather Searles of Henniker became NHTI’s only athlete to ever capture a national championship, which she did at the 2008 national cross-country championships in Buena Vista, Va. She was a three-time USCAA All-American and earned William O’Claire Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
Katie (O’Connell) Lacey of Northwood led NHTI volleyball to back-to-back championships and two USCAA national championship appearances. O’Connell was the William O’Claire Female Athlete of the Year in 2009. Lacey was a two-time USCAA All-American, the YSCC tournament MVP and Player of the Year in 2007.
Luke Merrill of Pittsburg earned MVP team honors both years at NHTI playing shortstop and pitcher, leading the Lynx to the lone Small College World Series appearance in program history. Merrill went on to play baseball at Plymouth State. The Lynx enjoyed great success during Merrill’s time at NHTI leading the team to their only USCAA
Austin Fox of Hooksett graduated from Central High School in Manchester and was the top golfer for two years, leading the Lynx to back-to-back YSCC championships and a third-place finish at the USCAA national championship. Fox went on to be a member of the SNHU golf team. Fox was recognized as the 2012 William O’Claire Male Athlete of the Year.
Bob Bechard of Manchester played many sports during two stints at NHTI in the early and late 70s. His contributed to the men’s basketball, baseball and other teams, and earned the William O’Claire Male Athlete of the Year award in 1977.
Andrew Bird of Hollis was a midfielder and defensive leader of the NHTI men’s soccer team that went to the National Small College Soccer Championships in Kansas, finishing as the runner-up. Bird earned All-American honors.
Steve Ambra was the first coach for the NHTI women’s soccer program, coaching 14 years, leading the Lynx to a 141-73-12 record with eight conference championship seasons and seven national tournament appearances. Ambra also coached the NHTI bowling team from 2010-2012.
Don Welford enjoyed two stints as men’s soccer coach at NHTI in the early 2000s and again from 2011-2013. With a record of 82-32-3, his teams captured several conference championships and appeared in five national tourneys.