Athletic Wall of Fame Committee welcomes new members!
AKRON CENTRAL SCHOOL
47 Bloomingdale Avenue • Akron, New York 14001 • (716)542-5010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
ACS ATHLETIC WALL OF FAME WELCOMEs 2019 INDUCTEES
AKRON, NEW YORK (October 7, 2019) – The Akron Central School Athletic “Wall of Fame” Committee welcomed the 2019 inductees for the ACS “Wall of Fame” at a ceremony held during the school’s homecoming events on Friday, October 4, 2019. This year’s inductees included four individual athletes with exceptional athletic careers. Additionally, the “Eye of the Tiger” award was introduced and it’s first recipient acknowledged.
Mr. Jack McCollister, a former groundskeeper and ticket seller for Akron Schools was posthumously awarded the “Eye of the Tiger” award. The Wall of Fame committee created the award to recognize those who have had a diligent, unrelenting, protective watch over the pack, ready to spring into action when the need arose. McCollister epitomizes the purpose of the award.
The youngest individual recipient of this year’s inductees is Kierstyn Sturmer, a member of the Class of 2012, with an exemplary career in basketball and softball, but particularly in field hockey. Sturmer was named to the second team All-WNY field hockey team for three years of her career before being named to the first team All-WNY as well as the All-State team her senior year. She was also named to the first team for the Niagara-Orleans All-League all four years of high school.
Kierstyn served as team captain for the field hockey team as well as the basketball and softball team her senior year. She was named team MVP for field hockey twice and once for basketball where she was also named to the N-O First Team All-League.
She continued playing field hockey for four seasons at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania and after graduation, played with the Buffalo Hurricanes field hockey club.
Two graduates from the Class of 2004, Daniel Klonowski and Emily Tanski, werel also inducted.
Klonowski was exceptional on the gridiron as well as the mats, earning accolades as the Iron Man for the Tiger football team and holding the record for best career win-loss record (127-25) for wrestling which stood for ten years.
He played junior varsity football for three years before joining the varsity team where he enjoyed back-to-back 1,000-plus yard rushing seasons in 2003 and 2004. He played offense and defense as well as special teams every game, switching positions from running back, corner/free safety, punter, field goal kicker and punt and kick-off return man.
Dan was a five-year starter for the varsity wrestling team where he served as captain four years. He was Akron Holiday Tournament Champion, Niagara-Orleans League Champ and Class Champion multiple times and was runner up three times for the Section 6. In 2004, he was selected for the Section 6 Sportsmanship Award.
Not long after his graduation, Klonowski would find that he could really shine as a coach, teaching wrestlers all that he knew about the sport and developing exceptional athletes. He coached the Tiger matmen for seven years, four as the head coach and earned the Niagara-Orleans Coach of the Year award twice. He proudly coached three athletes to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s state championship, with one wrestler earning a trip three times, and another taking third place in the state.
Emily Tanski excelled for the Tigers in soccer, swimming and as a pole vaulter for the track team. She led the soccer team to the Class B Sectional Finals in 2003 and earned selection to the N-O All-League First Team and the team’s defensive MVP patch.
In the pool she was part of the N-O League Champion 400 Freestyle Relay team and earned second place ribbons for 100 Butterfly and the 200 Freestyle Relay that broke the school record.
As a pole vaulter for the track team, Tanski became a sectional qualifier as an eighth-grader in 1999. She improved the following season earning second place at the N-O League Championships while breaking the school record. She broke the record again at the state qualifying meet that year. In 2001, she took first place at All-League and first place at the Sectional meet to earn a trip the NYSPHSAA State Championship where she broke the school record once more, which still stands, and brought home a fourth place patch.
Emily was a scholar athlete with diverse interests – she was a tumbler and gymnast for the cheerleading squad and traveled abroad for a year as an exchange student, participating in non-competitive rugby, swimming, soccer and cross country. She attended St. Bonventure University where she was a member of the Step Team, played intramural soccer and was named Valedictorian for the School of the Arts in 2009.
Michael Dean, a member of the Class of 2000, joins the Wall of Fame for his contributions and talents on the football and basketball teams, as well as teacher and coach.
Dean served as team captain and was named to the First Team All-League in 1998 and 1999, the year the Tigers became league champs.
He also played varsity basketball for three years, earning selection to the N-O All-League First Team in 1999 and 2000 and contributing to the team’s League Championships in 1998 and 2000. Mike also was a team captain for two years and can take some of the credit for the 2000 team’s 19-4 record-setting season for the greatest number of wins.
Michael played lacrosse at Liberty University while earning his teaching degree. At one time, he was teaching Health and Physical Education at Akron Schools and coaching varsity football and JV basketball.
The Wall of Fame inductees participated in the annual Homecoming Parade through the village prior to the ceremony riding in on a "monster truck." The ceremony is a unique opportunity to recognize exceptional athletes that have graduated from Akron Central Schools and who have become leaders in our communities. It is also an event to re-acquaint and reminisce with fellow teammates from their days at ACS.
For questions or additional information, please contact Mr. Justin Gerstung, ACS Wall of Fame Committee Chairman, at (716)542-5040 ext. 6126.