Ellington Duo Named Football Scholar-Athletes

Ellington High School senior football players Ben Kloter and Danny Hayes will receive Scholar-Athlete Awards from the Northern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

They will be honored, along with 17 other high school players, at the Foundation’s annual Scholar-Athlete Recognition Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on Sunday, May 17 at noon.

The duo received notification of their selection via a surprise meeting late in the school day Wednesday. Head coach Sean Byrne and several of his assistants were on hand, as were the boys’ parents.

Paul Cosgrove and Larry Olsen of the NFF made the presentation.

“You parents should be very proud of your young men,” Cosgrove said. “They’re very smart, intelligent young men.”

Olsen explained the chapter’s selection process, which covers about 68 high schools in northern Connecticut.

A panel of nine members is divided into three teams of three. One looks at the scholarly aspects of the candidates, another looks at leadership qualities, and the third examines athletic skills.

“The two of you made it through the screening process with flying colors,” Olsen said.

This is the second straight year the Knights have had an honoree from the NFF. Joe Leslie received the award in 2014.

Kloter, who will attend UConn in the fall to major in business management, said, “This whole thing is pretty surprising to me. It’s an honor to be recognized with some very prestigious people. Joe said the whole ceremony was really cool and impressive, with everyone all dressed up and making speeches. It’s definitely going to be something to remember.”

“This is really cool, it’s something I’ll always remember for the rest of my life,” said Hayes, who has not yet finalized his college plans. “It’s cool that we have someone that’s already been there.”

Kloter and Hayes will have their names inscribed on permanent plaques to be displayed inside the  National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is currently in South Bend, IN but will soon be moving to Atlanta, GA.

Individuals interested in attending the dinner should email chapter president Timothy Feshler at tfeshler@avon.k12.ct.us for information.

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