The Board of Directors of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the two recipients of their 2017 New Era Student-Athlete Scholarship Awards. The 2017 winners are Madison (Maddie) Klidonas, a three-sport athlete from Niagara Wheatfield High School, and Ronald Lott III, also a three-sport star, out of Portville Central High School.
“On behalf of the Board, we are absolutely delighted to present Madison and Ron with the New Era Scholarship. This scholarship was created to honor high school student-athletes who not only perform well athletically but also excel in the classroom,” said GBSHOF president Tom Koller. “I also want to acknowledge the generous contribution we have received from New Era that makes these awards possible every year.”
Madison Kiidonas (Niagara Wheatfield)
Klidonas played four years of varsity softball and basketball at Niagara Wheatfield in addition to competing for two seasons on the volleyball team. She captained all three sports and was named the WIVB Channel 4 Scholar Athlete of the Month in March of 2017. She enjoyed her most successful season on the softball diamond in 2016 when she was named to the All-WNY First Team at shortstop and received 4th Team All-State recognition. During that campaign, she batted .460 with 11 extra base hits and 22 RBI.
In applying for the scholarship, Klidonas wrote, “Rather than trying to fit in, I have learned that self-expression is one of the most important aspects of life and it has certainly been a key component of mine.”
“Madison is an exceptional young person who combines and excels at the very attributes which this scholarship espouses,” added Niagara Wheatfield teacher Alan Pogel. “Her gifts and talents are quite evident, but added to that is the genuine, sincere and caring person that Madison is.”
Maddie completed her high school career ranking 17th out of 302 students with a 96.936 GPA. She plans to attend St. John Fisher College and major in English Education.
Ronald Lott III (Portville Central)
Lott earned four letters in football and basketball and was a team captain in both those sports, plus baseball, where he received two letters on the diamond. Ron ranked third in his class of 71 with a 99 percent cumulative GPA and will attend Houghton College in the fall to study biochemistry in the pre-med track.
According to Lott, “In order to be a student-athlete you must be a student first. I fly my own flag by following my passion of science and medicine.”
A two-time All-Western New York Scholar Athlete, Lott earned second team all-Western New York football kudos on defense and was a member of the Class DD football champions.
Off the playing fields, the Portville product placed first at the Alfred State Science Fair, was president of his high school class and received commendations for his excellence in Science from Senator Catherine Young and Congressman Tom Reed.
Wrote chemistry and physics teacher Robert Stives, “Ronald has not only outstanding academic ability, but also has one of the friendliest personalities and best leadership skills of any student in my 24 year career.”
Lott also received the annual Bob Davies-Lou Foy Memorial Big 30 Scholar-Athlete Award. The award is presented annually to a student for Academic Performance and school citizenship in addition to athletic participation.
Each student-athlete receives a one-year award of $2,500.