NATCHITOCHES – Saturday’s annual N-Club Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony highlights a busy weekend for former Northwestern State student-athletes.
In addition to the 9 a.m. Saturday induction ceremony in Magale Recital Hall, there are a pair of additional Homecoming-related activities where former NSU student-athletes, coaches or staff members will be honored.
A reception for the honorees begins at 8:30 a.m. in the recital hall foyer.
Three former Demon student-athletes – basketball and track and field standout and longtime director of athletics (and now a Shreveport resident) Tynes Hildebrand, football’s Carlos Treadway and baseball’s Tommy Chester – will be inducted into the university’s Long Purple Line on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center.
The 12-member N-Club Hall of Fame class takes the stage Saturday morning, opening a busy day for NSU Athletics that also includes the 1 p.m. Homecoming football game against Southeast Missouri State and a 6 p.m. volleyball match against Lamar.
Joining the list of honored Northwestern State student-athletes, coaches and staff in the N-Club Hall of Fame this year are 2011 NCAA Outdoor discus champion Trecey Rew-Hoover, also an Academic All-American, and three football stars: 2002 Southland Conference football Defensive Player of the Year Roy Locks, seven-year NFL veteran and 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifier Craig Nall, and another NFL veteran, All-American cornerback David Pittman, all starters for FCS playoff teams as Demons.
Among the N-Club’s Class of 2022 are 2006 Southland Conference Basketball Tournament MVP Clifton Lee, who starred for the 2006 Demons of Destiny NCAA Tournament team, and three-time women’s basketball All-Southland Conference member and the conference’s former career 3-point record holder Kia Converse. From spring sports are softball standouts Erin Mancuso and Amanda Ortego, who combined for seven All-Southland honors, five-time Southland hurdles champion and NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship qualifier Brittany Littlejohn and 2002 Southland Conference baseball Pitcher of the Year O.J. King, a two-time first-team all-conference pick who made the Southland’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Two NSU trailblazers – Louise “Do” Bonin and Melvin Howard — will be honored with the N-Club Pioneer Award. Bonin was one of the first 10 full athletic scholarships awarded in Louisiana to female student-athletes, all at Northwestern in April 1975. Howard, a retired captain in the New Orleans police department, was the first Black football student-athlete for the Demons, in 1968.
Tennis great and former Lady Demons coach Willie Paz will be inducted into the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development’s Hall of Distinguished Educators at 10 a.m. in the Teacher Education Center after a reception that begins at 9:30.
An N-Club Hall of Fame inductee in 2015, Paz taught tennis to NSU students for multiple decades as he was also in the Natchitoches Parish school system. An All-Gulf South Conference selection and the 1973 Gulf South champion at No. 1 singles, Paz coached the Lady Demon program from 1995-2006.
A two-time NSU graduate (1976 bachelor’s, 2000 master’s), Paz’ best season came in 2004 when Northwestern State posted a 14-5 record and a 9-1 Southland mark.