The Order of AHEPA will present awards to outstanding current and former athletes, scholar-athletes, and industry professionals at its Athletic Luncheon, to be held at the 99th Supreme Convention, Athens, Greece, July 28 announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.
“We are proud to recognize an outstanding group of Hellenes who excel at their respective sports, display excellence in sports broadcasting, or in the classroom, and exemplify volunteerism within their respective communities,” Horiates said, adding, “we congratulate our honorees. They are committed to promoting and perpetuating these ideals, all of which are important facets of our mission.”
Horiates also said, “I commend AHEPA’s National Athletic Department, led by Supreme Athletic Director Chris Atsaves and Gregory J. Stamos, who chairs the Athletic Awards Selection Committee, for their dedication to honoring our exceptional athletes and those in the sports industry.”
The 2021 Class of the AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame will include:
• Marcos Baghdatis, former Tennis professional player
• Spero Dedes, multi-network national sports broadcaster
• Pyrros Dimas, Gold Medal Olympian in Weightlifting
• Stella Sampras-Webster, Head Coach, UCLA Women’s Tennis, and former Tennis collegiate and professional player
• Kurt Rambis, former National Basketball Association player and head coach
Marcos Baghdatis. (Photo: si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
The AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1974 by the late Supreme Athletic Director, Dr. Monte Kofos and now includes more than 155 inductees. Previous inductees include: Harry Agganis, Alex Karras, Milt Pappas, Pete Sampras, Eric Karros, Gene Rossides, Steve Lappas, Bob Costas, and Greg Louganis, among many others.
New England Patriots Offensive Lineman Ted Karras is selected to be awarded the prestigious AHEPA-Harry Agganis Most Outstanding Athlete Award. Karras, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, will be entering his sixth NFL season. He is the fifth Karras family member to play in the NFL that includes his grandfather, father, and great-uncles, Lou and Alex Karras.
“I am immensely proud and emotional about this honor,” Karras said. “I am aware of the significance of Harry Agganis and the great work the Order of AHEPA has done for so many. The Karras family is particularly grateful for AHEPA’s tremendous advocacy that resulted in the Karras family football patriarch, my great-uncle Alex, finally being given his due, being selected to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame after many years of being denied that well-deserved honor.”
University of Connecticut baseball players, Patrick and Chris Winkel, of Orange, CT, are co-recipients of the AHEPA-William Chirgotis Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award. Chris is a five-year starter for the Huskies, serving as a captain for three of those seasons, has been a standout first baseman and centerfielder. He has been named to the First Team All-Big East as a centerfielder and will leave the University of Connecticut with over 200 hits, fourth in games played, and third in triples.
His brother, Patrick, a junior and three-year starter, was drafted by the New York Yankees after high school but chose to join Chris at UConn. Patrick was named to the NCAA Oklahoma All-Regional Team during his freshman year.
The inaugural 2021 Agganis Family-Galatis Most Outstanding Greek American High School Athlete Award will be presented to brothers Athanasios ‘Athan’ Kaliakmanis and Constantinos ‘Dino’ Kaliakmanis, Antioch, Ill.
Athan earned Illinois’ highest honor, Gatorade Football Player of the Year. He was the first-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the state. Athan also was a four-year All-Conference track and field performer. Dino, the third-ranked wide receiver Illinois, was a three-time All-Conference football player and MVP and team captain for Antioch Community High School where he holds the school record for pass receptions and kick-off returns for touchdowns. They will enter the University of Minnesota as football scholarship recipients.
Nikolas Pitiris of Cyprus is the selectee of the Past Supreme President Franklin R. Manios Scholar-Athlete and Service Award, which recognizes achievement in academics, athletics, and community service. Nikolas is a member of the golf team at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, a member of the Cypriot Men’s National Golf Team, and the Cypriot Golf Champion in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
Chrysanthe Frangos, Coronado, CA is the recipient of the Anthony Leondis Scholar-Athlete Award, for superior accomplishments in athletics, academics, and advancement of the community good. At Academy of Peace High School, San Diego, Chrysanthe was a member of the Lacrosse California Division II State Championship team and a member of the varsity soccer team; she was also captain of the speech and debate team and the recipient of the prestigious Fontbonne Scholar Award for academic accomplishments. Chrysanthe will attend Stanford University.
Maria Christine Tsioutsias, Queen Creek, AZ, is the recipient of the Dr. Monthe Kofos Scholar-Athlete Award, for outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Maria earned the Most Valuable Player Award for her high school soccer team. She also was a member of the Honor Roll. Maria will play soccer at Shaw University in the fall.
Sophia Maria Georgopoulos, Laytonsville, MD, is the recipient of the Booster Club Excellence in Athletics Award, presented to an Outstanding High School Athlete. Sophia was an All-Conference selectee in high school Lacrosse and a member of the Women’s National Tournament Team. She is a Presidential Scholar and a National Honor Society member. She will play lacrosse for Marist College.
Eustratios Kossis, Haddon Heights, NJ, is a recipient of a John Peter Vlahos Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to an Outstanding High School Scholar-Athlete. Eustratios was a captain of the indoor and outdoor track teams, captain and lead engineer of the robotics team, and the recipient of the Boys’ Soccer Academic Award. He also is a National Honor Society member. Eustratios will be matriculating at Rowan University Honors College.
John Demakis, Hinsdale, IL, is a recipient of the John Peter Vlahos Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to an Outstanding High School Scholar-Athlete. At Hinsdale Central High School, John was a multi-sport athlete: football, track, and wrestling. He is a National Merit Scholar. John will attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN.
Stephen Norris, Nashua, NH, is a recipient of the Manchester Great Scholarship Award for superior accomplishments in academics and athletics. At Nashua High School North, Stephen was the William Loeb NH Scholar-Athlete of the Year, following multi-sport participation, including basketball, tennis, and soccer, where he was named to the All-Area Team. He was a member of the National, Math, Social Studies, and Spanish Honor Societies. Stephen will attend Harvard University.
“AHEPA is grateful to each of the benefactors and sponsors of these awards, and to the Athletic Committee Boosters and its supporters, all of whom have contributed to the development of this marvelous program to recognize our student-athletes,” said Horiates.