Fairborn athletics HOF announces class of 2023


FAIRBORN — Seven new members of the Fairborn High School Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2023 will be recognized in the fall.

The inductees include five athletes, one coach and one team. Going in as individuals are Josh Copeland (class of 2007), Brittany Duncan-Houghland (class of 2011), Allen Knisley (coach 1950-1966), Kirk Minteer (class of 1971), Steve Nickell (class of 1981) and Scott Porter (class of 1973), and joining them will be the 1981 Park Hills High School baseball team.

An induction ceremony will take place at halftime of the home football game on Aug. 25 against Tippecanoe. There will also be a reception in the Baker Middle School gymnasium to meet the new inductees before the game and an informal gathering for family and friends after the ceremony at TJ Chumps.

Here are profiles of the seven members compiling the FHS Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

Josh Copeland — FHS class of 2007 — football, basketball, baseball

Copeland was an outstanding three-sport athlete earning nine letters. In football, he was first team All-League in two years in two different conferences and won the Offensive Player of the Year award in the GWOC. He also received all-area and All-Southwest Ohio honors. As a running back he helped lead the team to a MML championship. During his senior year he switched to quarterback and set a school record that still stands for for the longest touchdown pass thrown.

In basketball he was the team MVP for two years, ranking in the top-two in the Miami Valley in rebounds leading the team to co-league and sectional championships and twice earning all-league and all–area honors.

He went on to become a four-year letterman playing football at Division I University of Buffalo. He has his own motivational company and continues to come back to give motivational talks to to Fairborn students and athletes. Copeland resides in the Dayton area.

Brittany Duncan-Houghland — FHS class of 2011 — softball

Duncan-Houghland was a four-year varsity letter winner in softball. She is still the school record holder in five areas: Season batting average (.623), season hits (46), career hits (163), career doubles (38), and career RBI (108).

She was voted team MVP in 2008, and was on the sectional champion squad of 2009. In 2011 she was voted the most dangerous hitter in the state of Ohio and was the GWOC Player of the Year.

She was first team all-conference all four years. In addition, she was All-Metro Ohio for four years, second team All-Ohio in 2009, honorable mention in 2010, and first team All-Ohio in 2011.

Duncan-Houghland received the GWOC All-Academic Award in 2011, and was a nominee for the Rae Burick Women in Sports Award for 2010-11.

A 2015 graduate of University of Louisville, Duncan-Houghland helped lead the Cardinals to back-to-back NCAA Tournament regional appearances. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at Valparaiso, where she earned NFCA All-Midwest Second Team honors and was named the Horizon League’s Newcomer of the Year in 2012.

She has served five seasons as an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky, and is now an assistant coach at the University of Dayton. She will primarily be responsible for leading the offense and will also serve as recruiting coordinator and academic liaison for the team.

Allen H. Knisley — FHS track and cross country coach (1950-1966)

Knisley spent 21 years as a coach at Fairborn. While serving one year as basketball and tennis head coach, he was the head varsity track coach for 10 years, and varsity cross country coach for 16 years.

His track and cross country teams compiled outstanding records. Varsity track teams had an 86 percent winning record (67 dual meets wins to 10 losses). In cross country, his teams won 80 dual meets and lost 48 for a 63 percent winning record. He had five league championships with four straight district championships in cross country. His track and cross country teams were league runners-up eight times and district runners-up seven times. His 1957 track team finished fifth at the state meet with individual champions in the pole vault, mile run, and discus.

He retired from the Fairborn City School system in 1982 after 39 years as a teacher, track and cross country coach, assistant high school principal, and assistant superintendent. He was inducted into the FCS Hall of Honor in 1995 and was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003.

Kirk Minteer — FHS class of 1971 — football, basketball, track

Minteer earned eight varsity letters by excelling in three sports when the high school was a three-year high school. In football, Minteer was a two-year starter at quarterback and set a record for most passing touchdowns in a season for that time and earned all-league honors in the Western Ohio League.

In basketball, he earned WOL All-league honors which including being on the first team his senior year, as well as making the All-Greater Dayton, all-area, and honorable mention All-Ohio teams. He was on the Greene County top-five scoring list, averaging close to 20 points per game and graduating second in career points. During his junior year, he helped lead the team to win the district championship and regional runner-up in reaching the elite eight in the state tournament. His senior season the team finished second in the WOL having outstanding winning records both years.

As a track athlete, he was team MVP his senior year when the team was WOL champion. He won three events in the league and sectional, setting two school records in the hurdles. He was a district champion in the pole vault and got third place in the state.

Minteer went on to earn four letters playing college basketball for Ashland University. He has given back to his hometown by coaching basketball and being a quarterback coach for the championship Park Hills football team. Minteer is retired and living in South Carolina.

Steve Nickell — Park Hills class of 1981 — football, wrestling, baseball

Nickell was a multi-sport letter winner, earning two in football, one in wrestling, and three in baseball.

He was honored as the team’s best offensive back, captain, and MVP for his senior year in football. As a baseball catcher he was team MVP twice, a batting champion, and won a best defense award. In his senior year, he was named all-area, a member of the East/West All Star team, reached the first team for the Dayton Journal Herald, a Miami Valley Coaches Association All-Star team member and was All-Ohio. He received a baseball scholarship to Austin Peay State where he was an all-conference player in 1984.

Nickell has been active in the Fairborn community where he has supported local youth sports. He has spent two years as a Baker Junior High baseball coach, and eight years with the Fairborn Little League coaching two teams. He was a Wee Hawks football coach for four years to help pass his experience, knowledge of sportsmanship, and work ethic on the field to the children of Fairborn.

Scott Porter — Park Hills class of 1973 — football, basketball, baseball

Porter had a great career at Park Hills earning 12 letters in four sports as one of the top athletes to come through Fairborn City Schools. Porter was in a unique situation as it was a new high school playing a varsity schedule with no seniors to learn from and they were not in a league, leaving him with no championships or league honors to compete for as the team remained independent.

One coach stated that Porter led the challenge of hard work and dedication that established the foundation for a winning tradition. In football, Porter set every scoring and rushing record at Park Hills and some Fairborn school records at the time. Those included most points scored, and most total touchdowns in a game and season. He was a two year all-area halfback, second team All-Southwest District, and honorable mention All-Ohio player, as well as being chosen to play in the State’s North-South All Star game.

In basketball, he led the team as a two-year MVP and three-year leading scorer and helped get the first winning season in the team’s history. Porter set many school records at Park Hills as well, becoming the first to score more than 1,000 points in Fairborn school history and ranks fifth overall in scoring. He still holds two Fairborn school basketball records as three times he earned all-area and All-Greater Dayton honors, and got Top 10 Greene County Scorer List honors three times.

Porter helped lead the baseball team to its first winning record with double figure wins as a pitcher and being a two-time batting leader. In one year of track, he set the Fairborn school record in the 440-yard run. Porter went on to play football at West Virginia for legendary coach Bobby Bowden. Porter is retired and resides in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Park Hills H.S. 1981 — AAA district championship baseball team

This Vikings baseball team was confronted by a rain plagued shortened regular season. Coached by John Wevurski, the team established a Park Hills record for advancing further than any baseball team in postseason play. Their district baseball championship was the fourth in Fairborn City Schools history and the only one at the AAA level.

The team caught fire in the Troy district tournament where it was seeded third. The Vikings defeated top-seeded Northmont, which had a 20-1-1 record, 3-0, and followed with a 5-2 win over No. 2-seed Stebbins (18-6-1) to win the championship. They advanced to the Southwest Regional semifinals losing to Cincinnati Western Hills, 4-1. Compiling a 15-6-2 season record, the team’s accomplishment in the postseason ranks as one of the best in Fairborn City Schools baseball history.

Inductee bios were provided by Craig Moore.

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