Huntingdon College to induct six into Athletic Hall of Fame

Huntingdon College to induct six into Athletic Hall of Fame

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame will add six new members at the 2012 induction ceremony on Saturday. The ceremony will be held at 9:45 a.m. in Roland Arena. A reception for this year's Hall of Fame class, their families and previous inductees will be held at 9 a.m.

"We're very proud to have these new inductees on campus this weekend and it's always great to see the previous inductees," Huntingdon athletic director Buzz Phillips said. "These men and women represent the ideals that Huntingdon strives to promote and are great role models for our current student-athletes. I congratulate the Class of 2012 on this honor."

This year's inductees are Mark Colson, Kate Brown Kalnes, Romeo Leisher, Steve Shiflett, Debbie Sonnenberg and Will Wilson.


Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame

Class of 2012

Mark Colson '07 was recruited in 2003 to serve on the first Huntingdon Hawks NCAA-Division III football team. Later, he became the first Hawks receiver or running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a single season, with 75 catches and 1,028 yards receiving. As an undergraduate, Mark held an internship with the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and was given a full-time position immediately following graduation. Today he serves as chief of staff and executive director of ProgressPAC and represents Alabama's business community at the highest levels of government in Montgomery and Washington, D.C. As a Huntingdon alumnus, Mark has continued to remain loyal and faithful to Huntingdon. He was the driving force behind the effort to create the Hawks Football Alumni Association, and because of his efforts and leadership, the percentage of football alumni participating in annual giving to the College exceeds any other cohort group. Mark holds a master's degree in business administration from Troy University. He is an Eagle Scout, and enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time. Mark and his wife, Cody, live in Montgomery with their dog, Beau.

Kate Brown Kalnes '02 was an All-American volleyball player at Huntingdon College and is the first volleyball player inducted into the Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame. The four-year starter was team captain for four years, MVP her junior and senior year, and will always be remembered as the girl who wore pigtails. A human performance and kinesiology graduate, Kate served as the assistant director of recreation at Huntingdon College. She earned her graduate degree in exercise and health studies from Miami University of Ohio, where she interned in the strength and conditioning program and trained athletes of all sports in Miami's Division I program. Kate earned professional certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the United States Weightlifting Federation. She is the co-owner of Police Kinesiology Company in Evanston, Illinois, and serves as the company's technical director. She is an instructor for North East Multi Regional Training, a regional police training academy in Illinois, and has co-authored seven police performance training courses. She is in her sixth year as Physical Education and Heath teacher at New Tier High School in Illinois and also serves as a volleyball coach.

Romeo Leisher '00 came to Huntingdon from Johannesburg, South Africa, without any family or financial support. He was a full-time student, full-time collegiate athlete, and worked 25–30 hours a week in the campus mailroom and the campus maintenance department so that he could be the first in his family to earn a college degree. He was a 4-year team captain for the varsity soccer squad, honored with the Best Defensive Player award as a freshman, Best Offensive Player as a junior, received the Most Valuable Player award in his three final years, and finished 17th in the nation for the 2000 season for goals scored and assists per game. Romeo was an All-Region Tournament Team nominee as a sophomore, NAIA 2nd Team All-South Region as a junior, and an NSCAA All-Region Scholar-Athlete as a senior. Romeo was honored with inclusion in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 2000 and was on the dean's list for four semesters while attending Huntingdon. He works as a new business development manager for a healthcare staffing company in Boca Raton, Florida, and has been with the company for 10 years.

Steve Shiflett '72 was an All-State standout at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama, before joining the Huntingdon basketball team in 1968. He was a 4-year letterman, earning a starting position in his junior and senior years. During his senior year as a Hawk, Steve averaged 15 points per game with a career high 32 points in a game against Birmingham-Southern. He was elected to the All-Conference Team that year. After graduating from Huntingdon, Steve earned a master's degree from Troy State in 1974 and went on to become athletic director and head basketball coach at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery. Five years and one state championship later, Steve hung up his high school whistle and moved to Birmingham to join the ranks of the college coaching world at Southeastern Bible College, where he led SBC to their only conference championship. Since moving back to Montgomery in 1981, Steve has started and sold numerous medical supply businesses and is now retired. He now resides in Auburn with his wife, Susan Carroll Shiflett, a 1972 Huntingdon graduate. They have two children and six grandchildren.

Debbie Sonnenberg '94 was a four-time All-American at Huntingdon College and still holds the NAIA record for most wins and strikeouts for a season and a career. She was a key member of the 1996 Canadian Olympic Team, five Canadian National Champion teams, and two New Zealand National Champion teams. She also competed in the World Championships and Pan-Am Games as a pitcher and was a seven-time All-Canadian Performer pitching back-to-back perfect games in the 1993 Canadian National Championship Series. Debbie has coached for Delta State (Mississippi), Auburn University, Kennesaw State University and Mercer University. She is an instructor at the Cherokee Batting Range in Woodstock, Georgia, and is the coach of the Georgia Trouble Softball Organization.

Will Wilson '90, a native of Montgomery, graduated from Huntingdon College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Today he is President of Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC, where he is responsible for all development activities and investment projects, including site selection and acquisitions, expansion of existing projects, and all aspects of planning and developing new projects. Will has been a loyal supporter of the College and a staunch supporter of the Huntingdon athletic program as a member of the Huntingdon Board of Trustees. He provided valuable counsel and significant financial resources to assist Huntingdon's efforts to become a full member of an NCAA-Division III athletic conference, which has led to the College's recent invitation to join the USA South Athletic Conference. He has also provided tremendous support to the Huntingdon College golf program by providing use of the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club facilities for team practice and tournament play. In addition to his service on the Huntingdon Board of Trustees, Will is a member of the boards of directors of The Montgomery Academy, the Wynlakes Golf and Country Club and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. He served previously on the boards of directors of the Montgomery Humane Society and the American Red Cross of Central Alabama. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Montgomery with their two sons, William and Brian.