Once a Little Scholar, Steinert’s Kloutis now a full-grown football scholar-athlete

Nick Kloutis, a former Little Scholar winner, will be Steinert’s honoree at Sunday’s George Wah Scholar-Leader-Athlete Dinner.

By Rich Fisher

Mar. 9: Steinert’s Nick Kloutis will certainly know what to expect at Sunday’s dinner to honor his academic and athletic achievements.

He’s been there before.

Kloutis is one of 22 high school players being recognized at the 56th Annual George Wah Scholar-Leader-Athlete Awards Dinner. The event, hosted by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, will be held March 11 at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, beginning at 4 p.m. Visit http: //www.delvalfootballfoundation.com for more information.

Nick is making a return trip to the dinner, as he was the DelVal Chapter’s Little Scholar of the Year in 2013. He lived up to that title in high school, playing four years for the Spartans and starting on varsity for two years on the offensive line and long snapper. Nick was a 12th Man TD Club Offensive Lineman of the Week last fall and earned WJFL second-team All-Patriot Division honors. Kloutis also plays for the Spartans baseball team.

“Nick is a fierce competitor and the consummate team player,” Steinert coach Dan Caruso said. “Nick always puts his teammates first. He is willing to do whatever a coach asks of him. Nick had played center all of his life, but we asked him to play left tackle this year. His athleticism and drive made him a natural fit there. Many players would balk at making this switch, but Nick did not hesitate and he threw all of his energy into learning his new position and handling all the pressure that comes with it.

“Nick is a young man that works hard, doesn’t care about personal glory, pushes himself and his teammates every day and leads on the field by example. Nick is essentially a coach’s dream. In my 16 years of high school coaching experience I have found Nick to be one of the most well-rounded and respected players I have had the pleasure of coaching and being associated with in the player-coach relationship.”

Kloutis has a Grade Point Average of 3.5 and has taken advanced placement courses in environmental science and physics 2. A member of the National Honor Society, Nick earned Steinert’s Outstanding Academic Award and Football Booster Academic Award as a sophomore, junior and senior. He is a member of the Key Club, has volunteered at the Hamilton Coaches Summer Camp, the Trenton Soup Kitchen, Veterans Park Clean Up, SHS Boardwalk Night and Ryan’s Quest fundraiser for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Other activities have been the Hamilton Elks Bike Drive and Assembly, team captain of After-Prom volleyball team, server at pancake breakfasts and charity softball participation.

“Nick is one of the best students that I have seen in 25 years as a teacher,” Steinert Technology Teacher Boyd Hartpence said. “He is mature, dependable, self-motivated and is able to think critically about complex problems and come up with a solution. Nick is willing to work on problems outside of class time; he also encourages his classmates and helps them through problems.

“When Nick encounters setbacks he proceeds head-on, viewing the experience as an opportunity to learn rather than a negative encounter.  He is open to suggestions and constructive criticism. His energy and dedication can be seen in his excellent academic record.”

About The Author

Rich Fisher has been around the Hamilton Township sports scene for so long that he actually got Rich Giallella’s autograph when Giallella was still a player! Proud product of Hamilton YMCA and Lou Gehrig baseball leagues and former teammate of Jim Maher on a very average Barton & Cooney rec basketball team, Fish graduated from Nottingham Junior High and Steinert High school and has covered township sports since 1980. His goal in life is to convince Maria Prato that Jersey tomatoes are at least 100 times better than California tomatoes.