William Class Memorial Scholarship Award recipient CJ Kiviat.

Charles Kiviat Garners William Class Scholarship

William Class Memorial Scholarship Award recipient CJ Kiviat.

July 5, 2021

Bill Class came to Huntington in 1929 and over the next 34 years established a standard of excellence that continues to this day in the Blue Devil athletic program. He retired more than a half-century ago and passed away in August 1984, but he will always be remembered in the community for his work at Huntington High School.

A $1,000 scholarship in Coach Class’ honor was presented to senior Charles Kiviat at the 53rd annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards ceremony. The teenager is headed to the University of Rhode Island in the fall. He plans to compete on the school’s NCAA Division I track and field team.

Charles Kiviat is headed to the University of Rhode Island to run on its NCAA Division I track team.

Coach Class was a giant in teaching and athletics. He developed a modern physical education program at a time when only a handful existed in the country and his teams won numerous county championships in football and baseball. He was convinced that every student should participate in athletics, so they could experience a more well-rounded education and to help develop enhanced school and community spirit.

Widely known as CJ, Mr. Kiviat ran on the Blue Devil cross country, winter track and spring track teams. He is a league, county and state champion and an All-American. He has specialized in the 400m, 600m and 800m runs and various relay races.

“CJ has been one of the mainstays of our program,” said Ronald E. Wilson, Huntington’s boys’ head track coach. “He has helped bring us to dizzying heights.”

The Class scholarship is awarded annually to a college bound male or female athlete who has participated in multiple varsity sports, demonstrated outstanding athletic achievement, character, leadership and sportsmanship qualities both in the playing arena and the classroom.

Coach Class comes to Huntington

Coach Class graduated from Cortland State Teachers College in 1927 and came to Huntington two years later. He coached football, basketball and baseball and started the wrestling program in 1937, coaching that team for two seasons. Serving as the athletic director, Mr. Class put together the framework for a modern sports program.

“He won county championships in football in 1946, 1947 and 1948,” Mr. Connell said. “He won seven county championships in baseball from 1929 to 1952.”

In 1954, Mr. Class turned over his coaching duties to his trusted assistants and became the administrative head of physical education and health, special services and transportation, eventually overseeing the construction of a new Huntington High School. He retired from the district in 1963.

At a testimonial dinner held in his honor, high school Principal Robert Cushman said “Coach Class never permitted himself to do less than his best, and he couldn’t tolerate slipshod habits among his boys. Another characteristic was to teach students to play the game and then let them use their own initiative and ingenuity. His methods of training were characterized by refinement, and he never used profanity.”

When asked how athletics had affected his life, Mr. Class responded, “The opportunity to work with young men to improve their ability and knowledge of the game and to instill the desire and drive to be good in their chosen field has been both challenging and rewarding as a life’s work.”

Mr. Kiviat was presented with an attractive plaque and the $1,000 stipend the scholarship carries. A separate, permanent plaque hangs in the main athletic showcase in the lobby outside Louis D. Giani Gymnasium with the engraved names of all the William Class Memorial Scholarship Award recipients through the years.

William Class Memorial Scholarship Award Recipients
1985 Joseph Zirpolo
1986 Peter Marshall
1987 Justin Carey
1988 Tara Mizell
1989 Karen Fischer
1990 John P. Paci III
1991 Brian Shanley
1992 Daniel Maier
1993 Kristin Detor
1994 Brian Bentley
1995 Margaret and Jennifer Tietjen
1996 Caroline Turner
1997 Susan Fiore
1998 Dawid Rechul
1999 Douglas Logigian
2000 Karen Sulinski
2001 Donna McCann
2002 Meghan Turner
2003 Kathryn Lee
2004 Kevin Beck
2005 Erin Coffey
2006 John Lee
2007 Jacqueline Bodnar
2008 Leslie O’Brien
2009 Kerry Hicks
2010 Meredith McCourt
2011 Sarah Ehrman
2012 Alexandra Martinolich
2013 Katia DeSimone
2014 Lee Reiver
2015 Scott Gulizio
2016 Thomas Kopstein
2017 Ryann Gaffney
2018 Samuel Bergman
2019 Morgan Minicozzi
2020 Holly Wright
2021 Charles Kiviat

Legendary Huntington High School coach William Class in 1939.
Legendary Huntington High School coach William Class in 1939.
Coach Bill Class (second row left) with the 1939 Huntington baseball team.
Coach Bill Class (second row left) with the 1939 Huntington baseball team.