Finalist Announced for Gaziano Lineman Awards
Scholarship for Maine high school linemen is the largest of its kind in the country
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - The selection committee for the 2016 Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards today announced six finalists for what is the largest high school scholarship of its kind in the country. The award winners will be announced at a luncheon ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 12 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. Since 2009, the award has provided Maine high school seniors with more than $54,000 in scholarships.
The scholarship and awards program for Maine high school football linemen was created in 2010 in memory of Frank J. Gaziano, founder of National Distributors in South Portland, and a former college All-American and professional football player with a lifelong passion for local sports. One offensive and one defensive lineman will each receive $5,000 and a first place trophy, and four runners-up will each receive $1,000.
Gaziano Lineman Award Finalists:
Austin Lufkin, Brewer High School
Lufkin was the team captain in his senior season and was named first-team all-conference on both sides of the ball. He was also named All-Academic in the Pine Tree Conference Class B. He has a cumulative 90.8 grade point average (GPA). He has been active in the community through coaching youth football and volunteering at his church, and has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America.
David Redmond, Westbrook High School
Redmond is a four-year letter winner and was the captain at Westbrook High School (WHS). He was an All-Conference defensive end in his junior and senior seasons. In his senior year, he led the team in solo tackles (29), assists (41) and sacks (3). He is a member of the Trendsetters organization at WHS, a mentor for a special needs basketball team and coaches youth football. He is an honor student with an 88.0 GPA.
Raffaele Salamone, Deering High School
Salamone is a three-year letter winner and was a co-captain of the Rams in 2016. He has made the honor roll in 2015 and 2016.
On the field, he was named the 2016 All-USA Maine Football Team Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today. He made 70 tackles his senior year along with 3 sacks. He was named SMAA All-Conference in 2015 and 2016 and earned the James Banks Unsung Hero Award in November. He has been engaged in the community through after school mentoring with the Portland
Recreation Department, volunteering at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen and working at the Little Ram Camp for the past two years teaching youth football.
Nicholas Bartholomew, Thornton Academy
Bartholomew is a two-time state champion with the Trojans. He was named to the SMAA All-Conference team in 2015 and 2016. In the classroom, he was named to the SMAA All-Academic team in 2016 and has a 3.92 GPA while taking AP and honors courses. He has numerous academic honors in writing, US history, and graphic design. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and Anglers' Society at Thornton Academy, and is involved with the Explorers Club with the Saco Police and Fire Departments. In the Biddeford-Saco area, he volunteers time at the food pantry and helps the local youth football program. He is also involved at the Mary's Walk a fundraising event hosted by Thornton Academy to benefit The Maine Cancer Foundation.
Parker Gammon, Bonny Eagle High School
Gammon was a team captain in 2016, and helped lead the team to the Class A State championship. He also won the Gerry Raymond Award and made the SMAA All-Conference and All-Academic team. He has made the honor roll several times since his freshman year and was recently named Student of the Quarter at the Westbrook Vocational School in the fall of 2016. He has a 3.29 GPA and is a member of the Bonny Eagle weight training and ski clubs. Gammon is also involved with the Little Scots Youth Football Program. In the community, he teaches at summer camps for youth sports and volunteers his time with Special Olympics, plus helping with spring cleaning events at the Limington Ball Field and Family Friends Campground.
Dylan Wike, Portland High School
In 2016, Wike made the honor roll and has earned a 90.0 GPA. He has made the varsity roster all four years with the Bulldogs. In addition to football, he participates in many other activities including hockey and baseball. He is a member of the Portland High School executive board, Key Club and Project Graduation. In the community, since he was 7 years old, he has raised $7,000 to benefit the Maine Special Olympics. He is also a Special Olympics basketball coach and also volunteers his time at the Maine Veterans Home and the Beagle Club.
"Every year, our committee is impressed with the quality of the athletes and the way they conduct themselves during the in-person interviews. That is something the committee values very heavily. It is obvious that these are high-quality students who care about football, their community and their future. The interview process is unlike any other award in the country and is very important to ensure the finalists and eventual winners will continue to epitomize the type of student-athlete we envisioned when the award was created in Frank's honor," said Jeff Kane, retired president of National Distributors, Inc. and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law.
The annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards are presented to players who epitomize the character, leadership, and perseverance of Gaziano. The selection committee chooses award winners based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.
The Gaziano Awards will be streamed live by Munzing Media at www.munzingmediasports.com/gaziano-award. The video broadcast will begin live at 1 p.m. ET.
For more information on the awards luncheon or the scholarship program, visit www.gazianolinemanawards.org.
Editor's Note: Finalists for the 2016 Gaziano Awards and Peter DeSimon, president of the Gaziano Awards, are available for interviews by contacting Greg Glynn at Nancy Marshall Communications at 207-623-4177.
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About National Distributors:
Established in 1960, National Distributors, Inc. is a family-owned company that has been providing quality beverages to retailers for the benefit of consumers more than 50 years. Though predominantly servicing retailers in southern Maine, the company continues to provide a variety of products and expand their distribution to central and coastal Maine. National Distributors maintains a strong vision for a greener future with an active environmental program. The company and its more than 170 employees also continue to be proud community leaders and promote the responsible consumption of their products.
Nancy Marshall Communications