| |SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards for Maine high school football players. The awards are given to the top senior-class offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on their hard work on the field, in the classroom, and in their communities. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 4. Award applications and nomination details can be found online at www.gazianolinemanawards.org.
The Frank J. Gaziano Award will be presented on Jan. 27 in Augusta.
The Gaziano Awards are the largest high school scholarships of their kind in the country. Two winners will receive $5,000 each and a trophy, and four runners-up will receive $1,000 each and a trophy. The awards honor the memory of the late Frank J. Gaziano who was a college football All-American and professional player before founding National Distributors, Inc. in South Portland.
"As the high school playoffs in Maine continue this weekend, we are excited to open the nominations and look forward to learning about this year's candidates. The number of applications we receive each year from coaches across the state is a testament to the hard work and dedication of some of Maine's top student athletes. I know Frank would be extremely pleased to see the positive impact the scholarship has made on the previous nominees and the winners. The Gaziano Award winners have been able to pursue their passions ranging from playing football in college to attending medical school," said Jeff Kane, former president of National Distributors and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law.
The awards selection committee will select finalists from high schools across the state. The award and scholarship presentations to the Gaziano Award winners will be announced during a banquet on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 12 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center.
|The late Frank J. Gaziano was an All-American and professional football player. He was also the founder of National Distributors, Inc. in South Portland. |
To qualify for consideration, an applicant must be a high school senior, have competed at the varsity level for a minimum of two years and have an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship. The submission of a student essay and a game film featuring the applicant competing against his two toughest competitors are also part of the application process.
Applicants from all levels of Maine's high school football class system are eligible for the scholarship and are nominated by their coaches. For more information on the scholarship program, visit www.gazianolinemanawards.org.
The selection committee for the Frank J. Gaziano Lineman Awards is chaired by Mike Haley. Members include Mark Bonnevie, Pete Cloutier, Kevin Cooper, Pete DeSimon, Charles Hews, Jason Jackson, Luke Libby, Ed McAleney, Dan O'Connell, Bob Sinclair and Jeff Wells.
Former Gaziano Award winners include active collegiate football players Alec Clark (Maine Maritime Academy), Frank Curran (Husson University), Zach Davis (Maine Maritime Academy), Zordan Holman (University of Connecticut), Austin Lufkin (Wofford College), Jedidiah Scott (Assumption College), Luke Washburn (Husson University) and Kurt Massey (University of Maine).
All funding for the scholarships and awards is provided by National Distributors, Inc. in South Portland. The awards committee will also be securing sponsorships ranging from $50-$500 so players and families of the student athletes can attend the lunch free of charge. If you are interested in attending the event or contributing to the scholarship fund, contact event coordinator Jenn Bouffard at 207-773-1719 ext. 3343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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