SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 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. 3. Award applications and nomination details can be found online at www.gazianolinemanawards.org.
The Frank J. Gaziano Awards will be presented on Jan. 26 in Augusta.
The Gaziano Awards are the largest high school scholarships of their kind in the country. During the past eight years of the Gaziano Awards, $96,000 has been awarded by National Distributors to Maine students. 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 championships in Maine take place this weekend, we are excited to open the nominations for the Gaziano Awards and recognize this year's outstanding student athletes. We look forward to receiving the nominations and learning more about the candidates. I know Frank would be extremely pleased to see the positive impact the scholarship has made on the previous nominees and the winners over the past eight years. 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. 26, at 11 a.m. at the Augusta Civic Center.
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 Mark Bonnevie. Members include Pete Cloutier, Kevin Cooper, Chris Davis, Pete DeSimon, Mike DeVito, Charles Hews, Luke Libby, Ed McAleney, Dan O'Connell, Bob Sinclair and Jeff Wells.
Former Gaziano Award winners include 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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