2018 Gaziano Award Winners

January 26, 2019

Aiden McGlone and Thomas Palmer Named
Gaziano Award Winners

Each student received $5,000, the largest scholarship
of its kind in the country

AUGUSTA, Maine - Today, the Gaziano Awards committee announced the scholarship winners of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards during a ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center. Aiden McGlone from Bonny Eagle High School and Thomas Palmer from Thornton Academy were named the top senior football offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on their hard work on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The two winners each received a trophy, a leather jacket and a $5,000 scholarship, the largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country.

The runners-up for the Gaziano Awards were offensive linemen Chase Lamontagne from Kennebunk High School and Zachary Reed, Scarborough High School, and defensive linemen Cole Melanson from Leavitt Area High School and Nicholas Mills, Cony High School. Each runner-up received a $1,000 scholarship, a trophy and a leather jacket with the Gaziano Awards logo. The video re-broadcast of the event can be found at www.munzingmediasports.com/gaziano-award.

The scholarship and awards program for Maine senior high school football linemen was created in memory of Frank J. Gaziano, founder of National Distributors and a former college All American and professional football player with a lifelong passion for local sports. Annual funding for the $14,000 in scholarships is provided by National Distributors in South Portland, the company founded by the late Gaziano. During the nine years of the Gaziano Awards, $110,000 has been awarded by National Distributors to Maine students.
Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award and Scholarship Recipients:

Aiden McGlone, Bonny Eagle High School
Frank J. Gaziano Offensive Lineman of the Year
Aiden McGlone has achieved high honors since 2015 and is ranked 3rd in his class. He was inducted into the National Honor Society, has won numerous academic awards and was named to the WCSH 6 Varsity Club, SMAA All Conference Team and SMAA All Academic Team his senior year. In addition to football, he is also a member of Bonny Eagle's lacrosse team and unified basketball team. He mentors several students, helping them to fit in socially at the high school. He is active in the community with involvement in the Special Olympics of Maine, youth coaching, the Buxton Food Pantry and Savage Family Turkey Trot.

"I want to thank parents for supporting me throughout my endeavors and allowing me to play football back in seventh grade when I first started. I couldn't have done this without any of you. As you know, college isn't cheap either, so this scholarship that comes with this prestigious award will really go a long way. Thank you for this award, I am honored," said McGlone.

Thomas Palmer has been on the honor roll since his freshman year at Thornton Academy. He is among the top 25 percent of students in his class and was a member of the 2018 SMAA All-Academic Team. As a member of the state championship team for the Trojans, he was also named to the SMAA First Team as a defensive tackle. In addition to football, Palmer is a member of the Trojans indoor and outdoor track teams. Palmer is involved at Thornton Academy in several extracurricular activities, including Model U.N. and the Ambassadors Club. In the community, he participates in numerous volunteering activities with Mary's Walk for cancer research, coaches youth sports with the Saco Little League and Saco Junior Trojan Football program, and is alter server at Most Holy Trinity Church.

"It means a lot to me to bring this trophy home, back to the community of Saco because when I look up to the stands and see the same faces and same people at the games every week, it just means a lot. It feels great to give back in what way I can," said Palmer.
The finalists considered for the annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards epitomize the character, leadership and perseverance of Gaziano. The top recipients were selected by the awards committee based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

"For the nine years we have presented the awards, I am always so happy to see the caliber of the candidates for the award. Frank would be so proud to see the contributions these young men have made on the field and in their communities. This event has become a Maine football tradition beyond our wildest dreams. When you look around the room and you see the football fans and families in attendance, it speaks to exactly why we created this award in Frank's memory; he would be really proud to see everyone come together to celebrate all these incredible student athletes and their accomplishments," said Jeff Kane, retired president at National Distributors and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law.

All eligible applicants must have been a high school senior in 2018, competed at the varsity level for a minimum of two years and have an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship. As part of the selection process, the students submitted an essay and game film featuring each lineman against his toughest competition.
Applicants from all levels of Maine's high school football were eligible for the scholarship and able to be nominated by their coaches. For more information on the scholarship program application process, or to contribute to the scholarship fund, visit www.gazianolinemanawards.org.

Editor's note: Winners and runners-up for the Gaziano Awards and Peter DeSimon, president of the Gaziano Awards, are available for interviews by contacting Greg Glynn at Marshall Communications at 207-620-9076.

To download videos or photos from the event, use the links below.

Watch the video broadcast of the event at: http://www.munzingmediasports.com/gaziano-award/. Video courtesy: Gaziano Awards

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.

Media contact:
Greg Glynn
Account Supervisor
Marshall Communications