SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Today the Gaziano Awards selection committee announced the semifinalists for the Frank J. Gaziano High School Scholarship and Awards. The list of 10 semifinalists consists of five offensive linemen and five defensive linemen from high schools across the state. The two winners will be announced at the Gaziano Awards banquet on Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. the Augusta Civic Center. The winners receive $5,000 each and a trophy, and four runners-up will receive $1,000 each and a trophy.
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 and a former college All-American and professional football player who had a lifelong passion for local sports. During the past nine years of the Gaziano Awards, $110,000 has been awarded by National Distributors to Maine students.
The Frank J. Gaziano Awards will be presented on Jan. 25 in Augusta.
The annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards are presented to players who epitomize the character, leadership and perseverance of Gaziano.
In the next few weeks, the Gaziano Lineman Awards selection committee will interview the 10 semifinalists to determine the six finalists. The finalists will be selected by the selection committee based on the student's essay, in-person interview as well as game footage featuring the applicant competing against his two toughest competitors. The finalists will be selected based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
"We are excited to meet the semifinalists and continue our process to determine the finalists for the awards this year. There are a lot of great student athletes on the list and we look forward to announcing the winners at the 10th annual Gaziano Awards banquet in late January," said Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors Inc.
Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award Nominees:
Reese Boucher, Sanford High School
Jonah Green, Portland High School
David Gross, Bucksport High School
Riley Parmenter, Leavitt High School
Jack Rogers, Thornton Academy
Connor Caverly, Marshwood High School
William Horton, Bonny Eagle
Camden Jordan, Leavitt High School
Kyle Ouillette, Gorham High School
Nathan Mars, Scarborough High School
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. 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 banquet 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 email@example.com.
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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 for 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. For more information, visit nat-dist.com.