SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Today the Gaziano Awards selection committee announced the finalists for the Frank J. Gaziano High School Scholarship and Awards. The list of six finalists consists of three offensive linemen and three 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. at 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.
The announcement of the finalists comes following the Gaziano Lineman Awards selection committee interviewing the 10 semifinalists to determine the six finalists. The winners on Jan. 25 will be selected by the selection committee based on the student's essay and in-person interview, as well as game footage featuring the applicant competing against his two toughest competitors. The two winners will be selected based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
"Every year, the process to select the finalists is very difficult for the committee. The quality and character of the student athletes is remarkable. It is a testament to the students, their parents and their coaches. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of these awards, it is rewarding to reflect on the stories of previous winners and the impact that the more than $100,000 in scholarships has had on the previous recipients. We are very excited to announce the winners at the banquet later this month," said Jeff Kane, retired president of National Distributors Inc. and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law.
Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award Nominees:
David Gross, Bucksport High School
Gross has been named a First Team All-Conference player since his freshman year, winning offensive and defensive lineman of the year awards in the PTC, as well as Little Ten Conference (LTC) Player of the Year honors (2019). He earned LTC All-Academic honors in 2018 and 2019. For the past two years, he has been a captain for both the football and wrestling team at Bucksport High School. He has been on the honor roll every quarter since his freshman year and recorded his highest GPA in 2019. He is a member of the National Honor Society and student council and is a Boy's State delegate. His work in the community includes more than 100 hours volunteering to support youth football and wrestling programs, as well as assisted living residences.
Riley Parmenter, Leavitt Area High School
Parmenter is a four-year starter for the Hornets. He was the team captain the past two seasons and led Leavitt to a state championship in 2019. This season, he recorded 85 tackles, including four sacks and 11 tackles for loss. As a guard, the Hornets won 30 of the 40 games he started and the team threw for more than 2,000 yards. In addition to being named to the All-Region team the past three years, he was a member of the All-Conference team in two of his four seasons. He received All-Academic Campbell Conference honors in 2019 while taking several AP classes. He is consistently among the school's top students and has served as class president the past two years. He is a member of the Hornets track team, is involved in the Big Brother mentoring program and volunteers for the Red Cross, Dempsey Challenge and other community camps and events.
Jack Rogers, Thornton Academy
Rogers has been on the honor roll at Thornton Academy since his freshman year. As an SMAA Conference All-Academic Team member, he has several academic achievements including in geometry and physics. His honors on the football field include a state championship in 2018, as well as being named to the Class of the State team the same season. He has captured several all-star accolades from Maine newspapers and was named to the All USA Maine Football team in 2018. This past year, he was named a First Team Offensive Lineman in Class A. He is a member of the Thornton Academy Interact Club and volunteers for several organizations, including the Saco Food Pantry, Windows for Poverty, and the Saco Junior Trojans programs.
William Horton, Bonny Eagle
Horton has been on the honor roll for several trimesters, including the high honor roll this year. He has received the Career and Education Award for financial literacy, is a STEM Endorsement Diploma candidate and is a member of the SMAA All-Academic team. He has been a captain for Bonny Eagle the past two seasons and was named to the First Team All-Conference, First Team All State and First Team USA Maine and the Class A Coaches All-State team as part of his role in the Scotts state championship title. He participated in the SMAA Sportsmanship Summit this year and is a classroom assistant for the Bonny Eagle Special Education Department. He also spends time volunteering for youth football clinics, the Special Olympics, and Furniture Friends of Greater Portland.
Camden Jordan, Leavitt Area High School
Jordan has been on the honor roll since 2016 and is a National Honor Society nominee. He is a four-year starter and three-time selection to the Campbell Conference all-star team. This year, as a captain of the Hornets, he led the team to a state championship, was named to the Campbell Conference All-Academic team and named conference player of the year, and was also a semi-finalist for the Fitzpatrick Award. In 2019, he had 112 tackles and 37 tackles for a loss, including 21 sacks. In addition to football, he is a member of the track team and participates in unified sports. His community work includes volunteering for the Dempsey Challenge and youth sports camps and raising funds for a terminally ill teacher.
Nathan Mars, Scarborough High School
Mars has been a member of the National Honor Society the past two years and is an AP scholar. He is a United States Coast Guard Academy AIM Program graduate and member of the SMAA Fall Sports All-Academic team, ranking in the top 20% of his class. He has been a two-year captain for the Red Storm football team and won the 2019 Gerry Raymond Award as the best lineman in the SMAA. He was was named to the SMAA All-Conference team on both sides of the ball. He was part of the Scarborough High School championship team in 2017 and has several other athletic accolades in track and field. He was elected to student council for a two-year term through his senior year and also serves as treasurer. In the community, he delivers meals for Project GRACE, volunteers with the Scarborough Police Explorers and Scarborough Youth Football and many other local organizations and events.
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.
Editor's Note: Click on the image above or the link below in order to access a downloadable version.
Gaziano award: https://s3.amazonaws.com/NMC-Clients/ND/Frank+Gaziano+Award.JPG
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.