High school football players Matt Welch of South Portland and Nate Martel of Bonny Eagle of Standish are the first recipients of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards.
Welch, named offensive lineman of the year, and Martel, honored on the defensive side of the ball, were recognized during a recent banquet at the Augusta Civic Center.
Welch and Martel each received a $2,500 scholarship award and a commemorative plaque, while their schools received a large trophy of a lineman that will rotate annually among the schools of the Gaziano Award winners.
Chris Desmond of John Bapst of Bangor and Christian Durland of Mountain Valley of Rumford were named runners-up for the defensive award, and each received a $500 scholarship and a crystal trophy. Offensive line runners-up were Nicholas Ramsdell of Windham and Zach Dulac of Cheverus of Portland.
Other finalists for the Gaziano Awards were Matt Archer of Mt. Blue of Farmington, Trevor Bates of Westbrook, Jack Horton of Falmouth, Jake Huerfano of Waterville and Connor McAleney of Cape Elizabeth.
The Gaziano Awards will be presented annually to the state’s top senior offensive and defensive linemen who epitomize the character, leadership and perseverance of their namesake, the founder of South Portland-based National Distributors and a former college All-American and professional football player.