SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards presented after each high school football season have become even more lucrative.
This year’s two winners will receive $5,000 each and the four runners-up will receive $1,000, doubling the size of the scholarship awards from previous years, said Jeff Kane. He is president of National Distributors Inc. and the son-in-law of the late Frank J. Gaziano, a former college All-American and professional football player for whom the award is named.
Gaziano also was the founder of National Distributors Inc. in South Portland.
“Raising the amount of the scholarship is a tribute to Frank and his legacy,” said Kane in a press release. “During the first few years of the award, we have experienced a great deal of support that has allowed us to make this big step. Our committee strongly believes that raising the amount will inspire more students to not just focus on becoming great football players, but also emphasizes the importance of being great role models in our communities.”
The awards and scholarships are given annually to the top high school football offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on their efforts on the gridiron, in the classroom and in their communities.
Applicants must be a high school senior, have played varsity football for at least two years and have an exemplary record of positive athletic and nonathletic 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.
Nominations will be accepted through Dec. 7. For information on the nomination process, visit www.gazianolinemanawards.org.
After the nominations have been received, an 11-member awards committee will select finalists from high schools across the state. The award and scholarship presentations to the Gaziano Award winners will be announced at a banquet brunch at 9 a.m. Jan. 27, at the Augusta Civic Center.
Each finalist will receive free tickets to attend the banquet. At the event, one offensive player and one defensive player will each be awarded a first-place trophy and a scholarship of $5,000.