SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Brendan Moore of Bangor, Ethan Liberty of Skowhegan, Russell Wilson of Nokomis and Colin Richards of Mt. Blue have been named semifinalists for the 2013 Frank. J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards.
The selection committee has identified 15 semifinalists for what organizers say is the largest high school scholarship of its kind in the country.
Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors Inc. and Frank Gaziano’s son-in-law, said the semifinalists were chosen from 25 nominees and consist of eight senior offensive linemen and seven senior defensive linemen representing a wide range of high schools across the state.
“Once again we had a strong group of nominees from throughout the state,” Kane said in a press release. “It’s exciting [for] the growth we have seen for this award over the past few years and the incredible number of deserving student athletes that apply and display excellent attributes on and off the field. The selection committee will have a tough job in front of them.”
The Gaziano Lineman Award Semifinalists are:
Offensive linemen — Moore; Isaiah Reynolds, Bonny Eagle; Joshua Thibeault, Brunswick; Greg Grinnell, Cheverus; Matt Powell, Leavitt; Jedidiah Thomas Scott, Sanford; Liberty and Ethan Petty, Windham.
Defensive linemen — Caelan Houle, Cape Elizabeth; Dylan Rasch, Greely; Richards; Wilson; Luke Washburn, Oak Hill; Jacob Fogel, Portland; Michael Pino, Scarborough.
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 in South Portland. He was a former college All-American and professional football player with a lifelong passion for local sports.
One offensive and one defensive lineman each receive $5,000 and a trophy, and four runners-up receive $1,000. The award winners will be announced at a luncheon ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Gaziano Awards are presented to players who epitomize the character, leadership and perseverance of Gaziano. The selection committee chooses award winners based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Funding for the $14,000 in total scholarships is provided by National Distributors Inc. The selection committee also is securing sponsorships ranging from $50-$500 so players and families of the student-athletes can attend the awards luncheon ceremony free of charge.Those interested in attending the event or contributing to the scholarship fund, may contact event coordinator Charlie Gagnon at 363-9141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The selection committee for the 2013 Gaziano Awards is chaired by Matt Perkins and includes Mark Bonnevie, Pete Cloutier, Peter DeSimon, Jeffrey Guerette, Mike Haley, Charles Hews, Mike Marston, Ed McAleney, Dan O’Connell, Tim Rice, Bob Sinclair and Steve Stinson.
For more information on the awards luncheon or the scholarship program visit www.gazianolinemanawards.org.