National Distributors and KeyBank Announce 2022 Finalists for Gaziano Lineman Awards
The Gaziano Awards selection committee has selected the finalists for the 2022 Frank J. Gaziano High School Scholarship and Awards.
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National Distributors and KeyBank Announce 2022 Finalists for Gaziano Lineman Awards
Scholarships for Maine high school linemen will be awarded on February 3, 2023
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – January 17, 2023 - The Gaziano Awards selection committee has selected the finalists for the 2022 Frank J. Gaziano High School Scholarship and Awards. The list of six finalists consists of three defensive linemen and three offensive linemen from high schools across the state. From these finalists, two winners will be announced on Saturday, February 3rd. The winners receive $5,000 each and a trophy, and four runners-up will receive $1,000 each and a trophy.
The Gaziano Awards are the largest high school scholarships of their kind in the country and honor the memory of the late Frank J. Gaziano who was a college football All-American and professional player before founding National Distributors Inc. in South Portland. In the past 11 years, National Distributors has donated $154,000 to Maine students. For the second year, KeyBank will co-sponsor the awards in partnership with National Distributors and will provide the four runners-up scholarships. National Distributors will continue to award the two top awards.
The three finalists for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award are:
Brett Coburn, Leavitt Area High School, Turner ME Position: Defensive Tackle
Brett Coburn of Leavitt Area High School is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments as a defensive tackle. A dedicated athlete, his on-the-field success begins with a special combination of talent and strong determination. His football success incorporates well-rounded athleticism, as he is also a four-year varsity basketball player. Head Coach Michael Hathaway describes him as having “great hard work and dedication” and that he “plays with aggression, quickness, violent hands, and great technique.” Coburn embraces the hard-fought job of defensive lineman and takes great pride in it being foundational to a successful football team. Principal Eben Shaw reflects that “Brett is an outgoing person, passionate about football and an amazing lineman” and that “he has been able to demonstrate his abilities on the field, in the classroom and through interactions with others”. His contributions to the school community are a hallmark of his strong character. He is active in unified sports where he builds strong relationships in order to build better experiences for all his fellow students. Brett engages in his academics with equal dedication, looking to test his own abilities and be a leader in the classroom. After graduation, he will continue on to the University of Maine to study engineering.
Zach Louvat, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris ME Position: Weak Defensive End
Zach Louvat of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments as a defensive end. His on-field presence and playmaking characterize the strength of his defense. Head Coach Mark Soehren describes him as having “a natural ability to lead as he has an easy way with people while still being an intense competitor. He is the hardest worker on the team as well as one of the smartest”. He excels bringing the best out in his teammates. He was a team cornerstone and captain during their victorious 2022 Maine State Championship season. Principal Paul Bickford explains that Louvat is “an excellent student who has worked very hard in and out of the classroom while making positive contributions to the community…a quiet leader and does not seek attention for his accomplishments. When he does speak up, people listen. I can always count on Zach to be a good school citizen.” He demonstrates strong dedication to his community in many ways, including coaching youth football to instill strong character in the next generation of players. Academics form a major component of his priorities. He is high-achieving and seeks to challenge himself in the classroom. Louvat will matriculate to Bates College where he plans to study engineering and play football.
Jacob Morris, Kennebunk High School, Kennebunk ME Position: Defensive End
Jacob Morris of Kennebunk High School is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments as a defensive end. His play demonstrates a strong will to dominate his opponent on every down, both in run defense and pass-pressure opportunities. Head Coach Joe Rafferty states that “his actions and leadership have set a tone and atmosphere for our program…He has a motor that’s put tremendous pressure on our opponents and forcing teams to be aware and adjust to his location on the field. He’s physical, intense and determined.” Morris is elite in all elements of the defensive game. Athletic Administrator Joseph Schwartzman describes that Morris “is always working hard to make himself better on and off the field…always maintains a positive attitude on the field… remains calm and focused on the goals of the team.” He gives back to his community by volunteering with youth football, Kennebunk Parks and Recreation, and Kennebunk Land Trust. Morris takes great pride in his dedication to country, as he plans to serve in the military and has committed to the Army Reserves. He plans to graduate high school early to first fulfill his military basic training obligations before he continues to college and his football preseason there.
The three finalists selected for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive Lineman Award are:
Nicholas Riker, Bonny Eagle High School, Standish ME Position: Left Tackle
Nicholas Riker of Bonny Eagle High School is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments as a left tackle. He anchored the line for his team, bringing consistency and athleticism at the point of attack and in pass-blocking schemes. Head Coach Kevin Cooper states that “(he) gets it done with a combination of technique, smarts, toughness, and athletic ability. When we needed yards, we were running left. In short yards situations, we bring him to the right side…and we run right. This past season we threw the ball more than we ever had. Nick became an excellent pass-blocking tackle always protecting the QB’s blindside.” He demonstrates excellence on the field, providing his team with leadership. Along with athletics, Riker’s achievements are seen in the classroom and community service. Athletic Director Eric Curtis states “Nick is a hardworking, motivated, and dedicated individual. He is well rounded in that he excels in the classroom as well as on the playing fields.” His activities have helped a variety of groups in his community, including work at Preble Street and youth football clinics. High achievement defines his classroom work ethic, and he plans to continue his education in the field of engineering at the University level.
Beau Mayo, Leavitt Area High School, Turner ME Position: Right Guard
Beau Mayo of Leavitt Area High School is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments as a right guard. Football is an area of excellence for this young man. His combination of talent and dedication place him as one of the best at his craft. Head Coach Michael Hathaway summarizes Mayo’s legacy, stating “Beau has always just been a physical force. He plays with great technique and high intensity on a consistent basis for sure…when you watch him on tape the way he finishes blocks might be the most impressive thing.” In all capacities on the offensive line, Mayo stands out for his physicality and relentlessness. Athletic Director Ryan LaRoche describes him as “a clear leader of the team both on the field and off of it…Beau was the anchor to a very successful line…a leader by example and through verbal leadership.” Community service highlights his all-around quality of character, with substantial work with Unified sports including public speaking about the program in his advocacy efforts. Mayo plans to pursue becoming a master electrician in order to one day open his own business, drawing upon his experience and successful habits on the football field.
Brent Paulin, Thornton Academy, Saco ME Position: Offensive Center
Brent Paulin of Thornton Academy is a finalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive Lineman Award for his accomplishments playing center. Head Coach Kevin Kezal describes him as “very high level for us and is one of the main reasons we had a 19-3 record over the past two years, played in the state championship game both years, and won the 2021 State Championship.” Paulin’s strong capabilities as a run and pass blocker were critical to his team’s success, consistently evident in his on-field play. He was named the First Team All-Conference center and is the recipient of the Gerry Raymond Award as the best lineman in Class A this season, was the Second Team All-Conference center as a junior, and is a member of the SMAA All-Academic Team. Athletic Administrator Gary Stevens remarks that “Brent Paulin is a quality person who demonstrates a sincere respect for other people through both his actions and his interactions with them…any football coach in our state would relish the opportunity to have him as a member of his program.” His accomplishments on the field are mirrored by his classroom success and community-service, including the self-discipline in creating his own business – The Cornhole King – building and selling corn hole sets.
For more information on the scholarship program, visit Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards - Maine Football Scholarships (gazianolinemanawards.org).
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 www.nat-dist.com.
KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $190.1 billion on September 30, 2022. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications, and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
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