NDI In the News

January 27, 2013

 

Gaziano Award

Bobby Begin and Kurt Massey Named Frank Gaziano Scholarship and Award Winners

$14,000 in scholarships awarded by National Distributors, Inc., largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country

AUGUSTA, Maine - Today Jeff Kane, President of National Distributors and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law, announced the winners of the Frank Gaziano High School Scholarships and Awards at a banquet at the Augusta Civic Center. Thornton Academy's Bobby Begin and Kurt Massey from John Bapst were named the top high school football offensive and defensive linemen in the state because of their hard work on the field, in the classroom, and in their communities. The two winners received a trophy and a scholarship of $5,000, the largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country. Funding for the total of $14,000 in scholarships awarded was provided by National Distributors Inc. in South Portland, the company founded by the late Frank J. Gaziano.

The runners-up for the Gaziano Awards were offensive lineman, Jack Lucy (Orono) from Orono High School, offensive lineman Andy Martel (Steep Falls) from Bonny Eagle High School, defensive lineman Greg Duff (Bangor) from Bangor High School and defensive lineman Zachary Kendall (New Sharon) of Mt. Blue High School. The runners-up were each recognized with a $1,000 scholarship and each of the finalists received a leather jacket with the Gaziano Awards logo and a commemorative trophy. 

"This year we received a record number of nominees and feel strongly that Maine has some of the best student athletes in the country. While Bobby and Kurt were recognized as the winners, our committee believes that these young people will all go on to do great things and impact their communities across the state. If Frank was still with us today, he would have been proud of each and every one of them, and we are too." said Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors.

The scholarship and awards program for Maine high school football linemen was created in memory of Frank J. Gaziano, founder of National Distributors and a former college All American and professional football player with a lifelong passion for local sports. Funding for the scholarships was provided by National Distributors.

Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award and Scholarship Recipients:

Bobby Begin, Thornton Academy High School 
Frank J. Gaziano Offensive Lineman of the Year
 
Bobby Begin, winner of Gaziano awardBobby Begin of Saco and a student at Thornton Academy High School has a 3.96 GPA and is ranked in the top 10% of his class of 381 students. He is a two-year starter at offensive center and was named a captain of the team in 2012. He played a large role in Thornton Academy's state championship this season and was named a first team SMAA All-Conference Linebacker in both his junior and senior year. This past season, he also made the All-Academic team and was a semi-finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy.  He is the Senior Class President and a member of the Student Council and has volunteered many hours of community service for Thornton Academy's Thanksgiving Food Drive, Christmas families and youth football program. He also volunteers at the local soup kitchen.

Kurt Massey, John Bapst High School 
Frank J. Gaziano Defensive Lineman of the Year

Kurt Massey, Gaziano Defensive Lineman of the Year Kurt Massey of Orrington and a student at John Bapst High School is a four-year letter winner as defensive  end and three-year starter on offense. He has a member of the leadership council as a sophomore and junior and was named captain of the football team in his senior season. As a pass rusher, he led the league in sacks with seven and was the second leading tackler for the second best defense in the league. Massey was a member of the Little Ten Conference All-Star Team for the past two seasons, a second team defensive end for the past two years and a unanimous selection for first team defensive end in 2012. He has a 3.7 GPA and is an honors student-athlete at John Bapst, recently ranked as the top academic high school in Northern New England by the Washington Post. Outside of the classroom, he has participated in the Komen Race for the Cure four times and supported the Walk against Myeloma. Over the past four years he has volunteered his time to help the Free the Z Turkey Drive for Manna Soup Kitchens and at the Sunbury Village retirement home. 

The list of finalists considered for the annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards epitomize the character, leadership, and perseverance of Gaziano. The top recipients were selected by the awards committee based on their strong leadership on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.   

All eligible applicants must have been a high school senior in 2012, competed at the varsity level for a minimum of two years and have an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship. As part of the selection process, the students submitted an essay and game film featuring each lineman against his toughest competition. 

Applicants from all levels of Maine's high school football three-class system were eligible for the scholarship and able to be nominated by their coaches. For more information on the 2013 banquet or the scholarship program application process, or to contribute to the scholarship fund, visit

www.gazianolinemanawards.org or contact the Frank J. Gaziano Lineman Awards Board of Directors at (207) 773-1719, ext 3313.