NDI In the News

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2014

Contact:
Greg Glynn, Account Executive
Nancy Marshall Communications
207-623-4177, gglynn@marshallpr.com

gaziano-football-scholarship

Luke Washburn and Jedidiah Scott Named Winners of
Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Lineman Awards

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

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Today Jeff Kane, President of National Distributors, Inc. and Frank J. Gaziano's son-in-law, announced the winners of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards during a luncheon ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center. Jedidiah Scott of Sanford High School and Luke Washburn of Oak Hill High School were named the top senior football offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on 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. 

The runners-up for the Gaziano Awards were offensive linemen Greg Grinnell from Cheverus High School and Ethan Liberty from Skowhegan Area High School, and defensive linemen Jacob Fogel of Portland High School and Colin Richards of Mt. Blue High School. Each runner-up received a $1,000 scholarship and a trophy, and all six finalists received a leather jacket with the Gaziano Awards logo. 

"This is always such a meaningful day for our company because of the legacy that Frank left behind. I know he would be proud of not just the winners today, but all of the great student athletes that were nominated. Our company is proud to continue this tradition and help these young men with future opportunities that are in front of them in both football and in life," said Kane.   

The scholarship and awards program for Maine senior 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 $14,000 in scholarships is provided by National Distributors in South Portland, the company founded by the late Gaziano.

Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award and Scholarship Recipients:

Jedidiah Scott, Sanford High School 
Frank J. Gaziano Offensive Lineman of the Year

From left to right: Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors, Jedidiah Scott and Peter DeSimon, president of the Gaziano Awards. Credit: Nancy Marshall Communications

Scott was a four-year S.M.A.A. All-Academic selection, and a first team All-Conference offensive tackle choice in 2012 and 2013. He was the second leading tackler on the 2013 Sanford team that advanced to the Western Class A semi-finals. Scott is currently ranked 30th academically in his class of 257 students. He has received academic honors in accounting, language arts and world history, and was recognized by the National Society of High School Students for scholastic achievement in 2012. Scott has been active as a volunteer for programs through North Lebanon Second Baptist Church, and has stacked firewood and mowed lawns for elderly locals.  

"It's a big award. To be with the names that have received this award in earlier years is a great honor," said Jedidiah Scott after winning the Frank J. Gaziano Offensive Lineman of the Year Award and scholarship.

Luke Washburn, Oak Hill High School 
Frank J. Gaziano Defensive Lineman of the Year 

From left to right: Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors, Luke Washburn and Peter DeSimon, president of the Gaziano Awards. Credit Nancy Marshall Communications

Washburn was an all-Campbell Conference selection at defensive end as a junior and senior. He helped Oak Hill win the 2013 Class D state championship, and was a four-year letter winner for the Raiders. The Litchfield resident is currently the vice president of Oak Hill's Future Business Leaders of America chapter, and he was inducted into the school's National Technical Honor Society in 2013. Washburn has spent time as a volunteer for the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Dempsey Challenge, and youth football and basketball camps.

"Mr. Gaziano has been a role model of mine since I learned about him and about what he did about halfway through high school. Up until now, I never thought I could be compared with him, being that today is an honor," said Luke Washburn shortly after winning the Frank J. Gaziano Defensive Lineman of the Year Award and scholarship.

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 2013, 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 scholarship program application process, or to contribute to the scholarship fund, visit
www.gazianolinemanawards.org or contact Charlie Gagnon at gazianoawards@gmail.com.

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Editor's Note: Use the links below to access a downloadable high resolution version of the photo.

Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors, Inc. presents a $5,000 scholarship to the offensive lineman Gaziano Award winner Jedidiah Scott of Sanford High School.

Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors, Inc. presents a $5,000 scholarship to the defensive lineman Gaziano Award winner Luke Washburn of Oak Hill High School.

Click here to access video footage of the event (includes comments from the winners).

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 over 50 years. Though predominantly servicing retailers in Southern Maine, the company continues to provide a variety of products and expand their distribution to Central & Coastal Maine. National Distributors maintains a strong vision for a greener future with an active environmental program. The company and its over 170 employees also continue to be proud community leaders and promote the responsible consumption of their products.