NDI In the News

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2018
#GazianoAwards
 

 

Zachary Klein and Arlo Pike Named
Gaziano Award Winners

 Each student received $5,000, the largest scholarship of its kind in the country

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Today, Jeff Kane, Frank J. Gaziano's son-in-law, announced the scholarship winners of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards during a ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center. Zachary Klein and Arlo Pike from Bonny Eagle 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 each received a trophy, a leather jacket and a $5,000 scholarship, the largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country.

The runners-up for the Gaziano Awards were offensive linemen Cole Hoffman from Kennebunk High School and Sean McCormack-Kuhman from Wells High School and defensive linemen Michael Lunny, of Sanford High School and Aidan Parmenter from Leavitt Area High School. Each runner-up received a $1,000 scholarship, a trophy and a leather jacket with the Gaziano Awards logo. The video re-broadcast of the event can be found at www.munzingmediasports.com/gaziano-award.

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. Annual funding for the $14,000 in scholarships is provided by National Distributors in South Portland, the company founded by the late Gaziano. During the past eight years of the Gaziano Awards, $96,000 has been awarded by National Distributors to Maine students.

Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Award and Scholarship Recipients:

Zachary Klein, Bonny Eagle High School
Frank J. Gaziano Offensive Lineman of the Year

Zachary Klein of Bonny Eagle High School accepts the $5,000 scholarship check from Peter DeSimon (left), president of the Gaziano Awards and Jeff Kane (right), Frank Gaziano's son-in-law and retired president of National Distributors.
Zachary Klein of Bonny Eagle High School accepts the $5,000 scholarship check from Peter DeSimon (left), president of the Gaziano Awards and Jeff Kane (right), Frank Gaziano's son-in-law and retired president of National Distributors. Photo courtesy: Gaziano Awards

Klein was a member of the SMAA All-Academic Team in 2017 and has been on the honor roll since his freshman year. On the field, this past season he was named the Gerry Raymond Award winner as the best lineman in the SMAA and named 1st Team All-SMAA Offensive Line. In addition to four years on the Scots lacrosse team, he has volunteered as a youth football coach for Bonny Eagle and served as a coach for Gorham youth lacrosse. After his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, he has dedicated time since his freshman year to create the "Fight Like a Scot" program for cancer research, which includes selling merchandise with all profits going to cancer research in Maine.

"This award means a lot. It means all the hard work in the weight room, classroom and in the community, has finally paid off. As linemen we don't get a lot of what I'll call love, for lack of a better word, because when the quarterbacks are throwing touchdowns, we're the ones blocking for them. It all kind of starts with us, so it is nice to be recognized for that," said Klein.

Arlo Pike, Bonny Eagle High School
Frank J. Gaziano Defensive Lineman of the Year

Arlo Pike of Bonny Eagle High School accepts the $5,000 scholarship check from Peter DeSimon (right), president of the Gaziano Awards (left) and Jeff Kane (right), Frank Gaziano's son-in-law and retired president of National Distributors.
Arlo Pike of Bonny Eagle High School accepts the $5,000 scholarship check from Peter DeSimon (right), president of the Gaziano Awards (left) and Jeff Kane (right), Frank Gaziano's son-in-law and retired president of National Distributors. Photo courtesy: Gaziano Awards.

Pike has excelled in the classroom with a strong GPA, making the honor roll the past four years at Bonny Eagle. He has also earned several athletic honors as a 1st Team All-SMAA Defensive Line, and AMAA All-Academic Team. As captain of the Scots football and baseball teams in 2016 and 2017, he leads by example and contributes to the community by volunteering time at Catherine's Cupboard, a local food bank, as well as supporting the Standish Kiwanis and volunteering to coach youth football. In 2015, he received the Julia Clukey "Courage Award" that recognizes Maine students for demonstrating leadership or overcoming adversity.

"We might not get all the attention, but it is definitely cool to be recognized for all the hard work we put in. It's an honor to win the award, I know everything Frank Gaziano did and I am definitely going to try to live up to his legacy and be the best man I can be," said Pike.

The 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.

"Frank would be so proud to see the contributions these young men have made on the field and in their communities. When you hear the stories from previous winners about what the scholarship did for them, it is clear that this event and scholarship has become about much more than football. It's incredible to hear the stories behind the student athletes that have won the award during the past eight years. Every year, fans and families look forward to this event; the Gaziano Awards are a Maine tradition and I know that means that somewhere up there Frank is smiling," said Kane.

All eligible applicants must have been a high school senior in 2017, 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 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.

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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.