Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Paul Betit
Special to the Telegram
AUGUSTA — Luke Washburn of Oak Hill and Jedidiah Scott of Sanford were named the recipients Saturday of the fourth annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Lineman Awards.
Oak Hill defensive lineman Luke Washburn, left, and Sanford offensive lineman Jedidiah Scott won the fourth annual Gaziano Awards on Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal
Washburn, a defensive end, and Scott, a left tackle, received the awards during ceremonies at the Augusta Civic Center.
Finalists included offensive linemen Ethan Liberty of Skowhegan and Greg Grinnell of Cheverus, and defensive linemen Colin Richards of Mt. Blue and Jacob Fogel of Portland.
The winners received $5,000 college scholarships; the runners-up got $1,000 scholarships.
The scholarship and awards program for Maine senior high school linemen was created in the memory of Frank Gaziano, founder of National Distributors in South Portland, and a former college All-American and professional football player.
Washburn helped the Raiders win their first Class D state championship last fall.
“He’s the complete student-athlete and that’s the type of person he is,” Oak Hill Coach Stacen Doucette said. “He thinks of everybody else instead of himself. He was the heart and soul of our football team.”
Washburn is the first player from a smallest-division school to win the award.
“It’s an honor. That’s the best way to put it,” he said. “I’m just honored to be here to represent Oak Hill … Mr. Gaziano is a great role model. To be talked about in the same conversation as him is just absolutely amazing.”
Scott also said he was honored.
“It’s a great honor for anyone who is even nominated for this award,” he said.
“I had a few linemen (from Sanford) come (to Augusta) with me, and I think this is good for them to see that linemen do get some recognition. You don’t have to be a skill player to get recognition.”
The criteria for the award wasn’t limited to ability. Academic performance and involvement in the community were taken into account.
“Kudos to the six kids here today and anybody whose name was mentioned because it’s quite a (selection) process,” Sanford Coach Mike Fallon said. “It’s exciting for (Scott) and his family, and it’s exciting for the program, too, to have a kid (who) is now tied to this award. I know the award is just 4 years old, but it’s an amazing award in the way they’re doing it. It’s second to none.”
Scott, who hopes to play next fall at a Division II college in New England, was named to the Western Class A all-conference and all-academic teams.
Washburn, who is considering playing at the University of Maine or Springfield College, was named to the Campbell Conference team.
He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and a volunteer for the Special Olympics.
Last Sunday, quarterback Ben Lucas of Cony was named winner of the 42-year-old Fitzpatrick Trophy, presented annually to the state’s top senior football player.