The six finalists for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards were announced Monday.

The offensive line candidates are Chase Lamontagne of Kennebunk, Aidan McGlone of Bonny Eagle and Zachary Reed of Scarborough.

The defensive line candidates are Cole Melanson of Leavitt, Nic Mills of Cony of Augusta and Thomas Palmer of Thornton Academy.

The awards, created in 2010, honor Maine’s top high school football senior linemen. The two winners will be announced at an awards dinner Jan. 26 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The awards include scholarships for all six finalists. The two winners will get $5,000 scholarships and the four runners-up will receive $1,000 scholarships.

Finalists were chosen after each of the 21 nominees were interviewed by the Gaziano selection committee.


The award is sponsored by National Distributors of South Portland, the company formed by Gaziano, who played at Holy Cross and spent a year in the NFL with the Boston Yanks.

“The committee had a terrific group to choose from again this year,” said Jeff Kane, the retired president of National Distributors and Gaziano’s son-in-law, in a statement. “Each of the finalists has proven to be dedicated to their sport, academics and communities.”

Lamontagne was a member the Campbell Conference Class B all-star team and an all-academic selection. A three-sport athlete, he has a 95 grade-point average, is a member of the National Honor Society and has worked extensively with Special Olympics of Maine for five years.

Reed, a 6-foot-6, 315-pounder, was named the Gerry Raymond Award winner as the best lineman in the SMAA and to the Maine Sunday Telegram All-State team in his third year as Scarborough’s starting left guard. Also a member of the high school’s band and Fire Explorers program, he has volunteered for several community organizations.

McGlone, a high-honor student since 2015, is ranked third in his class at Bonny Eagle, and was an SMAA all-conference and all-academic selection. The National Honor Society member is also a three-sport athlete and mentor to several Bonny Eagle students while volunteering for several community and state organizations.

Melanson, a Campbell Conference Class C all-conference player, had 55 tackles and three sacks. He’s been an honor student since his freshman year and is taking Advance Placement classes in engineering, physics and calculus, while volunteering more than 100 hours over four years.


Mills carries a 4.0 GPA and is ranked fifth in his class. He had 10 sacks among his 65 tackles and was a first-team conference pick as a defensive end and offensive tackle. A two-time Class A champion wrestler, he’s also a member of Cony’s lacrosse and math teams.

Palmer, an honor roll student since his freshman year, was a key contributor to Thornton’s Class A title season while earning SMAA all-conference and all-academic honors, and being named to the Telegram All-State team. A member of the indoor and outdoor track teams, Model United Nations and Ambassadors Club, Palmer has had numerous volunteering experiences.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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