Six high school seniors from southern Maine football programs have been announced as finalists for the 2023 Frank J. Gaziano Lineman Awards.

The finalists include three defensive and three offensive players. The two winners will be announced Jan. 23 and will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an impressive trophy. The other four finalists receive $1,000 each.

The three defensive finalists are defensive tackles Owen Bourque of Class B champion Kennebunk, Alex Dobson of South Portland and nose guard Jace Negley from Class C champion Leavitt. Offensive finalists are guard Marshall Addy of Medomak Valley, tackle Will Gale of Falmouth and tackle Kaden Sullivan of Bonny Eagle.

In addition to on-field excellence, Gaziano candidates should have exemplary leadership and character on the field with good citizenship and strong classroom effort with a dedicated academic pursuit off the field.

The Gaziano Awards were created to honor Frank J. Gaziano, a standout college lineman at Holy Cross before founding National Distributors Inc., in South Portland. Gaziano, who died in 2010, played at Holy Cross and was a member of a college all-star team that defeated reigning NFL champion Washington in an exhibition game. Gaziano played one season in the NFL, in 1944 with the Boston Yanks.

National Distributors has been the primary sponsor for the award since its inception. For the third straight year, Key Bank is a co-sponsor, funding the four runners-up scholarships.

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