National Distributors and KeyBank partner to bring back the Gaziano Lineman Awards

SOUTH PORTLAND — National Distributors and KeyBank have partnered to bring back the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards for Maine high school football players after COVID-19 forced an interruption to the 2020 program. Nominations are now being accepted until Dec. 1 and winners will be announced in January.

A total of $14,000 in scholarships and trophies will be given to the top senior-class offensive and defensive linemen in the state based on their hard work on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Two winners will receive $5,000 each and a trophy, and four runners-up will receive $1,000 each and a trophy. Applicants from all levels of Maine’s high school football class system are eligible for the scholarship and are nominated by their coaches. For more information on the scholarship program, visit Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards – Maine Football Scholarships ( 

 The Gaziano Awards are the largest high school scholarships of their kind in the country and honor the memory of the late Gaziano who was a college football All-American and professional player before founding National Distributors Inc. in South Portland. In the past 10 years, National Distributors has donated $140,000 to Maine students. This year, for the first time, KeyBank will co-sponsor the awards and will provide the four runners-up scholarships. National Distributors will continue to award the two top awards.

“KeyBank is proud to partner with our valued client, National Distributors, on this important program to their company and to Maine’s high school football community,” said Jeffrey Wells, Key Private Bank senior client experience manager, and member of the Gaziano Lineman Awards selection committee. “The scholarships have enabled many talented Maine student athletes to pursue a college education and play in collegiate football programs. The selection committee is excited to see the caliber of applications for this year.”

The selection committee is chaired by John Bapst head football coach Dan O’Connell. In addition to Wells, other selection committee members include Kevin Cooper, Charles Hews, Pete Cloutier, Chris Davis, Luke Libby, Mark Bonnevie, and Andrew Livingston.

To qualify for consideration, an applicant must be a high school senior, have competed at the varsity level for a minimum of two years and have an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship. The submission of a student essay and a game film featuring the applicant competing against his two toughest competitors are also part of the application process. 

Former Gaziano Award winners include collegiate football players Alec Clark (Maine Maritime Academy), Frank Curran (Husson University), Zach Davis (Maine Maritime Academy), Zordan Holman (University of Connecticut), Austin Lufkin (Wofford College), Jedidiah Scott (Assumption College), Luke Washburn (Husson University), and Kurt Massey (University of Maine).

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