2019
Nineteenth Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner

Sunday 27 January 2019 at the Turning Stone Resort


Chapter Award Winners


Distinguished American Award

CRITERIA
This award is presented on special occasions to an outstanding American, but not necessarily to a former football player. Ther recipient will be a person who has maintained a lifetime of interest in the game and who has, over a long period of time, exhibited leadership qualities and who has made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football in the United States and to thequality of life for all Americans.

THIS YEAR'S HONOREE - 2019: Jim Ridlon

A gifted artist and athlete, Jim Ridlon arrived at Syracuse University in 1954 and played football. He lined up at halfback and defensive back for the Orangemen from 1954-1957. He was drafted by the San Francisco in the fourth round. He played six seasons with the 49ers and then played with the Dallas Cowboys. He was named an All-Pro defensive back in 1964. He was an assistant coach under Ben Schwartzwalder and was also an art professor at his alma mater. After football, Ridlon embraced his passion for art and became one of the country's top sports sculptors. His major pieces include creating the Outland Trophy, ABC's Wide World of Sports 25th Anniversary collage, Syracuse University's 100th Football Anniversary collage, the Baseball Writers Association of America Scholar-Athletes Awards and the 35th Anniversary Disneyland Assemblage. Ridlon's work, which has received over 20 prizes and awards, is displayed in over 200 permanent collections including the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, the State Legislature Building in Albany, and at Binghamton University. Ridlon stayed connected to SU football by serving as a color commentator for SU broadcasts on WSYR and New York State Radio Network (1961-2000). Ridlon, a member of the Syracuse University faculty since 1965, served as chair of the Department of Foundation (1984-1988) and has been a member of numerous school committees.

Career Highlights:
1956: Won Joe Alexander Award for Excellence in Football, Scholarship and Citizenship
1957: Won Pat Miller Award for Outstanding Athlete-Citizen-Student
1957-1964: Played with San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, All-Pro defensive back
1976: Named Football's Man of the Year in the Arts
1983: Named a Letter Winner of Distinction at SU
1987: Honored as the College Educator of the Year by CBS and ESPN
1989: Received Sport Artist of the Year Award from the American Sport Art Museum and Archives
1997: Received the Outstanding Faculty Award from SU's School of Art and Design; Received an honorary degree from Cazenovia College

PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2017: BRENT QUIMBY • 2016: GARY JANIS • 2015: U.S. ARMY TENTH MOUNTAIN DIVISION • 2011: HONORABLE JOHN MCHUGH
• 2008: HONORABLE JOHN CHERUNDOLO • 2007: E. DOUGLAS KENNA • 2005: LT. BRYAN TAYLOR, U.S.N. • 2002: HONORABLE NORMAN A. MORDUE
• 2001: PERNE BILLINGS

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Chapter Award Winner

2019 Football Official of the Year Award

CRITERIA
This award is intended to provide recognition to an individual who has shown outstanding and meritorious football officiating, in addition to dedication, leadership and service, to football on and off the field. The selected individual should represent and support the foundation's fundamental creed of athletics in concert with scholarship and civic leadership.

THIS YEAR’S HONOREE
Brian Finn

Brian is a High School Principal at Lowville Academy and Central School. Aside from football officiating, Brian has experience as a High School Umpire with the NYSBaseball Umpire Association, a High School Basketball Official Boys IAABO Board, and a High School Girl's Basketball Official. He has alsohas made significantcontributions toward high school and college football in New York State with NYSACFO, NCAA Division III Football, ECAC/ EAIFO, and NEFOC/EAIFO. Some of his most memorable games he was able to be apart of were 1 Cortaca Jug Game, 2 Carrier Dome Bowls, 6 Courage Bowls, 5 ECAC Championship Bowls, 1 NCAA Division III Playoff, and 2 High School State Finals.

Brian is also very active in his community as a member of the Lowville Elks Lodge #1605, Lowville Lions Club, and the Lowville Academy All-Sports Booster Club.

Personal: Brian currently resides in Lowville, New York, with wife, Christine, and two youngest daughters, Emily, 22 years old, a senior at St. Bonaventure, and Brianna, 17 years old, a senior at Lowville Academy. His oldest daughter, Chelsea, 25 years old, lives in Watertown, New York.

PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2018: DAN PETRELLA • 2017: DAN MESSINA • DON VICARIO • 2016: DON VICARIO • 2015: STAN EVANS • 2014: FRANK MISURELLY • 2013: MARK MCANANEY • 2012: JIM VERRETTE • 2011: GARY JANIS • 2010: MIKE KERWIN • 2009: DON KRUTSCHITT • 2008: LARRY BYRNES • 2007: FRANK D’ORIO • 2006: BARRY LIPPENCOTT • 2005: DENNIS HENNIGAN • 2004: PAUL NOJAIM • 2003: JOHN SPENCER • 2002: MICHAEL ALBANESE • 2001: RICHARD T. RANUCCI

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Chapter Award Winner
Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award

CRITERIA
This award is intended to provide recognition to an individual whose efforts and activities have been in support of amateur football and the goals of the local chapter.
Throughout the youth league, high school and collegiate playing fields of this country, these are remarkable individuals who work tirelessly out of a pure love of the game and a desire to help our youth play it well. This award seeks to recognize some of these noteworthy contributors.
Specific activities of the individual could range from coach to trainer to league organizer or fund raiser, and not uncommonly all of the above. The selected individual should represent and support the Foundation’s fundamental creed of athletics in concert with scholarship and civic leadership.

THIS YEAR'S HONOREE

Developing the Inside High School Sports show was Mike Bristol's dream. In 2000, Bristol left a career in promotional marketing to pursue that dream. He and co-host Phil Blackwell highlight the week in local sports, interview athletes and coaches, and focus on the positive. Bristol was a three sport athlete at Marcellus High School who went on to play basketball at SUNY Brockport. When Mike is not on the radio he works for the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation. Bristol is passionate about raising money for the American Cancer Society, Coaches vs, Cancer, and organizes the Courts for Kids and Sneakers for Kids programs. Phil Blackwell joined the show with little broadcast experience, but brings an immense wealth of knowledge about the local high school sports scene. According to Bristol, "Philis a high school sports stats junkie." Phil serves as the sports editor of the Eagle Newspapers.

PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2018: PAUL SEALY • 2017: TOM NEIDL • 2016: MIKE WELCH • 2015: DICK CERONE • 2013: DOUG LOGAN • 2011: PETE SALA • 2010: HENRY ANDREW (ANDY) MORAN • 2009: THOMAS R. TATHAM • 2008: FRED DUNLAP • 2007: GEORGE MANGICARO • 2006: DICK BADER • 2005: PAT TESTA • 2004: BILL PAWLOSKI • 2003: JOHN SMITH • 2002: AL VEDDER • 2001: ED FERRANTE

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High School Coach of the Year Award

CRITERIA
This award is intended to provide recognition to an individual who has shown outstanding and meritorious football coaching, in addition to dedication, leadership and service, to football on and off the field. The selected individual should represent and support the foundation’s fundamental creed of athletics in concert with scholarship and civic leadership.

THIS YEAR'S HONOREE
Brian Briggs
Holland Patent

Coach Briggs began his coaching career in 2012 at his alma mater Holland Patent. In his first season as head coach of the Modified program, the Golden Knights wenundefeated. Brian then served as an assistant for Coach Rich Zacek in 2013 and then Coach Pete Alvanos in 2014. When the Varsity head coach position became available, Brian decided to apply despite his relatively short coaching career. Holland Patent selected Brain for the position and success has followed. This past season was just Coach Briggs' 4th year as head coach, with the Golden Knights posting their firstleague title since 1997; and their first sectional championship since 1989 (Briggs was amember of that team). Holland Patent went undefeated in Section III play before losing to eventual state champion Susquehanna Valley. The Golden Knights finished thecampaign with a 10-1 record. Brian was previously selected Section III Division Coach of the Year in his first year as head coach in 2015, and again this season. Making the2018 season special, Brian's sons, Griffin and Caden, were members on the 2018 team.

Brian has been in medical sales for the past 15 years and lives in Rome, NY with his wife Lisa, and three sons Griffin,Caden, and Ethan.


PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2018: JOSEPH J. SINDONI • 2017: TOM SCHOEN • 2016: JAY STEINHORST • 2015: CORY MARSELL • 2014: DAVID KLINE • 2013: JOSEPH J. SINDONI • 2012: KEVIN DEPARDE • 2011: TOM FREARS • 2010: CARL SANFILIPPO • 2009: BILL CARINCI • 2008: STEVE BUSH • 2007: DAVE MOSKOV • 2006: PAUL SEALY • 2005: JOSEPH CASSAMENTO AND CALVIN MOSHER

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Media Person of the Year Award

CRITERIA
This award is presented to an outstanding person from the media who has made significant contributions toward advancing the coverage and image of high school football in New York State. The selected individual should represent and support the National Football Foundation's fundamental creed of athletics in concert with scholarship and civic leadership.

THIS YEAR'S HONOREE
Steve Infanti

Steve is News Channel 9's Sports Director, leading our coverage of Syracuse University Athletics, the award-winning Friday Night Fever, and everything in between. Steve also hosts Orange Nation, a weekly show dedicated to giving our viewers an in-depth look at the Orange during the SU football and basketball seasons. In addition to his work at NewsChannel 9, Steve can often be heard on the radio hosting various shows for the local ESPN radio affiliate.

Steve joined the News Channel 9 team in January of 1999. He anchored weekends for five years before being promoted to Sports Director in October of2003. Steve is a former News Channel 9 Athlete of the Week who helped lead Bishop Ludden to a state basketball championship in 1994.

Prior to joining the News Channel 9 team, he was a sports reporter and anchor at WIVT in Binghamton. Steve graduated summa cum laude from Ithaca College's Park School of Communications with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism.

 

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2018: MARK LARSON • 2017: NIKO TAMURIAN

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Scholarships for 2019

1 - $750 AL VEDDER SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship has been established by friends, family and members of the chapter to honor our first president. It reflectAl's passion for competition, the spirit of youth, and the lessons of life in sport. It is awarded annually to the highest ranking high school senior.

1 - $500 GEORGE MARCOCCIA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship has been established by an anonymous supporter of football. George graduated from Syracuse University in 1957. He began officiating high school football in 1962 and entered the college ranks in 1967 with ECAC. George joined the major independents in 1980. He officiated many of the major college football games played during the 1980s and culminated his career by officiating the Army-Navy game in the Rose Bowl in 1985. After George left the field, he became an observer and technical advisor for Syracuse University, the Big East and Conference USA. George owned and operated the Marcoccia-Donnelly Insurance Agency for 27 years. This scholarship will be awarded to a scholar-athlete from a member high school.

1 - $500 TONY'S FAMILY RESTAURANT SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship has been established by Tony and Michael Albanese to recognize the excellent efforts of an outstanding high school athlete.

1 - $500 IBEW 43 SCHOLARSHIP
The Brothers and Sisters of IBEW 43 provide the best in Central New York's workforce. Our members recognize the importance of pride and excellence in their work. We wish to honor the youth that have also demonstrated pride and excellence in academics, athletics, and community service.

1 - $500 RANUCCI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The family of Tom and Julie Ranucci have established this scholarship in memory of their parents. Throughout their lives they taught us the creed of the National Football Foundation Athletes in concert with academic achievement and civic leadership. This scholarship will be awarded to a future leader.

44 - $500 CNY CHAPTER SCHOLARSHIP
Recipients of these Scholarships, which are endowed by The Central New York Chapter of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, have distinguished themselves by demonstrating excellence in the classroom, on the field, and as citizens.

9 - $500 CNY CHAPTER COLLEGIATE POST GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP
This Post Graduate Scholarship has been established by The Chapter to honor and support our Collegiate recipients who have demonstrated that they embody the spirit of the mission of The National Football Foundation. Recipients will be deemed eligible if they enroll in an institution of higher education to pursue a post graduate degree within one school year of the scholar-athlete award dinner.

1- $500 KERWIN FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP
Established in 2011 by the Kerwin Family which annually awards a scholarship to the outstanding scholar-athlete from a Syracuse City High school.

1- $500 HAYLOR, FREYER & COON, INC
This scholarship has been established by Haylor, Freyer & Coon to recognize the excellent efforts by an outstanding high school athlete.

1- $500 JOHN A. MODY, JR SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship is established in memorial by John's friends and family. The game of football held a special place in John's life, John loved competition, the sacrifices and eforts necessary to ensure excellence, and most especially the bonds established with his teammates. This scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding scholar-athlete who has demonstrated commitment and camaraderie.

1- $500 PAT TESTA SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship has been established by the Board of Directors of the Central New York Chapter of the National Football foundation and College Hall of Fame to honor one of our founding fathers. The scholarship will be awarded to a meritorious scholar-athlete from a member high school.

1- $500 COACH MAC SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship has been established through the efforts and financial support of friends and colleagues of Coach Richard MacPherson. Coach MacPherson had a storied football coaching career; including head coach at the University of Massachusetts, Syracuse University, and the New England Patriots. He was nominated by the Central New Chapter of the National Football Foundation and subsequently inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2009. Mac was a beloved friend and family man and that spread to everyone who had the fortune to know him. This scholarship will be awarded annually to a scholar-athlete from a member high school.

10- $500 DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships are named in honor of those that have received our chapter's highest award.
• Brent Quimby- Perne Billings
• Honorable Norman A. Mordue
• Lt. Bryan Taylor U.S.N
• E. Douglas Kenna- Honorable John Cherundolo
• Honorable John McHugh
• Gary Janis - U.S. Army Tenth Mountain Division
• Jim Ridlon

 

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Click here to view the 2018 Chapter Award Winners

Click here to view the 2017 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2016 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2015 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2014 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2013 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2012 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2011 Chapter Award Winners
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Click here to view the 2010 Chapter Award Winners