Franklin Countys First News

Mt. Blue senior nominated for Gaziano Lineman Award

Colin Hutchins

FARMINGTON - A local student and football player has received a nomination for the Gaziano Lineman Awards, one of the largest awards and scholarships of its kind in the country.

Twenty-one high school football players across the state were nominated for the 2018 Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards, including Mt. Blue High School Senior Colin Hutchins, a defensive tackle with the Mt. Blue Cougars football team. One of the 10 defensive linemen to be nominated by high school coaches across the state, Hutchins credited his family, teachers and coaches for the award.

"I'm excited and proud," Hutchins said, "but it reflects more on the people around me in the community."

The award recognizes senior football players on either offensive or defensive lines that "epitomize the character, leadership and perseverance of the late Frank J. Gaziano," according to information released by National Distributors, Inc., the company that sponsors the awards and related scholarships. Gaziano, who was a lineman at his high school and went on play professionally, owned National Distributors and was active in the Portland community until his death in 2010. The award program was created earlier that year.

Coaches nominate high school seniors for the award. Finalists are chosen by an awards committee based on the nominee's impact in the classroom, the community and on the field.

"This year we surpassed the number of nominees from last year and it is clear from the praise these students have received from their coaches, athletic directors and principals that the committee will again have their hands full of great candidates who have proven to be dedicated to their sport, their academics and their communities," said Jeff Kane, retired president of National Distributors, Inc. and Frank Gaziano's son-in-law.

The Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award

Hutchins credited those close to him for earning the recognition, including Cougars Head Coach Nate Quirion and defensive line position Coach Galen Dalrymple. In addition to supporting him on the field, Hutchins said, his family, educators and coaches had stressed the importance of having a well-rounded life.

"They're the ones that got me to improve at football, but also to look beyond athletics and to get involved in the community," Hutchins said. "I'm always busy."

This year marks the ninth year for the annual awards and banquet. In 2012, National Distributors, Inc. increased the scholarship amount to $5,000 for the two winners and $1,000 for the two runners-up, making it the largest high school football scholarship of its kind in the country. Funding for the $14,000 in total scholarships is provided by National Distributors, Inc.

The award winners will be announced at a luncheon ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Augusta Civic Center.

The complete list of nominated players includes:

Offensive linemen:
Elijah Bickford, Foxcroft Academy
Braxton Cassidy, Windham High School
Koa Farnsworth, Portland High School
Gilbert Isaacs, Mount Desert Island High School
Chase Lamontagne, Kennebunk High School
Aidan McGlone, Bonny Eagle High School
Connor Patten, Hermon High School
Zachary Reed, Scarborough High School
Noah Scanlon, John Bapst Memorial High School
Jarred Spencer, Old Town High School
Zachary Steiger, Brewer High School

Defensive linemen:
James Boyd, Nokomis Regional High School
Seth Bussell, Maine Central Institute
Colin Hutchins, Mt. Blue High School
Nathan Kapongo, Portland High School
Caleb Ladd, Foxcroft Academy
Jacob McCluskey, Brewer High School
Cole Melanson, Leavitt Area High School
Nicholas Mills, Cony High School
Thomas Palmer, Thornton Academy
Morgan Welch-Thompson, Wells High School

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10 Responses »

  1. Congratulations Colin. Your Aunt and I are very proud of you for the young man you have become on and off the field.

  2. Congratulations on your success and nomination of such a wonderful award for you..

  3. Well deserved nomination Colin! We love you for being such a young man with great character, intellect, compassion, and athletic ability. Love you! Grandpa and Grammie

  4. Colin, we remember you as just a little fellow in Sunday School and what a nice young man you were then. May our God continue to bless you. Stay close to Him and the rewards will continue to come.

  5. Congratulations Colin! We love you, and are proud of your perseverance, character, and hard work.
    Also a huge thank you to Coach Quirion and the Mt. Blue Football staff. Your countless hours and dedication to the team have not gone unnoticed.

  6. Colin, well deserved. Not only are you a good football player, but a GREAT human. Congratulations!!!

  7. Congratulations Colin Hutchins. Your parents must be very proud of you

  8. Congratulations Colin, you were a great leader and a great player for the team. This made the season a success for you and the team.

  9. Congratulations Colin!
    What an honor! Your family must be very proud!
    God Bless!

  10. So proud of you Colin. We were just looking at pictures of you at a young age. Little did we know what God had in store for you. Now we look at a very accomplished young man with such a future ahead of you. Make the most of it, but always put the Lord first. You've set a high standard for your siblings. We love you with all our heart.