There will be no banquet to salute the honorees, no speeches, and no family pictures. But that doesn’t mean the 33 high school seniors chosen as the 2020 scholar-athletes by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation don’t deserve some well-deserved recognition.
The 45th annual scholar-athlete banquet was scheduled to be held May 17 but like many other events, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1976, scholar-athletes along with winners of the Ron Burton Distinguished American Award and the Ed Schluntz Contribution to Amateur Football Award have been honored at the banquet, which this year was to be held at the Boston-Newton Marriott.
Because of the virus, the Burton, Schluntz, and Jack Daly Award for Academics, Citizenship and Football (added in 2012) will be delayed until 2021. The spotlight therefore belongs to a talented group whose senior year isn’t ending the way they had hoped.
"I continue to be overwhelmed by the many achievements in competition, in the classroom and in the community of our scholar-athletes each and every year, and the Class of 2020 is no exception,” said Jim Seavey, the chapter’s executive director and the director of athletic communications at UMass Dartmouth.
“They have brought great distinction to their schools, families and communities, and while the sadness of not being able to celebrate their success in person is temporary, we are all looking forward to watching them begin the next chapter of their respective journeys."
This year’s winners excel in the classroom and on the football field. They play offense (St. John’s Prep QB Matt Crowley broke the school record for passing yards). They play defense (Mansfield’s Vincent Holmes broke the school record for tackles). And they play saxophone (Milton Academy’s Kalel Mullings).
This year’s scholar-athletes will all receive plaques as well as a program from the event. They include:
Matt Arvanitis (Holliston); Luke Botsford (Milton); Cade Chabra (Marshfield); Cole Cleary (Middlesex School); Dylan Crandall (St. Sebastian’s); Matt Crowley (St. John’s Prep); Aidan Daly (Concord-Carlisle); Thomas Degnan (Winchester); Nick Donatio (Central Catholic); Matt Duchemin (St. John’s Prep); Evan Dyer (Dexter Southfield); Kyle Fitzgerald (Canton); Shamus Florio (Andover); John Fritz (Brooks School); Christian Gemelli (Concord-Carlisle); Mitchell Gonser (Milton Academy); Vincent Holmes (Mansfield); Liam Hoye (Medway); Mark Kassis (Central Catholic); Frankie Kelley (BB&N); Tim Ladka (BC High); Timothy Landolfi (Duxbury); Andrew Landry (Newton North); Kalel Mullings (Milton Academy); Cole Nye (Middlesex School); Mark Pawlina (Dennis-Yarmouth); Aidan Prior (Norwood); William Prouty (Duxbury); Joseph Rivers (Bishop Fenwick); Luke Rosa (Milford); Jack Schneider (Thayer Academy); Michael Slayton (Andover); and Ozzy Trapilo (BC High).
The Jack Grinold EMass chapter is one of 120 chapters of the National Football Foundation across the country, including three in Massachusetts. A selection committee composed of retired and active football coaches, college administrators, and media members, made the selections. For more information go to grinoldchapter.com.