Scholar Athletes Take the Stage at the National Football Foundation Banquet

 

The Greater Morris County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame inducted the 2015 class of outstanding high school and college football players on March 23rd at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ.

The banquet honored Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties’ best and brightest football stars, including one player from each high school and college who demonstrated academic excellence, athletic achievement, and community service. Each locally nominated player will also have a chance to become one of five nationally recognized scholar-athletes, who will then travel to New York City for the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon at the historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Matt Sellitto, president and founder of the recently expanded Greater Morris County chapter, describes his twenty-one year dedication to these players. “Too often young men who are good students and good citizens are overlooked, and media attention is instead given to those who get in trouble and do the wrong thing. Society seems to

The NFF honored Lenape Valley coach Don Smolyn with the 2015 Distinguished Coaches Award for his over four decades of positively impacting young men for five decades.

The NFF honored Lenape Valley coach Don Smolyn with the 2015 Distinguished Coaches Award for his over four decades of positively impacting young men for five decades.

focus on the negative actions of young people. The NFF tries to counter this by highlighting young men who have succeeded in academics, citizenship, and athletics.” This year Sellitto’s Board of Directors elected to include Sussex and Warren County schools, nearly doubling their coverage of schools, and thanks to the generous support of Atlantic Health System, their biggest contributor.

Sellitto and former Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahey were among those who spoke in celebration of the Foundation’s work as well as the accomplishments from individual players. Four thousand dollars in scholarships will be handed out to select players from this year’s class.

The NFF also celebrates adults who have had a positive impact on youth, including a Distinguished American Award, this year presented to John McCarthy for his lifelong commitment to coaching and mentoring high school athletes. Also honored as a Distinguished Coach was Lenape Valley’s Donald Smolyn, for his three hundred football wins, nine conference championships and seven state championships.

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2015 Scholar-Athlete award recipients:

Josh Corporan, Boonton
Nicholas Steenstra, Butler
Michael Mulford, Chatham
Ian Lodge, Delbarton
Michael Mendez, Dover
Robert Loneker, FDU
Noah Aussems, Hackettstown
Christian Bassolino, Hanover Park
Ryan Sunda, High Point
James Crammer, Hopatcong

Author John McCarthy was awarded the Distinguished American Award by the NFF in 2015 for his positive impact on parents, coaches and student athletes.

Author John McCarthy was awarded the Distinguished American Award by the NFF in 2015 for his positive impact on parents, coaches and student athletes.

Chris Cuervo, Jefferson
Kyle Presti, Kinnelon
Vito Turi, Kittatinny
Joseph Labell, Lenape Valley
Robert Finelli, Madison
Jeffery Gauweiler, Montville
Connor Fitzpatrick, Morris Catholic
Kevin Cassidy, Morris Hills
Michael Hanagan, Morris Knolls
Cody Heaton, Morristown
Colin Waters, Morristown-Beard
Jesse Rouson, Mount Olive
Jake Schuckman, Mountain Lakes
Phillip Haines, Newton
Luke Robertson, North Warren
David Patracuolla, Parsippany
Kyle McGinley, Parsippany Hills
Andrew Carlon, Pequannock
Nicholas Esposito, Pope John
Leo Greco, Randolph
Nicholas Snow, Roxbury
Lucas Faria, Sparta
Daniel Struble, Sussex Tech
Morgan Murphy, Vernon
Derek Hendershot, Walkill
Alexander Hughes, West Morris Central
Timothy Byrne, West Morris Mendham
Julian Colicchio, Whippany

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