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Scholar Athlete Award Dinner – Article, April 2014

The 20th anniversary of the Morris County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame annual induction of outstanding high school and college football players was held on April 9, 2014, at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ.

This banquet honors Morris County’s best and brightest football stars, including one player from each high school and college who has 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 Morris County chapter, describes his twenty-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 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.”

Sellitto, along with former Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahey, were among those who spoke in celebration of the Foundation’s work as well as the accomplishments from players. These accomplishments included staggering statistics of yards rushing, passes completed, and post-season accolades, along with equally stunning GPAs, and community outreach projects both locally and nationally. 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 the New Jersey media giant Steve Adubato, whose career as a broadcaster, author, and motivational speaker makes him a role model to young players across New Jersey. Also honored for his Contribution to Amateur Athletics was David Kramer for twenty years of service to the National Football Foundation as team photographer.

Also in attendance was former New York Giants quarterback and NFF member Scott Bruner, former Boston College athletic director Gene DiFilippo, and Barnabus Health Systems Vice-President Louis LaSalle.

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2014 Scholar-Athlete award recipients for the Morris County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame:

Boonton, Rhomar Rodriguez
Butler, Glen Reger
Chatham, Kyle McGeough
Delbarton, Michael Parowski
Dover, Nickolas Boyle
Hanover Park, Anthony Bassolino
JeffersonTwp, Kyle Neuschatz
Kinnelon, Cristian Graupe
Madison, Michael Ubertaccio
Montville, Michael VanKoppen
Morris Catholic, Michael Masotti
Morris Hills, Joseph Bencel
Morris Knolls, Nickolas Crocetti
Morristown, Joseph Murphy
Morristown-Beard, Tyler Schicke
Mt Olive, Zack Heeman
Mountain Lakes, Andrew Walker
Parsippany, Angad Bhatia
Parsippany Hills, Thomas Bluj
Pequannock, Michael White
Randolph, Frank Raggo
Roxbury, Joseph Maugeri
West Morris Central, Kevin Hennelly
West Morris Mendham, Anthony Marconi
Whippany Park, Liam McLaughlin
FDU, Douglas Van Order

Names of people in photo

Back row (from left to right): Frank Raggo – Randolph, Tyler Schicke – Morristown-Beard, Michael Van Koppen – Montville, Rhomar Rodriguez – Booton, Anthony Bassolino – Hanover Park, Kyle Neuschatz – Jefferson, Tommy Bluj – Par Hills, Kevin Hennelly – West Morris, Liam McLaughlin – Whippany Park

Middle row (from left to right): Dave Kramer – National Football Foundation, Steve Adubato – Distinguished American Recipient, Bob Mulcahy – National Football Foundation, Joe Murphy – Morristown, Nick Crocetti – Morris Knolls, Joe Bencel – Morris Hills, Michael Ubertaccio – Madison, Glen Reger – Butler, Angad Bhatia – Parsippany, Joe Maugeri – Roxbury, Michael White – Pequannock, Matt Sellitto – National Football Foundation Chapter President

Front row (from left to right): Andrew Walker – Mt. Lakes, Cristian Graupe – Kinnelon, Kyle McGeough – Chatham, Michael Parowski – Delbarton, Nick Boyle – Dover, Doug Van Orden – FDU, Zack Heeman – Mt. Olive, Michael Masotti – Morris Catholic.

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