The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 4, 2012

Notebook: Student-athletes excel

Gridders are successes on, off the field

ASHTABULA — Monday night was a night to celebrate the successes of Ashtabula County’s finest football players of the past and present with the annual Ashtabula County Touchdown Club Awards Dinner at Mount Carmel Community Center.

As much as the players’ on-field success was celebrated, so was their success in the classroom, as well.

Following the presentation of the Star Beacon Ashtabula County first teams and special award winners and the induction of the newest Ashtabula County Football Hall of Fame members, five scholarship winners were announced.

Candidates for the Robert L. Wiese Memorial Scholarship Award of $2,000 included Shawn Gilbert of Lakeside, Grant Nowakowski of Pymatuning Valley, Tony Chiacchiero of Jefferson, Nathan Pilarczyk of Grand Valley, Nick Blood of Conneaut, Anthony Colby of Edgewood, and Dakota Brininger of Geneva.

The Wiese award was decided based on the best combination of successes in athletics, scholarship and citizenship.

The winner was Colby, who genuinely seemed shocked.

“I never thought I would be up here to accept this award,” he said.

Totally flustered as to what to say to the huge crowd in attendance, he took the best road possible.

“I really want to just thank my mom, thank my dad, thank my teammates and coaches, and maybe most of all, thank all of you for being part of this special night for all of us.”

Next up was the William H. Phillips Memorial Scholarship Award. Named in honor of the late Jefferson coach and mentor and presented Hazel Phillips to Austin Nowakowski of Pymatuning Valley.

The Robert M. Herpy Memorial Scholarship was presented by Sue Herpy. Chiacchiero was the winner.

With the Warren G. Andrews Memorial Scholarship Award up next, it was time for another Nowakowski celebration as Austin’s twin brother, Grant, the $2,000 award.

The East Ashtabula Educational Assistance Corporation Scholarship Award went to Brininger.

Closing out the special awards was the announcement of the Robert L. Wiese award. Colby gratefully accepted the award, shook hands with several honorees and sat back down.

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