Rhode Island’s Best Gridders Honored
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Monday night at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, the Emo DiNitto / Rhode Island Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame celebrated their 25th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner. It was a night to celebrate both greatness on the gridiron and greatness in the classroom.
A total of 30 student-athletes from Rhode Island were honored including the prestigious “Golden Dozen” which consists of the 12 best seniors the state has to offer combining both football and academic excellence along with outstanding service to their communities.
Here is a list of the 2012 Golden Dozen:
Brian Buxton (OT/DE) – Cumberland
Theodore Moskala (OL/DL) – Mt. Hope
Sean Conley (RB/LB) – So. Kingstown
Matthew Pistacchio (TE/DE) – Narragansett
John Morrison (WR/CB) – West Warwick
Brendan Quigley (RB/LB/SS) – East Providence
Eric Ricciardi (OL/DL) – Smithfield
Frank Wiley (OT/DT) – Middletown
Davon Robertson (TE/DE) – St. Raphael
Samuel Yules (TE/FB/LB) – Moses Brown
Jack Ryan (QB/S) – Barrington
Alexander Zannela (QB/DB) – Coventry
These twelve young men were not only among the best football players in the state of Rhode Island this past season, they also rank in the top ten percent of their graduating classes at their respective high schools.
Also honored were 18 other outstanding student-athletes. Those named Silver Scholar Athletes were:
Owie Agbontaen (RB/LB/S) – Providence Country Day
Ryan Blaine (OG/DE) – Scituate
Eric Bonilla (OG/DT) – Mt. Pleasant
Edward Caputo (OG/DT) – Cranston West
Patrick Comerford (RB/LB) – Classical
Bryant Ebright (WR/DB) – Westerly
Alexander Leddy (RB/LB) – Pilgrim
Cody Lindell (FB/LB) – Cranston East
Mead Lockwood (LB) – Bishop Hendricken
Kyle Losardo (OL/DL) – Burriville
Connor Matthieu (WR/RB/CB) – Ponagansett
Ben Miller (OT/DT) – Chariho
Jack Pavao (WR/DB) – Tiverton
Nicholas Salois (OL/LB) – Warwick Vets
Nicholas Shuckerow (RB/DB) – Exeter-West Greenwich
Terrence Sinnott (OT) – LaSalle
Jamal Tucker (WR/DB) – Shea
Michael Washington (RB/DB) – Central
Also honored at the banquet was Brown University athletic director Michael Goldberger who will be retiring next month. “Goldie” received the Distinguished American Award for his distinguished 38-year career at Brown and for his tremendous contributions to the community.
Former URI assistant football coach Richard “Dick” Downey received the Contribution To Amateur Football Award for his 17 years of service to URI football and for his 17 additional years of service to Rhode Island high school football at Narragansett, North Kingstown and Cranston East.
The Rhode Island Football Official’s Award was presented to James Peluso who was a three sport star at Central High School where he graduated in 1947. In addition to proudly serving his country in the U.S. Army, Peluso has been involved in football, baseball, softball and basketball officiating in Rhode Island since 1960. He remains a football official in the state.
Former Syracuse and current UConn head football coach Paul Pasqualoni was the featured speaker who addressed the young men who were being honored along with the crowd at the Crowne Plaza. Pasqualoni also spent time in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins.
It was the most attended banquet in the 25-year history of the event thanks to the great efforts of Emo DiNitto – the President of the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
Many of the young men honored will be heading off to prep school or college next year, many of them to play football. Some will stay in Rhode Island attending URI or Brown while one young honoree will be joining the United States Marines.
It was a great night for the family and friends of those honored, but mostly for the young men themselves who have represented themselves, their schools and their families so well.