NFF chapter scholar-athlete award recipients announced

Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

IRVING, Texas  From the more than 1.1 million high school football players across the country, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) recently announced the names of five outstanding individuals as the recipients of the 2017 NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Each recipient is selected as the best of the best from his region of the country at the high school level. The five honorees, who are now playing college football after graduating high school in May 2017, are being recognized solely for their accomplishments in high school.

“The NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards showcase first-class high school football players from across the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “This year’s honorees have set the standard for accomplishment on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

“We are truly proud to honor their success in December.”

2017 NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Honorees
(Currently college freshmen, the award is solely based on high school accomplishments.)
  • John Mahoney – from Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, and the Iowa Chapter in the Midwest Region. (Currently attending the University of Notre Dame.)
  • Bobby Maimaron – from Duxbury High School in Duxbury, Mass., and the Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter in the Northeast Region. (Currently attending Williams College [Mass.].)
  • Brandon Micale – from Pomona High School in Arvada, Colo., and the Colorado Chapter in the West Region. (Currently attending the University of San Diego.)
  • Rick Mottram – from Allentown High School in Allentown, N.J., and the Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter in the East Region. (Currently attending Bucknell University.)
  • Blake Wooden – from American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., and the Brian Piccolo/Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Chapter in South Region. (Currently attending Columbia University.)

The five scholar-athletes will travel to New York City to be honored during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the New York Hilton Midtown. First bestowed in 1991, the NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards have become one of the most prestigious high school honors in the country. Criteria for the award include, but are not limited to, academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement.

With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members, the NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 5,000 high schools in 47 states each year. The centerpiece of their efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation’s top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships. From this pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes, the chapters nominated 35 individuals in 2017 as finalists for the highly coveted NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards.

During the past 26 years, 115 student-athletes have been recognized as NFF Chapter Scholar-Athletes, and this year will mark the 27th class of honorees. Past NFF Chapter Scholar-Athletes have gone on to hold various titles, including president, CEO, vice president, lawyer, NFL player, orthopedic surgeon, senior partner and financial analyst, among others.

Andrew Luck

Recent recipients include Andrew Luck (2008, former Stanford and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback), Andrew Rodriguez (2008, Army West Point linebacker and winner of the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy®), Josh Rosen (2015, current starting quarterback at UCLA) and Weston Steelhammer (2013, First Team All-Mountain West defensive back at Air Force).

Other notable past recipients include Todd Helton (1992, former Tennessee quarterback and retired Colorado Rockies first baseman), Drew Henson (1998, former Michigan quarterback and professional football and baseball player), Bobby Hoying (1991, former Ohio State quarterback and winner of the 1995 William V. Campbell Trophy®) and Jon Stinchcomb (1998, former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman). Five NFF Chapter Scholar-Athletes have gone on to win NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, for their accomplishments in college. They are Giovanni Carmazzi (1995, Hofstra), Hoying, Eion Hu (1993, Harvard), Rodriguez and Stinchcomb.

For tickets to the Dec. 5 luncheon in New York, please contact Ron Dilatush at or by calling 972-556-1000.

Following the Dec. 5 luncheon, the five 2017 recipients will attend the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, also at the New York Hilton Midtown, as honored guests where they will meet many of the game’s greatest legends and current college stars. As the culmination of the regular season, the event provides the stage for the induction of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments; the bestowing of the 28th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments, to college football’s top scholar-athlete; and the recognition of the 2017 NFF Major Award recipients.

Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa
Midwest Region – NFF Iowa Chapter
Currently Playing at the University of Notre Dame

John Mahoney excelled both on and off the field at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. A senior team captain, he was named First Team 4A All-State and Second Team Elite All-State at defensive back in 2016. The Tigers finished the regular season as the only undefeated 4A team in Iowa, with Mahoney leading the team to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Amassing 40 tackles his senior year, the first team all-district selection led a defense that registered three shutouts and limited its opponents to just 6.8 points per game. An Academic All-State honoree in 2016, Mahoney earned academic all-conference laurels all four years of high school.

Holding an impressive 4.28 weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale, Mahoney was a National AP Scholar in 2017, an AP Scholar with Distinction in 2016 and an AP Scholar in 2015. During his senior year, the National Honor Society member was a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship and was honored with the United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award.

He extended his leadership skills off the field, serving as president of the Student Council and as a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council. The recipient of the Silver Cord Award for accumulating more than 200 hours of community service, Mahoney held a leadership position during two charitable events that raised more than $8,000 combined. A two-sport athlete, he was a member of the 2017 Iowa 4A state champion track and field team while earning Academic All-State honors.

Mahoney plans to study finance and international economics at Notre Dame, where he walked on to the Fighting Irish roster as a defensive back. His father, Craig, was an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1990 at Iowa State.

Duxbury High School in Duxbury, Mass.
Northeast Region – NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter
Currently Playing at Williams College [Mass.]

A model scholar-athlete, Bobby Maimaron started at quarterback all four years at Duxbury High School while playing for his father, David. A captain his senior season, he led the Dragons to a 12-1 record and the Division 2 state championship. That year, Maimaron threw for 2,621 yards and 40 touchdowns against just three interceptions while also running for 878 yards and 14 scores. In the state final, Maimaron passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-7 win over Shrewsbury High. The two-time league MVP concluded his prep career with a state-record 122 touchdown passes. Following his stellar senior season, Maimaron was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year and the Boston Globe Player of the Year while being selected All-State.

Graduating with a cumulative 4.05 GPA, Maimaron took all AP or honors level courses every year of high school. A National Honor Society member, he was twice named to the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic teams.

Active in the community, Maimaron was a student ambassador to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. He tutored underclassmen and volunteered at the Duxbury Senior Center and the Dorchester Boys & Girls Club. Maimaron also volunteered locally as a football and lacrosse coach.

As he did in high school, Maimaron became the starting quarterback as a freshman at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He has completed 52 percent of his passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Ephs to a 2-1 record so far this season.

Pomona High School in Arvada, Colo.
West Region – NFF Colorado Chapter
Currently Playing at the University of San Diego

Brandon Micale created a legacy of excellence while playing outside linebacker, defensive end and fullback at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colo. He was twice honored as an All-State selection, including first team laurels as a senior after he led the Panthers to their second consecutive appearance in the 5A state title game. The two-time Denver Post All-Colorado and first team all-conference selection was named the Jefferson County 5A League Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. A senior team captain, Micale was Pomona’s co-defensive MVP twice and participated in the Blue-Gray All-American Bowl.

Boasting an impressive 4.49 weighted GPA, Micale graduated in the top five of his class of more than 300 students. A two-time Academic All-State pick, he was an AP Scholar with Distinction and earned an invitation to the National Council of Science and Mathematics Conference. As a senior, Micale was named the American Chemical Society Student of the Year, and he was a member of the National Honor Society.

Micale made substantial contributions to his school and community. In addition to volunteering at youth sports camps and being a youth wrestling instructor, he spent time during summers as an outdoor academic lab leader and a counselor at Fit to be Kids Summer Camp. In 2017, Micale was named Pomona High School’s Male Athlete of the Year, Jefferson County’s Male High School Athlete of the Year and the recipient of the 2017 Male Freddie Steinmark Award. At Pomona, he was also a regional champion and Academic All-State wrestler while winning a Colorado state title in the discus.

Micale is interested in studying engineering at San Diego, where he appears as a fullback for the Toreros.

Allentown High School in Allentown, N.J.
East Region – NFF Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter
Currently Playing at Bucknell University

Rick Mottram defined the student-athlete ideal at Allentown High School in Allentown, N.J. The two-year team captain earned First Team All-State honors at linebacker as a senior after guiding the Redbirds to the 2016 Central Jersey Group IV state title. Mottram made 141 tackles on the way to the championship, including 24 for loss and 3.5 sacks, while also recording two interceptions and forcing four fumbles. He ended his stellar career with a school-record 435 tackles while leading Allentown to three conference titles. The Times of Trenton named Mottram its Defensive Player of the Year twice, and he was a three-time First Team All-Area and First Team All-Group IV selection. A four-year letterman, he was twice named team MVP.

The valedictorian of his class, Mottram graduated from Allentown with the highest GPA in school history – a weighted 4.549. An Allentown High School Scholar-Athlete, he received multiple accolades, including the AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP U.S. History and AP Chemistry awards.

Mottram consistently gave back to his community in high school. A student council representative, he was a four-year captain of a Relay for Life team and was a member of a Villages in Partnership Water Walk team. Mottram was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Math, History and Science Honor Societies, and he helped tutor other students.

He is studying engineering at Bucknell, where he appears as a linebacker for the Bison.

American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla.
South Region – NFF Brian Piccolo/Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Chapter
Currently Playing at Columbia University

An intense competitor on the field as well as in the classroom, Blake Wooden gained a reputation as a physical presence while playing safety at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. A team captain his senior year, he led the Patriots to a perfect 14-0 season and the 5A state championship in 2016. A three-year letterman, Wooden guided American Heritage to a 10-2 record and a district title as a junior and was a member of the 2014 state title team as a sophomore.

In the classroom, Wooden distinguished himself as an excellent role model, graduating with a weighted 5.56 GPA. A National Merit finalist his senior year, he was named the 5A Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Junior Orange Bowl Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Earning AP Scholar with Distinction honors, he notched high honor student accolades all four years of high school.

Amassing more than 326 community service hours, Wooden volunteered with Feeding South Florida, the pediatric oncology unit at Broward General Hospital and the Enstein Medical Center. A two-time captain and all-district selection in lacrosse, he was also a member of the National Honor Society, the Pre-Med Society and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society.

Currently enrolled in the highly selective Columbia College at Columbia University, Wooden has appeared in all three of the Lions’ games so far this season as a defensive back. His father, Shawn, played football at Notre Dame and in the NFL.


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