The Nassau and Suffolk County chapters of the National Football Foundation will be honoring local high school scholar-athletes at their annual award ceremonies held at the world famous Downtown Athletic Club located at 19 West Street, New York. The Nassau County Chapter hosted their dinner/ceremony on Dec. 6.
"Our two Long Island chapters of the National Football Foundation, which collectively have raised thousands of dollars for scholarships, provide the community with positive role models by recognizing outstanding high school seniors in their community," Genova said. "The criteria for the selection of our winners is based upon outstanding academics, exemplary school leadership and citizenship and superior football performance."
The selection process begins when coaches from each school submit their selections. The youngsters, who are each recognized with a commemorative plaque, are narrowed down in each county to an elite group known as the Golden Eleven. From there, an ultimate winner is then selected in each chapter.
This year's top winner in Nassau County is Charles L. Manning of Garden City, an All County Selection who excelled on the gridiron, academically and in the community. Charles held an impressive 99.61 grade point average, scored 1400 in his Scholastic Aptitudes Test, is a member of the National Honor Society and involved himself in numerous extra-curricular and community activities. Garden City High School enjoys its reputation for excellence primarily due to the commitment and dedication of students like Charles, who led by example on the gridiron and in the classroom.
Nassau County's Golden Eleven includes Justin H. Anderson of MacArthur, Matthew P. Berg of Baldwin, Daniel Fanelli of Wantagh, Jeffrey Haruthunian of Bethpage, James Randall of Roosevelt, Tristan Lawrence of Elmont Memorial, Brian Pawlowski of W.T. Clark, Gregory A. Rossi of Island Trees, Jeffrey Rudloff of Glen Cove and Joe Sussman of Great Neck North.
Former Locust Valley High School Coach Fred Smith (over 200 wins) and St. John's University Head Coach Bob Ricca will be honored with their respective chapter's Contribution to Amateur Football Award. The dedication and commitment of both men to the game of football and its participants has earned the respect and admiration of their colleagues. In Nassau, the award is named in honor of former Farmingdale High School Coach Don Snyder.
Genova said members of the National Football Foundation are dedicated to preserving the spirit of football, its character-building attributes and its vital role in the education process. "By recognizing and honoring accomplishments both on and off the playing field, the foundation highlights these outstanding individuals so others many follow in their footsteps," Genova said. "We are also determined to provide scholarships to help these individuals continue their higher education."
The continued growth and interest in the Nassau and Suffolk Chapters of the National Football Foundation is Genova's goal.
"The steady development of our local chapters has been largely due to the help we've received from individuals who share our organization's philosophy," Genova concluded. "Football has, and will continue to play, a positive role in developing America's youth. We're pleased to be in a position to perpetuate those ideals here on Long Island."