CURRENT & PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS

 

 

Distinguished

American

Contribution to

Amateur Football

Football Official

Award

Golden Dozen

Silver Scholar

Athletes

 

 

2020 DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN AWARD

JUDGE FRANK CAPRIO

 

 

A well-known judge and attorney, Judge Frank Caprio, 83, is from humble beginnings.  His parents, Antonio and Filomena Caprio, were immigrants, who through hard work, devotion to family and love of their new country and community sought and found a new life in America.  Their sense of responsibility, commitment to service and education took form in their actions.

With these values, Judge Caprio attended the Providence public schools, and during his youth, worked as a dishwasher and shined shoes.  He graduated from Central High School where he was an all-state wrestler and was inducted into the Rhode Island Wrestling Hall of Fame. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Providence College where he worked three jobs to finance his education and began his professional career upon graduation, teaching American government at Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island. While teaching at Hope, coaching its wrestling team and starting a family of his own, Judge Caprio attended Suffolk University School of Law in Boston taking night classes. After graduation from law school, Judge Caprio began his distinguished legal career in 1965.

Judge Caprio’s public service involvement has been exemplary. He was elected to the Providence City Council in 1962 and served until 1970. He was elected as a Delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1975 and he has been elected as a Delegate to five Democratic National Conventions.

He has served as a Providence Municipal Court Judge since 1985.  His court may be the most well-known in Rhode Island due to the top-rated television show “Caught in Providence”, which previously aired on ABC 6 in Rhode Island before being syndicated nationally in September 2018, and was renewed for season 2 shortly thereafter. “Caught in Providence” currently airs on over 200 stations across America. Judge Caprio is an internet super-star who has amassed over 6 million followers across social media, and his videos have accrued approximately 4 billion views globally. Due to his unique compassionate temperament, he is known world-wide as “The nicest judge in the world.”

The Judge served as chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education which controls major decisions for the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island.  He is committed to keeping our public colleges affordable and accessible for all Rhode Islanders, especially new immigrants to our State.

The Judge doesn’t just advocate for what he believes in, he acts.  At Suffolk University School of Law, he founded the Antonio “Tup” Caprio Scholarship Fund.  This scholarship, named for the Judge’s father, a man of only a fifth grade education but much wisdom and perseverance, is for Rhode Island students who are committed to improving access to legal services in our urban core neighborhoods.  He has also established scholarships at Providence College; and for graduates of Central High School named in honor of his dad.  His interest in helping youth is evident from the numerous community and educational activities he has led including the Boys Town of Italy, the Nickerson House Juvenile Court and Rhode Island Food Bank.  In 1983 he was the Co-Chair for the Rhode Island Statute of Liberty Foundation (raising substantial sums for the restoration of the Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island). Judge Caprio was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by his alma mater Suffolk University School of Law in 1991 and Providence College in 2008, and also received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Rhode Island in 2016.   In 2003 he was the first recipient of the Enrico Caruso Award from the Providence Opera for his major contributions to the arts.  In 2018 the Justinian Law Society of Rhode Island awarded him the Pro Bono Publico Award.  At Providence College, the Judge has chaired national capital campaigns at various times.  The Judge was a member of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary education and the Governor’s Pre-K thru 16 Council on education. Member of President’s Council at Providence College and on the Dean’s Advisory Committee at Suffolk Law School

 

 

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

 

1988 – William Gilbane

1989 – U.S. Senator John O. Pastore

1990 – Henry A. “Hank” Soar

1991 – Matt Cavanagh (Friendship Award)

1991 – Mosi Tatupu (Friendship Award)

1992 – Paul Choquette, Jr.

1993 – Gov. Philip W. Noel

1994 – Steve Grogan

1995 – Hon. John E. Orton III

1996 – U.S. Senator Claiborne deBorda Pell

1997 – Bradford Boss

1998 – Harry Kizirian

1999 – U.S. Senator Jack Reed

2000 – Armand LaMontague 2001 – Ben Mondor

2002 – Gov. J.J. Garrahy

2003 – Mike Tranghese

2004 – A.J. Smith

2005 – Gov. Donald Carcieri

2006 – Hon. Ronald Machtley

2007 – Joseph MarcAurele

2008 – Rev. Brian Shanley

2009 – Dr. Robert Carothers

2010 – Brig. General James Dunn

2011 – William Gilbane, Jr.

2012 - Michael Goldberger

2013 - Terrance Murray

2014 - George Pyne

2015 - Mark Van Eeghen

2016 - Lou Marciano

2017 - Dr. Arnold Scheller

2018 - Dante Scarnecchia

2019 - David Cicilline

 

 

 

 

2020 CONTRIBUTION TO AMATEUR

FOOTBALL TOM CAITO

 

 

Tom Caito is native Rhode Islander who attended Mount Pleasant High School. While at Mt. Pleasant, he was a three-sport athlete. Tom played football, competed in wrestling and track. Tom’s younger brothers, Phil and Bob also attended Mount Pleasant and continued the Caito tradition. During his senior year, he received a football scholarship to Boston University, along with RI Football Foundation Founder, Emo DiNitto as they were teammates for another four years. Tom was a three-year letterman while at Boston University. Most importantly, Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and later completed his Masters Degree at BU. Although Tom ended his football career at BU, he was not ready to leave the playing field. He went on to play with the Providence Steamrollers for three years.

Tom’s coaching career began at Central High School in 1961. As the program began to generate enthusiasm, they had their breakout years in 1965 and 1966, culminating in an undefeated season in1966 winning the state title. Eight of his players received Division 1 scholarships. He was surrounded by a tremendous group of assistant coaches who he credits with helping him developing the program at Central. His staff included Jimmy Adams, Dick Zotti, Ray Gemma, and Anthony Caprio.

In 1968, Tom left Central for a coaching and teaching position at Holliston High School in Massachusetts. Once again, he was committed to building a program of excellence and pride both on and off the field. It took a year to build the program and by the second year they were well on our way to dominating the league and building a dynasty. In eight years, his teams captured four league championships, two undefeated seasons, a state championship and a Super Bowl victory. Thirteen of his Holliston players received Division 1 scholarship offers. His assistants were the core of their success; Paul Rowles, Jimmy Riley, Bill Curboy, and Steve Curley. Tom had several influences in his early coaching career, but his most influential person was John Petercuski Sr. John helped him develop his coaching style, practice planning and commitment to player development. He taught him every aspect of what it takes to be a successful coach. He was an incredible man with core values that made those around him want to be a better person. He was Holliston Pride and made me realize how important the football team was to the community.

After leaving Holliston, Tom I spent the next 18 years at Chelmsford High School. The league had a reputation of being one of the most difficult in the state and again he wanted to challenge his coaching philosophy. While at Chelmsford they won six league championships, four super bowls, and thirty-one of his players received Division 1 scholarships. His assistant coaches; Jack Fletcher, Bruce Rich, Tommy Sousa and Bobby Russo were unbelievable as coaches but were also dear friends.

In 1996, Tom took on a new venture in his coaching career which culminated his coaching career. Tom started the football program at Merrimack College. Tom advocated for facilities, scholarships and equipment while at Merrimack. Tom spent seven years at Merrimack and built them into a contender in the league each year. This past year Merrimack entered into their first year as a Division 1 FCS football program. Pat Graham, Frank DeFelice, and Sully all were critical in the growth of the program during his tenure at Merrimack

In 2002, Tom retired from teaching and coaching, shortly after that his youngest son, Michael passed away. Tom never thought he could step on the field again, but many dear friends helped him realize that he needed to be busy and around young people as he done his whole life. He credits his good friend, Paul Manganaro for helping him through some of the most difficult days of his life.  Tom is a member of both the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Coaches Hall of Fame. He compiled an overall record of 248 wins 75 losses and10 ties.

Tom and his wife Marguerite (Callanan) raised seven children. Tom is so appreciative of his wife and her incredible commitment in raising their children which allowed him to fulfill his dream of coaching. All of their children, Paul, John, Thomas, Michael, Alison, Leslie and Laura all earned athletic scholarships. His three daughters have made their mark as very successful field hockey coaches throughout the high school ranks.

 

 

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

 

1988 – Dr. Americo S. Savastano

1989 – Jack Cronin

1990 – Frank Maznicki

1991 – Dick Reynolds

1992 – Jack Zilly

1993 – Ambrose Smith

1994 – Steve Furness

1995 – John Huntington

1996 – Bernie Buonanno, Sr.

1997 – John Toppa

1998 – Domenic DiLuglio

1999 – Frank Navarro

2000 - Mark Whipple

2001 – Bob Griffin

2002 – Maurice Zarchen

2003 – Ron Petro

2004 – Chet O’Neill

2005 – Richard Lynch

2006 – Tony Centore

2007 – Bill Stringfellow

2008 – Mickey Kwiatkowski

2009 – Phil Estes

2010 – John Gillooly

2011 – Charlie Gibbons

2012 - Dick Downey

2013 - Robert "Bob" Wylie

2014 - Gregg Drew

2015 - Anthony "Tony" Rainone

2016 - Edward "Ted" Stebbins

2017 - Robert Murray

2018 - Domenic Marcone

2019 - James "Jim" Norman

 

 

 

 

2020 FOOTBALL OFFICIAL AWARD

DON FILONOW

 

 

Don Filonow was born and raised in Pawtucket, RI. In his playing football playing days as a youth, Don was part two RI Preteen Championships, in 1958 and 1959, where he was coached by his brother, and longtime coaching legend, Serge. Don graduated from Tolman High School, where he was a three-year starter on the football team playing under the legendary coach, Gig Pariseau. Upon his graduation from Tolman, Don attended Providence College and later did his graduate work at Rhode Island College. Don returned to his roots and spent thirty years as an English and Social Studies teacher in the Pawtucket School System. Don proudly served our country in the United States Army and is also a Vietnam Veteran.

In the early 1970’s, Don served as an assistant coach, under his brother with the Edgewood Eagles. The Eagles developed into a powerful youth football program throughout the state and region.

In 1974, Don began his officiating career doing youth games on weekends. After six years, in 1980, Don became a member of the Rhode Island Football Official’s Board. He officiated high school games for ten years before moving on to officiate college football in the ECAC conference from 1990-2000. Don was selected to officiate in one of the Division Two National Semifinal games during that time.

Don made his return to the high school ranks in 2001, and since that time, he has officiated in several playoff games as well as several Super Bowls in all divisions. Over the last nineteen years, Don has served on several mechanic and rules officiating committees. Today, Don continues to officiate high school games through the state.

Don has not only worked as a football official during his career, but was a high school Lacrosse official from 1990-2019 where he served as its’ president in 2004 and 2005.  Don umpired high school baseball for fifteen years as well.

Don and his wife Christine are the proud parents of three daughters.

 

 

 

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

 

1997 – Irving Scott

1998 – Peter Capirchio

1999 – George Tracy

2000 – Lou Cimini

2001 – Bob Benz

2002 – Vin Sclama

2003 – Thomas Mulvey

2004 – Clint Robertson

2005 – Ted Gilmartin

2006 – Phil Kershaw

2007 – Raymond Beattie

2008 – Charles Lehourites

2009 – Bob Flick

2010 – Edward “Bud” Conley

2011 – Philip “Bob” Caito

2012 - James Peluso

2013 - John Pagano

2014 - John A. Abbate

2015 - Edward Hanley

2016 - Joseph Schwab

2017 - William Phillips

2018 - Bruce Guindon

2019 - George M. (Ted) Tracy Jr.

2020 GOLDEN DOZEN

CAMERON ALVES

Cranston West High School

5'10", 190 lbs, QB/DB

A two-time first-team All-State selection, Alves is one of the three nominates for the 2019 Providence Journal Player of the Year award that will be announced later this spring.

 

    One of the most versatile players in the state, Cam’s play over the past two seasons led the Falcons to the best era in the history of Cranston West football. Sparked by Alves the Falcons earned back-to-back Super Bowl berths for the first time in school history with appearances in both the 2018 and 2019 Division I state title games.

 

   This past fall Cam led the Falcons to a share of the Division I-B regular season title as he figured in 32 Cranston West touchdowns, rushing for 20 TDs and also passed for 12 touchdowns. He was responsible for 2,552 offensive yards with 1,545 yards rushing and 1,007 passing yards.  From his berth in the defensive secondary he made 58 tackles, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass.

 

      A four-year varsity basketball player and outdoor track performer as well as a football star, Cam was a four-year high-honors student. A National and Rhode Island Honor Societies member, in four years of honor-level courses he posed a combined 4.05 grade point average. In addition to his two, first-team Providence Journal football All-State selections, he also was a three-time Coaches Association Academic-All State selection.

 

    He will attend the Stonehill College.

MATT GACIOCH

Tiverton High School

6'2", 195 lbs, QB/DB

Honest, loyal, humble, hardworking, intelligent - and talented- are the words veteran Tiverton coach Bob Murray uses to describe Matt.

 

    Gacioch was a starter in all four of his years as a member of the Tiverton football team, including the last three as the Tigers quarterback. During Matt’s career Tiverton went to the playoffs for four consecutive years; played in two Super Bowls and won a combined total of 29 games. His performance led the Tigers to the 2018 Division IV Super Bowl title

 

 A first team All-State selection in 2018, Matt also was one of the three nominates for the 2018 Providence Journal Player of the Year award.

 

   This past fall Matt completed 145 of his 228 passes as the Tigers quarterback, including 26 for touchdowns. His passing total of 2,615 yards was part of a 3,314 all-purpose yardage total last fall.

 

    The football field wasn’t the only place Matt was a leader. He is one of the academic leaders of the Tiverton High Class of 2020 academically ranked in the 10 percent of the 133-member class with a 4.08 GPA.

 

   Matt will attend and play football at the UMass. -Dartmouth

EDWARD BLESSING

Narragansett High School

5'8", 145 lbs, QB/FS

The Narragansett starting quarterback in every year of his four-year high school career, Ed was one of the most multipurpose players in the state during the past two football seasons.

 

  The first team All-State punter this past fall, Blessing also was an outstanding free safety and kicker in addition to being the top QB in Division III.

 

     When he wasn’t putting up big numbers on the football field, Ed was posting impressive stats in the classroom. The No. 13 academically ranked student in this year’s Narragansett High graduating class, he registered a combined 4.46 academic average over his high school career. He also was president of the Narragansett Chapter of the Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse.

 

    On the football field last fall, he completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,082 yards, including 22 touchdown tosses.   He constantly kept Narraganset opponents in poor field position as he averaged 41.2 yards per punt. He also was a key member of the Mariners defensive unit with six pass interceptions and 52 tackles, including 39 solo stops. He also booted 31 conversions kicks and three field goals.

 

     Ed is a National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame Golden Dozen Legacy. His father Matt Blessing was a member of the R.I. Chapter’s inaugural Golden Dozen class with his selection in 1992. Ed, who will attend URI and play for the Rams football team, has been named recipient this year’s recipient of the R.I. Football Foundation Chapter’s Chet Pono Memorial scholarship.

SHANE KENYON

North Kingstown High School

5'11”, 165 lbs., WR/DB

A four-year member of the Principal’s academic Honor Roll, hen Shane wasn’t excelling in the class room he was helped North Kingstown athletic teams win state championships

 

    “Shane’s is the best athlete in our program,” coach Joe Gilmartin offered about Kenyon who played major roles in the North Kingstown football teams thrilling rides to both the 2018 and 2019 Division I state titles.

 

    A three-sport athlete, Kenyon also was a member of the 2019 state championship North Kingstown boys basketball team as well as a member of the Skippers highly successful lacrosse team

 

       A slot receiver on offense in football this past fall, Kenyon accounted for 660 yards on pass receptions with 36 catches. He scored 12 touchdowns as he averaged 18.3 yards per catch. On the defensive unit he made 53 tackles and had eight pass interceptions.

 

    Academically ranked in the 10 percent of this year’s 346-member North Kingstown graduating class Shane posted grades of 90 in 22 of 26 honors and advance placement courses. Included in his course load were six advance placement classes Calculus; psychology, Environmental Science; English and History. He was a three-year Academic All-State Football selection.

 

    He is still undecided about where he will attend college.

 

JOHN BORUCH

Portsmouth High School

6'0", 195 lbs, QL/DL

Talented and intelligent are both words that could describe John, but when Portsmouth coach Dustin Almeida was asked how best to describe John Boruch he wrote, “John is a natural leader.”

 

   It was Boruch’s leadership on the football field last fall that paved the way for Portsmouth becoming the first public school team in six years to earn a berth in the state’s major high school football Super Bowl.

 

    Boruch was the starting offensive guard for a Portsmouth offensive unit that rushed for 2,276 yards in 11 games last fall. The performance led the Patriots to a share of the Division I-B regular season title and a victory in the tiebreaker that determined the State Champion Division Super Bowl entry.

 

    While playing on the defensive line Boruch made 34 tackles, including 16 solo stops and 11 that resulted in loses for the Patriots opponents.

 

     A varsity lacrosse player and swimmer as well as a football star, John was a member of the National Honor Society as well as a National Language Honor Society member. Academically ranked in the top 20 percent of this year’s Portsmouth graduating class, John was a member of the National Language Honor Society. When he wasn’t leading the Patriots to victory on the football field or excelling in the classroom, John was a peer Spanish tutor and a volunteer at the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol.

 

   He will attend the U.S Merchant Marine Academy.

MALIK MONTEIRO

Central High School

6'1", 190 lbs, QB/DB

One of the best passers the Interscholastic League has seen in several years, Malik threw for over 4,000 yards against Division I competition during his high school career.

 

    In 2016 Central volunteered to move up from Division II to the Division I in order to fill out a 14-team Division I alignment even though the Knights had not ranked among the top 14 teams in the realignment formula. Monteiro’s passing talent was a major reason the Knights were able to successfully compete in the Division I ranks over the past four years.

 

   With Malik’s passing leading the attack, Central earned DI playoff berths in three of the four years since moving up to Division I, including a berth in the 2016 Division I Super Bowl. The only year Central didn’t play in the post-season during Monteiro’s career was when the Knights were eliminated in a non-competitive tie-breaker formula for a playoff berth.

 

   An All-State selection in 2018, Monteiro was a four-time DI All-Division selection. During his high school career, he had a hand in putting 78 touchdowns on the scoreboard for the Knights with 58 TD passes and 20 rushing touchdowns. He also individually rushed for 1,800 yards.

 

     “Malik is a tremendous young man with great leadership skills,” said Central coach Pete Rios. “A young man of outstanding character, he is the only four-year quarterback starter in my coaching career at Central.”

 

    A four-time Academic-All -State football selection, Malik was high honor recipient for four straight years.

 

    A youth volunteer at the Zuccolo Center in Providence, Monteiro posted a combined 3.8 grade point average and academically ranked in the top 15 percent of this year’s Central graduating class.

 

   He will attend and play football at Central Connecticut State University.

COLE DUBOIS

North Smithfield High School

6'1", 200 lbs, OL/DL

 The Providence Gridiron Club’s “Defensive Player of the Year and the Division IV Offensive Lineman of the Year Cole’s two-way line-play was a major factor in North Smithfield capturing the school’s first state football title this past fall.

 

    A four-year starter Cole was the defensive leader of the North Smithfield/Mt. St. Charles co-op team that won the 2019 Division IV state title with a perfect 9-0 League record, highlighted by a one-point victory over the defending state champion in the DIV Super Bowl.

 

   Dubois was a dominant force in Division IV this past season with 70 tackles, including 40 that resulted in loses.  He also recovered four fumbles and registered two quarterback sacks.

 

   His performances in the classroom over his four-year career was equally impressive. President of the North Smithfield National Honor Society and an Advance Placement Scholar, Cole’s demanding academic schedule including advance placement courses in Calculus, American Government; Physics; European History, U.S. History and English.  Academically he is ranked 15th in this year’s North Smithfield High graduating class.

 

   Apparently Golden Dozen selection is a tradition in Cole’s family. Both Cole’s father, Jason Dubois and his uncle, Jeremy Dubois, were Golden Dozen selections in the 1990s. Cole is this year’s recipient of the National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame Emo DiNitto Chapter’s Frank Morey Memorial Scholarship.

 

 Cole will attend Wentworth Institute of Technology.

OMAR REYES JR.

Cranston East High School

6'1", 275 lbs, OL/DL

 A four-year starter for the Thunderbolts, Reyes’ standing as one of the best linemen in the state was proven this past fall when he was selected as a Providence Journal First Team All-Stater despite a young Cranston East team’s 0-8 record in Division I competition.

 

    As a sophomore, two-way starter in 2017 Reyes’ played a role in Cranston East’s ride to the Division I Super Bowl title. This fall was the youngest team Tom Centore had coached in his 14 years as Cranston East head coach. So, Reyes was both a leader to his young teammates and one of the top linemen in the state averaging eight tackles a game.

 

    “He’s a kid you can always count on” Centore said about Reyes. “He’s smart; he’s a hard worker and he has a real understanding of the game.”

 

    A National Honor Society member, academically Reyes ranked in the top 10 of this year’s Cranston East graduating class.

 

   “My parents always told me education will get you places, open doors for you,” said Reyes, who had perfect school attendance in both his junior and senior years.

 

Omar, who was captain of both the Thunderbolts football and lacrosse teams, will attend the University of Rhode Island where he hopes to major in engineering and playing for the Rams football team.

CONNOR FALLON

Pilgrim High School

6'2", 198 lbs, TE/LB

The No. 9 academically ranked student in this year 400- member Pilgrim High graduating class, Connor also was a major factor in the revival of the Pilgrim football program over the past two years.

 

     Pilgrim hadn’t played in a football Super Bowl in 23 years going in the 2018 season, but Fallon’s play at tight end and outside linebacker was a key factor in the Patriots reaching both the 2018 and 2019 Division III state title games, highlighted by a victory in the 2019 state title game.

 

  Connor earned second-team All-State selection in 2018 for a season in which he made 22 receptions for 390 yards. During the Patriots championship season this past fall he make 23 receptions for 319 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively this past fall, he registered 50 total tackles, including 18 for losses.

 

   In an academic program of honor and AP courses Fallon posted a 4.27 grade point average, including 27 A-grades. He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.

 

A four-year varsity baseball player as well as a football star, Fallon also was involved in a host of community activities, including FOP Christmas programs; Warwick Historical Cemetery clean-up programs and volunteer work at a Providence soup kitchen.

 

  He will attend Western New England College

CONRAD SWANSON

East Greenwich High School

6'1", 185 lbs, QB

A first-team All-State selection and the Division II-A Back of the Year in 2019, Conrad passed for over 4,000 yards during his high school career. But Swanson’s academic stats were even more impressive than the extraordinary statistics he compiled on the football field.

 

    A National Honor Society Member and a four-time All-State Academic football selection Swanson compiled a 3.57 academic grade point average on a 4.0 scale over his four-year high school career. His challenging academic schedule included Advance Placement courses in Physics; Calculus; Psychology and Spanish.  In national testing he scored 770 of a possible 800 in the SAT Math; and 720 of possible 800 in the SAT verbal.

 

   A three-sport athlete - football, hockey and baseball – Conrad was captain of both the East Greenwich High football and hockey teams in his senior year. He was a standout in all three sports, but football is the where he proved he was one of the best players in the state.  As the Avengers starting quarterback the past two years, he completed 57 percent of his passes en route to a total of 4,168 yards. He threw 61 touchdown passes in his career. This season he quarterbacked the Avengers to a perfect 6-0 DII-A regular season record.

 

    A peer Spanish tutor, he also is a volunteer hockey coach for young players with developmental difficulties. He will attend Western New England and plays to play football for the Golden Bears.

TYRON FRANCIS JR.

Middletown High School

5'9", 183 lbs, TE/LB

When Middletown coach Art Bell says a player is “one of the hardest workers I have ever coached,” - as Bell quipped about Tyron Francis - that’s an impressive compliment. Bell has been coaching high school football players for 35 years.

 

“It has been my pleasure to have coached TJ,” Bell said referencing Francis’ nickname. “He is an outstanding student athlete with a 4.0 GPA; involved in many community service programs and in two years as our starting running back he didn’t commit a single turnover.”

 

     Francis averaged over 10 yards per carry for the Islanders over the past two seasons. In his senior season, this past fall he rushed for 1,301 yards and scored 21 touchdowns.  He also scored seven touchdowns in his junior season.

 

    He also was a mainstay on the Islanders defensive unit with his play at outside linebacker.

 

   Francis’s work ethic extended from the football field to the classroom. Included among his challenging academic course load were Advance Placement courses in Calculus, Physics; U. S. History, Language and Literature.  Academically he ranked in the top 15 percent of this year’s Middletown graduating class.

 

    Tyron will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

LIAM WHOLEY

LaSalle Academy

6’4”, 210 lbs., OL/DL

 The Division I-B Lineman of the Year, Liam was a mainstay of the La Salle offensive and defensive lines for the past two years. His two-way line-performances played a major role in the Rams compiling a combined 11-3 Interscholastic League Division I regular season record.

 

   “Liam made others around him better because he held himself and his teammates to a higher standard. Captain of our team, he was a born leader,” La Salle coach Geoff Marcone commented about Wholey.

 

   Wholey’s impressive football performances were matched by his remarkable academic efforts in the classroom. A first-honors recipient in every marking period during his four year-career at La Salle he earned an average of 90-or-above in 90% of his academic final grades.

 

    A varsity basketball player as well as a football star, his work away from the football field, basketball court and classroom over the past four years demonstrated his belief that people with talent should help in their community and around the world. He served as volunteer at Crossroads of Rhode Island; the Rhode Island Food Bank and the Golden Crest Nursing Home. He also traveled to Medellin, Columbia to do volunteer work at an orphanage. He also was the organizer for several football team community fundraisers.

 

He will attend Bowdoin College.

2020 SILVER SCHOLAR ATHLETES

JAXON BURNS

Scituate High School

5’10”, 160 lbs., TE/LB

A three-sport standout Jaxon was a standout basketball and baseball player as well as a football star.

 

The Scituate football Most Valuable Defensive Player this past season, Jaxon was captain of this year’s Spartan gridiron forces.

 

An Academic-All State football player, he compiled a 3.6 Grade Point average throughout his high school career. He was a high honors recipient each year of his high school career.

 

  He is considering attending Dean College.

JUSTIN PENA

East Providence High School

6'1", 155 lbs, QB/DB

According to East Providence coach Jay Monteiro, “Justin brought an infectious enthusiasm to whatever he does.”

 

A two-time Division I all-division selection for his performances on the football field, Justin also was selected to the National Honor Society for his performance in the classroom.

 

   He closed out his high school football career last fall with 1,422 all-purpose yards as the Townies quarterback. He scored 12 touchdowns while running for 621 yards. He also passed for 688 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, he made 51 tackles and picked off two pass interceptions from his berth in the Townies secondary.

 

  In the classroom he earned highest honors each marking period en route to a four-year combined GPA of 3.7.

JACK CHARPENTIER

Mt. Hope High School

5'10", 165 lbs, WR/DB

Captain of the 2019 Huskies Jack’s outstanding leadership talents became even more evident when a pre-season injury before the start of the 2019 season ended his high school playing career before the season even started

 

    But despite not be able to play Jack remained an integral part of the team, Charpentier was still at every practice, working with the coaches while tutoring and encouraging his teammates.  Charpentier had been a starting wide receiver and defensive back in his junior year.

 

    A four-year All-Academic League selection in the classroom, Jack compiled a 3.40 grade point average over his four-year career.

 

    He also was actively involved in the Mt. Hope community. He was a member of the Mt. Hope Executive Board; the DECA executive board; the Environmental Club and a peer tutor.

 

   He will attend the University of Rhode Island

ISAI PRINCE

Tolman High School

6'0", 170 lbs, WR/DB

 “Isai is the has been one of the most productive receivers I have ever coached,” Tolman coach Jason DeLawrence offered when comparting Prince to the other receivers he has coached in his 22-year career as a high school football coach.

 

    In two years as a starting receiver Prince caught 50 passes for 1,200 yards for an average of 22-yards per catch. Included in those 50 catches were 15 touchdown grabs.

 

A member of the National Honor Society, Isai posted a 3.41 academic grade point average throughout his career.

 

A varsity basketball and volleyball player as well as a football star, Isai will attend the University of Rhode Island.

 

HAYDEN DEPAULT

Woonsocket High School

5'10", 195 lbs, RB/LB

Captain of three teams, football, wrestling and golf during his high school career Hayden captained the Villa Novans football forces to back-to-back Division II state champions in 2018 and 2019.

 

      An All-Division and All-State Academic football selection, he posted a 90 or above in every one of his academic courses throughout his high school career.

 

  A three-time Division II all-division selection, he was the defensive mainstay of the Villa Novans state championship football teams the past two years. This past season he led the Villa Novans to the state title with 120 tackles. He also contributed 245 rushing yards to the Villa Novans offense.

 

   Also were the top 195-pound wrestlers in the state, he played a major role in Woonsocket winning the Division II championship as he rolled to a perfect 17-0 individual league record.

 

   He will attend Wentworth Institute of Technology.

HELIO SOUSA

Bishop Hendricken High School

5'8", 150 lbs, WE/DB

A member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society, Helio made solid contributions to the Hawks back-to-back state championships in 20018 and 19’.

 

 “Helio was one of the leaders on our team,” said Hendricken coach Keith Croft.

 

  “He was one of our better players, but also the type of player we could count on for the truth,” Croft continued about how Sousa was the player the Hawks coaching staff would turn to when they wanted to know why something wasn’t working in the Hawks game plan.

 

 “Helio was the type of teammate others looked up to,” Croft concluded

 

   A member of the Hendricken President’s Honor List all four years of his high school career, Helio also was a member of the Hawks state championship basketball team.

 

RANDALL HIEN

Lincoln High School

5'8", 155 lbs, QB/DB

Randall directed Lincoln successful jump from Division III to Division II with his leadership, his running and his throwing arm.

 

     The Lions starting quarterback for the past three season he passed for 2,300 yards, ran for over 1,000 and was involved in 48 Lincoln touchdowns over those three seasons.

 

   A National Honor society member, academically he ranked in the top 15 percent of this year’s graduating class. Captain of this year’s football team he was a three-sport standout and earned all-division honors in both football and baseball.

 

    He also served as editor of the Lincoln High School newspaper and manager of the Lion’s Roar online school website.

 

   He will attend Siena College

ANDREW SPRAGUE

South Kingstown High School

5'9", 170 lbs, RB/DB

Andrew led the Rebels in rushing yards; rushing attempts; completions; touchdowns and points last season.

 

   A natural fullback, he switched to halfback in his senior season because he felt he would be making a more important contribution to his team. His performance on the field, earned him a pair of all-division selections.

 

    As one of only four seniors on the team this season, he was both a role model for his young teammates as well as one of the team’s most versatile players on the team. In addition to running the ball on offense, he called the signals for the Rebels defense unit; was the long snapper as well as returning kicks and punts.

 

   A four-year honor roll student, he also was captain of the Rebels hockey team and a member of the varsity lacrosse team.

NICHOLAS LAUZON

Westerly High School

5'11", 160 lbs, TE/DB

Academically ranked 11 in this year’s 182-member Westerly High graduating class, Nick also earned DII all-division honors for his outstanding two-way play for the Bulldogs football team.

 

  In the words of coach Duane Maranda, “Nick approached football the same way he approached his academics – He was a very cerebral player.”

 

   An outstanding blocker from his tight end spot on the offensive unit, he was a “Jack of all Trades” on the defensive unit playing everywhere from the defensive line to corner back.

 

  During his high school career Nick received an “A” in 31 of his 32 academic courses. The recipient of the State Treasurer’s Young Rhode Islander Leadership award, he earned High Honors with Distinction in three of the four years of his high school career.

 

   He will attend Bentley University.

EZEKIEL VELASQUEZ

Shea High School

6'1", 240 lbs, OL/DL

“I had the pleasure of meeting Ezekiel during his freshman year. From day one I knew there was something special about him”, said Shea High English teacher Robyn Sukkar. “He is adept at practically anything he does.”

 

   What Velasquez did as a two-way lineman for the Shea football team was earned three consecutive All-League honors in addition to earning three Academic All-State selections.

 

   “On the football field Ezekiel was a fierce competitor. In my twenty-five years of coaching, Ezekiel was one of the most improved players I have coached”, said Shea coach Dino Campopiano.

 

   In the classroom Velasquez compiled a four-year academic average that ranked him 11th among the 132 members of the 2020 Shea graduating class.

 

   A member of the National Honor Society as well as the Spanish National Honor Society, Ezekiel was captain of the Shea track team as well as captain of the football team.

 

TEMILOLA MATANMI

William M. Davies Career & Technical HS

6'2", 205 lbs, TE/DE

A three-sport standout, including all-division honors in football, Temilola was the No. 11 academically ranked student in this year’s 185-member Davies graduating class.

 

 A member of both the National and Rhode Island honor societies, Temilola on the football this past fall, he made 27 tackles and posted four sacks from his defensive end berth for first-year Davies program. He also was a member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams.

 

 In addition to being an outstanding student and athlete, he was a young man who worked hard to keep his classmates informed about activities in their school community. He was a staff member of the Davies School newspaper – “In the Loop” and also one of the voices of the Davies daily school announcements. He also was a student ambassador for the “Future Student Night”.

LUKE WILSON

Burrillville High School

5'10", 198 lbs, OL/LB

Academically ranked in the top seven percent of this year’s Burrillville graduating class, Luke also earned two football all-divisions for his play on the offensive line and at linebacker on defense.

 

         A member of the National Honor Society, Luke compiled a 3.6 grade point over his four-year career. On the football field he helped the Broncos win a divisional championship every year of his career and two state championship. A three-year starter on the offensive line and at linebacker he closed out his football career last fall with 35 tackles from his linebacker. His performance helped the Broncos capture the Division II-B regular season title with an undefeated regular season record.

 

  “Luke’s work ethic has allowed him to thrive in athletics as well as in the classroom”, said Burrillville football coach Gennaro Ferraro. “Luke is a coach’s dream”, Ferraro continued “He’s a perfectionist. He practiced as hard as he played.”

 

   A varsity hockey player as well as a football standout, Luke will attend the University of Rhode Island

 

DEVIN O'MALLEY

St. Raphael Academy

5'11", 190 lbs, RB/LB

Devin earned Division I All-Division selection and Academic All-Stater honors for his performances on the football field, but his performances in the classroom were even more impressive.

 

   In a four-year academic program loaded with honors courses, he compiled an overall 91.95 unweighted average. When extra credit for his honor courses was added, he recorded better than a 100 average with a 104.4 mark.  In four years, he never posted an academic mark lower than a 91.

 

     His football career was highlighted by his versality. He played quarterback and running back on offense and both linebacker and defensive He also was the Saints punter. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry en route to a 576 yards rushing performance last fall and also completed five touchdown passes. He was one of the top punters in the state with a 43.7- yard average per kick.

 

   He also was a four-year member of the St. Rays varsity basketball team.

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