Teammates of Thornton and Leavitt among finalists for prestigious Maine football scholarship

Two teammates from the Thornton Academy of Saco and the Leavitt Area High School of Turner Center were among the six finalists nominated Tuesday for the 2021 Frank J. Gaziano High School Scholarship and Awards.

The awards annually recognize Maine’s top senior linemen, with the winning offensive and defensive linemen each receiving a $ 5,000 scholarship while the four finalists will each receive a $ 1,000 scholarship.

The two winners will be announced on January 22, 2022.

The finalists for the Gaziano Offensive Lineman Award are Thomas Horton of Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Reeve Twitchell of Leavitt and Seth Beyea of ​​Thornton Academy.

Horton – also a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, symbolic of the state’s best senior football player, regardless of position – has been described by veteran Bonny Eagle coach Kevin Cooper as “the best doubles lineman. sense that I have ever trained ”.

An attacking right guard, Horton recorded 42 knockdown blocks as a senior while not allowing a single sack from the quarterback.

Twitchell played down the center of Leavitt’s offensive front, starting on the 2019 Hornets State Championship team and capturing and starting both ways this year as his team reached the Class C South Championship game.

“He combines great physique, superior technique and an intuitive mind to make plans a very complete offensive lineman,” said Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway.

Beyea, an attacking tackle, was named to the All-State Class A Coaching Team in two different positions and served as Thornton Academy captain for the Class A State Championship.

“[His] the work habits, motivation and enthusiasm are great, ”said Thornton Academy coach Kevin Kezal. “[His] the innate work ethic also applies to the playground.

Cody Ruff of Thornton Academy, Jack Boutaugh of Leavitt and Casey Mills of Cony High School in Augusta are the finalists for the Gaziano Defensive Lineman Award.

Mills, a left defensive end, is considered by his coaches to be one of the most complete athletes in school history. A team captain and a starter for three years, he ended his senior season with 87 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovered.

Cony’s head coach BL Lippert described Mills’ game as “smart” and “relentless”.

Boutaugh, like Mills a left defensive end, amassed 71 tackles this fall with 12 tackles for a loss, six quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two passing deviations in just eight games, as two of the Leavitt’s matches have been called off due to COVID-19[FEMININE

“[He has a] strong work ethic and commitment to the team ”and is“ a reliable player that our coaches know they can count on, ”said Hathaway.

Ruff, another defensive end, averaged 6.5 tackles per game as captain of the undefeated Thornton Academy team this fall with four quarterback sacks, two fumble recoveries, one pass interception, 15 deflections. passes and two defensive touchdowns scored.

“[He] is one of the best defensive ends to ever play for us, “said Kezal,” and a quality person, personifying the characteristics all educators and coaches look for when working with young adults. “

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