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Football Scholar Athletes 2023

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I had the honor this past weekend to represent Astound Broadband at the 63rd Annual National Football Foundation-Lehigh Valley Chapter 2023 football scholar athletes awards ceremony held this year in Bethlehem, PA.

Each year, the “NFF” helps college-bound student athletes who make outstanding contributions both on and off the football field.  The awards are determined by organization members and local coaches and use a 40/40/20 percentage formula (for academic, athletic and charitable work, respectively). These awards are made available to every public, private and charter high school with a football program in the District XI region, which incorporates Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties.

Additionally, financial awards are also granted for outstanding accomplishments made by local colleges within the district footprint.

I’ve had the privilege of announcing the games of, as well as speaking with, a number of this year’s scholarship recipients and it was great to see so many young people’s great efforts, in multiple ways, get rewarded at this year’s event.

Here are some of the images taken from this year’s award ceremony presentation…

The major award winners in this year’s event were…

Small School Winner: Allentown Central Catholic High School – Griffin Patridge

A 6’2”, 185 lb. outside linebacker and wide receiver, he ranks in the top 19% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He earned All-State and First Team All-Conference defensive honors, while serving as team captain. He is the Student Government President, participates in various school sponsored clubs, and is the School Representative for the EPC Student Athletic Character Council. 

Big School Winner: Pleasant Valley High School – Oluwafeola Olaniyan

A 5’10”, 180 lb. outside linebacker and fullback, he ranks in the top 3 %of his class. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member, and is a state qualifier in the Supply Chain Management test for FBLA. He earned All-Conference First Team offensive and defensive honors, while serving as a team captain. He is the Future Business Leaders of America Vice-President, Key Club Treasurer, and Red Cross Blood Drive Host. He has performed over 500 hours of volunteer work.

Ed Watto Award Winner: Nazareth Area High School – Devin Tavares

A 5’8”, 165 lb. cornerback, he ranks in the top 6% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He is a member of various school sponsored clubs, serving as a club officer, is a Class Officer, and participates in varsity track and field. He volunteers with his church as a Sunday School Teacher assistant, the Red Cross, a Blood Drive, Giving Tree, Nazareth Open House, a youth football camp instructor, and is a volunteer waiter for a local club. 

Coach Michael “Guut” Gurdineer Award – Nate Kemmerer (Parkland High School)

Honorary Award for the Outstanding Lineman of the Lehigh Valley Award selected by the Northampton Area High School Football Staff.

For more information or to become a member of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation, you can go to



The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound or any other agency, organization, employer or company.