AUGUSTA — Upon winning the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards, Zach Davis and Zordan Holman each took a moment to honor the award’s namesake.

“I just feel very honored to be here and represent my school, my program, my coach, in memory of Frank J. Gaziano,” Holman, a defensive end and Cheverus High School senior, said. “He represented what it is to be a leader in the community, a leader in the classroom, to be a leader on the football field.”

“To have a role model like Frank Gaziano, someone to look up to, something to work towards to try to strive to be more like him. It’s great. This award is really special,” said Davis, a tight end and senior at Windham High School.

Davis won the offensive lineman award, and Holman the defensive lineman award, at a luncheon Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Started in 2011, the Gaziano Award honors high school linemen based on their work on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Davis and Holman each received a trophy, a leather jacket and a $5,000 scholarship.

Runners-up on the offensive line were Messalonskee’s Jake Doyon and Benjamin Zuke, of Thornton Academy. Defensive line runners-up were Windham’s Hunter Bowen and Seamus McKaig, of Orono. Each runner-up received a $1,000 scholarship, trophy and a leather jacket.

When he was a child, Holman’s family immigrated to the United States from Croatia to get away from the civil war in Yugoslavia.

“My family moved here when I had just turned 4, after a civil war in Yugoslavia. My dad was actually a general there, and a prisoner of war. So the transition for us was actually very difficult. We’ve been in the U.S. now for about 15 years, and we’re happy to be Americans,” Holman said.

Davis and Windham won the Eastern Class A title before losing to Thornton Academy in the Class A state championship game. Sharing the Gaziano Award experience with his teammate, Bowen, was a great experience, Davis said.

“We did have a great year. We worked really hard. To be here, and to have the hard work finally pay off, it’s really special,” Davis said. “Another member of the line, somebody on my team who I’ve played with since we were young, it’s really cool that both of us had the opportunity to get here.”

Both Holman and Davis are the first Gaziano Award winners from their schools.

“Cheverus has had a lot of great players and a lot of great young men come through those hallways. I feel honored,” Holman said.

The event’s keynote speaker was Quinton Porter, a Portland High School graduate who quarterbacked Boston College before a professional football career that included stints with the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers of the NFL, and the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Porter told the Gaziano Award finalists, who play anonymous positions, that they may not realize how much they are cared for by their teammates. Enjoy the playing experience, Porter said.

“You guys don’t get enough respect or attention. The game of football is won or lost on the line,” Porter said. “(Football) will never leave you, but you’re going to miss it. So cherish it.”

Both Davis and Holman hope to play football in college. Davis said he’s considering a few schools, including Maine Maritime Academy. Holman said he expects to choose between the University of Maine and the University of Connecticut soon.

“I’m going to talk to my family and talk to my coaches and make that decision in about two weeks or so,” Holman said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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