AUGUSTA — When Alec Clark had his interview with the Frank J. Gaziano Award selection committee earlier this month, something he did reminded Peter DeSimon of his late friend and the award’s namesake.

When the committee was done questioning Clark, it asked if he had any questions for them. Clark had one. What does Frank Gaziano mean to you? Then, Clark handed out cards for his business, AC Pumpkins.

“A flash of Frank came to me,” DeSimon said.

A four-year starter for Winslow High School, Clark won the Frank J. Gaziano Award for offensive linemen on Saturday, at the sixth annual Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Linemen awards presentation at the Augusta Civic Center.

He is the first offensive lineman to win the award from a school not in Class A.

Frank Curran of Cheverus High School won the defensive linemen award. Isaac Patry of Thornton Academy and Charles Kovarik of Portland were the other offensive finalists. Tyrell Gullatt of Windham and Elijah Ayotte of Thornton joined Curran as defensive finalists.

Clark and Curran each received a trophy, leather jacket, and a $5,000 scholarship. The four runners-up each received a trophy, leather jacker and a $1,000 scholarship.

Created in 2010, the award remembers Frank Gaziano, founder of National Distributors and a college All-American at Holy Cross. The award honors players not just for their work on the field but for their work in the classroom, character, leadership and perseverance.

A guard and linebacker, Clark was a captain and helped lead the Black Raiders to back-to-back undefeated state titles in 2014 and 2015. He was a member of an offensive line that helped Winslow average 45 points and nearly 400 yards per game.

“It’s an honor to be receiving this award. There’s so much history behind it,” Clark said.

In accepting the award, Clark gave a heartfelt speech, in which he thanked family, coaches, teammates, and the Winslow community.

“I was thinking about family, friends, community and team. Those are all key components of who I am today. They helped mold me into the man I am right now, and the better person I will be tomorrow,” Clark said.

“He was a heck of a football player for four years,” Winslow head coach Mike Siviski said. “I’m just so proud of him, so proud of his whole career. Beyond his physical attributes and his motor and everything like that, he’s just such a good kid and a hard worker. The leadership and character end of it, he has it all.”

A three-year starter for Cheverus, Curran was a captain for the Stags. He had 63 tackles and five sacks last season. Curran thanked his family, teammates and coaches, in particular Cheverus head coach John Wolfgram.

“(Wolfgram’s) meant everything to me. He’s taught me the importance of character, and what it means to play for a full 48 minutes and never give up. I think that’s important not just in football, but life as well,” Curran said.

Curran said next year he’ll either attend Husson University, or do a postgraduate year at Bridgton Academy. Clark is considering a few schools, including Maine Maritime Academy, Husson and the University of Maine.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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