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Walmer nominated as scholar-athlete

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by The Press in HS Sports

The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Lehigh Valley Scholar Athlete Banquet will be held Sunday, March 2 at 4:30 p.m. at the Northampton Community Center.

Speaking at this year's banquet is Lehigh University football head coach Andy Cohen.

This year's nominees from local high schools and colleges were recently released.

The following is a list of this year's nominees.

Allen - James J. Davis

A 5-7, 158-pound defensive back and wide receiver, he ranks 26 out of 609 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He participates in varsity basketball. He is a member of the Students Against Destructive Decisions, serves on the Lehigh Valley Conference Student Athletic Council and volunteers with the New Jersey Special Olympics Basketball Camp, the Allen Basketball Camp and Animals in Distress.

Central Catholic - Nicholas Andrew Lynch

A 6-1, 250-pound offensive guard and nose guard, he ranks 29 out of 172 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. His community activities include Vacation Bible School, helping to decorate his church and cleaning the church.

Bangor -

Matthew Alan Pysher

A 6-2, 230-pound center and defensive tackle, he ranks 23 out of 257 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He participates in varsity track and is a Student Government member. He is a member of the Leo Club, the Spanish Honor Society and is active in the community.

Bethlehem Catholic - Marco Anthony Blasco

A 5-9, 200-pound fullback and linebacker, he ranks 36 out of 194 students. He is an Honor Roll student and a member of the National Honor Society and Student Government. He serves as the Editor for the school's newspaper. He is the head of the Becahi Mini-THON Committee and serves on the LVIAC Sportsmanship and Character Council. Among his community activities is a summer service trip to Germantown, PA.

Catasauqua -

Rhaine Alexander Sziy

A 6-1, 190-pound center and linebacker, he ranks 16 out of 120 students. He earned All-Conference honors, is an Honor Roll student and a member of National Honor Society and Student Government. He participates in wrestling, the Drama Club, the Debate Team, and is also the German Club Treasurer and Student Council Activities Coordinator. He is active in his church, as a youth football coach and in the Sage Stauffer Memorial Soccer Tournament.

Dieruff - Victor A. Bautista

A 5-9, 172-pound linebacker and quarterback, he ranks 23 out of 442 students. He is an Honor Roll student, member of the National Honor Society, and served in the Gear Up Program for four years. He has served in the ROTC - Air Force since ninth grade, and has been a captain during his junior and senior years. He is active in the community.

East Stroudsburg North - Jaelon Freeman Talley

A 6-2, 170-pound wide receiver and defensive back, he ranks 54 out of 287 students. He is an Honor Roll student, Student Government member and participates in the choir. He volunteers in the Bushkill Field Day and as a youth camp coach. His community activities include serving the Salvation Army "Ring the Bell" Program and the Bushkill "Read Across Campus" Program.

East Stroudsburg South - Demetrius Tyler Lanier

A 6-0, 185-pound halfback and linebacker, he ranks 37 out of 372 students. He is an Honor Roll student and earned All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity wrestling and is active in the community.

Easton Area -

Leonard Elliott Estephan

A 6-1, 210-pound tight end and defensive end, he ranks 8 out of 614 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He has earned AP Scholar with Honors and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society. He is active in the community.

Emmaus - Christopher T. Schiermeyer

A 5-10, 200-pound strong safety and wingback, he ranks 39 out of 604 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He is the President and Founder of the Pediatric Cancer Club, President of the Wellness/Fitness Club and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. He is active in the community.

Freedom -

Brandon Scott Gubich

A 5-8, 180-pound fullback, he ranks 70 out of 474 students. He is an Honor Roll student, a member of the National Honor Society and earned All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity lacrosse and the NHS tutoring program. His community activities include serving his church youth group, volunteering as a student youth sports coach and working as a grocery store cashier.

Jim Thorpe -

Michael Scott Rodgers

A 6-0, 210-pound center and defensive end, he ranks 23 out of 152 students. He is an Honor Roll student and is enrolled in Dual Enrollment honors courses. He participates in track and field and is a member of the school's powerlifting team. His community activities include serving as a volunteer at a fire house and Carbon County Special Needs, shoveling snow and cutting grass for the elderly and staying active in his church.

Lehighton -

Max Daniel McCandless

A 6-0, 205-pound offensive tackle and guard, he ranks 15 out of 171 students. He is an Honor Roll student and a Team Leader on Science Olympiad. He participates in varsity basketball and track and field. He is also an altar server and is active in his church and community.

Liberty -

Andrew Phillip Morgan

A 5-6, 165-pound defensive back and running back, he ranks 90 out of 655 students. He is an Honor Roll student and Class President of the Student Government. He is a captain on the football and lacrosse teams. He is also a member of the Bethlehem Area Youth Council and the LVIAC Student Athletic Character Council. His community service includes volunteering with The Miracle League and organizing Liberty's mentorship program for Special Olympic athletes.

Nazareth -

Frank Frederick Sharo III

A 6-2, 210-pound left tackle and middle linebacker, he ranks 54 out of 378 students. He is an Honor Roll student, member of the National Honor Society, a Class Officer and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. He is a member of Student Government, serves on Student Council and participates in varsity track. His community activities include volunteering for the Relay for Life program.

Northampton -

Nicholas David Cook

A 6-1, 160-pound quarterback and defensive back, he ranks 45 out of 418 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member and earned First Team All-Conference honors. He is a member of the SADD, DECA and the French Club. His community activities are: being a blood donor, an Alec's Army staff member, a 40 hour famine volunteer, a volunteer at youth outreach events and his church's youth group.

Northern Lehigh - Nicholas Tuller Buresh

A 6-6, 230-pound offensive tackle and defensive end, he ranks 9 out of 136 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of National Honor Society. He earned Second Team All-Conference honors and participates in track. He is Vice President of both Student Council and the Debate Team, and also participates in Scholastic Scrimmage, SADD and Spanish Club. He serves as the Student Coordinator for Riverstone Gift Exchange.

Northwestern Lehigh - Jacob Edward Najarian

A 6-1, 190-pound center and defensive end, he ranks 8 out of 184 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member and earned Second Team All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity baseball, the school's musical, Drama Club, Ski Club, Key Club, SADD and Science Honor Society. He is also the chairperson of the School Blood Drive. He volunteers at the Slatington Food Bank, and is a Mission Team member of his church.

Notre Dame (Gr. Pond) - James J. Federico

A 5-8, 165-pound running back and linebacker, he ranks 8 out of 127 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of National Honor Society. He participated in the Notre Dame Mini Thon, which is a dance marathon to benefit pediatric cancer. His community activities include the Midnight Madness Baseball Tournament to benefit Dream Come True organization.

Palisades -

James Dean Donnelly

A 5-10, 180-pound fullback and linebacker, he ranks 54 out of 162 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity wrestling, is the Editor of the school newspaper and a member of the French Club and French Honor Society. His community activities include volunteering for field cleanup day and Gingerbread House making.

Palmerton -

Austin Tanner Cook

A 5-6, 150-pound wide receiver and linebacker, he ranks 27 out of 111 students. He is an Honor Roll student and participates in varsity baseball. He is a member of the Environmental Club. His community service activities include volunteering with Special Olympics and the Palmerton parade.

Parkland - Joshua R. Walmer

A 6-4, 250-pound offensive tackle, he ranks in the top twenty percent of his class. He is an Honor Roll student, earned First Team All-Conference honors and was selected to play for the Pennsylvania Team in the "Big 33 Football Classic". He is a member of the PALS Club, FBLA, the Literary Magazine and the Welcome Pack Club. For four years, he has been involved with Boy Scouts and the Youth Group.

Pen Argyl - Michael Samuel DePaolo

A 6-2, 210-pound running back, linebacker and punter, he ranks 26 out of 116 students. He is an Honor Roll student, earned Second Team All-Conference honors and Third Team Honorable Mention All-State honors. He participates in varsity track, participated in the Penn State S.A.L.T. Leadership Conference and is a member of the Principal's 90 Percent Club. He is a volunteer youth coach and is active in his church as an altar server.

Phillipsburg -

Tyler Arlington Troxell

A 6-1, 175-pound quarterback, he ranks 6 out of 434 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member, earned First Team All-Conference honors and is a Mini Max Award Winner (presented by the Maxwell Football Club). He participates in basketball, is a four-year Student Council Representative and is the Editor of both the school newspaper and yearbook. He is a member of Freshmen Orientation Guide, a Veterans Day Tribute volunteer, a Scoring Points for Kids participant and a counselor for a summer basketball camp. He volunteers for Lauren's First & Goal, Relay for Life and is a church altar server.

Pius X -

Kyle Anthony Kokawski

A 6-2, 270-pound center and defensive lineman, he ranks 8 out of 42 students. He is an Honor Roll Student and earned First Team All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity baseball, is the Editor of the yearbook and is a member of SADD. He also serves as a Pro-Life leader. He is active in his church and the community.

Pleasant Valley -

Brandon Leap

A 5-10, quarterback, he ranks 92 out of 444 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member and earned First Team All-Conference honors. He participates in basketball and track, and he is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and FBLA. He is a Senior Day liaison and participant in Iron Bear. He volunteers for Angel 34, Special Olympics and the Salvation Army, is a participant as a Cystic Fibrosis Player and Air Raid Academy and is a middle school youth coach.

Pocono Mountain East - Michael C. Mazza

A 5-8, 175-pound fullback and defensive lineman, he ranks 78 out of 348 students. He is an Honor Roll student and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity wrestling and is a member of the National Art Honor Society. His community activities include Boy Scouts, while remaining active in his church.

Pocono Mountain West - Amir Elijah Blair

A 5-8, 170-pound running back and linebacker, he ranks 21 out of 453 students. He is a member of the National Honor Society and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity wrestling and the Weightlifting Club. He volunteers as a bell ringer with the Salvation Army and is active in the community.

Salisbury -

Alex Robert Ververeli

A 6-0, 210-pound center and defensive tackle, he ranks 34 out of 147 students. He is an Honor Roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. He is also a member of Model United Nations. He participates in competitive horseback riding and was the 2013 national champion in the 14-17 year-old division. He is active in the community.

Saucon Valley - Thomas Christopher Misiak

A 5-10, 200-pound offensive guard and defensive end, he ranks 37 out of 189 students. He is an Honor Roll student and earned Second Team All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity baseball, FBLA, is the Committee Leader for the Mini Thon and is a Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership Award recipient. He volunteers with Special Olympics, Cops for Kids, FBLA, Roadside Clean Up and a youth football camp.

Southern Lehigh -

Jacob Andrew Del Priore

A 5-8, 145-pound wide receiver and strong safety, he ranks 12 out of 280 students. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member, earned First Team All-State and All-Conference honors and is a National Merit Scholar. He participates in varsity wrestling and baseball, is Treasurer of the Honor Society, Vice-President of the Libertarian Club and is a member of the Key Club, Varsity Club and Young Americans for Freedom Club. He is President of the Early Morning Seminary Class, volunteers with the Miracle League, Cops for Kids, Food for Friends, Pennies for Patients and a youth football camp.

Stroudsburg

Nicholas J. Bendixen

A 6-0, 250-pound guard and center, he ranks 116 out of 470 students. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the Varsity 'S' Sports Club. He is active in his church as a member of the youth group, and he participates in trash pick-up, soup kitchens and other church-related events.

Whitehall

Nicholas R. Nejad

A 6-2, 210-pound tight end and defensive end, he ranks 25 out of 349 students. He is a High Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member and earned First Team All-Conference honors. He participates in varsity track and field, served as a captain for both the football and track teams, is a member of the Key Club and Zephyr Pep Club and is a member of both the Math Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. His community activities include involvement in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, volunteering with Special Olympics and being a blood donor.

Wilson Thomas S. Waters, Jr.

A 6-0, 194-pound offensive guard and defensive tackle/end, he ranks 81 out of 171 students. He is an Honor Roll student and is a member of Key Club and Weightlifting Club. He participates in varsity track, the choir and the class play/musical. He is a student coach for youth football and is active in his community.

COLLEGE

SCHOLAR-ATHLETES

East Stroudsburg University Robert Bleiler

A 6-1, 205-pound wide receiver, he has a 3.45 GPA majoring in Mathematics and Secondary Education. He was a Capital One Academic All-American honoree, a National Football Foundation Campbell Trophy semi-finalist and a two-time Division II Athletic Director's Scholar Athlete. He earned All-PSAC East First Team honors, and he totaled 153 receptions for 2,614 yards with 20 touchdowns for his career. He is active with the SAAC Head Start holiday party, the Buddy Walk for parents of Down syndrome children and Special Olympics.

Kutztown University Matt Connors

A 5-10, 210-pound linebacker, he has a 3.43 GPA majoring in Leisure and Sport Studies. He is a member on dean's list, a three-time PSAC Scholar Athlete selection, a three-year Student Athlete Advisory Committee Representative and a Newman Council Representative. He is a four-year letter winner and a member of the four-year class with the most wins (32) in school history. He has volunteered with the Kutztown Special Olympics for three years and will serve on the 2014 Special Olympics Management Committee. He enjoys reading, traveling, coaching and spending time with his family and friends.

Lafayette College

Brad Bormann

A 6-3, 292-pound offensive lineman, he has a 3.8 GPA majoring in Biology with a minor in English. He is a five-time dean's list student, Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selection, Capital One Academic All-American and Lafayette College Maroon Club Scholar Athlete of the Year Award recipient. He is a Student Leadership intern, a peer mentor for academic tutoring and a member of Kaleidoscope SCOPE and the Experience Lafayette Day Executive Committee. He has been accepted into the Teach for America Program, and he was awarded the Preminger Gerontology Research Scholarship.

Lehigh University

Cody Haupt

A 6-1, 200-pound running back, he has a 3.66 GPA majoring in Supply Chain Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He is a dean's list student, an All-Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selection and earned the Supply Chain Junior Scholar Award. He enjoys water and snow skiing, reading Fortune magazine and will be working for IBM as a Strategy and Transformation Consultant.

Moravian College

Julian T. Digiacomo

A 6-1, 260-pound offensive tackle, he has a 3.66 GPA majoring in Accounting. He has earned dean's list honors each semester, is a three-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll recipient and is a member of the Accounting Club. He is active in his community.

Muhlenberg College Chris Litzenberger

A 5-8, 173-pound wide receiver and long snapper, he has a 3.76 GPA majoring in Accounting with a minor in Business Administration. He is a four-year varsity letter winner, three-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll selection and was named Muhlenberg's 2013 Football Scholar Athlete. He started all four years as the long snapper for punts and was also a three-year starter at wide receiver.