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National Football Foundation And College Hall Of Fame Casey O’brien New Haven County Chapter The 2021-2022 Scholar-Athletes

National Football Foundation And College Hall Of Fame Casey O’brien New Haven County Chapter The 2021-2022 Scholar-Athletes

After a two-year hiatus the Casey-O’Brien Chapter of the National Football Foundation will once again have a dinner honoring graduating seniors from area high schools and private schools with the chapter’s scholar athlete awards.  The past two years the chapter recognized scholar athletes from member schools, but did not have an awards dinner.  This year’s dinner will be held at Aqua Turf on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:00 pm.

“We are very pleased to bring back our annual dinner to recognize scholar athletes that played football this past fall for their academic excellence, leadership and citizenship”, said Bill O’Brien chapter president.  “We are pleased to recognize another group of young men before their parents, grandparents and friends”.

Twenty-six scholar athletes will be honored along with four other award winners including 35-year football official, Craig Dolyak, a member of the New Haven Football Officials Association from Cheshire who will receive the Official Recognition Award, John Limone of Branford who will receive the Coach of the Year Award.  Branford won the SCC Tier 3 title under Limone.  He then led the Hornets to the semifinals of the CIAC Class M playoffs where they were edged out by Killingly the eventual champion 13-12.  The Hornets finished with a 9-3 record.

The Chapter Award of Merit will be presented to former chapter scholar athlete Sean Desai originally from Shelton and a former member of three-time chapter Coach of the Year Joe Benanto’s 2001 LL State Champion Gaels.  From those days he has gone on to distinguish himself in the professional football coaching ranks.  He was with the Chicago Bears from 2007 thru this past season as defensive coordinator.  He is now with the Seattle Seahawks as the team’s Associate Head Coach for Defense.

This year’s Distinguished American Award honoree is George Grande of Hamden.  Grande is best known as a play-by-play baseball broadcaster with the Yankees, Cardinals and for the past 17 years with the Cincinnati Reds.  George graduated from USC where he played baseball on its 1968 NCAA championship team and from 1980 to 2010, he served each year as Master of Ceremonies at the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York.

For tickets for the dinner call Donna Limone at 203-481-8375.

The final recipients for the 2021-2022 scholar-athlete award have been selected. The selection committee has determined that the following scholar athletes have significantly met the criteria of scholastic  achievement, leadership, extra-curricular activities and excellence in football: Orange residents: James Denton (Amity HS) and Eze Iheanacho (Hopkins School).

  1. James Denton of Amity with his parents James and Tina and coach Craig Bruno
  2. Eze Iheanacho (from Orange) of Hopkins with parents Joy and Ted and coach Tim Phipps

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