Local athletes honored at National Football Foundation Scholar-Leader-Athlete awards banquet

The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame – Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter held its 42nd Annual Scholar-Leader-Athlete Banquet March 28 at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley.

Among the local athletes honored at the banquet were:

Peter Hollen (Torrey Pines), Cole Needham (Santa Fe Christian), Brett Sarem (Cathedral Catholic), Tanner Aiono (Francis Parker) and Zach Schmid (Francis Parker).

These athletes joined a group of past NFF Scholar-Leader Athletes from San Diego, including the late Junior Seau and former Helix High stars and current NFL players Reggie Bush and Alex Smith. Oakland Raiders linebacker and former San Diego State star Miles Burris was a recipient of a Scholar-Leader-Athlete Award from the NFF-Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter two years.

All of the Scholar-Leader-Athlete Award winners received a $1,000 scholarship.

Coaches receiving awards are Matt Oliver of Christian High School (Coach of the Year) and John Morrison of Francis Parker (Meritorious Coach of the Year).

Scholar-Leader Athletes were nominated by their coaches based on a combination of their performance on the field, grades in the classroom and volunteer work in the community. The some 100 nominations were looked over by the NFF-Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter board members and of those 28 were selected.

The NFF-Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter is sponsored by many in the community, including the San Diego Chargers, Higgs Fletcher and Mack, Union Bank and the Zable Foundation.