The Casey-O’Brien New Haven County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is honoring its 60th group of Scholar Athlete award winners.
A date for the event has yet to be determined.
Twenty-eight high school and prep school scholar athletes who played football last fall will be honored for academic excellence, leadership and citizenship.
“We are pleased to be honoring another group of outstanding young men for their accomplishments in the classroom, their school and in their community” said Bill O’Brien, president of the New Haven Chapter.
Since 1962 the chapter has honored 1257 young men.
In addition, two longtime coaches with ties to the area have been selected for Distinguished American awards. George DeLeone and Chris Palmer have a combined 100 years of coaching in the college and professional (NFL) ranks. In addition to college, DeLeone coached at San Diego, Miami and Cleveland in the NFL. Palmer coached at UConn and the University of New Haven, among other programs, as well as in the NFL at New England, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco and with the Giants. He recently retired as the Athletic Director at UNH.
This year the Chapter Award of Merit will be presented to Abbott Burrell and Scott Burrell from Hamden.
“The Burrells are members of one of the most successful athletic families in state history,” O’Brien said.
Abbott Burrell played at Hamden (’86) and at UConn from 1986 to 1989 and has been a college football coach for the past 27 years, most recently at Central Connecticut. Scott Burrell was one of the finest high school football players in Connecticut at Hamden before embarking on both basketball and baseball careers. He is now the head basketball coach at Southern Connecticut. Both graduated from UConn.
Other award winners include Judge Arthur Hadden, a 30-year football official, who has officiated six state championship games and Cheshire High School coach Don Drust, who will receive the Chapter Coach of the Year Award for improving the Rams regular season record of 3-7 in 2018 to 8-2 and qualifying for the Class LL state playoffs this past season. The Sheehan Titans will receive a plaque for winning the Class S championship.
The Scholar Athletes are:
AMITY: Samuel Sachs with parents Greg and Lisa (L) and coach Craig Bruno
ANSONIA: Garrett Cafaro with parents Laurence and Lisa (L) and coach Thomas Brockett
BRANFORD: Aiden MacNeil with parents Patty and John (R) and coach John Limone
CHESHIRE: Jason Shumilla with parents Mark and Gina (L) and coach Don Drust who was
selected Chapter Coach of the Year
COGINCHAUG: Alex Case
HAND: Isaiah McNeilly
DERBY: Damian Caruso
EAST HAVEN: Mike Castellano
FAIRFIELD PREP: Anthony Casablanca
FORAN: Gavin Paul
GUILFORD: Evan Russell
HAMDEN: Edwin Figueroa
HAMDEN HALL: Michael DeMatteo
HILLHOUSE: Josiah Artis
HOLY CROSS: Shawn Austin
HOPKINS: Phil DeLise Jr.
JONATHAN LAW: Michael Becker
LYMAN HALL: SP Pragano
NORTH BRANFORD: Aiden Ferrucci
NORTH HAVEN: Joseph Vitale III
NOTRE DAME: Michael Consorte
PLATT: Julio ‘Danny’ Hernandez
SEYMOUR: Nicholas Todice
SHEEHAN: Terrence Bogan
SHELTON: Brian Modica
WEST HAVEN: Jordan Berrios
WOODLAND: Collin Lacy
XAVIER: Kareem Grisham Jr.