WEST WINDSOR — The president won unanimously.
Nick DeMarie, the Nottingham High senior nicknamed Mr. President when he was only a freshman, capped off his amazing high school career Sunday night when he won the $5,000 Jack Stephan Memorial Scholasrhip awarded at the 52nd annual George Wah Scholar/Leader/Athlete dinner held at the Princeton Hyatt and hosted by the Delaware Valley chapter of the National Football Foundaton and College Hall of Fame.
“I’ve always been involved in helping others, something that started in my freshman year,” said DeMarie, who is the fifth Nottingham athlete to win one of DelVal’s chapter scholaships but the first to take the $5,000 top prize, donated by Borden Perlman Salisbury & Kelly.
DeMarie, who will attend Penn where he hopes to play sprint football for the Quakers, currently ranks No. 3 in his graduating class.
Samuel Follansbee of Nort Hunterdon received the $2,500 PSE&G-sponsored Ron Rick Memorial scholarship, while Kurt Frimel of New Egypt received the $1,500 Ed Cook Scholaship, sponsored by JB Autism.
Each of the other 20 seniors won $1,000 scholarships to help with their college education.
“Nick is just an outstanding young man,” Nottingham defensive coordinator Frank Gatto said. “Nick is the type kid that the first time you meet him you know he’s a special young man.”
“I was nervous as each senior was introduced, but as the proram went on I thought I had a better chance,” said DeMarie, who is president of the senior class, the Italian Club and Key Club and a debate team captain. His Nottingham administrators say DeMarie’s unique leadership qualities make him a special member of the senior class. He is one of two honorees from Hamilton Township schools who rank in the top three of their senior class.
Joshua Knowles of Hamilton West is ranked No. 1 in the Hornets’ senior class.DeMarie, who lettered as a blocking back for Nottingham’s Central Jersey Group III championship team as a junior and was also a backup linebacker, became the leader of the Northstars defense this past fall.
“To be honored here and to be able to represent my high school is truly a great honor,” DeMarie said. “It’s something special to represent Nottingham here with all these people and all these great athletes. You will never forget an award like this.”
DeMarie is the second straight Scholar/Leader/ASthlete honoree who will attend Penn, joining last year’s $5,000 award winner, Brian Schoenauer of West Windsor-Plainsboro South.
Other honorees were former Giant linebacker Jessie Armstead as the Distinguished American Award honoree, Dave Caldwell of Hopewell Valley as the Hank Johns Coach of the Year, retiring Lawrence High head coach Rob Radice as the Contribution to Amateur Football honoree, Tom Carr as the Hank Johns Memorial Referee of the Year, Jim O’Rouke of Allentown as the Contribution to Youth Football honoree and Nick Kloutis of Hamilton PAL Football as the DelVal chapter Youth Player of the Year.