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National Football Foundation Awards Cherico Three Scholarships As Scholar-Athlete

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

cherico football
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – March 18, 2018, was a good night for Nick Cherico, a senior football player and academic star at Clarion Area High School.

(Photo: Clarion Coach Larry Wiser and Nick Cherico who was awarded three scholar-athlete awards by National Football Foundation. Photo submitted by Luca Cherico.)

Nick won three scholarships at the 21st Annual Banquet of the National Football Foundation, Central PA Chapter held at the Penn Stater Conference Center.

The scholarships included the National Football Foundation Central PA Chapter Scholar-Athlete; the Joe Sarra Community Service Award; and the Central PA Chapter National Football Foundation Jack Bailey and the J. Gawen Stoker Memorial Scholarship.

Nick is the son of Fred and Kim Cherico of Clarion.

Forty-six high school seniors from the center region were recognized as Scholar-Athletes during the event. Each school is asked to nominate one senior member of the football team for the honor.  The nomination packet includes a high school transcript, official test scores (SAT/ACT), and the nominee’s commitment to community service.  Scholarship winners were selected based on academic achievements, athletic achievements and extracurricular-community service, and participation.

Cherico was nominated by long-time Clarion Bobcat head football coach Larry Wiser.

“I truly am honored that I was nominated by Coach Wiser for this opportunity from the National Football Foundation and give a special thank you to all of the many businesses that sponsor the scholarships every year,” said Nick after receiving all three National Football Foundation awards.

“Being involved in the Boy Scouts, I was always taught to do my good turn daily just as I was taught on the football field to always help my fellow teammate. The lessons that Coach Wiser has taught us on the football field have transcended to all avenues of my life including volunteering in the community.”

“Your team is only as good as its weakest player, and as coach likes to say, ‘it is Team Not Me’ which for us players means that we put the team goals before our own goals. It’s important for us to use that same saying in our everyday life to make sure that every person – your family, your friend, your co-worker and your neighbor – is prepared for their life.”

“I want to thank my family for their continued support and for being such positive influences in my life. It’s great to see over 40 other local football players that achieved their academic goals, a commitment to the sport, and finding time to go out to perform community service.  It is definitely a rewarding challenge. I want to express my sincere appreciation to the board and thank them for recognizing me with three awards today. I am truly blessed and honored today.”

Nick plans to continue his education at Duquesne University in the fall, majoring in Biology/Pre-Med.  As a high school senior, he prequalified for the Early Acceptance Program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine College where he will become a physician.

Nick is an Eagle Scout from Clarion Troop 51 and has provided numerous local community services within his troop over his ten years as a scout. He recently volunteered over 150 hours for his Eagle Scout project where he was the lead in fundraising, researching, planning, designing, and installing two historical interpretative panels in downtown Clarion.  He has volunteered for numerous projects as a member of several local area organizations. Nick is a captain of the varsity football team, playing both sides of the ball, senior class president, and student council president, member of the Science Olympiad team, member of the choir, Clarion Singers, member and usher at Clarion Immaculate Conception Church. He volunteered to develop a website for Clarion Suicide Awareness, has volunteered at UMPC Northwest Campus, and provided services as a member of National Honor Society.  This, along with his strong academic records and the receiving of several awards such as the Ben Carson Scholarship award, 2015 Gary Ross Lawrence Outstanding Sophomore Football Award, Ronald Reagan Student Leader Award, and American Legion Patriotism Award, all played a part in receiving this NFF service award in honor of 40-year Coach Joe Sarra.

Former Penn State tight end Keith Olsommer was the featured guest speaker and an appearance by current Penn State football coach James Franklin kicked off the event.

Head Coach Larry Wiser was also recognized at the event.  Clarion Area Bobcat Football Varsity Team was a PIAA Division 2A State Quarterfinalist this year.

“I always look forward with excitement and trepidation to annual NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards,” said Coach Larry Wiser about Nick’s accomplishments.

“Excitement because Nick was so highly qualified and trepidation; because of a large number of quality nominees. The excitement started with Nick being awarded at the beginning of the awards the Joe Sarra Community Service and ending with CPFCA scholarship.  To my knowledge, no scholar-athlete has ever received this many awards.  I was very proud to be there with Nick and his family along with my wife Annie and son Ryan to share this special moment.” 

“Nick Cherico represents the best values of a scholar-athlete.”


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