The Scholar-Athlete Awards began in 1976 with the selection of 11 winners. The number has grown to 33 winners in recent years and will return to that number next year after this shortened season.
The 2021 winners with their college selections are: John Iannuzzi(Colombia) and Marcus Parara (Tuft) from Dexter Southfield; Attleboro highs Michael Strachan (URI); St. John’s Prep’s Peter Wiehe (Tufts) and Collin Taylor (Princeton); Medfield Highs Ryan Murray (Bentley); Lin, Lincoln-Sudbury’s Gordon Gozdeck (Bowdoin); Apponequets Kevin Hughes (RPI); Read Daniel DiMare (Bentley); Xaverians Michael Berluti (Tuft); Tritons Kyle Odoy (US Naval Academy); Bishop Stans Benjamin Gowell (University of New England); and Bridgewater-Raynhams Anthony Morrison (Wilhelm).
The winners of the Scholar-Athletes were selected by a team of trainers, journalists and educators. The 2020-21 season winners will receive a plaque and their names will be posted to the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Bezanson wins Gatorade Honor
Danvers star midfielder Arianna Bezanson is the Gatorade Massachusetts Girls’ Player of the Year 2020-21.
The junior led the Falcons to a perfect 11-0 season in the Northeastern Conference during the shortened Fall I season, scoring 22 goals and six assists, and scoring at least one goal in every game but one.
The award is another great tribute to the 5-foot-4 Bezanson. The Colgate commit is a two-time selection from Globe All-Scholastic and All-New England and became the second Danvers player in program history to receive All-American honors in December.
“Arianna is a phenomenal player – she has an absolutely deadly combination of technical prowess, strength and intelligence,” said Beverly coach Samantha Charest. “She’s adamant on the field and it seems that every game was not about whether Arianna would score, but rather when and in what way.”
In the classroom, Bezanson maintained an unweighted GPA of 4.01 and is the secretary of her class. She has 64 goals and 24 assists in her junior season for the Falcons.
In its sophomore year, the MIAA, in partnership with the Agganis family, awarded two $ 1,500 scholarships to student athletes from Massachusetts.
The recipient, Methuen senior Annabella Keaney and Shepherd Hill senior Henry Weiland, were selected from a field of MIAA Student Athletes of the Month 2020-21.
Greg Agganis, the great nephew of Harry Agganis, the former Boston University star and first baseman of the Red Sox, helped confirm the decisions. The scholarships were presented to the winners at events at their respective schools at the beginning of June.
A three-sports star in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, Keaney was able to run on the track during Fall II season this year. As class president in 2021, she organized and coordinated a fundraising campaign for Coaches vs. Cancer during the soccer and basketball seasons.
“Bella is one of the most versatile student-athletes I’ve met in my time as Athletic Director,” said Methuen AD. Matt Curran. “She sets a good example, is a captain in four sports and shows the necessary qualities every day to be an effective team leader.”
Weiland is a standout representative of the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams for Shepherd Hill. He is a founding member and co-president of A Better Hill, a student-run organization focused on promoting diversity.
“Henry’s commitment to excellence and the embodiment of the guiding principles on which educational athletics is built is never more evident than in his work on and off the track,” said Shepherd Hill AD Jim Scanlon. “He is an example of humble success and relentless perseverance.”
John Florence is the new soccer coach at Austin Prep and relieves interim coaches Mike Foleywho stepped in as head coach during the Fall II season Billy Tucker was unable to practice grassroots football due to his obligations as Director of Under Armor. Tucker officially resigned this offseason.
Florence, who was Lowell’s head coach from 2011 to 2019, was Austin Prep’s defensive coordinator last spring. Florence led Lowell to the D1 North semi-finals in 2013 and won a share of the Merrimack Valley Conference title in 2012 with a 9-2 record.
“Finding the right fit for our soccer program and school community was important,” said Austin Prep AD Pat Driscoll. “Coach Florence is just that. He cares deeply about the well-being of our student athletes and over the past year has done an exceptional job building relationships with the team.”
Craig Larson and Nate Weitzer also contributed to this story.