By Aaron Valdez
Fifty-three players from the San Gabriel Valley, including 10 from the Pasadena area, were recognized March 20 at the 48th Annual National Football Foundation for Scholar Athletes.
Established in 1959, the National Football Foundation aims to award student-athletes with postgraduate scholarships based on their performance on the gridiron and in the classroom.
The organization also promotes academic excellence, encourages students to become leaders in the community and strives to integrate football as a virtuous part of the high school curriculum.
Pasadena’s Jalen Jolley and Ethan Nishikawa, Muir’s Jonathan Stephens and Seth Reece, Maranatha’s Kwon Peterson and Summer Ortland, Poly’s Cameron McFarlane and Sean Tibay, St. Francis’ Patrick Gibbons and La Salle’s Daniel Cina were among the athletes honored at the banquet.
Historically, Pasadena schools have always been well represented at the banquets. Last year, eight players from the Pasadena area were honored with awards.
Of the aforementioned Pasadena schools, St. Francis (12-2) enjoyed the most success this past season. The Golden Knights were only trounced once during the regular season and were edged out 44-42 by Rancho Verde in the CIF Division III Championship.