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Gervelis Law Firm Gridiron Inspiration Award

Attorney Mark S. Gervelis, a Valley native and avid football supporter, has been a long-time sponsor of WFMJ's Gervelis Law Firm High School Football Insider, a sports feature with 21 News Sports Director Dana Balash and Mark Porter from Scouting Ohio.

The Gridiron Inspiration Award scholarship grew from Gervelis' desire to help further the education of Valley football players who were deserving of the award and could use some financial assistance for their post-secondary education. Aiming to acknowledge the unsung hero of the field, coaches were invited to nominate players who demonstrated heart and soul on and off the field and who have been an inspiration to their team, school and community. Candidates must also hold a minimum GPA of 2.5. Candidates for the award must play on a high-school football team within one of four counties: Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, OH and Mercer County in PA. The Gervelis Law Firm Gridiron Inspiration Award was designed to recognize one player from Ohio and one player from Pennsylvania.

2011 marks the first year that the scholarships were made available through this unique initiative. 2011 Nominated players include: Anthony Franco, (Lakeview Bulldogs), John Kuczek (Boardman Spartans), Brennen Morrison (Jackson-Milton Blue Jays), Anthony Pesce (Hubbard Eagles), Joel Stephenson (Kennedy Catholic Eagles) and Tynone Suglick, Jr. (Howland Tigers).

Gervelis Law Firm Gridiron Inspiration Award 2011 Nominees:

Brennen Morrison:

High School Football Team: Jackson-Milton Blue Jays (Team Captain)

College planning to attend: Akron University

Intended major: Mechanical Engineering

Nominated by: Mark Assion- Jackson-Milton Head Football Coach and Kim Weiry- Jackson-Milton High School Counselor

Tynone Sugick Jr.:

High School Football Team: Howland Tigers

College planning to attend: Ohio University

Intended major: Radio/Television Broadcasting

Nominated by: Richard Engle- Howland Head Football Coach and Dominic Menendez - Howland Assistant Head Football Coach

Joel Stephenson:

High School Football Team: Kennedy Catholic Golden Eagles

College planning to attend: Undecided

Intended major: Secondary Education/History

Nominated by: Archie Donofrio - Kennedy Catholic Head Football Coach and Dennis Staul - Kennedy Catholic Defensive Coordinator

Anthony Franco:

High School Football Team: Lakeview Bulldogs

College planning to attend: Undecided

Intended major: Engineering

Nominated by: Tom Pavlansky- Lakeview Head Football Coach and Michael DeToro - Lakeview Schools Director of Athletics

John Kuczek:

High School Football Team: Boardman Spartans

College planning to attend: Youngstown State University, Ohio State University or Brown University

Intended major: Pre-Medicine or Engineering

Nominated by: Mark D'Eramo - Boardman Spartans Head Football Coach, Roger Patterson - Boardman Spartans Assistant Football Coach and Ron Moschella - Teacher and Women's Head Basketball Coach

Once all nominations were received, the public was encouraged to vote for the candidate of their choice on WFMJ-TV's website. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast in this first year program. On Monday December 5th Joel Stephenson of the Kennedy Catholic Golden Eagles (PA) and Anthony Pesce of the Hubbard Eagles (OH) received the 2011 scholarship awards. The scholarship funding will be sent to the Bursar's office of the recipients chosen educational institute once enrollment and schedule confirmation are received.

Plans are underway for The 2012 Gervelis Law Firm Gridiron Inspiration Award. Look for more information in the spring of 2012.

The Gervelis Law Firm is proud to make these scholarship awards available and looks to encourage strong academics as well as to recognize athletes who are a true inspiration to their team, school and community.

The Gervelis Law Firm fully supports sport participation and is acutely aware that concussive sports injuries occur at all levels - from the professional level, to the collegiate level right down to the youth setting. Therefore, The Gervelis Law Firm is taking a proactive stance to promote the prevention and treatment of concussive sports injuries. The Gervelis Law Firm is particularly interested in developing a network of local resources to help in the prevention and treatment of concussive injuries. If you are an interested medical/healthcare professional, physical trainer, or have expertise in the concussive injury field and would like to be a part of this critical and necessary network, email us at: or phone us at (866) 622-4096.

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