4 Local High School Football Players Recognized By NFF

On Sunday, March 21, the National Football Foundation (FCC) Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter honored four collegiate and 61 high school scholar-athletes during the chapter’s virtual Awards Show.

During the prerecorded ceremony, former sports anchor Scott Murray earned the chapter’s Distinguished Texan Award. Murry also hosted for the 12th consecutive year, since no event was held in 2020. The 2021 High School Coach of the Year was Dave Henigan, who led Denton Ryan to the 2020 Class 5A Division I state title.

The NFF is a nonprofit with 120 chapters across the United States. Started in 2008, the Gridiron Club of Dallas has over 150 members who come together each spring for the chapter’s Scholar-Athlete Banquet. The NFF is an educational organization that runs programs designed to use the cultural influence of amateur football to develop academic excellence and athletic achievement in young people. NFF programs include Future For Football and the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Among the 61 high school scholar-athletes, the four local honorees were:

  1. Covenant School of Dallas senior Ben Spangler
  2. Highland Park High School senior Cameron Laurie
  3. Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas senior Jake Taylor
  4. Dallas Thomas Jefferson High School senior Lane Flores.
(From L to R): Former Plano ISD and Gridiron Club of Dallas Director Gerald Brence, football head coach Brandon Hickman, football senior Jake Taylor, 2020 award recipent Clarke Pino and TCA Boys’ Athletic Director Don English present the 2021 National Football Foundation Gridiron Club of Dallas Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. (PHOTO: Courtesy Jesuit College Preparatory School)

In addition, Taylor was named the club’s Scholar Athlete of the Year, and will retain possession of the trophy until the 2022 NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Scholar-Athlete Banquet, at which point he will attend to present the award to the next winner.

The college and high school candidates were selected based on their athletic accomplishments, academic performance and leadership roles in the community.

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