He Scored Again? Benedictine's Justin Thomas Runs Away with the 41st Finocchario Award

By Prep Sports Report Staff | November 26, 2021

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It's been a prestigious award in Savannah, Georgia, for over 45 years. The Annual Michael Finocchario Memorial Outstanding Football Player Award. The Finocchiaro Award is presented annually to the top high school football player in Savannah Chatham County. The award winner is voted by all private and public high school football coaches and media members. That's what makes it so unique. It is a tradition, the winner(s) would receive their award at the respective school's annual football banquet. 

This 41st Finochario award goes to last year's co-winner from Benedictine Military School senior Justin Thomas. Last year, the award had its first co-award winners ever; Thomas and former Savannah Christian standout Spencer Robicheaux shared the trophy. Thomas becomes the fourth player to win the prize in back-to-back years. Thomas joined Joey Boaen of Savannah Country Day, who won in 2001 and 2002, Franklin Green of Jenkins (2006, 2007), and Chris Barnwell of Savannah Christian (2008, 2009).

Why did Justin, who plays running back, defensive back, wide receiver, and kick returner win the award again? His statistics stood out. Thomas, as a runningback, has scored in 11 straight games; he has 1,160 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. As a receiver, Thomas had 35 catches for 659 yards and nine more scores. As a defensive back, he has 35 tackles, five interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and as a kickoff returner, he returned one for a score, which gives Justin 34 total touchdowns on the season.

Just a side note, Justin signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Georgia back on November 10, 2021.


1976 - Tommy Cupstid, Windsor Forest

1977 - Randy Lanier, Benedictine

1978 - Chris McCarthy, Benedictine

1979 - J.J. Young, Groves

1980 - Harry South, Benedictine

1981 - Joel Carter, Benedictine

1982 - Jack McCollum, Jenkins

1983 - Stephen Jones, Jenkins

1984 - Peter Brennan, Benedictine

1985 - Tim Smart, Groves

1986 - Corey Ladson, Tompkins

1987 - Keith Jones, Savannah High

1988 - Stanley Smart, Savannah High

1989 - Daryl Wall, Windsor Forest

1990 - Marcel Cooper, Groves

1991 - JJ Mobley, Beach

1992 - Bill Sparks, Country Day

1993 - Mede Lewis, Savannah High

1994 - Vinson Cooper, Groves

1995 - Patrick Smith, Benedictine

1996 - Prince Jonson, Beach

1997 - -Walter Simmons, Benedictine

1998 - Jamaal Argrow, Benedictine

1999 - Craig Thomas, Calvary

2000 - Lamar Owens, Benedictine

2001 - Joey Boaen, Country Day

2002 - Joey Boaen, Country Day

2003 - Sage Glasper, Groves

2004 - Jonathon Armstrong, Groves

2005 - Demarcus Dobbs, Calvary Day

2006 - Franklin Green, Jenkins

2007 - Franklin Green, Jenkins

2008 - Chris Barnwell, Sav. Christian

2009 - Chris Barnwell, Sav. Christian

2010-15 - No winner

2016 - Wesley Kennedy, Benedictine

2017 - Javonte Middleton, Jenkins

2018 - Jakeen Harris, Benedictine

2019 - Ronald Cooper, Jenkins

2020 - Spencer Robicheaux, Savannah Christian Prep

2020 - Justin Thomas of Benedictine Military School

2021 - Justin Thomas of Benedictine Military School

Photo - Benedictine Communications Director Noel Barnidge

Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. Optim Orthopedics gets you back into the game!

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The "Coach" Karl DeMasi has been teaching and coaching for the past 35 years on all levels of academia and athletics. One of his hobbies has been writing, announcing and talking about sports. DeMasi has been involved in the Savannah Area sports scene since 1995, and he created the high school magazine "The Prep Sports Report" in 2000. In 2010, the "Coach" started broadcasting The Karl DeMasi Sports Report. He's still going strong, broadcasting on Facebook live and Twitter live every Saturday morning. You gotta love it!

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