Who is the Best Prep Football Player in Savannah Chatham County - Finocchiaro Award Nominees Released

By Prep Sports Report Staff | November 21, 2021

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The Mike Finocchiaro Award nominations have been released for the 2021 award.

The top high school football player in Savannah and Chatham County is presented with the award each year. 

Mike Finocchiaro, a longstanding supporter of Savannah high school athletics and the award's namesake, passed away in 2001. The tradition thou still lives on. It is a tradition, and the family wishes to announce the winner on Thanksgiving morning through the newspaper. How is the winner selected?

Head football coaches from Chatham County's public and private high schools, as well as members of the media, vote to choose the Michael Finocchiaro Memorial Outstanding Football Player Award winner. 

The following is the list of those nominated for the award for the 2021 regular football season.

Here are the 20 prep football players  nominated for the award this year.


Ameer Phillips, sr., LB


Holden Geriner, sr., QB

Justin Thomas, sr., RB/DB

Bethesda Academy

Michael Henley, so., OL/DL

Triston Randall, so., LB

Calvary Day

Jake Merklinger, so., QB


Langston Lewis, sr., WR/DB

Sha'Ron McGert, jr., DL


Joshua Pridgen, jr., RB

Tavion Gadson, jr. LB

SOl C. Johnson 

Ted Hurst, sr., WR/DB

Memorial Day

Corey Jackson, sr., WR/CB

New Hampstead 

Samari Dowdy, jr., RB

Savannah Christian

George Futch, sr., WR

Savannah Country Day

Barry Kleinpeter, sr., QB

Savannah High 

Jahmare Generlette, sr., RB/LB

St. Andrew’s

Anthony Kusilka, sr., RB/DB

Windsor Forest 

Mike Cabellero, sr., RB

Abasi Scott, sr., WR/CB

Trayvon Savage, sr., LB



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 III, Jenkins

2020 – Co-Winner - Justin Thomas, Benedictine

2020 - Co-Winner – Spencer Robicheaux

2021 - ?

Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School, Calvary Day School, and Savannah Country Day athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. The team doctor for Calvary Day School  is Dr. David Palmer. Savannah Country Day's team doctor is Dr. Thomas Alexander. Remember, 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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