Who wins the 42nd Michael Finocchiaro outstanding football player award?

By Prep Sports Report Staff | November 20, 2022

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Who wins the 42nd annual Michael Finocchiaro Award Outstanding Football Player Award? The nominees for the 2022 Mike Finocchiaro Award have been announced. 


Every year, the award goes to the best high school football player in Savannah and Chatham County, chosen by the head coaches and local media. 


Mike Finocchiaro, a longtime supporter of high school sports in Savannah and whose is the founder of the award, passed away in 2001. The tradition still lives on. It's a family tradition, and the winner will be announced in the Savannah Morning News newspaper on Thanksgiving morning. How do they pick the winner? 


Head football coaches vote on the Michael Finocchiaro Memorial Outstanding Football Player Award winner from public and private high schools in Chatham County with media members. 


Here are the 25 high school football players who were nominated this year. Every school this year, private or public, has nominated a player.


Demetrius Holloway, Beach, fr., QB

Luke Kromenhoek, Benedictine, jr., QB

Za'Quan Bryan, Benedictine, sr., WR/DB

Thomas Blackshear, Benedictine, so., WR/WR

Triston Randall, Bethesda, jr., QB/LB

Jake Merklinger, Calvary Day, jr., QB

Mike Smith, Calvary Day, jr., TE

Jalin Scott, Calvary Day, sr., OL/DL

Hezekiah Manning, Groves, so., OL

Michael Ordonez, Groves, sr., OL

Sha'Ron McGert, Islands, sr., DL

Tavion Gadson, Jenkins, sr., DE

Troy Smith, Jenkins, sr., Athlete 

Amarion Scott, Johnson, sr. RB

Julien Zamora, Memorial Day, jr., WR/OLB

Salis Brown, Memorial Day, sr., DE/RB/K

Pauly Seeley, New Hampstead, sr., QB

David Bucey, Savannah Christian, jr., WR/LB

Paulus Zittrauer, Savannah Christian, sr., QB

Elijah Griffin, Savannah Christian, so., DL

Zo Smalls, Savannah Christian, so., RB

Michael Grandy, Savannah Country Day, sr., RB

Khaleel Polite, Savannah High, sr., WR/DB

Zyere Edwards, St. Andrew's, sr., RB/WR

Eric Williams, Windsor Forest, sr., FB/DL



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, Savannah 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 Day

2000 — Lamar Owens, Benedictine

2001 — Joey Boaen, Country Day

2002 — Joey Boaen, SCD

2003 — Sage Glasper, Groves

2004 — Jonathon Armstrong, Groves

2005 — Demarcus Dobbs, Calvary Day

2006 — Franklin Green, Jenkins

2007 — Franklin Green, Jenkins

2008 — Chris Barnwell, Savannah Christian

2009 — Chris Barnwell, SCPS

2010-15 — No winner

2016 — Wesley Kennedy, Benedictine

2017 — Javonte Middleton, Jenkins

2018 — Jakeen Harris, Benedictine

2019 — Ronald Cooper III, Jenkins

2020 — Justin Thomas, Benedictine and Spencer Robicheaux, Savannah Christian

2021 — Justin Thomas, Benedictine


PHOTO CREDIT - Prep Sports Report

Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School, Calvary Day School, Richmond Hill High School, Savannah Country Day, South Effingham High School, and St. Vincent's athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. Dr. David Palmer is the team doctor for Calvary Day School, South Effingham, and Richmond Hill. Savannah Country Day and St. Vincent'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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