Seniors Honored With Italian-American Student Athlete Awards
For the first time, two Mahwah students received the Brian Piccolo Award
Two Mahwah High School seniors were recently honored as model Italian American citizens.
Students Courtney Colucci and Andrew D’Angelo were chosen as the winners of the Brian Piccolo Award, which recognizes one male and one female student of Italian decent each year. The students are chosen based on merits in the classroom and on the field throughout their high school careers.
According to Lou LaVigna of the Greater Ramsey UNICO Italian American charity organization, 2012 marks the first year that Mahwah students have been recognized with the award. “We started giving out the award in 2004, and considered only Ramsey students at first,” he explained. “But, as our [UNICO] chapter has expanded, we have opened the award up to students at other schools.”
Colucci and D’Angelo were nominated by Mahwah High School Athletic Director Roger Pelletier. “They are both well-rounded kids with good attitudes,” Pelletier said. “They are both kids I am proud to call Thunderbirds.”
Colucci has played volleyball and softball and run winter track during her high school career. “She puts her spirit and personality into everything she does,” Pelletier said.
D’Angelo is the senior captain and goalie of Mahwah’s soccer team. “He is the last line of defense and a quiet leader who leads by example,” Pelletier said. “Andrew works hard, and he is a terrific kid with a lot of integrity.”
The two were presented with plaques at a ceremony at the Florentine Gardens last month. Other students from the UNICO group’s coverage area, which includes Cresskill, Oradell, Paramus, Greater Ramsey, Westwood and Woodcliff Lake, were recognized as well.
“All of the other kids we met at the awards were so amazing,” Colucci said. “It was very humbling to be recognized with them.”
UNICO chapters across the country choose student athletes to recognize in Piccolo’s honor each year. Piccolo was a Chicago Bears player who died of cancer in 1970.