Chantrill earns top gridiron honor

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AUBURN – One of the burdens of being a lineman in football is that you often don’t get adequate public recognition for your contributions to the team.

Nate Chantrill has known what it’s like to toil in relative obscurity for some time. But his work on the field, in the classroom and in the community makes it impossible to keep him out of the spotlight for long.

Chantrill, a senior at Edward Little High School, is just one of 16 high school student-athletes statewide to receive the Scholar-Athlete Award from the State of Maine Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

The recipients will be honored at a dinner on May 23 at Bowdoin College, and their names will be displayed in the National College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

“It’s a huge honor,” Chantrill said. “Coach Hersom explained to me that I’m one of only (16) in the state to receive this award. I really owe a lot to him and all of my coaches. And I have to thank my teammates, as well. I couldn’t gotten this award without them.”

Chantrill was a two-way starter for the Red Eddies the last three years. As a captain and dominating center/defensive tackle/linebacker this year, he was selected to the Sun Journal’s All-Region team as a defensive lineman and was named an all-conference offensive lineman in the Pine Tree Conference.

“Nate is very deserving. He’s a real hard worker in the classroom,” said EL head coach Jim Hersom. “Nate’s a boy who played all three years on both sides of the ball and never came off the field.”

Chantrill hopes to see a lot more time on the gridiron at Springfield College in Massachusetts in the fall.

“I love football. I’d play it year-round if I could,” said Chantrill, who also stars in the shot put and discus for the EL track team.

He plans to study exercise science and kinesiology at Springfield in hopes of becoming a strength and conditioning coach one day.

Last January, the state chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, which also sponsors the Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded to the state’s top senior football player, sent out nomination forms to every high school in the state. Each coach was allowed to nominate an unlimited number of players, and a committee selected the recipients.

Chantrill carries a 3.5 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society at Edward Little. He volunteers in a number of school activities and has coached 5th and 6th grade tackle football for the Auburn Rec Department.

“We wanted to give these people attention they normally wouldn’t receive,” said Howard Vandersea, the former Bowdoin football coach who is president of the Maine chapter. “A lot of them have volunteered their services to youth football, to churches and many, many other organizations outside of football.”

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