AUGUSTA — Luke Washburn was the most disruptive force on the 2013 Class D state championship Oak Hill football team.

As the committee that chooses the annual Gaziano Lineman Awards saw it — and many of Oak Hill’s opponents would agree — Washburn was the most disruptive defensive force in the state in 2013, regardless of class.

Washburn, a senior defensive end, won the 2013 Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Defensive Lineman Award on Saturday. He became the first Oak Hill and first Class D player to win the award, which since 2010 has been presented annually to the top senior linemen in the state.

Sanford tackle Jedidiah Scott won the Gaziano Offensive Lineman Award.

Each winner receives a trophy and a $5,000 scholarship, the largest of its kind in the country. The trophy can be displayed at the winner’s school for the next year.

“It’s unbelievable,” Washburn said. “For one, it’s an honor to be here representing for Oak Hill. It’s just an honor to be here. Mr. Gaziano is a great role model, and so to be talked about in the same conversation with him is just absolutely amazing.”

The awards were established in 2010 in memory of Gaziano, a former lineman and founder of National Distributors, Inc. Winners are selected by a committee consisting mostly of current and former high school coaches based on their hard work on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

“It’s the ending of a perfect season for a student-athlete, especially Luke, who’s been working for football for a long time,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “He’s worked hard at just being a complete person. It goes to show that the hard work in the weight room, in the community, at practice, as a leader, will pay off.”

Washburn, who was also a devastating blocker and red zone target as an H-back on offense, was an all-Campbell Conference defensive end the last two years. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound four-year letter winner led the Raiders to a 10-2 record and their first Class D state championship since 1982. He led the conference with 13 sacks, recovered four fumbles and collected over 90 tackles, including a key sack to clinch Oak Hill’s 42-35 win over Bucksport for the state title.

“Luke doesn’t get nervous,” Doucette said. “He plays well under pressure. He does his best work under pressure as a student, too.”

 Washburn chalked that up to the support of his large extended family, which, from singing the national anthem before home games to cheering him on when his name was announced on Saturday, was a vocal presence this year.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” he said. “They’re absolutely supportive with everything I do, football or not. To have them here today, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Washburn, who is weighing offers from Maine, Husson and Springfield College for next fall, is currently the vice president of Oak Hill’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter and was inducted into the school’s National Technical Honor Society. He has volunteered for Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Dempsey Challenge and youth football and basketball camps.

He was selected from groups of 11 semifinalists and three finalists, which also included Portland’s Jacob Fogel and runner-up Colin Richards of Mt. Blue.

As a runner-up, Richards received a $1,000 scholarship and trophy.

“I never knew about the award until my coach (retiring Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin) had talked to me about it and said that he had nominated me,” said Richards, a defensive tackle who is considering Husson and Maine Maritime Academy for next fall. “I went through the whole process for it, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but it took of work. The interview process was probably the hardest.”

Scott emerged from the process as the top offensive lineman. A first-team SMAA All-Star each of the last two years, he was a dominant two-way lineman while leading Sanford to the Western A semifinals.

“I think this is a good thing for Sanford,” he said. “I had a few linemen from Sanford come with me to see that linemen do get some recognition. You don’t have to be a skill player to get recognition.”

Scott was one of 14 semifinalists for the offensive lineman award. Skowhegan’s Ethan Liberty and Cheverus’ Greg Grinnell, who was named runner-up, were the other finalists.


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