NFFSAC begins its tour honoring top Southern Arizona football scholar-athletes on campus

The National Football Foundation and College (Football) Hall of Fame, Southern Arizona Chapter (NFFSAC) has started presenting its more than $15,000 in cash awards to local high school football players, including Tanque Verde Class of 2024 standout running back/linebacker Gavin Gilbert receiving $3,000 as the area’s top scholar-athlete.

Members of the NFFSAC will be in the community in April and May presenting more awards to their Class of 2024 honorees and 12th Man Awards.

The Chapter’s Board of Directors elected to make the ceremonies in person on their campus to allow for more family and friends to show their support and appreciation for the student-athletes.

“We are on the road seeing the positive impact our presence has on our honorees, award winners, their families and peers,” Tim Kish, president of the NFFSAC, stated in a press release.

Kish was a longtime college football coach, who coached under Mike Stoops at Arizona.

The Class of 2024 honorees include Gilbert, RB/LB Mason Cade of Sabino, WR/CB Ari Dubin of Cienega, DB/WR Devin Heyward of Mica Mountain, S/WR Chase Laux of CDO, QB Bubba Mustain of Pusch Ridge, LB/RB Samuel Ocampo of Nogales and QB Evan Weber of Cienega.

The 12th Man award winners are QB/LB Jaxson Macumber of Willcox and RB/CB Uriel Rivas of Rio Rico.

The tour of the various Southern Arizona high schools started at Tanque Verde honoring Gilbert. The remaining sites and dates:

CDO (Laux) on April 17

Cienega (Dubin and Weber) on April 25

Willcox (Macumber) on May 6

Mica Mountain (Heyward) on May 15

Sabino (Cade) on May 15

Nogales (Ocampo) on May 16

Rio Rico (Rivas) on May 20

Pusch Ridge (Mustain) TBA

The scholar-athlete honoree and 12th Man award winners submitted a qualifying application to their head coach and athletic director, including a resume of football and athletic honors, scholastic achievements, an unofficial transcript and a written commitment to their civic engagement, employment and volunteerism. Each applicant must meet the requirement of a 3.0 GPA. The candidates are discovered through a blind review and use of a predetermined rubic.

The NFFSAC is a 501(c)(3) organization. In the chapter’s history, more than $250,000 has been awarded to Tucson region high school senior student-athletes.

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