Paul Glagola has been getting straight A's since he was in the fifth grade. Last night, his dedication to the classroom as well as the football field paid off as the Middletown senior quarterback was chosen the grand-prize winner at the 28th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner at Martin's West.
Glagola, who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average, will receive a $4,000 scholarship, donated by USF&G, to the college of his choice.
Glagola was chosen from among 90 players, each representing a Baltimore-area high school football team. The dinner was sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
"I didn't think I would win," Glagola said. "I'm from way out in the boondocks [Frederick County]. I thought I had good qualifications, but I wasn't an all-metro player or anything like that. I figured it would go to one of the city guys."
Glagola ranks first in his class of 212 and is a National Merit Commended Scholar and a Maryland Distinguished Scholar.
Last fall, Glagola led Middletown to a 8-2 record and became only the third quarterback in the history of the Frederick County school to pass for more than 1,000 yards.
"I feel athletics gives you a lot of benefits," Glagola said. "It teaches a type of mental conditioning. It teaches you to push yourself beyond what you can do, even in the classroom."
Glagola's older brothers, Steve and Doug, were also scholar-athlete selections from Middletown. Doug was the regional winner in 1985.
Glagola said he would like to attend Bucknell, Cornell, Virginia or Virginia Tech and would also like to continue his football career while pursuing a degree in engineering.
Five regional award winners, each of whom will receive a $1,500 scholarship, also were chosen last night. They are:
North: Phil Efron (Pikesville); West: Glagola (Middletown); Central: Lenard Marcus (Poly); South: Scott Songer (Southern-Anne Arundel); East: Israel Sostrin (C. M. Wright).
Included among last night's 90 candidates were 27 National Honor Society members, five National Merit Scholars, 41 players who ranked in the top 10 percent of their classes, three valedictorians and five players who are in the top five in their classes.
Special awards also were presented to Randallstown coach John Buchheister, whose team went 13-0 and won the state Class 4A title last fall, and Mitch Tullai, the dean of area coaches, who has been at St. Paul's 37 years.
Football teams from Wilde Lake, which went 13-0 and won the state Class 2A title, and C. M. Wright, which went 12-1 and was the state Class 3A runner-up, also received awards.
The first award for service to youth football was presented to J. Brian Dolan of the Overlea Raiders youth team.
Maryland football coach Joe Krivak was the featured speaker.