Ciancaglini is football scholar winner

Broadneck standout earns $5,000 in prizes

March 08, 2007|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Sun

Robert Ciancaglini's little brother, Joey, likes to tease him that he's overrated.

Evidently, the Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame didn't think so. The organization selected Ciancaglini as its top winner in the 44th Annual Scholar-Athlete dinner last night at Martin's West in Woodlawn.

Held since 1961, the dinner annually recognizes the top senior scholar-athletes from the 90 football-playing high schools in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

"Wow!" was Ciancaglini's first comment when he reached the podium after winning the honor.

"My goal was to win something here, but I never thought I'd win the big prize," Ciancaglini said. "All these great football players here from all these schools and different backgrounds - I'm truly humbled to be the grand-prize winner."

The dinner honored five regional winners. Each of those received a $2,500 scholarship. Ciancaglini, the South region winner, was awarded an additional $2,500 as the Outstanding Scholar-Athlete for the Baltimore area.

The other four regional winners were Michael Moss of St. Paul's for the North, Mark Varvaris of North Harford for the East, Alexander Iwaskiw of Mount Hebron for the West and Keith Barnwell II of Forest Park for the Central.

Ciancaglini was a three-year starter on the football team and was named a consensus first-team all-state player as a senior. He plays lacrosse and played basketball his freshman and sophomore years. After that, he switched to indoor track, where he was a state finalist in the shot put last season. He also is president of the student government.

Academically, he is a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Scholarship finalist. In the fall, he will attend Shepherd College in West Virginia, where he will play football.

Rather than being a distraction, Ciancaglini said staying busy with high school sports has helped him.

"When I got to high school, one of my worst traits was time management," Ciancaglini said. "Sports have helped me to stay focused on my goals."

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