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Gilman grad Stephen Spanellis named finalist for NFF Scholar-Athlete Award

Paul Glagola of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation presents the award for the North division to Stephen Spanellis of Gilman, one of the five winners of the 53rd Annual Scholar Athlete Awards.
Paul Glagola of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation presents the award for the North division to Stephen Spanellis of Gilman, one of the five winners of the 53rd Annual Scholar Athlete Awards. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Gilman graduate Stephen Spanellis has been nominated as one of six finalists from the East Region for the National Football Foundation National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Spanellis, an All-Metro offensive lineman for the Greyhounds, is now playing at Michigan. Called a "gigantic monster" last year by former Gilman coach Biff Poggi, Spanellis is 6-foot-6, 335 pounds and was one of the keys to a Gilman line that was one of the best ever in Baltimore high school football.

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He also worked hard at the books. In the spring, he was one of five winners at the 53rd Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Chapter NFF and College Hall of Fame.

"I think this is a great honor," said Spanellis, after the dinner in March. "It's really nice to be recognized for all the hard work I put in over the last four years."

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The NFF, which announced the national finalists Tuesday, estimates that the state winners are chosen from 3,500 nominees nationwide. Spanellis is among 36 finalists from that pool. A winner will be named in each of five regions.

The winners will be announced the week of Oct. 3 and honored at the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon on Dec. 6 in New York City.

If Spanellis wins, he would be the second straight Gilman player to take home the award. Jelani Roberts, an All-Metro running back while at Gilman, was the East Region winner last year and is now a sophomore wide receiver at Northwestern.

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