WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange High School senior Jay Strayker and Irvington High School senior Zaahmir Anderson were recognized as nominees for the 2022-23 Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year award prior to the start of the West Orange versus Irvington football game held in West Orange High School’s Suriano Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21. The award is sponsored by the Super Football Conference and the New York Jets.
One football player from each high school in the SFC is selected by the school’s athletic director, coaches and staff, and recognized with a plaque toward the end of the season. The award is named for Steve DiGregorio, a beloved coach and leader who inspired generations of student-athletes. DiGregorio was named NJ.com’s Football Coach of the Year in 2020 and led Nutley to an undefeated season during the pandemic while battling pancreatic cancer. His coaching career spanned four decades at multiple high schools and colleges. He passed away in October 2021.
The award is not performance based. According to the SFC website, “We would like you to nominate a player who excels in the areas of:
- Community service.
- Selflessness before selfishness.
- Creating a positive school/team environment.
- Leadership on and off the field.
- Setting a positive example for teammates and peers.
- Good academic standing (however, this is not a scholar-athlete award. A recipient must be academically eligible and in good academic standing with the school).”
Nominees from all schools will be recognized at a future New York Jets game and will be invited to a banquet later in the year. Selection of the Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year will be made by a special committee and announced sometime in January.
Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Cumming