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Zach Brentano and Justin Herberger among four Oregon athletes to receive academic award

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Justin Herberger (left) and Zach Brentano were recognized by the National Football Foundation's Oregon chapter as top scholar athletes.

The 2018 St. Paul football team enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history, riding a dominant undefeated regular season into a berth in the Class 1A state champion game, where the Buckaroos finished runner-up to the state champion Dufur Rangers.

In a continuation of the Bucks' success on the field and in the classroom, senior lineman Zach Brentano was recognized by the Oregon Chapter of the National Football Foundation as the organization's representative in the 2019 Team of Distinction, an inaugural award that seeks to recognize the top academic and athletic representatives from each NFF chapter across the country.

"This initiative allows us to shine a national spotlight on some of the most deserving high school student-athletes honored at the local level by our expansive Chapter Network," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "This honor is one of the most prestigious national awards that a high school player can receive and it really brings into focus the phenomenal work that our chapters do in identifying the most outstanding young leaders in their communities. We would like to congratulate all 82 honorees, holding them out as examples for future generations to emulate."

Brentano joins the 2019 class, which includes 82 members out of a pool of 3,500 scholar athletes. He will be part of a permanent digital display at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Brentano was the top scholar athlete to come out of Oregon, which recognized four high school seniors this year between the six classifications. Teammate Justin Herberger joined Brentano among the small school recipients.

The award is judged on a combination of athletic achievement on the football field, as well as scholastic achievement in the classroom and a four-year resume of leadership throughout their high school career.

The Oregon NFF selected just one lineman and one back from the 4A/3A/2A/1A combined classifications.

Brentano and Herberger are two of 150 athletes from Oregon to be selected as scholar athletes since the program began in 1960. The pair were presented with a plaque by Oregon NFF President George Crace at the St. Paul spring sports dessert.

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