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

COURTESY PHOTO: WENDY BRENTANO - St. Paul teammates Justin Herberger (left) and Zach Brentano (right) were recognized by National Football Foundations Oregon chapter president George Crace as the top small school Scholar Athletes this year.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 1A State Champion game, where the Buckaroos finished runner-up to the state champion Dufur Rangers.

As good as the Bucks were on the field, they were just as talented in the classroom, earning All-State Academic honors for the fall term and ranking fifth among 1A programs in team GPA.

In a continuation of that 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. Brentano 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, while Talati Polamalu of Sandy and Kyle Von Dernedde of Tualatin were selected as representatives for the 6A/5A combined classifications.

The Oregon chapter of the NFF received 96 applicants from Oregon seniors to be certified as a Scholar Athlete for the 2018 season, an award that 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 one lineman and one back from the 4A/3A/2A/1A combined classifications, selecting both Brentano and Herberger from St. Paul.

Brentano and Herberger are two of only 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 night.


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