Thursday May 03, 2012
The Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame awards ceremony held at Castleton State College on April 29th, recognized those who have contributed to the sport of football over the past year. Three South Burlington residents were among the recipients of awards.
George Maille, South Burlington resident and longtime football referee was honored as Vermont Official of the Year. Maille was chosen by his peers across Vermont, as the recipient of this prestigious award in the profession of football officiating. They noted his ongoing contributions to young people at the youth and high school level and his commitment to giving back to the game and his community. Maille started officiating at the youth level and worked up to this esteemed level. He encourages others to give back to the sport by coaching or refereeing.
“He does a lot of back judging and he is as good as we have at that position,” said Doug Harris in making the presentation.
“I can think of no better way to give back than as a coach or an official,” Maille said as he accepted the Official of The Year Award. Maille told the players and coaches in the audience, “You have inspired me to work as long as I have.”
Maille has started clinics to educate potential referees to guide them along in this career of working with youth. Games cannot proceed without quality referees and Maille’s son, Matt who was a South Burlington football player, is following in his father’s footsteps.
South Burlington resident Tom Tavares was honored for his contribution to youth football. He received the Vermont Youth Football Achievement Award. Tavares is a former football star who has dedicated over 20 years to the youth football program as a coach and as a Board member in the work of the Dolphin Foundation which is focused on supporting the future of football in Vermont. He and his wife Nancy have taken players into their home, mentoring young people who needed attention with a very direct approach.
Tavares has been a member of both the Northern Vermont Youth Football League and Vermont chapter of National Football Foundation since their inception, contributing sound judgment based solely on the recognition and benefit to young people. His recommendation for this award stated that there is no one who works harder, cares more about his own family, his football family or who is a finer Christian man of values and integrity.
Will Thompson, a senior at South Burlington, was inducted into the Vermont Chapter, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for Scholar Athletes and for this honor received a $500 scholarship sponsored by the Dolphin Foundation toward his college education at James Madison University this Fall. He was recognized for his accomplishments in football starting with tackle football at age 7 for the Three Village Wildcats in East Setauket, New York.
When the Thompson family moved to South Burlington, dad Dave Thompson called Coach Rene LaBerge of the SB Dolphins to see if Will could play, mentioning that Will had 33 touchdowns already. Coach Rene thought that was too good to be true but, as it turned out, it wasn’t. Coach describes Will as “above and beyond his greatest expectations.” SB High School coach Joe McDonald adds that Will was an integral part of the success of SB football for the past 4 years, including 42 catches for 600 yards and 16 touchdowns as a receiver and also rushing for 314 yards on 32 carries with a rushing touchdown. Coach Mac adds, “Will is just as impressive in the classroom and as a leader of school activities—a driven individual.”
Source: SB Dolphins, Photos: Eric Schwaigert