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2016-2017 Scholar Athletes

  Our 2016/2017 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes will be honored on Friday, March 3rd, at our 57th NFF Awards Dinner at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel in Burlingame, and are representative of Northern California's best and brightest.  Each scholar-athlete will receive a scholarship grant to the college of their choice.

The students who will be recognized for their achievement at our 2016/2017 dinner are the following:


BRENNEN GALLAGHER (Foothill High School) – Lineman, 6’1”, 200 lbs., G.P.A. 3.56
University Choice: UCSB – Political Science Major

NICHOLAS LOYA (John F. Kennedy High School) – Lineman, 5’7”, 215 lbs., G.P.A. 3.27
University Choice:  Morningside College – Mathematics Major

ALEXANDER SIMAS (San Leandro High School) – Lineman, 5’10”, 225 lbs., G.P.A. 3.68
University Choice: UC Berkeley – Civil Engineering Major



KYLE HARMON  (Freedom High School) – Lineman, 6’1”, 215 lbs., G.P.A. 4.0
University Choice: Cal Poly hj – Business Major

TIMOTHY TAGUE (Miramonte High School) – Back, 6’0”, 175 lbs., G.P.A. 4.0
University Choice:  Washington University/St. Louis – Engineering Major



ADRIAN ARROYO (Kelseyville High School) – Lineman, 5’9”, 200 lbs., G.P.A. 3.53
University Choice: Sacramento State – Criminal Justice Major

LUCAS TRIPLETT (Fort Bragg High School) – Back, 6’2”, 190 lbs., G.P.A. 3.47
University Choice: Humboldt State – Kinesiology Major



HUNTER JUAREZ (Marin Catholic High School) - Back, 6’0”, 175 lbs., G.P.A. 3.14
University Choice:  Air Force Academy – Computer Science Major

COREY SWENSON (Terra Linda High School) – Lineman, 6’4” 185 lbs., G.P.A. 3.86
University Choice: US Naval Academy – Aeronautical Engineering Major



AGUILAR DENNA (Vintage High School) – Lineman, 5’11”, 215 lbs., G.P.A. 3.02
University Choice:  University of Hawaii – Kinesiology Major

AUSTIN SPINELLI (Napa High School) – Back, 5’10”, 185 lbs., G.P.A. 3.89
University Choice:  Gonzaga University – Civil Engineering Major



NICHOLAS DIAS (Mission High School) – Back, 5’9”, 160 lbs., G.P.A. 3.96
University Choice: UC Berkeley/UCLA – Journalism Major

RONALD PHELPS (Abraham Lincoln High School) – Lineman, 6’0”, 285 lbs., G.P.A. 3.61
University Choice: UCLA – Sociology/Political Science Major



TOMISLAV MEDAN (Aragon High School) – Lineman, 6’1”, 245 lbs., G.P.A. 4.0
University Choice: - University of California - Engineering Major

ANGELO PERA (Terra Nova High School) – Back, 6’0”, 210 lbs., G.P.A. 3.53
University Choice:  University of California – Business Major



RICHARD AQUINO JR. (Mt. Pleasant High School) – Back, 5’8”, 150 lbs., G.P.A. 3.97
University Choice:  USC – Engineering Major

BENJAMIN GRASTY (Los Gatos High School) – Back, 5’11”, 160 lbs., G.P.A. 3.97
University Choice:  Michigan/USC – Business Major

PETER SNODGRASS (Palo Alto High School) – Lineman, 6’0”, 195 lbs., G.P.A. 3.87
University Choice:  Northwestern University– Economics Major



RYAN JOHNSTON (Scotts Valley High School) – Back, 6’1”, 175 lbs.; G.P.A. 3.84
University Choice:  UC Santa Barbara – Biology Major

JOHN ZHENG (Monte Vista Christian School) – Lineman, 5’10”; 200 lbs., G.P.A. 3.89
University Choice:  UCLA – Architecture Major


ANDREW GILMORE (Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent H. S.) – Lineman, 6’5”, 235 lbs., G.P.A. 3.79
University Choice:  Cal Poly/Cornell – Communication Major

JESSE MILLIKEN (Will C. Wood High School) – Back, 6’1”, 175 lbs., G.P.A. 4.0
University Choice:  UC Berkeley/UC Davis – Civil Engineering  Major


TREVOR NAUGLE (Casa Grande High School) Lineman, 5’11”, 170 lbs., G.P.A. 3.61
University Choice: UC Davis – Kinesiology Major

JACKSON NEWMAN (Analy High School) Back, 6’0”, 185 lbs., G.P.A. 3.72
University Choice:  Middlebury College – Business/Econ Major

The Scholar-Athletes were selected by committees of educators, high school sports officials and sportswriters in 12 Northern California counties on behalf of the Northern California Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.  

Nominate a Scholar-Athlete
NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2017/18 AWARDS DINNER ARE TO BE SENT TO THE COUNTY CHAIRMEN BY NOVEMBER 2017.  To submit a nomination, please download the nomination form, fill it out, and mail or email it to the appropriate county chairman from the list below.

Become a Member of the National Football Foundation

Join the National Football Foundation
2015-2016 Sponsors
The Foundation wishes to give special thanks to our scholarship donors for their most generous financial support of our scholar-athletes.

Mark Bailey - Board of Directors
Bay Cities Printing & Graphics
Eric Bjornson - Board of Directors
Bill Breslan - Board of Directors
Robert Buch I Seyfarth Shaw
The William B. Campbell Foundation 
Barbara Corrigan - Board of Directors
Robert Dykes - Board of Directors
Tom / Melva Hansen - Board of Directors
Tim Harden - Board of Directors
Adam Henderson - Board of Directors
JMG International Inc.
Bob / Joan Keropian - Board of Directors
Gib Kirwin Endowment Fund
Joseph Leccese - Proskauer Rose LLP
Bob / Janice Lee - Board of Directors
Spencer Leslie - Board of Directors
Mark Lockenmeyer - Newmark, Cornish & Carey
Edward Madigan - Board of Directors
Todd Renfrew - Board of Directors
Jesse and Mindy Rogers
Ron Sacchi - Board of Directors
San Francisco 49ers
Michael Sheetz/Cooley LLP
Michael Terrizzi - Board of Directors
Joseph Tobia - Board of Directors
Joe Vollert - Board of Directors
John Wiegmann - Board of Directors

In addition, we also would like to thank the following sponsors for their various contributions which include auction and raffle donations:  

Phil Abrams
Chris Burford - Board of Directors
Woodie Dixon, Jr - Board of Directors
JMG International Inc.
Konocti Vista Casino - Lakeport
Bob Mayer - Lake/Mendocino Co. Chair
Men's Warehouse
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa
Pac 12 Conference
Pentair Thermal Management
Prestige Portraits by Life Touch
Jon Salinger - Napa County Chair
San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel, Burlingame
Silver Legacy Resort Casino - Reno
South San Francisco High School Spirit Leaders
U.C. California - Berkeley
Val's Restaurant

Lastly, we'd like to also thank our chapter sponsor, Julia Wedekind of the St. Francis Yacht Club.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please Contact Us

Chapter News & Events
Annual Banquet Dinner
Our chapter's annual banquet dinner is held in February of each year to honor the current year's scholarship recipients.  The dinner agenda includes a summary of the accomplishments of each recipient, as well as a number of other awards for important contributors to amateur football.  We often have many important Bay Area football personalities in attendance.  The 2016-2017 award ceremony will be held at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel in Burlingame Friday, March 3, 2017.  If you are interested in attending this year's event, please contact us for more information.

Concussion Baseline Testing to be Offered by National Football Foundation and UCSF Sports Medicine

 SAN FRANCISCO _ The Northern California Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Hall of Fame, in conjunction with UCSF Sports Medicine and the PlaySafe Program, will offer baseline concussion testing for high school student athletes beginning in the spring of 2016.

According to Robert Keropian, president of the Foundation’s Northern California Chapter (which is not associated with the National Football League), the pilot program will involve one San Mateo County high school varsity football program at the outset.

“Later,” he said, “with increased funding, it will be expanded to include an increasing number of local high school teams.”

The primary aim of the testing, which will include free computerized neurocognitive testing for student athletes, will be to establish a baseline set of data that can be used to manage an athlete’s return to sport following a sports-related concussion.

“With a baseline test in hand, a physician will have an additional tool to assist him or her with determining when it is safe for an athlete to return to sport participation,” explained Keropian.

The involvement of UCSF Sports Medicine is critical to the success of the new effort, he added, noting that the institution’s medical staff is already involved with the Foundation under the direction of Jason Miyamoto, manager/coordinator of the hospital’s PlaySafe Program.

For the last seven years, Keropian said, the Foundation/College Hall of Fame has provided financial support and volunteers who work with UCSF and community sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists and other specialists who offer sports pre-participation screenings for high school athletes. The one-day screening event is free for the athletes and their families.

Keropian stated that the ongoing relationship with UCSF has been “extremely positive and a boon to young athletes in the Bay Area.”

For more information, Keropian can be contacted by telephone at 650-342-4775 and by email at bkeropian@comcast.net. The Foundation’s website is www.footballfoundation-norcal.com.

PlaySafe Sports Physicals
On Saturday, May 6th, 2017 our Chapter and UCSF's PlaySafe program will team up once again, with support from the San Francisco school district, for our ninth annual event to provide free physicals to San Francisco high school athletes.  More than 60 volunteers, including some world-renown orthopedic specialists and cardiologists, help administer free physical examinations for hundreds of San Francisco scholar-athletes.  

The Gib Kirwin Endowed Scholarship
2012 marked the first year we awarded a scholarship from an endowment created in the memory of Gib Kirwin, who served on our chapter's board for over 25 years.  In addition to members of our board who had the chance to work with Gib over many years, we thank Gib's wife, Joanne, his daughter, Rachel, and the rest of the Kirwin family for their contributions to this endowment.

Gilbert "Gib" Kirwin was born in 1937, raised in Bel Harbor, New York.  Attended Far Rockaway High School and graduated Princeton in 1958.  After college, Gib enlisted in the US Marine Corp and later attended Hastings Law and began his practice in San Francisco.  Gib was the former President of the 49er Club and Board Member of the National Football Foundation and of the Marin AIDS Interfaith Network.  He enjoyed sailing, riding his bike, living in Belvedere and spending his weekends in La Jolla.  

The Bob Keropian Endowed Scholarship
2016 marked the first year we awarded a scholarship from an endowment created in honor of our longtime President and leader, Bob Keropian. We thank the members of our board who established this endowment in Bob's honor.

In 2016, Bob was also inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. An outstanding high school and college athlete and four-sport letterman at San Francisco State, Bob Keropian has been president of the Northern California Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for over 30 years. During his tenure, the foundation has distributed nearly $1.5 million in scholarship funds to Bay Area football players and donations to the athletic programs of North County high schools. The founding principal of El Camino High in South San Francisco, Bob served as the school's chief executive for 29 years. He received the NFF's National Leadership Award in 2004 and 2008. He is a former South San Francisco Citizen of the Year.

County Chairmen
Our scholar-athlete award recipients are selected each year by our County Chairman. 

Scholar-athlete nominations for each year's awards dinner are to be submitted by November.  The nominee must be a senior playing football, with at least a 3.0 GPA overall.  The nominee must also be active in the community.  To submit a nomination, please fill out our nomination form and send it to the appropriate county chairman listed below:

Frank Brady

Eric Volta, Superintendent
Liberty Union High School District


Bob Mayer, Asst. Principal/AD
Clear Lake High School

Richard Woodall
Asst. Commissioner
Marin County Athletic League

Jon Salinger, Asst. Principal
Napa High School

Donald Collins, commissioner
San Francisco Unified School District

Al Mack, Assistant Principal
South San Francisco High School 


Colette M. Kirk

SJUSD/BVAL Commissioner


Ronald Mehuron

Ronald Wheat

James 'Chip' Castleberry

Robert C. Keropian
520 El Arroyo Road
Hillsborough, CA 94010
Business Phone:  650 342 4775

Barbara Corrigan

Board of Directors

Officers & Board Members:

Bob Keropian, President
Eric Bjornson, Treasurer
Ron Sacchi, First VP
Mark W. Bailey, Second VP
Barbara Corrigan, Executive Secretary

Philip Abrams
Coleen Boike
Bill Breslan
Chris W. Burford III
Woodie Dixon, Jr.
Robert Dykes 
Thomas Hansen 
Tim Harden 
Adam Henderson
Bob Lee 






Spencer Leslie
Al Mack
Edward Madigan
John Ralston
Todd Renfrew
Jon Salinger
Mike Terrizzi
Joseph Tobia
Joe Vollert
John Wiegman




Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?
TO:  Sponsors
The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is an organization of more than 8,000 members active in 119 chapters across the nation.  We are pledged to perpetuate the idea that the values embodied in football are not merely athletic, but provide a framework for a thriving and nurturing American society.  The Foundation's guiding enterprise is the selection of outstanding young men who exemplify outstanding football ability, outstanding academic accomplishment, and leadership in campus and community events.
The Northern California Chapter, one of the largest and most active groups, has awarded $816,000 in scholarships over the past 50 plus years.  Our graduate rate in higher education is 99%.  These honorees have gone on to outstanding careers in law, medicine, education, public affairs, science, the military, and business careers.  We welcome and appreciate scholarship sponsors and offer the following to make your participation more memorable:
  •  A $1,000 scholarship will be given in the name of the sponsor
  • Sponsors will receive the applications of the Scholar Athletes and will select the person/persons they wish to sponsor
  • Sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets to our dinner
  • Your photo will be taken with the Scholar Athlete at the dinner, and mounted on a plaque to be displayed
  • Recognition will be given in our printed material.
For additional information regarding our program, please contact Scholarship Coordinator, Ron Sacchi at 925 918 3551.

Interested in Making a Lasting Difference?

Endow a scholarship
You can help ensure the long term viability of our scholarship efforts by perpetually endowing a NFFHF Scholarship with a gift of $25,000.  Learn more.. 

Join our Planned Endowment

Or become a member of our Planned Endowment by bequesting a portion of your estate to support the NFFHF by using the following language in your estate plan:

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the National Football Foundation & Hall of Fame, Northern California Chapter [specific amount or percentage of the estate] to support its scholarship program."

If you are interested in becoming a member of our Planned Endowment by naming in your estate plan a gift in your name, your school's name, or the name of a loved one, please speak to a board member, or call President, Robert Keropian, at 650-342-4775, or Contact Us.