CLARK, NJ - Arthur L. Johnson High School senior athletes Anthony Rizzuto and Gabriella Zatko were honored as the recipients of the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s Scholar Athlete Award. Rizzuto and Zatko received their awards at this week’s Scholar Athlete Dinner.
The UCIAC’s Scholar Athlete Award recognizes the athletes’ success both on the field and in the classroom.
Rizzuto had a stellar career at ALJ participating in football and baseball, ALJ Athletic Director Gus Kalikas said in a statement about the event. IN 2015, Rizzuto led the Crusader football team to a state semifinal appearance while rushing for over 1,000 yards. He will continue his education at The College of New Jersey.
Zatko participated in gymnastics, cheerleading, and softball throughout her career at ALJ. She helped the Lady Crusaders softball program win consecutive division titles while setting the school record for wins in a season. Zatko will continue her education at The University of Delaware.
“Anthony and Gabby have been an integral part of the success of our athletic programs at ALJ, allowing us to have success on the fields in multiple sports. More importantly, they have been model student athletes that did things the right way both on the fields and in the classroom,” Athletic Director Gus Kalikas said. “They are truly deserving of being named our recipients of the UCIAC’s Scholar Athlete Award, and we wish them well as they embark on their collegiate careers.”
The UCIAC is an organization run by Executive Director Tom Lewis, who has continued the great tradition of the Scholar Athlete Dinner from the late Frank J. Cicarell. Cicarell was a teacher, coach, administrator, Board of Education member, and President of the UCIAC. Cicarell is most remembered for was his impact on the student athletes.
Over the years, the dinner organized and run by Lewis, has grown in size and given out hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship funds. The awards are presented to a male and female athlete from each school in the county.