The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced on Tuesday that Lonnie Hackett '14 will receive its prestigious High School Scholar-Athlete award. Given annually to five scholar-athletes across the country, the award recognizes players who, according to the NFF website, have demonstrated "academic achievement, athletic accomplishments and leadership in the community."

The award honors "the best of the best" among the more than 4,800 member high schools and 400,000 high school football players. The NFF Chapter Network, which has 120 branches, nominates 3,300 of the top scholar-athletes and gives away more than $1 million in scholarships at local award ceremonies. The National Committee then selects five winners, one from each region of the country.

Hackett, the Northeast region winner, and his fellow award recipients will be honored at the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, December 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

A four-year varsity player at Bangor High School and team captain during his senior year, Hackett excelled as a running back and cornerback. In the Eastern Maine title game, Hackett carried 35 times for 182 yards and one touchdown, leading the team to an 11-1 season. With 2,257 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2009 alone, Hackett is Bangor High School's all-time leading rusher.

Hackett certainly played hard, but worked harder. Graduating as an Honor Roll student with a 4.45 GPA, Hackett was a two-year member of the National Honor Society. He also participated in numerous math and science competitions while pursuing a rigorous academic schedule.

But the award also celebrates Hackett's numerous contributions to his community. He volunteered frequently with the Manna Food Kitchen, Senior League World Series, Bangor Youth Football and tutored middle and high school students in math.

Hackett said he "was pretty surprised," when coach David Caputi announced on Tuesday that the first year running back had won the award.

"I was more stunned than anything," said Hackett.

"I am a little bit nervous," he said. "I have to give a speech in front of 1,500 people which I have never done before. But it's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Hackett said he is also excited to be playing at Bowdoin this season.

"I think we have a great freshman class that will have a lot of success in future years," he said.