This year the Super Football Conference, in partnership with the New York Jets, is proud to announce the Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year Award. We are asking each school to nominate a candidate as their representative for the 2021 Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year.
Each nominee will receive a plaque that will be presented during the final game of the season. Each nominee will have the opportunity to apply for the Divisional 2021 Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year. From the Divisional 2021 Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year candidates, a committee will choose the 2021 Steve DiGregorio Young man of the Year. All recipients will be honored and a banquet in the spring of 2022 date TBD.
The award is NOT performance-based. We would like you to nominate a player who excels in the areas of:
The nomination is up to the discretion of the coach, Director of Athletics, and school personnel. Once we have received all of the nominees we will send an in-depth application form to each recipient that will be reviewed by a committee.
Family came first for Steve DiGregorio, and that is a reality that could never be refuted or altered. But living outside his beloved and unbreakable circle – whether as a teammate, student, colleague, or even opponent of Steve’s – was still to reside in a rather exclusive neighborhood. Because to associate with Steve on any of those levels was to know you were valued by one of the more intelligent, well-rounded, decent, and supportive human beings you could ever be fortunate enough to encounter.
As a youngster growing up in Nutley, Steve’s moral guideposts were his adoptive parents, Sylvio and Rosemary, whom Steve once called “the two most beautiful people in the world. If you couldn’t figure out what the right thing to do was, they told you, and you did it.” Later in life, Steve’s most enduring source of inspiration was his middle son, Derek. He has battled the debilitating effects of Ataxia Telangiectasia for the past 12 years with remarkable courage, resilience, and soaring spirit.
“Derek is indomitable. He’s my idol. He’s the toughest human being I’ve ever been around,” Steve said just ten months before his death after his bravely defiant fight against pancreatic cancer.
Family first. Family last. And in between was a noble, tough-minded and insatiably curious life as a stellar student-athlete at Nutley High and Muhlenberg College, a revered coach and educator, a formidable foe in between the white lines, and a trusted, reliable friend in between, on and way outside those lines.
Care to catalog Steve’s strong-as-steel friendships? Follow the arc of his career, and they can be found in generous huddles at all levels. As a player at Nutley and Muhlenberg, an assistant coach at Hobart College, Allegheny College, Princeton University, or even Princeton High to be closer to his and wife Nadia’s other two sons, Zack and Aaron, while they played there. Or as a head coach at Paramus Catholic and Nutley.
As a player and coach, Steve prepared for upcoming games with an eye out for an opponent’s weaknesses and a frank understanding of his own shortcomings. If that opponent was particularly formidable, Steve was never fearful or intimidated; he was intrigued and stimulated. All-state running back? Difficult exam? Cancer? No matter what stood against him, it was going to challenged by the very best of Steve.
Steve won with humility, and he lost with dignity. And he considered the opportunity to strive for those victories week after week each autumn a blessing.
Click here to see the 2021 Steven DiGregorio Young Man of the Year Nominees
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