Rye’s Gridiron Greats Earn Golden Dozen Distinction

Rye High School senior Brian Pickup was honored with a Golden Dozen Scholar-Athlete Award at the National Football Foundation’s ceremony January 27 at Westchester Country Club. Like the other 11 recipients, Pickup – an All-State player for the Garnets – posted a GPA of 90-plus, completed at least four AP courses, and registered between a 1,200 and 1,550 on the English and math portions of his SAT.

Brian Pickup celebrates victory over Harrison with Jack O’Callaghan

“Being named part of the Golden Dozen is a real honor,” said Pickup. “I was proud to be in the group of guys I was presented the award with. And, in addition to the admiration of my Golden Dozen peers, comes the respect of all the people who have won the award in the past and everyone on the NFF board who set this up.”


Rye Country Day School seniors Jamie Mazur and Jake Heller were selected as Golden Dozen Honorable Mention recipients. Pickup and the RCDS seniors were entranced by former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer, who delivered the keynote speech and spoke of his childhood dream to play in the NFL.

Bronxville’s Stephen Shoemaker, also a Golden Dozen winner, received the Chris Mello Award and Scholarship. The award is named in honor of the former Garnet great, who perished on 9/11 at the age of 25.

“A special thanks goes to Doug Mello for his true passion and dedication for something so special to him,” said Pickup of Chris Mello’s father. “Mr. Mello is an inspiration to all. He pours his heart into this foundation through his son’s memories.”

Pickup also thanked Stephen Joyce, President of the NFF Westchester chapter, for all of his hard work. The Rye senior plans on doing a postgraduate year at a prep school, and then will look at Georgetown and Middlebury for football in 2012.

— Jim Byrne

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