ESPNBoston.com and its high schools section announce that Joe Gaziano, junior defensive end of the Xaverian Brothers High School Hawks, is the recipient of this year's Defensive Player of the Year award.
The Defensive Player of the Year award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents, as well as analysts from Scouts Inc. Gaziano was honored Thursday afternoon on Xaverian's campus in Westwood, where editors Brendan Hall and Scott Barboza presented him with a custom-made jersey. Gaziano joins Chelmsford's Tim Joy (2011) and Duxbury's Marshall McCarthy (2012) among past recipients in the award's three-year history.
In his second year with the Hawks' varsity, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Gaziano was an integral force on defense, as they won the Catholic Conference outright and Division 1 South district title, before falling in the D1 state final at Gillette Stadium. In all, Gaziano recorded 53 tackles and nearly a dozen sacks, three blocked punts and an interception. He also set the edge as a blocking tight end on offense, and handled kicking responsibilities on special teams. Gaziano was also named to ESPN Boston's fourth annual MIAA All-State Team on Friday afternoon.
Recently, Gaziano picked up his second offer, from Boston College, joining UMass among the Division 1 FBS suitors.