Luke Eidle is smart, funny, athletic, articulate and a leader. So was Justin Giani. So it’s only fitting that the Huntington High School senior is the recipient of this year’s Justin Giani Memorial Scholarship Award, which honors a young man who will forever be known for his genial nature, loyalty to family and friends and competitive spirit.
Mr. Eidle starred on and captained the Blue Devil football and baseball teams and was the head electrical technician on the Huntington robotics team that qualified for the FIRST World Championships in Detroit. He is headed to Rutgers University to study aerospace engineering.
Huntington senior Luke Eidle is the 2018 Justin Giani Memorial Scholarship Award recipient.
An outstanding student, Mr. Giani compiled a 95 academic grade average, graduating near the top of Huntington’s Class of 2007. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he majored in finance and competed on the NCAA Division I wrestling team.
Mr. Giani won varsity letters with the Blue Devil cross country and wrestling squads. He earned a record of 118-32 in five years of varsity wrestling, the last four as a Blue Devil. (He competed for Harborfields as an eighth grader.)
As a senior, Mr. Giani went 25-7 on the mat and won the Suffolk League V title. As a junior, he finished with a 28-6 mark and was league runner-up. At the time of his graduation, he was 10th on the all-time Huntington career victory list with 101 wins.
The Huntington alum was killed on March 28, 2015 while crossing US Highway 501 in South Carolina during a golf vacation with his friends. He was 25 years old. His death was devastating to his family as well as his former classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches.
A scholarship fund was created to help perpetuate Mr. Giani’s legacy and memory at his alma mater. Dan Mollitor was the inaugural recipient of the Giani scholarship when it was presented in June 2016 for the first time. Nick Lanzisero garnered last year’s award. Both of the honorees are currently studying at Binghamton University.
“It was truly an honor to be awarded a scholarship in memory of such an incredible individual,” Mr. Eidle said. “I can only hope to live up to his legacy.” The teenager was presented with this year’s Justin Louis Giani Memorial Scholarship at last Wednesday evening’s senior academic awards night in the high school auditorium. The award carries a stipend of $4,000; allotted in the amount of $1,000 annually in each of four years of college.
Honored as a Distinguished Senior earlier this spring after compiling an academic grade average of at least a 90 during every semester of high school, Mr. Eidle has attributed his sensational success to “determination and time management.”
Mr. Giani’s parents, Linda and Joseph were on hand for last week’s scholarship presentation. Huntington social studies teacher James Graber, who enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Mr. Giani, spoke to those gathered in the auditorium about the 2007 alum, who will always be remembered as one of the kindest and most lovable souls to ever attend the school. “Justin was just getting started when his life was tragically cut short,” Mr. Graber said.
Mr. Giani interned at Philadelphia based film distributor Breaking Glass Pictures before being hired full-time by the company and helping to develop its “financial architecture” and helping steer it toward acquisitions as it went about building its brand.
“Justin was more than an employee; he was a master of numbers, a ball of energy, an even-keeled ray of light that brought smiles to all he crossed paths with, no matter the situation,” the company said in a statement following the Huntington alum’s passing. “As we mourn the loss of a member of the Breaking Glass Pictures family and team, we more importantly celebrate the life of one of the world’s true gifts. Justin was always so full of life and happiness and we will always remember him that way.”
The Justin Louis Giani Memorial Scholarship is one of the most prized awards presented annually to Huntington’s top seniors.