Paci Family Football Leadership Award recipient Ryan Porzio with Coach Steve Muller. (Darin Reed photo.)

Ryan Porzio Garners Paci Family Football Award

Paci Family Football Leadership Award recipient Ryan Porzio with Coach Steve Muller. (Darin Reed photo.)

June 22, 2022

The Paci family is synonymous with Huntington High School football. The Paci’s have been associated with the Blue Devil gridiron program in one way or another for 50 years. So when Ryan Porzio won the first ever Paci Family Football Leadership Award and the personalized plaque and $500 stipend that goes with it, the teenager knew it was something very special.

The inaugural award was presented at last week’s 54th annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium. Hundreds of seniors, parents and district officials attended the festivities.

“The Paci Family Football Leadership Award honors a family that for three generations has been integrally involved in the Blue Devil football program,” master of ceremonies Michael Schwendemann told the crowd. “It is presented to a player who exemplifies everything that the Paci’s hold dear: Scholarship in the classroom; leadership on and off the field; an unquenchable desire to win; sportsmanship and fair play; fun in competition and high personal standards along with an admirable set of goals.”

Mr. Porzio has been “all in” for the Blue Devils since he walked through the front doors of the school as a freshman. Named a Distinguished Senior in recognition of his sterling academic record, he credits his overall academic success to his time management skills. He has raised funds for Special Olympics by participating in the Polar Plunge at Crab Meadow Beach and has served in leadership roles with both the Italian Honor Society and National Honor Society. He is the chief operating officer of Paladin, a Virtual Enterprise firm he developed with his classmates. He plans to study business administration at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

“Ryan is absolutely the best of the best,” said Steve Muller, the Blue Devil varsity football team’s head coach. “He gives you everything he has day in and day out. You can count on him. There’s no drama; no games. He plays very hard and he plays to win. He’s there for his teammates. No one is prouder to wear a Huntington uniform.”

John Paci, Jr. coached the Blue Devils for many years and his sons, John Paci III and James Paci both starred on the team at quarterback. John Paci IV was the most recent family member to wear a Huntington uniform. He earned All-State honors at quarterback before heading off to Lafayette College.

“Knowing how much the Paci Family has meant to and contributed to Huntington football, I am honored and humbled to be the first one to receive this prestigious award,” Mr. Porzio said.