The eighth annual Brian Piccolo Award Ceremony, attended by more than 50 UNICO member and guests, was held Nov. 14 at St. Edmond Parish Hall.
Master of ceremonies was Richard A. DiLiberto, Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture chair. Nick DelCampo, coach and referee of many sports in Delaware, was the innovative speaker. DiLiberto, DelCampo and Deacon David McDowell, a former football coach, combined to compliment the UNICO membership and sponsors, primarily Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty, for supporting this community-based program. Event proceeds supported a $1,000 award to a Sussex County high school team and an array of gifts for the student representing the team.
This year’s awardee is Bayleigh Perdue, representing the Sussex Central High School field hockey team, whose booster club will receive the $1,000 award.
Perdue, a senior, is a descendant of an Italian grandmother, Lucille Pepe (a requirement of the applicant), and was recommended by her coach and teachers because of her ability to exhibit the qualities of courage, friendship, loyalty, teamwork, dedication, sense of humor and anti-bias. These character traits were modeled by Brian Piccolo, a running back at Wake Forest University and for the Chicago Bears (1965-69).
Perdue may be petite, but whether in the classroom or on the field, she is credited by her coaches and teachers as being “a talented athlete ... courageous on the field ... a friend and loyal to all her teammates ... one who interacts positively with all students no matter the race, ethnicity or background.”
Perdue will attend McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., in fall 2022 to study kinesiology. Although Perdue excels in many sports, her true love is soccer. She aspires to be a member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team in the future.