PPCHS’s First Brian Piccolo Winner: Diego Mcclaskey


Kara Warren , Clubs Editor

   Diego Mcclaskey lives what some would call a ‘double-life’. On the field, he straps himself into gear to bump heads alongside his teammates, all playing for one goal: to win. Off the field, however, he strives not just to accomplish an A-B average, but more importantly, to attain as many valuable lessons as he can from his education. To many, Diego now represents what it’s like to work tirelessly, and be recognized for all he’s done: for the school, for his team, and for himself.

   The Brian Piccolo Award is given to one high school athlete each year who shows qualities of teamwork, commitment, and dedication in their work (on and off the field). Designed after the Chicago Bears’ very own Brian Piccolo, the honor has carried his legacy for decades! And this year’s award was given to one of PPCHS’s most outstanding football players, senior Diego Mcclaskey.

   The award-winning linebacker admitted that he only started the game because of his close family and friends. “I’ve been playing high school football since the 8th grade because I went to the Academic Village middle school, where I was able to practice and train with the rest of the team. I can say it definitely gave me an advantage in better understanding the game, all while strengthening my cooperation with the other players.” 

    The senior also continued to express,“Being able to attend the official banquet with my coach, parents, and sister was definitely an unforgettable experience! Especially celebrating with my family, since they were the ones who helped me accomplish something so great!”

   Despite all he’s achieved throughout his journey, Diego admitted that he never saw this one coming! “It feels absolutely unreal to win an award such as this one. There’s plenty of talented, smart people and it’s an incredible honor to be nominated for the Brian Piccolo Award, let alone actually win it.”

   But even though he was shocked with the prize, his teachers knew to expect nothing less. Coaches Willis and Andre, as well as his leadership teacher, Mr.Curry, showed great satisfaction throughout their time knowing each other. As of now, he’s fully committed to play football for UCF, but also plans on majoring in engineering throughout his time in college. 

   While Diego begins the next chapter of his life at UCF, he carries the honor of the award with him forever. As for the rest of the school, they’ll never forget the player who brought respect to the PPCHS football team, as well as the rest of the school. Being that he’s graduating in the next few weeks of the school year, Diego wanted to add,“Thank you to everyone for always believing in me, thank you for pushing me to better myself, and for allowing me to be in the position to win something as big as the Brian Piccolo award. I wouldn’t be here without everyone by my side!”