Five local student-athletes named recipients of James Collins Award

20 winners were selected from a pool of 142 applicants

Thu Apr 14, 2022 - 11:09AM

Dan Flickinger Dan Flickinger
Franklin Regional's Anthony DiFalco is one of five area student-athletes to be a recipient of the James Collins Scholarship Award. (Photo by Regional's Anthony DiFalco is one of five area student-athletes to be a recipient of the James Collins Scholarship Award. (Photo by

Last Updated: Fri Apr 15, 2022 - 5:26PM

Five Westmoreland County student-athletes were named recipients of the 31st annual James Collins Scholarship Award on Wednesday.

Anthony DiFalco (Franklin Regional), Carter Green (Penn-Trafford), Grace Spadaro (Southmoreland), Maddie Griffin (Ligonier Valley), and Meghan Zambruno (Greensburg Central Catholic) were among 20 candidates selected from a pool of 142 nominees.

The WPIAL Scholarship Fund was created to award scholarships annually to student-athletes from schools and school districts comprising Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District VII. Since 1992, the league has given $678,000 in scholarships to the James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award recipients.

DiFalco is the all-time scoring leader in Franklin Regional boys soccer history. He helped lead the Panthers to WPIAL titles in 2018 and 2019 while twice being nominated for the PA Gatorade Player of the Year. DiFalco carries a 3.7 GPA and plans to pursue a business degree and play soccer at Duquense.

Green is a four-year letterwinner in lacrosse and three in football. As the starting quarterback, Green helped lead Penn-Trafford to its first ever WPIAL and PIAA football titles last fall. He boasts a 4.5 GPA and will major in biology while playing lacrosse at Seton Hill.

Griffin has the most career strikeouts in Ligonier Valley softball history. She threw 11 no-hitters in 2021, powering the Rams to the state championship where they finished as a PIAA runner-up. Griffin has a 4.0 GPA and will study accounting while playing softball at Youngstown State.

Spadaro is a three-sport athlete for Southmoreland, earning 11 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track & field. She helped guide the Scotties to three section titles in basketball while scoring over 1,000 points in her career. Spadaro carries a 3.8 GPA and will pursue a nursing degree and play basketball at IUP.

The Zambruno name is synonymous with the sport of golf at Greensburg Central Catholic. Meghan, along with her sisters Olivia and Ella, have certainly left their mark on the Centurions program. Meghan helped lead GCC to four WPIAL girls golf titles and two PIAA championships. She earned a pair of WPIAL and one PIAA runner-up finishes. Zambruno has compiled a 4.2 GPA and will study to be a physicians assistant while playing golf at Saint Francis.