Danny O’Malley awarded the inaugural Naperville Saints alumni scholarship

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The Naperville Saints, one of the longest running youth football programs in the area recently announced the recipient of their inaugural Alumni Scholarship. 2024 Benet Academy graduate and Naperville Saints alumni Danny O’Malley was honored with the award at his future collegiate home, North Central College.

The scholarship is for the amount of $2,500 and celebrates O’Malley’s journey from youth football to a college-bound student athlete thanks to his resilience leadership, and commitment both on and off the field.

Naperville Saints reward a longtime program member in Danny O’Malley

“It was our first ever, first ever time that the Saints were able to and awarded, scholarship to a former player, player who came through not only just the Naperville Saints, but Saint Raphael’s, played his last year with the Naperville Saints when we transitioned to the Saints and then has played his high school football in town over at at Benet [Academy],” said Naperville Saints president Tom Liabo. “He’s made his transition now to come to North Central College. And we were able to, award him a $2,500, one time scholarship based on things like, letters of recommendation from coaches and from teachers and then his own submittal as well.”

“I’m just so grateful because St. Raphael and the Naperville Saints were such an important part of my youth football career and just having it be a part of my college football career here now at North Central College is really amazing,” said Naperville Saints and Benet Academy alum Danny O’Malley.

A love of football developed through the Saints program

“A hard worker, very hard worker. No matter what, no matter what he was doing, whether it be school, or football. And then he he demonstrated that he was a leader, explained Liabo. “Those are all things that you kind of learn on the way up, coming through the Saints program and, something obviously that a bunch of our board members felt we should reward him for.”

“It taught me like, how to have fun playing football and it’s just a game in that, it’s something that I could do to have my mind off things. It’s really helped me with my work ethic and my determination, and it’s been a big part of my life now,” said O’Malley.

“We get to bring the kids over here, allow them to watch, see, you know, if if this is something that they want to, aim for when they’re growing up, we can point to kids like Danny that said. Hey, you want to play football in college? You want the ability to keep doing this? Watch. go watch this kid over here.”

With the Naperville Saints continuing to grow with over 550 kids in the program this year, the hope is to continue the scholarship for future alumni and even increase the amount provided to the winner.