Vince Kowalski knows some folks have the wrong impression about football players.
Especially the best football players.
"Some people have this stereotype that we're just dumb guys," said Kowalski, a two-way lineman for Williamstown.
Kowalski and other top football players have spent their high school careers proving they can excel in the classroom as well as on the field.
Kowalski, Cherokee's Mike Zeuli, Haddonfield's Matt Porter, and Holy Spirit's Anthony Sarao will be scholar-athlete honorees at the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club's annual banquet Monday at the Westin Hotel in Mount Laurel.
The Inquirer's All-South Jersey team will be honored at the banquet.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Kowalski, who helped Williamstown to a 7-3 record this season, has committed to Villanova. He said he was attracted to the school because of its academic reputation as well as its football program.
"My parents have always stressed academics to me," Kowalski said. "I knew all along I had to focus on my schoolwork. That's why I know Villanova is right for me."
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Zeuli was a star defensive back and fullback for Cherokee, which went 12-0 and won the South Jersey Group 4 championship. The Chiefs were the No. 1 team in The Inquirer's final top 10.
Zeuli is considering Princeton, Penn and Cornell of the Ivy League along with Fordham and Bucknell.
"This is very important to me," Zeuli said of the recognition as a top student as well as a top football player. "That's something that's going to get me somewhere in life."
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Porter led Haddonfield to an 11-1 mark and the South Jersey Group 2 title. He is considering Johns Hopkins and Bucknell, with an eye toward attending medical school.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Sarao helped Holy Spirit to a 12-0 record and the Non-Public 3 state title. The Spartans were No. 2 in the final rankings.
Sarao has committed to Stanford. He will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 8 in San Antonio, Texas.