The 2022 USA Football Heart of a Giant Award, presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants, announced their third set of outstanding tri-state area high school football player nominees. These students have been nominated by their coaches for their commitment, teamwork, will, character and dedication.
This award program seeks to find and highlight tri-state high school athletes, student managers, student mascots or other designated student team members who demonstrate that extra something special. The ones that have a relentless work ethic and unmatched love for the game.
The voting period for these nominees is now open until October 9, 2022, with the final vote tally determining who will be named the group’s finalist.
Overall, there will be six weekly finalists and five wild card finalists, leading to 11 total honorees. Each finalist will receive $1,000 for their high school’s football program, with the grand prize winner’s school getting an additional $10,000. The grand prize winner will be selected based on video submissions stating why they have the Heart of a Giant.
Among this week’s nominees is Wibel Maria from Sleepy Hollow High School. Wibel has organized team activities outside of the ones set up by the coaching staff. He has been involved in community service ventures without being told and has found time to motivate our JV football players to be the best they can be.
WEEK 3 NOMINEES
(in alpha order by last name)
- Gensley Auguste; West Orange High School (West Orange, NJ)
Dedication – During the spring of this year Gensley’s apartment was destroyed in a fire leaving him and his family homeless. During this time Gensley only missed one day of school. He was without the majority of his clothing and personal belongings he was able to raise his grade point average by several points and earn 16 division 1 scholarship offers. Gensley will continue his academic and athletic career any Georgia Tech University. He is the epitome of hard work and perseverance.
- Kishon Brown; Barringer High School (Newark, NJ)
Commitment – He will stay and do extra repetition to be a more polish Student Athlete. The Stadium Custodian has to throw him out.
- Anthony Edwards; Hackettstown High School (Hackettstown, NJ)
Dedication – Anthony had multiple, serious injuries to his elbow. Anthony was a quarterback who had to change positions due to his injury. Anthony was one of the most of the hardest working athletes in the weight room and on the practice field. Anthony is a leader by example and is a great role model for our younger players.
- Markus Faucett; Cardinal Hayes High School (Bronx, NY)
Will – Markus has not played a down of football since he was a Freshman at Hayes due to tearing his ACL at the end of his freshman year and the ensuing surgeries required him to miss both his Sophomore and Junior years of competition. Markus’ desire to play never wavered and he has battled his way back and is gearing up for an enormous Senior Season!
- Grace Galgano; Brewster High School (Brewster, NY)
Character – I believe that character is the key characteristics because when someone has this attribute, it embodies all the others on the list. It is difficult to put forth one example of character because it is what Grace does each day, it’s a lifestyle and who she is as a person. However, her work with our life skills students who are disabled speaks very clearly to her character. She has dedicated herself to helping to make their lives better and more productive. Her work is not required and does not receive accolades, which is true character. Doing wonderful things when no one is looking.
- Nathaniel Garibaldi; John Jay High School (Hopewell Junction, NY)
Dedication – Nate is a player of our program who going into his sophomore year over the summer he had a cardiac arrest while at a friend’s house. He died 4 times but came back to life 5! He was shocked several times but now has a pacemaker. He is unable to play football anymore, but he comes to every practice, films, charts plays, sets up drills and is an integral part of our game day procedures.
- Navindra Goberdam; Transit Tech High School (Brooklyn, NY)
Commitment – Navindra is a first-year football player, however he is a 4 year high school athlete. As the Athletic Director of the school, I have watched Navindra grow tremendously as a student athlete. Navindra Guyanese and is the first student athlete in his family, he is humble, and resilient scholar-athlete. Navindra has the highest GPA on our team and is one of the fastest growing athletes on our new team. He is A+ student majoring in Electrical Engineering and an 4 year varsity athlete in track and now football.
- Giovanni Lavoura; Hillside High School (Hillside, NJ)
Will – During the 2021 season Gio was stuck in Portugal, Spain after his mother took Ill on a family summer vacation. Our team was 10 days away from the start of the season. Gio and his family were detained in Spain due to his mother Illness and Covid travel restrictions. Gio had to seek the American Embassy for permission to travel under the age of 18. He had the courage to leave family in their time of need to join his football family in their time of need.
- Wibel Maria; Sleepy Hollow High School (Sleepy Hollow, NY)
Character – Wibel has organized team activities outside of the ones set up by the coaching staff. Wibel has been involved in community services venture without being told and finally Wibel has found time to motivate our jv football players to be the best they can be.
- London Robinson; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ)
Will – Comes from very modest means…has had unstable housing situation throughout HS and yet is a leader on and off the field. Straight A student who never misses a day or is late. Volunteers and helps at various youth programs with his free time.