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Hackettstown football player gets ‘Heart of a Giant’ nomination

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – Anthony Edwards, a defensive back for the Hackettstown Tigers football team, has been nominated for the Heart of a Giant Award.

USA Football’s Heart Of A Giant is presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants. This award program seeks to find and highlight Tri-State high school players who demonstrate that extra something special. The ones that have a relentless work ethic and unmatched love for the game.

Coaches nominate players based on the following criteria: commitment, dedication, character, teamwork and will, according to USA Football.

USA Football then reviews all nominations and selects 60 top nominees for the Heart of a Giant award, entering them into an online voting competition. Athletes are announced 10 per week over a 6-week span.

One athlete with the most votes will be chosen each week as well as an additional 5 based on work ethic and character making 11 total finalists. The finalists then will submit a video to be reviewed for the final round of voting, and all finalists will receive a $1,000 equipment grant for their school.

USA Football, Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants review all video submissions and select 1 winner for the Heart of a Giant award to win an additional $4,000 equipment grant and trophy. The trophy will be presented on the field during a New York Giants’ home game in December.

Here is what Anthony Edwards told USA Football:

Which Heart of a Giant characteristic do you embody most?


Please elaborate on why you chose this characteristic and provide an example of a time when you embodied the characteristic selected above

I choose this characteristic because I am not one to ever miss practice, weight room, film, or anything else no matter the circumstances. A time I embodies this characteristic was over the summer when I tore a ligament in my elbow but continued to lift doing leg workouts and condition with my team every day.

How did you first get involved in football?

I first got involved in football when I was in pre school and I joined the flag football team in Hackettstown. At the time I just thought it would be a fun thing to do but over the years I have grown to love the game.

Please elaborate on any obstacles that you’ve had to overcome.

The biggest obstacle I ever had to overcome was my freshman year when I broke my elbow in a game and needed surgery to fix it. I ended up developing an infection in my arm and spending over a month in the hospital. In total I had 11 surgeries on my arm to repair it and get rid of the infection. The doctors would always ask if I planned on playing football again when I finally got better and every time without hesitation I would say yes. When I finally got out of the hospital I had to rehab for months to build back up my strength and mobility. By the start of my sophomore year I was cleared to play and worked to make up for the time I lost and was able to become a varsity starter on defense. Another set back I had was this summer when I tore a ligament In my elbow. It was a very painful injury but I was able to make a relatively quick comeback. The doctor said I would miss the first 3 games of the season but I ended up playing in the second game.

How has football helped you get through said obstacles?

Football has helped me get through these obstacles by motivating me to work harder to get back on the field and preform to the best of my abilities. Especially during times when I could not play due to injuries. My teammates and coaches also have greatly helped me get through the obstacles I encountered by supporting me through difficult times and encouraging me to put my best foot forward and work through all the challenges I have faced.

How do you demonstrate leadership in football? (both on and off the field)

I demonstrate leadership in football on and off the field. On the field my leadership is shown by the way I play and how I pick my teammates up when they fall. Off the field it is shown by making sure my teammates always have a ride to practice and encouraging them to give their best effort in everything they do so the team can be successful.

How do you demonstrate leadership in your community?

I demonstrate leadership in my community by being a good citizen who stays out of trouble and is always there to help a person in need. I have also given back to the youth football program I was once apart of by helping run the football camps.

How do you demonstrate leadership in the classroom?

I demonstrate leadership in the classroom by always making sure I am well behaved and respectful to my teachers and classmates. Also, I always turn in my assignments on time and keep my grades up.

Academic Achievements:

An academic achievement I have is being on honor roll every marking period of my high school career.

Athletic Achievements:

An athletic achievement I have is starting varsity as a sophomore and I am currently have the second most tackles on my team.

What other personal accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

A personal accomplishment I am proud of is making my confirmation through church. It required a lot of volunteer work and years of classes but it is something I am glad I did because my faith has helped me get through difficult times and it has defiantly helped me stay motivated to get back to the things I love like football.

To vote for Anthony Edwards, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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