A St. Anthony’s High School student is one of several tri-state football players nominated for the 2021 USA Football Heart of a Giant Award, presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.
Voting for the nominees will continue through Oct.10.
Andrew Bardak was described by football coach Joe Minucci as a tireless worker.
“Andrew is a 5’9″ middle linebacker who as a junior was selected to our local media’s second-team all-region. Andrew’s older sister and brother currently attend the US Air Force Academy. Andrew’s goal is to attend the US Military Academy at West Point. Several months ago he was told that he was not going to be recruited as a football player. When Andrew heard the news he did not shy away from his goal of attending West Point. Andrew’s commitment to gaining acceptance to West Point grew stronger. He is a tireless worker on the field and in the classroom. His leadership is second to none. In almost 20 years of coaching, I have never been around a leader like Andrew,” Minucci wrote.
The students have been nominated by their coaches for their commitment, teamwork, will, character and dedication.
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 $4,000. The grand prize winner will be selected based on video submissions stating why they have the Heart of a Giant.
For more information on the program, click here.
In addition to Bardak, the nominees are:
Daniel Aladgham; Lafayette Educational Complex (Brooklyn)
Brianna Cataffo; Pinelands High School (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
Henderson Clarke; New Rochelle High School (New Rochelle, NY)
Anthony DelVecchio; Port Chester High School (Port Chester, NY)
Diamoni Desir; Suffern High School (Suffern, NY)
Jaden Farrell; Middletown High School (Middletown, NY)
Catherine Grant; Mater Dei Prep (New Monmouth, NJ)
Tommie Minaya; Becton Regional High School (East Rutherford, NJ)
Damon Phillips; East Orange Campus High School (East Orange, NJ)