Every great football team has them.
Players who are first on the practice field and the last to leave. Athletes who hit the weight room hard and run an extra set of bleachers. Leaders who excel in the classroom and on game nights.
This fall, USA Football, Timex and the New York Giants have been searching the Tri-State area for the one player who exemplifies it all.
The Timex Heart of a Giant program recognizes players from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who display commitment, determination, will and character as part of their high school football programs.
Ten players were nominated by coaches and teammates each week for six weeks with a fan vote selecting the weekly winner. Overall winners will be announced in the next few weeks.
The grand prize is a $5,000 equipment grant to the winner’s school and recognition on the field during the Giants’ Week 17 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Two runner-up award winners will win a $2,500 gift card for his high school football program from Sports Authority.
Here are the 2012 Timex Heart of a Giant finalists:
· Walter DeCanio, Howell High School, Farmingdale, N.J.
· Chris Soule, Westhill High School, Stamford, Conn.
· Rahhim Shillingford, Putnam Valley High School, Putnam Valley, N.Y.
· Sean Merrill, Sheehan High School, Wallingford, Conn.
· Connor Grogan, Manasquan High School, Manasquan, N.J.
· Tommy Ballerini, Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, N.J.
You can read about them all and check out the Timex Heart of a Giant program at: http://www2.usafootball.com/app/webroot/timex.