BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. — Two Bergen County athletes are in the running for the USA Football’s Heart of a Giant award, presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.
Michael Giancaspro of Wood-Ridge High School and Matthew Mai of Hackensack High School are among the ten Tri-State area high school football players nominated by their coaches for their commitment, teamwork, will, character and dedication.
One grand prize winner will be selected based on video submissions stating why they have the Heart of a Giant and will be honored on the field during a New York Giants’ home game.
All six finalists will receive $1,500 for their high school’s football program, with the winner’s school getting an additional $3,500.
- Wood-Ridge's head football coach Charlie Trentacosti calls Giancaspro, “the true Blue Devil.” On the field, Michael’s leadership qualities have earned him captain status for the second time. He is the first to show up, and the last off the field as he regularly puts in extra work with his teammates. Off the field, Michael supports his community’s youth football program, coaching all three youth teams.
- An undersized player for the Hackensack football team, Mai worked his tail off to earn a starting role at center for his senior season. An exceptional student-athlete, Mai balances football with his duties as student council president as well as a strong commitment to academics, as he is currently in the top five in his class. Hackensack's head coach Benjie Wimberly said, “There is nothing this young man cannot do if he puts his mind to it. When obstacles get in his way, he works hard to overcome them.
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