Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
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The U.S. Army and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 20 high-school athlete finalists, including the first-ever finalist from the state of Hawaii, for the U.S. Army–Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence. The program, now in its fourth year, highlights the achievements of student-athletes across the country.
The Award for Excellence program is open to all sophomore, junior and senior level high school athletes in the United States. The prestigious honor focuses on great athletic achievement, excellence in academics and community engagement.
“Both the U.S. Army and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have values deeply rooted in teamwork and a commitment to excellence,” said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “We are thrilled to recognize these 20 outstanding student-athletes, who, throughout their high school careers, have demonstrated incredible dedication to academics, athletics and civic engagement.”
The 20 finalists for the Award for Excellence will be recognized during formal ceremonies at their schools this spring. The student-athletes will receive their finalist plaque from a Pro Football Hall of Famer during the events. Some of the iconic players who will participate in the award ceremonies include Dermontti Dawson, Aeneas Williams, Mike Haynes, James Lofton and Class of 2016 enshrinee and former Captain in the Army Reserve Kevin Greene.
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2016 Finalists for Award for Excellence
· Jonathan Baxter, Haddonfield (N.J.) Memorial High School
· Jaycey Beard, Eagle Valley High School (Gypsum, Colo.) (Story)
· Tai Bibbs, Community High School (Chicago)
· Braden Eisenbeis, Festus (Mo.) High School
· Thalia Fernandez, Ida S. Baker High School (Cape Coral, Fla.)
· Christian Halcomb, Hamilton (Ohio) High School
· Nicholas Hofacker, Copley (Ohio) High School
· Austin Knobbe, Herculeneum (Mo.) High School
· Ariana Luterman, Greenhill High School (Addison, Texas)
· Jack Maier, Lake Weir High School (Ocala, Fla.) (story)
· Chantre Milliner, Hornell (N.Y.) Senior High School (story)
· Benjamin Moreau, Kingsford (Mich.) High School
· Jacob Morgan, Coal Ridge High School (New Castle, Colo.)
· Joseph Osborne Calvert High School (Prince Frederick, Md.)
· Kevin Petrillo, Westfield High School (Chantilly, Va.)
· Wadley Pierre, Lehigh (Fla.) High School
· Jack Schmiesing, Piqua (Ohio) High School
· Tyson Tran, Northern High School (Owings, Md.)
· Olivia Truscott, Iron Mountain (Mich.) High School
· Jackson Xu, President Theodore Roosevelt High School (Honolulu, Hawaii)
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is honored to join the U.S. Army in the Award for Excellence program,” the Hall’s Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Producer George Veras commented. “The achievements of these 20 outstanding students stand as a great symbol of the Hall’s five core values of commitment, integrity, courage, respect, and excellence and will serve as a strong foundation for their adult lives.”
Each U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence finalists will be honored in Canton during the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend this summer. The finalists will be hosted at a special luncheon at the Hall on Saturday, Aug. 6, at which the winner will be announced. All 20 finalists will attend the 2016 Enshrinement Ceremony of the Class of 2016 – Edward DeBartolo, Jr. Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel. The Enshrinement, held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, is nationally televised on ESPN and the NFL Network. The finalists and winner will receive special recognition during the telecast. The weekend celebration will be capped off when the Award for Excellence finalists and their guests attend the NFL’s preseason opener between the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers in Canton on Sunday, Aug. 7.
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