Hall of Fame and U.S. Army Announce Award for Excellence Finalists

Hall of Fame and U.S. Army Announce Award for Excellence Finalists

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the U.S. Army announced the 25 high school student-athlete finalists for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence. The program, now in its sixth 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 student-athletes in the United States. The honor focuses on great athletic achievement, excellence in academics and community engagement.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to partner with the U.S. Army to pay tribute to the fine young men and women who will shape the future of our country. Congratulations to the 25 finalists in 2018 who exemplify the Hall’s core values of commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence,” commented George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame chief operating officer and executive producer.

“The Army is proud to honor this group of outstanding student-athletes, with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the 2018 Award for Excellence finalists,” said Elizabeth Wilson, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (marketing). “Like Army Soldiers, these students have shown not only a relentless drive to succeed for themselves, their families and their schools, but also to serve. The Army congratulates the finalists on this distinction, as well as those who have helped them to achieve their goals.”

The 25 finalists for the Award for Excellence will be recognized during formal ceremonies at their respective high schools this spring. The student-athletes will receive their finalist plaque from a Pro Football Hall of Famer during their individual events.


(Alphabetical Order)

  • Justin Arnold, Cinnaminson (N.J.) High School
  • Sophie Bernstein, Clayton High School (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Malori Brown, China Spring (Texas) High School
  • McKenzie Castro, Gilmer (Texas) High School
  • John Cogbill, Fort Campbell (Ky.) High School
  • Benjamin Dwyer, Charles W. Baker High School (Baldwinsville, N.Y.)
  • Jackson Engel, Palacios (Texas) High School
  • Dylan Francis, Colleyville Heritage High School (Colleyville, Texas)
  • Phoenix Hanks, Medical Lake (Wash.) High School
  • Nicholas Iannone, Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.)
  • N’Jhari Jackson, Carrollwood Day School (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Lauren Jacobsen, Wisner-Pilger High School (Wisner, Neb.)
  • Claire Jones, Abraham Lincoln High School (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
  • Nathan LeRoy, Sturgeon Bay (Wisc.) High School
  • Sarah Katherine Lewis, Columbia High School (Lake City, Fla.)
  • Ryder Meyer, Fairfield (Mont.) High School
  • Taylor Morin, Westfield High School (Chantilly, Va.)
  • Dalton Mullins, Central High School (Norton, Va.)
  • Jessen Pratt, Silo High School (Durant, Ok.)
  • Justin Rodgers, A.L. Brown High School (Kannapolis, N.C.)
  • Kloee Sander, Pius X High School (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Jacob Smith, Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Brooke Sudduth, Cascade High School (Wartrace, Tenn.)
  • Dominic Velasquez, Western Reserve High School (Berlin Center, Ohio)
  • Benjamin Wilhelm, Thomas County Central High School (Thomasville, Ga.)

Each U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence finalist will be honored in Canton during the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls in August. The celebration will start when the Award for Excellence finalists and their guests attend the Hall of Fame Game between the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears on Thursday, Aug. 2. On Saturday, Aug. 4, the finalists will be hosted at a special luncheon at which the winner will be announced and awarded a $2,500 scholarship. Later that evening, all 25 finalists will attend the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Class of 2018 – Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Brian Urlacher.





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