Paul Monaco, a senior running back and co-captain of the Jefferson Township High School football team, has been nominated for the Heart of a Giant award (week 3).

USA Football’s Heart of a Giant award program recognizes tri-state area high school football players (New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut) who demonstrate an unparalleled work ethic and a passion for the game. According to USA Football, having the Heart of a Giant means possessing characteristics such as:

  • Unshakable work ethic in training and preparation; exhibits a “first in, last out” mentality.
  • Leads by example and motivates teammates to be the best they can be.
  • Inspires and aligns others to work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Finds a way to persevere when faced with obstacles and adversity.
  • Demonstrates the desire and drive to succeed on the field, in the classroom, and within the community.

High school coaches can nominate athletes for a chance to win a $5,000 equipment grant for their program. The program is sponsored by the New York Giants and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

In addition to his involvement in football and several other sports, including the varsity basketball team, Paul Monaco is a member of the National Honor Society. He has maintained a 4.22 grade point average while taking all honors and advanced placement classes. He mentors youth football players both on the gridiron and in the classroom, is a member of the Peer Development Program, and was a founding member of the Athletic Advisory Council. But football has provided him with special bonds. “There is nothing like the brotherhood that is formed between all of us on the football team,” he says.

Paul Monaco is a nominee in Week 3 of the six-week Heart of a Giant program. Voting takes place from September 22 through October 14. If Paul wins his week, the Jefferson football program will receive $1,500 and he will become a program finalist. The six finalists are eligible to win $5,000 for their team. Votes may be submitted once every 24 hours. To vote for Paul, visit

To read more of Paul’s story, click on his picture after clicking through the link above.

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