SOMERS, N.Y. – Christopher Lorusso, a Mahopac resident and Kennedy Catholic student, has been nominated for a Tri-State competition that recognizes varsity football players for their commitment, character, teamwork, dedication and will.

Lorusso, who was nominated by his coach, is one of 60 players vying for USA Football's Heart of a Giant award, presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.

Looking to earn the support of the voting public, the 60 candidates have made written pitches on USA Football's website. Voting closes on Nov. 4.

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The top six vote getters will be named finalists, earning their schools a $1,000 grant for equipment.

The six finalists will put together videos to be reviewed and voted on by USA Football, the Hospital for Special Surgery, and the New York Giants.

On top of earning a trophy and an additional $9,000 grant for equipment, the winner of the Heart of a Giant award will be honored on field at a New York Giants game in December.

In his written statement, Lorusso said, “I've always had the determination to be my best both on the field and in the classroom.”

Lorusso, who is back on the field after recovering from an ACL injury, was named captain for his senior season by Head Coach Dominick Tassone.

“It takes a heart of a giant to come back from injury and maintain a near-perfect attitude toward school and sport,” Tassone said. “Chris Lorusso has a heart of a giant.”

The defensive back said he enjoys the sense of community that football inspires.

“I've learned through my years of playing, that this sport has a certain way of bringing people together that I have never experienced in any other,” Lorusso wrote. “The greatest feeling in the world is knowing that you have a band of brothers behind you when you step on that field.”

Lorusso said he tries to be a role model for the younger players.

“Seeing the younger kids grow up and being able to make the same great memories I made at their age playing sports is extremely gratifying,” he wrote.

Off the field, Lorusso displays a sense of community and altruism. He is a leader of Kennedy Catholic's Giving Tree Club, which organizes charity drives throughout the year for various causes.