VERONA, NJ — Frank Riggio of Verona High School has been nominated for the 2020 USA Football Heart of a Giant Award presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.

These students from the Tri-State Area have been nominated by their coaches for their commitment, teamwork, will, character and dedication.

The voting period for these nominees is now open until Nov. 8, at 11:59 p.m., with the final vote tally determining who will be named the group’s finalist. 

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Overall, there will be 11 total finalists and each finalist will receive $1,000 for their high school’s football program, with the grand prize winner’s school getting an additional $4,000. The grand prize winner will be selected based on video submissions stating why they have the "Heart of a Giant."

Riggio, a senior halfback, has overcome injuries have a huge impact on Verona's football program.

 “I got hurt last year during our state champion run, and I went through the pain. We ended up winning states, and I was the leading touchdown (scorer) in the state of New Jersey,” said Riggio, who had 39 TDs in 2019. 

Verona High School’s head football coach Kevin Batty said, “Frank is one of our team captains who does everything he can for the betterment of the team. He’s a leader on and off the field. Frank has taken on a leadership role among his teammates, reminding them about the importance of following the guidelines.”

In his most recent game, Riggio rushed for 145 yards and two TDs on 15 carries in a 49-13 victory over Collegiate High School.