A senior offensive lineman at Bay Shore High School, Kenneth Eleazer, whose mother passed away midseason, is a finalist for the 2018 USA Football Heart of a Giant Award.
The contest — sponsored by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants — recognizes Tri-State area high school football players who have overcome adversity and displayed commitment, character, teamwork, dedication and will.
Over the course of six weeks, individual players are nominated by coaches each week.
Kenneth, known by his teammates as Kenny, is Bay Shore’s starting right tackle. He made the finalist list for Week 6.
After the nominations are in, people then have 25 days to vote for finalists. One grand prize winner will be chosen via a video submission, which will then be played at a Giants’ home game.
“Kenny absolutely embodies the definition of ‘Heart of a Giant’ claims head football coach Mike Brown,” reads the USA Football announcement, issued last week.
Before this season, Kenny’s mother was in and out of the hospital because of a recurring battle with cancer. On a Friday before his first game of the season, he learned that his mother had months to live, according to USA Football. His mother died just two days later.
After suffering the devastating loss, 16-year-old Kenny didn’t give up on football.
“It was the hardest thing that ever happened to me in my life,” said Kenny. “I was so broken I wanted to give up on everything, but my football family and coaches helped me through, and are still helping me on and off the field.”
To vote for Kenny, click here. The deadline to vote is Nov. 4. Six finalists will win $1,500 for their school’s football program, while the main winner will get an additional $3,500.
Top: Courtesy photo of Kenneth Eleazer.