Sunday, September 23, 2018

Heart of a Giant

    Bogota High School  Senior Emilio Briones has been been named one of nine Student Athletes in week 3 of the 2018 Heart of a Giant Award . This is a reward for local Student Athletes, playing Football, who demonstrate unparalleled work ethic and a passion for the game.  This is sponsored by presented by USA Football, the  Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants. Voting began on late Friday and all voting will remain open for each week’s group for 25 days and the nominee with the most votes from each week’s group will be named one of six finalists. Each of the sixth finalist will earn  $1,500 equipment grant for their high school football programs and a USA Football Heart of a Giant presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Giants gift bag. The Grand Prize winning Student will earn a Heart of a Giant presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Giants trophy,$5,000 equipment grant for their high school football program,and a on-field award ceremony during a New York Giants’ home game in December.
 To vote for Mr. Broines please go to: Heart of a Giant/Emilio Briones.  The following are excerpts from a letter written on behalf of Mr Briones: 
  Since Emilio was young he always had his eyes wide open to have compassion for others and a sense of loyalty to his team.  When he was in fourth grade he learned about a fund drive to collect tab rings from can products that would help to provide kidney dialysis for a child in Orlando Florida.  His grandfather was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Orlando who sponsored the event and Emilio was determined to collect as many as possible and was named an “Honorary Knight”.
When he was in sixth grade Emilio had the opportunity to be a “Big Buddy” in the mentoring program at Steen Elementary School.  He would be a buddy to a child with special needs and help them to transition to a mainstream classroom.  He took this as a big responsibility and was very proud to be chosen and enjoyed getting to know his buddies throughout the school year.  In his senior year he has become a Peer Leader and enjoys working together with his classmates.
In the same year he was in sixth grade he started to volunteer to work at the walkathons sponsored by North Jersey Friendship House, a mental health partial care facility in Hackensack, NJ.  Most of the members that knew him knew his love for sports and they would sit with him and just talk about his games and how well his team did.  He has volunteered for North Jersey Friendship House every year since and not only helps at the Walks, but helps with all of their mailings and special events when possible.  Emilio has also volunteered to walk for breast cancer and pancreatic cancer in honor of his grandmother who lost her battle with both cancers earlier this year.
As a student in Bogota High School he has enjoyed the opportunity to play high school sports for both Baseball and Football.  He is dedicated to his sport, teammates and coaches and tries to build a comradery with all of his team which includes all of the players from underclassmen to the starting line-up. If Emilio is on the field or on the sideline he is cheering on his team and wants to encourage the players to keep fighting and not feel defeated and at the end of a game no matter what the results he tries to pick himself up and start the next day to work hard and practice harder and give it all he has all over again. 
Emilio is proud to have been nominated for the Heart of a Giant award, but not for himself even though it has been an honor, but what he can do for his team and school if he was to win any of the prize money that would buy the equipment much needed to continue the program after he graduates.
   Voting closes Sunday-14-October at 11:59 p.m. to accumulate the most votes within the Week 3 group. Anyone CAN VOTE 1 TIME EVERY 24 HOURS, PER DEVICE. 

 Question asked of Mr Briones are: 
Q: Choose one of the criteria listed below this field that defines having the “Heart of a Giant” and explain how it applies to you.
A:I feel like the criteria that best suits me is dedication. I am willing to do whatever my teammates and coaches are asked of me. Throughout my high school career I have changed my position several times on offense and defense. My team comes first and foremost. I was fortunate to be named a captain by the team and the coaching staff because of my commitment to our program.
Q: Tell us about a time you faced adversity in your life and how playing football helped you overcome such adversity.
A: At a very young age I developed a stutter and was bullied for it. I always felt alone and scared to be a part of a group. With football I felt like a was truly wanted. And back at school my team mates would help me and they become my family on and off the field. I have fortune to still play with those same guys and I am happy to call them my family.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing football?
A: I enjoy playing with my closest friends. My coach always tells us, “ you don't have to play football you get to play football.” I have been playing with these same guys since my rec year, third grade. And every time we strap our shoulder pads and hear the click from our chinstraps it makes me feel honored to go to war with them.
Q: Tell us about how you spend your time off the field or what you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A:I spend time with my team off the football field. Whether we are in the weight room or just hanging out with a fire pit at someone’s house. I also get prepared for baseball season. But football is my passion, I get our younger players prepared during the winter and spring. Making sure everyone is doing the right thing at school and even after school. I love my team, they are my second family.

  And from Bogota Bucs head Coach Brian Appleton :  I can add that Emilio does the right things on and off the field and that is what this award is all about. He is a student athlete with great character. 

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