North Shore High School student, Max Marra has been nominated for the 2019 USA Football Heart of a Giant Award. The award is presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants. More than 60 students have been nominated by their coaches for their commitment, teamwork, will, character and dedication to the game. When Marra was a young boy, his father passed away tragically in his mothers arms as he and his brother watched in horror.
“From that very moment on, as we watched our father take his very last breath, my brother and I shared a bond unlike any other,” Marra said. “We were fatherless.” Marra and his brother continued their tradition of playing football in the backyard with each other, any chance they could get. Marra explained how his adversity allowed him to become a stronger athlete and an even stronger student.
“As I got older, my adversity gave me this incredible motivation,” Marra said. “I became a different person. I became a stronger athlete and an even stronger student. I poured my heart and soul into football and school and I never used my father’s death as a crutch. I decided to turn my adversity into opportunity.”
Marra explained how the lessons he has learned from football have been priceless. The sport taught him the value of discipline and the value of brotherhood.
“The bond you create during football season is truly like having 35 brothers,” Marra said. “These moments, in addition to the actual playing of the game, are moments that I know I will talk about for many years to come.”
According to Daniel Agovino, the head coach of North Shore High School’s varsity football team, Marra is a well rounded student. He is a member of both the varsity football and basketball teams, the senior class vice president, an honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. Marra also received the American Citizenship Award for community service.
Voting for the Heart of A Giant Award nominees is now open. A final vote tally will determine who will be named the group’s finalist. One grand prize winner will be selected, based on video submissions stating why they have the Heart of a Giant and will be honored on the field during a New York Giants’ home game.
All six finalists and four honorable mention finalists will receive $1,000 for their high school’s football program, with the winner’s school getting an additional $9,000. To vote on a finalist, visit www.usafootball.com/hoagvote.
—Additional information provided by USA Football