High school athletes across New Jersey and New York are being nominated for the Heart of a Giant award, which honors high school athletes who "inspire greatness on and off the field."

Twenty students are currently up for the award, and your votes will choose who will move on in the contest. Of the 20 nominees, there are only 2 girls, and one is from right here in Howell.

To Megan Friedman, having the Heart of a Giant means standing strong and always having the will to believe in yourself. Friedman gained this strong will by standing up to the people who preached “girls don’t play football.” “I knew if I showed up everyday and worked as hard as I could, I could be a player equal to the boys on the field; I told myself I was playing a sport like any other athlete on the field and everyday I gave it 100%,” says Friedman. Although Friedman truly loves football, she started her athletic career as a successful and hard-working cross country and track athlete. She was told to continue to run cross country, where she would have been named captain like the three previous years. Instead, she decided to follow her love for football. Unfortunately while building relationships with her teammates and coaches, training, and learning more about the sport she loves, Friedman tore her ACL and meniscus; season ending injuries. Head Coach Luke Sinkhorn adds, “Megan has not wavered in her dedication to the team. She is at most of our events and practices outside of her physical therapy and has provided inspiration and motivation for the coaches and players to continue to work hard.” Friedman says although she won’t be playing football anymore, the will and tenacity it required is as useful a skill off the field as it was on.

You can vote once every 24 hours - good luck Megan!

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