Rye student and #46 when he is on the field with Garnet Football, TJ Neeves has been selected as a finalist for USA Football’s Heart Of A Giant award. TJ is headed to the Giants vs. Eagles game next Sunday, December 11th where they will announce the overall winner. Although he was born with a severe intellectual disability, that does not stop TJ from enjoying athletics and being on the field with Garnet football.
“We have been invited to be in the endzone during the national anthem just prior to the kickoff and will be honored as a member of the Heart of a Giant team in front of the fans during a timeout in the first half of the game,” said Laura Labriola, TJ’s Mom.
As part of the Heart Of A Giant award, Labriola made a video about TJ’s story. “It is really a story about the entire Rye community and features many of our Rye football players and students,” said Labriola.
The video features cameos from students and school staff including Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education Dr. Erin Vredenburgh as well as Secondary Supervisor Amy Osooli, Rye City School District Superintendent Eric Byrne, Athletic Director Susan Reid Dullea, teachers Christiana Lafaro-Naclerio and Amanda Ecker, Coaches Dino Garr, Joe DeProssino and Greg Domestico and students Lily Mann, AJ Miller and Cameron Hooler.