WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange High School senior and football captain Gensley Auguste is in the running for the Heart of a Giant Award, sponsored by USA Football and the NY Giants.
According to the USA Football website, “USA Football’s Heart of a Giant is presented by Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants. This award program seeks to find and highlight tristate high school athletes, student managers, student mascots or other designated student team members who demonstrate that extra something special. The ones that have a relentless work ethic and unmatched love for the game.
“Values like commitment, character, teamwork, dedication and will are crucial every season. But in times like this, they matter even more. When they can’t be side by side, when they don’t take the field on Friday nights, who helps keep the team together? That’s who we’re looking for. Highlight them to show what they mean to your team. Give them a chance to win a $10,000 equipment grant for your program.”
Auguste said, “I am the child of Haitian parents. We are not wealthy, but my father works very hard. Last spring, our apartment building caught fire, and we lost everything that we owned. There are four boys in our family, and being without clothes, shoes and even underwear was very difficult.”
In spite of losing everything, Gensley and his family persevered. Gensley managed to make the honor roll in his junior year, make WOHS football head coach Darnell Grant’s high honors list, make all-conference, all-state Group 5, and miss only one day of school. He recently committed to play football at Georgia Tech, an NCAA Football Championship Series school.
“I was voted captain this year by my teammates, and I am honored to hold the position,” Gensley said. “My leadership style is leading by example. I want to be that player that you can see doing the right things and acting the right way.”
Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Cumming.