Western Reserve student honored by Pro-Football Hall of Famer - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Western Reserve student honored by Pro-Football Hall of Famer

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BERLIN CENTER, Ohio -

A Western Reserve student has been announced as one of only 25 candidates for a prestigious scholarship sponsored by the Pro-football Hall of Fame and the U.S. Army and got the chance to meet a football legend. 

Dominic Velasquez, a high school senior at Western Reserve High School, was awarded a special plaque honoring him as a finalist, by a longtime hero of his. 

Former Cincinnati Bengal and Gold Jacket Pro-Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz was on hand to congratulate Velasquez. 

Velasquez says he applied for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence after a recommendation by his guidance counselors. 

The program, now in its sixth year, highlights the achievements of student-athletes across the country.

According to the school, Velasquez is a four-year football, basketball, and baseball player, having received First Team All-Conference recognition in football and First Team League in baseball. 

But that's not all. 

Velasquez also holds the title of valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA. 

Off the field, he also participates in Drama Club, Choir, and the Student Council, and received the Emperor Science Award from PBS. 

School leaders say that outside of school and sports, Dominic has worked with Centro San Pablo, helping anglo families understand and connect with immigrant families, and volunteers at Saint Michael Parish. 

Velasquez told 21 News that the chance to meet Munoz was a dream come true. 

"I grew up watching old tapes of him, he's one of my heroes," Velasquez said who mentioned that his entire family is fans of the Bengals. 

Gold Jacket Anthony Munoz was the Cincinnati Bengals' first-round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. Over the course of his thirteen seasons, Munoz would be selected to the Pro Bowl 11-consecutive years, become a member of the 80's All-Decade team and the 75th-anniversary All-NFL team.

Anthony Munoz was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year an incredible eight times and played in two Super Bowls. Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, these days Muñoz devotes his time giving back to the community through the Anthony Muñoz Foundation. 

During the presentation, plaques were also awarded to the Coach Andy Hake of the Blue Devils football team and High School principal Dallas Saunders. Hake has led the Blue Devils to the state playoffs 8 of the last 9 years, as well as a record of 87-20, 6 league championships and two regional championships. 

The winner of the Award for Excellence will be announced on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls. Later that evening, all 25 finalists will attend the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Class of 2018 – Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Brian Urlacher.
 

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