Stillman Valley’s Jared Van Vleet Up For National Award

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“You know it was extremely humbling. I was surprised. But I knew that I had put in the time and effort, and I knew something like this was possible. You know it wasn’t impossible.”

That was Jared Van Vleet’s initial reaction  when he became a finalist for thePro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence. The honor focuses not only on great athletic achievements, but also excellent academics, and community engagement.

“Well I think Jared is just beyond first class with the way he treats people, and he brings a great big positive energy he goes,” says Stillman Valley’s football coach Mike Lalor. It didn’t surprise me that he won, but then at the same time when you’re talking about just 25 people in the entire country are honored with this what a tremendous honor.

After winning a ceremony held at Stillman Valley High School in Van Vleet’s honor. Special guest and Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams presented Van Vleet with a finalist plaque. He also received a jacket with his name stitched on it, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame patch on his left arm.

“It was outstanding, crazy, and humbling. You know all of those things because talking to him for the short amount of time we were together,  I really connected with him. I bonded with him, and it was wild, extremely wild.”

But the real fun begins in the summer for the Stillman Valley junior.

“The next step is going to Canton, Ohio. It’s a three-day weekend, and I go out there,” says Van Vleet. I get to watch the induction of the gold jacket winners. I get to see the opening day football game, and then I go to a concert as well. At the end of it they decide who the winner of this scholarship award.

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