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Local football stars honored for work on and off the field

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - High school football is well into the offseason, but some of the area's top student athletes were honored Wednesday night in South Bend.

The Moose Krause chapter of the National Football Foundation held its 45th student-athlete awards dinner at St. Hedwig Church.

44 local players from Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan were honored, but for more than just the play on the field.

"What all of these guys do outside of the school day, it's amazing," said Penn head football coach Cory Yeoman. "I don't know how they pull it all off, but they're special young men."

All of the athletes shined beyond the gridiron, excelling in the classroom and in their communities through several charitable efforts. While the night was also a chance for local coaches to gather, the highlight was letting their students take the spotlight.

"Most of these guys excel like this because they come from great families and a great background and upbringing long before we ever get our hands on them," said Yeoman. "Every coach in here will tell you that it's been a pleasure to coach these young men. The guys in this room were something very special and we're the lucky ones to have an opportunity to work with them."

After each of the players were recognized, two were gifted scholarships for their achievements.

NorthWood's Payton Bear received $1,000 while Fairfield's Tim Hostetler earned the top reward with a $2,000 scholarship.

In addition to the student-athlete awards, former Warsaw coach Phil Jensen was also honored. Just months after his retirement at the end of this past season, Jensen received the "Contributions to Football" award.

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