Photo caption: Dontus Hardy
In April, the Chicago Bears announced Dontus Hardy, a senior at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois, as the seventh recipient of their Community High School All-Star award for the 2023 season.
The Community High School All-Star award is sponsored by Athletico Physical Therapy. The group recognized a total of nine high school football players from March through May who are making a positive impact in their community and at their school.
According to the Chicago Bears, the organization was impressed with Dontus’ unwavering commitment to serving his community. During the summer, Dontus served as a camp counselor for his school’s summer football program, mentoring and leading young players.
In addition to his leadership skills, Dontus is also a founding coach of the Blue Island Park District Jr. Cardinal Flag Football Program, where he dedicates his time during the school’s football season to help develop young players into better athletes and people.
Through his service, character, and leadership, Dontus has helped change the narrative in his community and kept youths on the right path.
Apart from his community service, Dontus is a dedicated student-athlete who has excelled in both the classroom and on the field. He has overcome numerous barriers and challenges, both on and off the field.
Despite not having played football before high school, his work ethic and effort led him to become a two-year captain, a three-time South Suburban Red All-Conference selection, and a staple of the Cardinals’ offensive line. He is a multi-sport athlete and has managed to balance an extensive athletic and community service schedule while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.
Dontus is currently set to enroll at Saint Xavier University to continue his education and play football this coming fall.
Dontus’ high school football coach Sheamus Murphy praised him saying, “Dontus has high character, has worked hard in the classroom, excelled on the field as a three-year varsity starter, and gave back to the community as a flag football coach for the Blue Island Park District Jr. Cardinals. We were so fortunate to have him be a leader in our program and wish him all the best in his next chapter at Saint Xavier University!”
Each Community High School All-Star award recipient will receive a custom hand-painted football, gift bag and an invitation to a future Bears’ event. The Bears will also make a $500 donation to the charitable organization of the player’s choosing.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.