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Roanoke Rapids Senior Provides 'Extra Effort' By Using Brain Over Brawn

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ROANOKE RAPIDS — At Roanoke Rapids High School, senior captain Daniel Howard is the workhorse of the football team.

In the Jackets' 5-0-1 start, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound teenager has rushed for over 700 yards. He has 14 touchdowns for the year, but he says he is more impressed with playing a part in the rise of Roanoke Rapids' football.

There's a group of five guys that have been playing together since the sixth grade, and it started all there. We brought the team up from a record losing streak," he says.

Tim Bennett, the school's football coach, says Howard brings a toughness to the team.

"He always runs hard and takes a lot of hits during a ball game," Bennett says.

Howard has a 4.0 grade point average with an interest in a variety of subjects. He says he is considering going to an Ivy League school.

"You can do a lot more with your brain than your brawn. Football can be a thinking man's game just like life," he says.

"He is a really-educated man. He also went to Europe over the summer," says principal Michelle Laughridge. "He knows a lot and he has always known a lot."

Howard says he is just happy to be a part of the team.

"Great things happen because great people come together," he says. "Sometimes, one or two get noticed and that is nice, but I would rather be seen as a member of the team than anything else."

Daniel Howard is this week's winner of the Extra Effort Award. Tom Suiter's Extra Effort award airs Wednesdays during WRAL's 6:00 News.

Do you have a nomination for the Extra Effort Award?Mail us your suggestions.