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Beaver Falls senior named finalist for U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame honor

From left, Maj. Gen. David Mann, Joe Dixon, Lynn Swann and George Veras from the Pro Football Hall of Fame pose for photos at Beaver Falls last week while Dixon was named one of 10 finalists for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence. Submitted

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Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 11:40 p.m.

As Angela Manno went through the list of criteria, Joe Dixon became an obvious choice.

A guidance counselor at Beaver Falls High School, Manno was compelled to nominate a student for the U.S. Army and Pro Football Hall of Fame's Award for Excellence. Dixon, a senior at Beaver Falls, proved worthy on all fronts.

“Honestly, he always strives to do his best in anything he does,” Manno said.

Dixon's academic achievement, his status as a two-sport athlete and his lengthy record of community service earned him a visit from Steelers Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann and Army Maj. Gen. David Mann for a ceremony and presentation at Beaver Falls last week.

Dixon was selected as one of 10 national finalists for the Army/Hall of Fame Award of Excellence.

Dixon, who participates in track and field and golf for Beaver Falls, has a 4.0 weighted GPA.

He will join the other nine national finalists to participate in activities at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The inaugural winner will be announced Jan. 4.

“Getting to the (Pro Football Hall of Fame) is all about getting on the road to excellence,” Swann said in a statement.

Dixon is involved with National Honors Society, Key Club and the St. Cecelia Church's CCD religious education program. According to Manno, Dixon has taken part in community service such as making Christmas cards and Valentine's Day cards for the elderly, breakfast with Santa for underprivileged children, a Thanksgiving food drive and other Salvation Army activities.

Dixon also was the top fundraiser for breast cancer awareness in October and participated in the Teens for Jeans initiative in the spring.

“My parents raised me to help people when you can, and I kind of took a liking to it myself,” Dixon said. “I really enjoy being able to make someone's day better.”

Dixon hasn't chosen a college yet, but he plans on studying computer science.

“The way I look at it, anything I ever really put my mind to, I'm going to do my best at,” Dixon said. “I don't like to slack or anything.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

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