Whitehall football running back Saquon Barkley was lauded for his achievements on the field on the floor of the state House of Representatives Monday.
According to a press release from state Rep. Daniel McNeill, D-Lehigh, the football star was given a citation for his athletic achievements and his "continuing commitment to excellence."
"He has truly become an invaluable member of his school, his community and this commonwealth," McNeill said.
Barkley's hard work on the football field has paid off, earning him a full scholarship to Penn State. He has also received the 2015 Sammy Balliet Memorial Best of the Best Award and was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
He is also gaining positive attention for an act selflessness. Last Wednesday, after winning a gold medal in the boys 100-meter finals at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference track and field championships, Barkley gave it away to another runner, Rachel Panek of Saucon Valley High School, after Panek had to rerun the girls 100-meter hurdles in the girls Colonial League track and field championships after the timing system malfunctioned.
By all accounts, Panek came in first during the initial run, but clipped a hurdle and placed eighth in the second run.
Barkley decided after seeing her lose that Panek deserved a gold medal, and decided to give her his.
"Honestly, I love winning races and receiving medals, but I felt she deserved it, too. Everyone saw that girl win her race," he said afterward. The medal he gave away was the first gold medal Barkley had ever won in a track and field event.