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Since signing on as our title sponsor a little over a year ago, Russell Athletic has made community outreach and support of youth athletics a priority, and we are proud to be a part of their efforts. Now in 2013, one of their existing charitable initiatives will have a presence at the Russell Athletic Bowl as the winner of the "Fight Like Dylan Award" will be announced in Orlando during bowl week.

You can nominate your high school team (in any sport) and find out more about the award and the official rules by visiting facebook.com/russellathletic.

From the announcement press release:

Russell Brands, LLC announced today it will begin accepting entries for the third annual "Fight Like Dylan Award," named in honor of Dylan Rebeor, a high school football player whose last wish was for his teammates to receive new uniforms. Through this initiative, Russell Athletic will donate apparel and equipment via a $50,000 grant to one high school team that has demonstrated determination through sports, paying tribute to Dylan's remarkable character, courage and consideration of others. The winner of the 2013 award will be recognized at the Russell Athletic Bowl in December.

Rebeor was a wide receiver on Columbia (Tenn.) Central High School's football team, but tragically passed away at the age of 16 on Dec. 3, 2010 after a courageous battle with colon cancer. Despite Dylan's insurmountable challenges during treatment, his commitment and dedication to his team never wavered. Inspired by their fallen teammate, that season the Columbia Central Lions took home their first state championship in 58 years.

"Russell Athletic is proud to bring back this award and celebrate the tremendous courage of Dylan Rebeor under the most challenging of circumstances," said Gary Barfield, Senior Vice President, Russell Brands, LLC. "Each year, we are inspired by the remarkable support of communities who overcome great obstacles to allow their youth sports teams to succeed both on and off the field."

Last year's "Fight Like Dylan Award" recipient was Williamsport High School of Williamsport, Maryland. In May of 2012, the community lost two senior standout athletes, who were both tragically killed in a car accident on the way home from attending the school prom. Using the memory of these young people as motivation, both the volleyball and baseball teams went on to win the Maryland 2A State Championships the following season.

To be eligible for the "Fight Like Dylan Award," teams must submit a post through the Russell Athletic® Facebook page explaining how their team overcame a challenge or triumphed in the face of adversity. Anyone is eligible to submit an entry on behalf of their favorite high school team by logging onto www.facebook.com/russellathletic. Entries will be accepted now through December 2nd. The contest's official rules are also available on the site.

"Dylan had an extraordinary life and always inspired others while dealing with difficult circumstances," said Heather Rebeor, Dylan's mother. "We're so proud that Dylan's memory and spirit will live on through the Russell Athletic 'Fight Like Dylan Award.' He truly cared about others more than himself and now his legacy will continue with youth sports teams across the country."

Russell Athletic ambassadors and NFL players Pierre Garcon (wide receiver, Washington Redskins), Mark Ingram (running back, New Orleans Saints) and Colt McCoy (quarterback, San Francisco 49ers) will serve on the "Fight Like Dylan Award" selection committee. Also on the committee is All Pro Dad NFL spokesperson and current NBC Sports Football analyst Tony Dungy, as well as Dylan's mother, Heather, and Columbia Central High School head coach, Vance Belew.

About The Author

Matt Repchak
Matt Repchak

Matt (Tampa, Fla.) joined FCSports in 2005 after graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He started in the communications department and gradually became the point person for all digital projects within the organization, including web, video and social.

Matt enjoys The Black Keys, Joss Whedon, Paul F. Tompkins and the Tampa Bay Rays.