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"Fight Like Dylan Award" Recipient Announced for 2013!
January 6, 2013By Greg Bradley of TennesseeSportsNet
BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Russell Brands, LLC announced Williamsport High School as the recipient of the second annual “Fight Like Dylan Award,” which honors the courageous life of Dylan Rebeor, a terminally-ill player whose last wish was for new uniforms for his teammates. In honor of Dylan’s character, courage and consideration of others, Russell will award a $50,000 team uniform and equipment grant to Williamsport High School for demonstrating determination through athletics. This is the second school to be recognized as part of Fight Like Dylan Award program, which was established by Russell in 2011.
In May of 2012, Williamsport High School lost two senior standout athletes, volleyball and tennis player Samantha Kelly and baseball player Brendon Colliflower, both of whom were honor roll students who had plans to play sports in college. Colliflower was Pitcher of the Year for Washington County in 2011 and Kelly was selected first-team All Washington County in volleyball that same year. Tragically, they were both 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.
“We had an overwhelming response to our call for submissions for this year’s Fight Like Dylan Award,” said Gary Barfield, executive vice president, Russell Brands, LLC. “It was a tremendously difficult decision for our panel of judges, but just like Dylan’s story the Williamsport story moved us beyond words. We are honored to celebrate Dylan’s life and the lives of Samantha Kelly and Brendon Colliflower with this grant to Williamsport High School.”
Dylan Rebeor, a Columbia, Tenn., native, was just 16 when he passed away Dec. 3, 2010 following an eight-month battle against cancer. Rebeor was a wide receiver on Columbia Central High School’s football team, but died just hours before his team won their first state championship in 58 years. Throughout his ordeal, Dylan’s commitment and dedication to his team never wavered. In fact, his final wish was for his teammates to receive brand new uniforms through the Make A Wish Foundation for the upcoming season. The Fight Like Dylan Award was established by Russell Athletic in conjunction with Dylan’s family and coaches to celebrate Dylan’s life and selflessness.
“Dylan’s life may have been cut short by devastating circumstances, but he lived an extraordinary life while he was here with us,” said Heather Rebeor, Dylan’s mother. “We’re in awe that Dylan’s memory and spirit will live on by the Russell Athletic ‘Fight Like Dylan Award.’ Dylan truly cared about others more than himself and now his legacy will be seen across football fields, soccer fields and basketball courts forever.”
To be eligible for the “Fight Like Dylan Award,” teams submitted their stories on the Russell Athletic® Facebook page explaining how their team overcame a challenge or triumphed in the face of adversity while embodying Dylan’s spirit and courage in his battle against cancer. Submissions for next year’s award will be accepted starting in September 2013.
Former pro football head coach and current NBC Sports Football analyst Tony Dungy and pro football players Mark Ingram, Pierre Garcon and Colt McCoy served on the “Fight Like Dylan Award” selection committee, along with Dylan’s mother and former Columbia Central High School head coach, Vance Belew. The award itself will be given to representatives from the Colliflower and Kelly families and Williamsport High School January 3-4 at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.