The Long Island, N.Y.-based high school is the recipient of the fourth annual “Fight Like Dylan Award,” which honors the courageous life of Dylan Rebeor, a high school football player who lost his battle to cancer and whose last wish was for new uniforms for his teammates. In honor of Dylan’s character, courage and consideration of others, Russell is awarding a $50,000 team uniform and equipment grant to Shoreham-Wading River High School for demonstrating determination through adversity.
To be eligible for the “Fight Like Dylan Award,” schools across the country submitted stories showing how their team overcame a challenge or triumphed in the face of adversity while embodying Dylan’s spirit and courage. 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, Heather Rebeor, and former Columbia Central High School head coach, Vance Belew.
The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats suffered a tragic loss on October 2, 2014, when junior linebacker/offensive tackle Tom Cutinella passed away after colliding with an opponent during a regular season game. Cutinella was an outspoken leader on a Shoreham-Wading River team that was in the hunt for its first-ever Long Island (N.Y.) Class IV Football Championship, and whom just days before had pulled his team together to rally their spirits around the thought of being Long Island Champions.
Following the tragic incident, Tom’s family, friends, teammates and coaches decided that the best way to honor his memory was to play the rest of the season for their beloved teammate, and that is just what they did. Behind the motto of “Tommy Tough,” the Wildcats went on to finish the season with a 10-0 record and their first-ever championship.
To celebrate the award, select members of the Shoreham-Wading River High School community traveled to Orlando to be recognized and will receive the award during the Russell Athletic Bowl on December 29, 2014.