BEND, Ore., Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Chance Anthony of Kentucky has today been named the winner of the High School Football 'Rudy' Award. The award, operated by Trusted Sports, is named after Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger whose triumphant story was the basis of the 1993 Columbia TriStar film, RUDY. Anthony, of Hardinsburg, Kentucky, was named the Most Inspirational High School Football Player in America from over 250 nominees by a Selection Committee led by former NFL quarterback and All-American, Drew Bledsoe. Student athletes are nominated for their ability to inspire others to achieve excellence on and off the gridiron. Despite being born missing the lower half of his right arm, Anthony is a two-way starter for the Breckinridge County High School football team and can bench press 235 pounds. As wide receiver, he caught his first career touchdown pass on Homecoming night, describing the experience as "pretty awesome". Anthony's inspirational story can be found at www.HighSchoolRudyAwards.com.
"One hand or not, you can still catch a football and still catch a basketball," Anthony said. "Sometimes my friends forget I've only got one hand. I do as much as anyone else at school. It's how you deal with adversity that counts. If somebody gives you the opportunity, you better take it and run. Don't look back and question why. I know I'm going to look back and really appreciate Coach giving me the opportunity to be the best I could be." Anthony will receive his award in a ceremony to take place in Hardinsburg in February.
Now in its second year, the High School Football 'Rudy' Awards is creating a following with coaches at high schools around the country as a prestigious award that honors athletes for the heart they bring to the game as opposed to the stats. Anthony receives a $10,000 academic scholarship to the college of his choice.
Cody Rye of Michigan was named first runner-up and receives a $5,000 scholarship. Rye was paralyzed in an automobile accident when he was five years old, and dreamed of playing varsity football. This determined young man is wheeled out onto the field, drags himself into a defensive line position, and then plugs up the middle enabling linebackers to make a play.
Second runner-up position is tied between Tray Waite of Ohio and Kyle Wilcox of Florida. Waite lost his mother in a car accident, his father to incarceration, and his grandmother to cancer at an early age. He was adopted by his Aunt, and despite this turmoil, Waite has a 3.8 GPA and excels on the gridiron. Wilcox's father is incarcerated and his mother unable to care for him. After several years in foster care, his older brother has recently been named his guardian. Wilcox is on track to be named valedictorian. Waite and Wilcox will share a $5,000 scholarship.
Tyler Dutruch of Louisiana was named the "fan favorite" which is determined by online voting. Dutruch, suffering from a life with severe diabetes and daily insulin shots, inspires his teammates by not letting up his intensity in practice or games. He receives a $5,000 scholarship. Since voting commenced, nominees have racked up more than 2,467,000 online votes.
In addition to Drew Bledsoe, the Selection Committee consists of notable sports personalities such as Leigh Anne Tuohy, mother of Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher and inspirational figure of the film The Blind Side; Shaun Alexander, former Seattle Seahawks running back and NFL MVP; and NBC Football Sideline Reporter, Andrea Kremer. Committee members are asked to choose one winner and two runners-up based on the nominee's ability to inspire others, their courage and character, and their commitment to the game while overcoming personal or physical challenges. The award is named after the University of Notre Dame's most famous walk-on, Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger, who encourages the High School Football 'Rudy' Award nominees to 'Dream Big and Never Quit'.
About Trusted Sports
Trusted Sports is a mission-based company with a goal to positively impact young athletes to thrive in life through playing organized sports. The High School Football Rudy Awards are operated in partnership with the Trusted Sports Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity focused on getting and keeping kids in the game. Trusted Sports empowers young athletes to live up to their full potential through positive sports experiences that form active, healthy habits for a lifetime.
SOURCE Trusted Sports