MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney Unveils Walter Peyton Achievement Nominees

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MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney Unveils Walter Peyton Achievement Nominees

Fans Can Vote Online; Recipients to be honored at MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sept. 5

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney – featuring Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC against Prairie View A&M of the SWAC – announced the six nominees for the fourth annual Walter Payton Achievement Award. The award is an honor annually given to a player from each school participating in MEAC/SWAC Challenge – set to be played Sunday, Sept. 4, at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The seventh annual event, which features teams from two prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) conferences, will be aired on ESPN HD at noon.

Three finalists from each school were selected by a committee of academic advisors and coaches. Bethune-Cookman nominees include: Natiel Curry (Sr., C); Nesly Marcellon (So., DB); and Jean Fanor (Sr., DB), while the Prairie View A&M nominees include: Raheem Cardwell (So., LB), James Dekle (Sr., OL); and Marcus White (So., LB). A bio on each nominee can be found on

Fans will determine the winners via online voting at from July 27-Sept. 2. The winners will be announced and honored at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Banquet on Friday, Sept. 2, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Each year, the game pits a MEAC team against a SWAC opponent at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. Several additional events will take place around the game, including a high school career panel and the halftime Battle of the Bands.

Tickets for the 2011 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets.  Tickets are $30 for reserved seating and $20 for general admission, plus applicable taxes and fees. Travel options including discounted hotel accommodations, game tickets and specially-priced Theme Park Tickets are available through Anthony Travel, the official travel provider of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Please visit or call (888) 632-6951.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, or to join the event’s following on Facebook and Twitter, please visit the event’s official Web site at or at

ESPN Regional Television (ERT)
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT’s owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.

In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

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Rachel Margolis Siegal

As part of the College Sports PR team at ESPN, it has been an exciting adventure for me since I joined the worldwide leader in July 2010, working on college football, college basketball, college lacrosse and WNBA properties. I began my love of sports as the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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