The Mainland Regional High school Athletic Department will carry its burgeoning relationship with Under Armor into the 2012-’13 school year.

The American sports clothing and accessories company continues to support the Mustangs and will play a large role in a community rally and barbecue prior to the football team’s home opener.

Mainland kicks off the season Friday, Sept. 7 before hosting Millville 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. The school will host pregame festivities beginning at 5 p.m. near the football field, featuring food and recreational activities.

Under Armor is sending a tractor trailer for the kickoff celebration, supplying a sound system, giveaways and games for fans of all ages. The company is also helping fund the event, which is free to the public.

Mainland Athletic Director Mike Gatley recalled how the Mustang family rallied together under much different circumstances last September and he hopes to see the three-town school district remain tight-knit.

“Our goal is to keep the community vibe going strong,” Gatley explained. “The support has been such a positive for us over the past year and this is a way to once again come together and show our appreciation. It took our entire community and student body to get to where we are now and they all deserve credit.”

The immeasurable loss of student-athletes Casey Brenner, Edgar Bozzi, Nicholas Conner and Dean Khoury in an Aug. 20, 2011 car crash has created a bond among Mustangs past and present. The school’s rallying cry drew the attention of national media and showed the incredible impact that compassion can create.

On Jan. 6, Mainland Regional was announced the national winner of the Under Armour Finding Undeniable contest. After scouring the country for a high school worthy of a $140,000 line of credit for uniforms, sportswear and shoes, Under Armour found its fit in Mainland.

“From more than 600 schools across the country that entered this search, the Mustangs rose above all others with their talent, passion, skill, determination and ability to rally their students and community,” the statement from Under Armour read. “They overcame adversity and tragedy. And they did it together. They have proven to everyone that they are truly Undeniable.”

Mainland became the inaugural winners of this contest and Under Armor wanted to be involved with the school’s 2012 football season. The bond between the company and community extends far beyond a line of credit.

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