SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army and the Pro Football Hall of Fame today announced the winner of the inaugural 'Award for Excellence.' Nate Lowis, a high school junior from Sacred-Heart Griffin High School in Springfield, Ill., was named the first recipient of the award during a formal awards ceremony at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Lowis was one of ten finalists vying for the honor. The program, which was open to all United States sophomore and junior high school athletes, focused on not only athletic achievement, but also excellence in academics and community service. "The nominees for the Award for Excellence possess a unique set of strengths and adherence to a core set of values shared by Army Strong Soldiers," said Mark Davis, deputy assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing and director of the Army Marketing and Research Group. "Nate is an outstanding scholar, athlete and citizen and we are proud that he is our inaugural recipient of this honor. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which allows us to celebrate the achievements of America's youth." In addition to announcing this year's winner, the Army and the Pro Football Hall of Fame will extend the partnership and 'Award for Excellence' program into the 2013-14 year. Students from across the country are encouraged to submit their application and essays beginning March 1st, with a June 15 submission deadline. "The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission to educate and promote the excellence that comes with America's favorite game, football, and combine it with the U.S. Army's mission of excellence in school, community service and through athletics," said George Veras, President and CEO, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. "We are excited to continue our partnership with the U.S. Army and to recognize student-athletes across the country for their outstanding achievements and hard work." For more information on the program, visit: www.goarmy.com/AAB or www.profootballhof.com/Army In its day-to-day operation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame works very closely with all facets of the pro football family - the National Football League, the 32 NFL clubs, and other entities to ensure the overall success of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In turn, the Hall strives to serve as the best possible historical showplace and repository for the sport of pro football. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution that focuses on education, promoting, preserving, and honoring the great individuals and moments that have shaped the sport's history.