Charlie Batch and Best of the Batch Foundation Partners with Panera Bread and NFL Foundation to Honor Western Pennsylvania Tradition of High School Football


For the 2nd year Batch Foundation will recognize student athletes

for their performance both on and off the field.

Homestead, PA (Friday, August 23, 2013) Best of the Batch Foundation announced the 2013 Best of the Batch, Bread Bowl Match-Ups.  For 2 consecutive seasons, Best of the Batch Foundation, Panera Bread and Dignity & Respect have partnered to honor the Western Pennsylvania tradition of High School football. 

"Friday Night Lights is an exciting time of year for student athletes throughout the WPIAL.  We are excited to be part of the action both on and off the field", said Charlie Batch, Founder of Best of the Batch Foundation.  "Best of the Batch Foundation’s mission is to show our commitment to the success of youth and the opportunity to engage with High Schools throughout the region gives us the chance to encourage students, their families and the community to focus on education."

Each Best of the Batch, Panera Bread Bowl Match-Up will be broadcast by Champs Sports Network.  Champs Sports will provide live audio streaming of each Match-Up and will air the game at the Monday following each game.  Charlie Batch is proud to be part of the broadcast team, because "Champs Sports Network brings the best in-depth coverage of Western Pennsylvania high school sports."

An important aspect of the football games is the Dignity & Respect Sportsmanship Program.  Charlie Batch was the first professional athlete to promote the D&R Sportsman Program.  This program encourages teams, students, families, and friends to participate in pre-game dignity and respect activities encouraging individuals to take the D&R Pledge and to behave respectfully, especially during rival team games.

Each game highlights a Dignity & Respect Champion student-athlete.  An athlete from each team is selected by the Athletic Director and Head Coach for exemplifying Dignity & Respect both on and off the field.

This program would not be possible without community partners like Panera Bread, Dignity & Respect for Youth and the newest supporters, UPMC Health Plan and NFL Foundation. 


NFL Foundation has supported Best of the Batch with a grant to support both the Dignity & Respect Sportsmanship Program and to expand health and safety education for students-athletes. 

"The Dignity & Respect program is a great way to instill the rewards of playing football for youth and the tips that are communicated are perfect ways to reinforce the lessons that the game of football teaches", said Charlie.

Panera continues to be a generous community partner hosting Pep Rallies for each of the High Schools.  Schools are encouraged to invite players, band, cheerleaders and other clubs to create excitement and show their school pride.  Attendees will learn about healthy nutrition and sport safety and attendees (both students and adults) can take the D&R pledge.

To award students for the commitment to education and community involvement, Best of the Batch Foundation awards scholarships to any senior student-athlete (open to any WPIAL sport).  The scholarship is generously funded by Best of the Batch Foundation, Panera Bread, UPMC Dignity & Respect and NFL Foundation.  In 2013, more than $43,000 was awarded to students.  Students can apply at the Best of the Batch Foundation web site December 2013-March 2014 at

Games of Tradition Include:

August 30  -  Upper St. Clair @ Woodland Hills
September 6  -  Central Catholic @ North Hills
September 13  -  Neshannock @ Sto-Rox
September 20  -  Blackhawk @ Central Valley
September 27  -  Seton La Salle @ South Fayette
October 4  -  Gateway @ North Allegheny
October 11  -  South Park @ Steel Valley
October 18  -  Monessen @  Chartiers-Houston
October 25  -  Thomas Jefferson @ West Mifflin