Hodgdon High School softball coach Sarah Williams was presented with a $5,000 check for her school at a pep rally Monday. She is one of 15 finalists from around the nation in the running for the U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coach Award.

The nationwide program looks to honor coaches who stand out in the communities and inspire their players.

The first phase was an online voting process. The second phase is underway now and online voting continues through November 13th. That voting, plus a panel of judges will determine a first, second and third place winners. $50,000 is awarded to the winner's school. $20,000 to the second place winner's school and $10,000 for the third place winner's school.

Among the panel of judges is WNBA star Maya Moore and Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb.

Nominated by one of her players who has battled cancer, coach Williams created various fundraising events to help the player and her family deal with the illness.

Williams is currently in 3rd place in voting among the 15 finalists.

Hodgdon HS Photo / Monday Pep Rally

NOTE: Last year, Foxcroft Academy coach Luis Ayala was the national MVP Coach winner and recieved the $5,000 first round check and then the $50,000 check for his school.