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ST. JOHNS, Fla. -- Creekside High School senior linebacker Nico Ditota has overcome quite a bit of adversity in his 17 years.

A few years ago, one of Ditota's brothers passed away. Not long after that, Nico suffered a broken leg during football practice, and he missed most of his sophomore season because of that injury.

Now that he's a senior, Nico is excelling on and off the field. Despite his size (5'7", 160 pounds), he is a productive member of the Knights' defense. His biggest source of motivation when he's on the field is his brother to whom he dedicates every game to by writing a pre-game message on his Facebook wall.

Another way that Ditota honors his brother is by volunteering at a summer camp for kids with special needs. When he was alive, Nico's brother enjoyed attending that camp.

If you'd like to nominate a local high school athlete for our athlete of the week award, please fill out the form located at this link: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/sports/highschool/athleteoftheweek/default.aspx

In the comments section of the nomination form, please give us as much information as possible to give us an idea of what makes the young man or young woman that you are nominating so special.

We are particularly interested in stories about people that have overcome some type of adversity such as a mental or physical handicap, the death of a loved one, or recovery from a serious injury. Please let us know if the nominee has any recent special achievements in athletics, academics, or community service.