Camdenton's Gavin Schulte, Paxton DeLaurent, Aeryn Kennedy and the Pride of the Lake Marching Band are among the more than 140 student-athletes and 28 teams in southwest Missouri who were nominated for the Sports Commission Awards.
More than 140 student-athletes and 28 teams representing southwest Missouri high schools will be honored during the Sports Commission Awards sponsored by Elliott Lodging and presented by Blevins Asphalt on Monday, June 15.
The Springfield Sports Commission and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame have been working together for months to bring the ceremony together. Directors of both organizations not only unveiled finalists on Tuesday but emphasized that recommendations of local and state public health officials will be closely monitored over the next several weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Set for a 6 p.m. dinner at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield, the awards ceremony celebrates the Ozarks’ top athletes from the 2019-2020 academic year. A total of 31 categories will be recognized. They cover 24 sports as well as categories for Girls Team of the Year, Boys Team of the Year, Girls Athlete of the Year, Boys Athlete of the Year, Marching Band, Cheerleading and Dance Team. Inspiration Awards also will be bestowed on a Dora High School basketball fan, 8-year-old Damon Emery, Willard High School senior wrestler Michael Finley and Anya Smith, a fifth-grader supported by the Logan-Rogersville High School Dance Team.
A selection committee narrowed down each category to the top five athletes, or six if one school is represented by two athletes in one sport. Some categories, such as football, were extended because of the number of outstanding players this past season. A list of finalists can be found at www.mosportshalloffame.com.
Sponsorship tables of eight are $350, while individual tickets are $40 in advance, or $50 at the door. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is taking table and ticket orders at 417-889-3100.
“High school athletes put in a ton of work this school year, and we are excited to tell their stories,” said Lance Kettering, Executive Director of the Springfield Sports Commission. “We also know it is important to recognize spring sports athletes who, unfortunately, had their seasons end prematurely.”
Categories cover football, volleyball, baseball and softball as well as sports offered to both boys and girls: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, tennis and wrestling. Track and field are now four separate categories (track events, field events), while wrestling will feature divisions for weight classes from 106 pounds to 152 and then 160 to 285.
“I’ve always believed that high school athletics and activities are great ways to build character, and this ceremony is a nice way to honor their success. That is why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is delighted to help the Springfield Sports Commission with this important event,” said Jerald Andrews, President & Executive Director of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. “We hope all of southwest Missouri will support the Sports Commission Awards, especially during a year when some athletes were not able to realize the completion of their season.”
BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING: Brayden Cole, Carthage High School; Alex Crawford, Joplin High School; Trey Flouer, Glendale High School; Ben Hines, Nevada High School; Michael Jasinski, Glendale High School; Gavin Schulte, Camdenton High School.
FOOTBALL: Patrick Carlton, Carthage High School; Zach Coenen, Cassville High School; Isaiah Davis, Joplin High School; Paxton DeLaurent, Camdenton High School; Terrell Kabala, Webb City High School; Kayden Myers, Ava High School; Blake Tash, Joplin High School; Zach Westmoreland, Joplin High School
MARCHING BAND: Camdenton High School, Kickapoo, High School, Nixa High School, Ozark High School, Willard High School.
GIRLS SOCCER: Aeryn Kennedy, Camdenton High School; Jayln McClean, Kickapoo High School; Sophia Nixon, Logan-Rogersville High School; Marcie Stephens, Glendale High School; Kourtney Tucker, Central High School