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Preds Among Nominees For Nashville Sports Council's 2011 Celebration Of Champions

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Note: Preds Captain Shea Weber and prospect Blake Geoffrion -- a Brentwood, TN native -- are among the athletes nominated for top awards.

Nashville’s Premier Sports Awards Event Set For  March 9 at Grand Old Opry House

Nashville, Tenn., (February 15, 2011) – The Nashville Sports Council announced today the official list of award nominees for the 13th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger. The event is Nashville’s premier sports awards event honoring outstanding achievements in high school, collegiate, and professional sports by Middle Tennessee individuals, teams, and organizations, as voted on by the Nashville sports media and the Nashville Sports Council membership.

The winners of each of the following award categories will be presented on Wednesday, March 9 at the historic Grand Ole Opry House: Sports Person of the Year, Ed Temple Amateur Athletics (Male & Female), High School Athletics (Male & Female), High School Team Athletics (Male & Female), Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement, Community Spirit, Nashville Sports Council Volunteer of the Year, Kaia Jergenson Courage, and the Sergeant York Trophy presented by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. The Top 10 Sports Moments of the Year for 2010 will also be unveiled.

“We are thrilled to announce with the Nashville Sports Council this incredible list of very deserving nominees,” said Buddy Lewis, vice president general manager of Pepsi Beverages Company’s Tennessee market unit. “We look forward to recognizing these special individuals and teams for their achievements during 2010.”

The nominees in the above-mentioned categories are as follows:

Sports Person of the Year: Alysha Clark- Middle Tennessee State University Women’s Basketball, Blake Geoffrion- University of Wisconsin Hockey, Marc Mariani- Tennessee Titans, David Price- Tampa Bay Rays, Shea Weber- Nashville Predators.

Ed Temple Male Amateur Athletics: Jermaine Beal- Vanderbilt Basketball, Eugene Clifford- Tennessee State University Football, Blake Geoffrion- University of Wisconsin Hockey, Sonny Gray- Vanderbilt Baseball, Matt Greener- Cumberland University Baseball.

Ed Temple Female Amateur Athletics: Marina Alex- Vanderbilt Women’s Golf, Alysha Clark- Middle Tennessee State University Women’s Basketball, Victoria Dunlap- University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball, Calle Nielson- University of Virginia Women’s Golf, Brittany Thune- Belmont Cross Country/Track & Field.

High School Male Athletics: Tra’Daruis Goff- Columbia Central Football, Robert Hansen- Beech Baseball, I’Tavius Mathers- Blackman Football, Holden Mobley-MBA Basketball, Michael Peters- MBA Cross Country.

High School Female Athletics: Kat Banks- Beech Softball, Shacobia Barbee- Riverdale Basketball, Sydney Campbell- CPA Tennis, Madelyn Hutson- Ravenwood Volleyball, Kate Maguigan- Page Soccer.

High School Male Team Athletics: Brentwood Academy Baseball, Columbia Central Football, Ensworth Football, MLK Jr. Track Team, MBA Cross Country.

High School Female Team Athletics: Ensworth Basketball, MLK Jr. Track Team, Ravenwood Tennis, Ravenwood Volleyball, Riverdale Basketball.

Sergeant York Trophy presented by Governor’s Highway Safety Office: Awarded to the winner of the quadrangular season football series between the four Ohio Valley Conference schools located in Tennessee: Austin Peay State University; University of Tennessee at Martin; Tennessee State University; and Tennessee Technological University.

In addition, the Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement, Community Spirit, Nashville Sports Council Volunteer of the Year, and the Kaia Jergenson Courage Award will be presented during the March 9 event. The Nashville Sports Council will also award two $2,500 college scholarships to a deserving male and female high school student-athlete who excels in the classroom as well as in their respective sport. This year the scholarships will be awarded to Madeleine Hemphill from Donelson Christian Academy and Christopher Ryan O’Neal from White House High School.

“The 13th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger is a one-of-a-kind experience, that brings sports fans throughout Middle Tennessee together to celebrate sports’ positive contributions,” said Scott Ramsey, president and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council. “We are excited to recognize some of our community’s outstanding athletes and achievements from 2010.”

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception (includes food and beverages) and silent auction, benefiting the Nashville Sports Council’s Good Sports Program, which supports amateur athletics in the Nashville MSA. The awards presentation will follow, beginning at 7:00 p.m. A format change for this year’s event will feature a theatre-style awards presentation. Individual tickets and sponsorships are still available. Individual tickets for non-Nashville Sports Council members are $100, which includes event parking, a Bronze level membership to the Nashville Sports Council, and a commemorative gift. For additional information visit or contact the Nashville Sports Council at 615.743.3120.

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