Last updated on October 3rd, 2014 at 04:47 pm
The Tennessee State University football team; Tennessee Titan Jonathan Willard; MTSU basketballer Ebony Rowe; and Brentwood Academy track star Jalen Ramsey were among the winners at the 16th annual Celebration of Champions. The Nashville Sports Council recognized the best in middle Tennessee individual and team achievements from the previous calendar year at the annual event amongst nearly 750 spectators at the historic Grand Ole Opry House.
“Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners in an unforgettable year in sports in middle Tennessee,” said Scott Ramsey, president/CEO, Nashville Sports Council. “We’re honored to be able to recognize all of these great athletes and their stories.” The award winners of the 16th annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger are as follows:
Sergeant York Trophy: Tennessee State University
Kaia Jergenson Courage Award: Jonathan Willard-Tennessee Titans
Ed Temple Amateur Female Athlete of the Year: Ebony Rowe, MTSU Basketball
Ed Temple Amateur Male Athlete of the Year: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt Football
High School Male Athletics: Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy Track and Field
High School Female Athletics: Barbara Lee Ball, Lipscomb Academy Track and Field
High School Male Team Athletics: Christ Presbyterian Academy Basketball
High School Female Team Athletics: Riverdale Basketball
Sports Person of the Year: Rick Byrd, Belmont Basketball
Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement: Dean Hayes, MTSU Track and Field
Community Spirit Award: South Nashville Little League Baseball
Nashville Sports Council Volunteer of the Year: Marilu White
Brandt and Mandy Snedeker Scholarship Award Recipients: Charles Earles, Mt. Juliet High School; Parker Henry-Beech High School; Emily Peters, St. Cecilia Academy; Macy Reece, Goodpasture High School.
“The Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger event is a symbolic tribute, a recognition and respect to Middle Tennessee athletes and moments, and on behalf of Pepsi Beverages Company’s Mid Atlantic Region, I would like to congratulate these talented nominees for their dedication and tireless efforts to Middle Tennessee sports,” said PBC Sr. Market Director of Tennessee Market Bryant Davis.
‘Top 10 Sports Moments’ of 2013
Another aspect of the awards program is a recap of the Top 10 Sports Moments of 2013, as voted on by middle Tennessee sports media, revealed throughout the night. Among the highlights were:
10) Seth Jones, the number one ranked prospect by many NHL teams, fell to the Nashville Predators with the 4th pick in the draft. Jones became the highest drafted African American player in NHL history and made the team out of training camp at the age of 18.
6) Tennessee State defeated Butler 31-0 in the FCS first round, but fell in the second round to #2 ranked Eastern Illinois. TSU was the top team in the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) football poll for Division I (FCS).
2) Vanderbilt football ended the regular season 8-4, with a third consecutive bowl appearance, their first victory at the Swamp (University of Florida) since 1945, a win over Georgia (the team’s first victory against a ranked opponent in five years), and defeated Tennessee for the second straight year.
1) The new Sounds Stadium was approved by Metro Council and the Sports Authority. The Sounds will play in their new stadium beginning in the 2015 season.