Best of Preps approaching

Pictured are the 2018 Best of Preps Male Student-Athlete of the Year Haden Blair (from left), the 2018 Best of Preps Female Student-Athlete of the Year Rikki Oestreich and former NFL football player Jeff Hall, who was keynote speaker, during last year’s event at Athens City Middle School.

The Daily Post-Athenian’s Annual Best of Preps Ceremony is approaching.

An event to celebrate local student-athletes, The DPA is currently accepting nominations and sponsors to recognize athletes from a variety of sports in McMinn and Meigs counties, as well as preparing for the official ceremony.

The deadline to turn in nominations to the newspaper is next Friday, March 15, at 5 p.m. — and Best of Preps will be Sunday, April 28, at 3 p.m. at Athens City Middle School.

Tina Huckabey, special projects and events director at The DPA, is responsible for planning the annual event for the second consecutive year.

“I think it’s important to recognize our local athletes,” Huckabey said. “They work hard not only in their sports, but in maintaining their GPAs (grade point averages) and I think it’s a great program for them to be recognized.”

All student-athletes are honored at the event, but in each sport, a standout nominee will be named the winner and receive a personalized award in his or her category.

Along with these recognitions, a male and female Student-Athlete of the Year will be announced and each will receive a scholarship from The Daily Post-Athenian.

Clayton Homes will also award a scholarship to the football honoree.

Awardees are chosen by three judges who select them anonymously, without access to names or schools. In addition to athleticism, winners are chosen because of their academic and civic achievements.

During this year’s ceremony, former National Football League (NFL) player Tyson Clabo will be the guest speaker.

Although students and their guardians receive complimentary tickets, the public is also encouraged to attend. The luncheon will be catered by 2 Dudes Barbeque and, along with entertainment, will include a meal, refreshments and dessert.

“I’m very excited about this year’s event — I think it’s going to be a great success,” Huckabey said. “I feel it’s a great event because it gives us a chance to be supportive of our youth.”

She added, “Personally, I feel it is important to support the education of our youth, including sporting events.”

The Daily Post-Athenian is seeking community sponsors for awards. Sponsors will receive a full-page color advertisement in the Best of Preps edition and the sponsored award will be named after the business.

To sponsor an award, email Tina Huckabey at or call her at 423-252-1246.

Nomination forms may be emailed, mailed or dropped by The Daily Post-Athenian at 320 S. Jackson St. in Athens.

Event tickets are $20 and may be purchased by contacting Huckabey or The Daily Post-Athenian. Ticket sales will end on Tuesday, April 23.

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