Today we’re eager to announce the launch of The Greenville News Upstate Sports Awards program.
The program will honor more than 500 student-athletes and will culminate in an end-of-the-year celebration, for which Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow will be the featured speaker.
Tebow, who led the University of Florida to a pair of national championships and then the Denver Broncos to their first playoff appearance in five years, will take part in a Q&A with a member of our sports staff as well as with the audience.
Tebow played three seasons in the NFL and is currently a free agent, but he has not slowed down on other pursuits. He spent the 2014 season as an analyst with the SEC Network, and his Tim Tebow Foundation helps a variety of causes, including providing support for orphans abroad and encouraging service within local communities.
It wasn’t too long ago that Tebow was in a situation similar to those who will gather for the awards program, high school students making the most of their academic and athletic opportunities.
“Being a high school athlete gives you lifelong lessons,” said Josh Awtry, vice president and executive editor for Gannett Carolinas. “These kids are learning discipline, camaraderie, leadership and the value of hard work. No matter what they do in the future, what they learn on the field, court or pool will help carry them into the boardroom.”
We’ve been honoring our student-athletes throughout the fall with our Player of the Week, with sponsorship provided by Papa John’s, and we’ll continue to do so throughout the school year.
We’ll also be producing All-Upstate teams throughout the school year, beginning with the girls swimming team today on Page 7C.
At the banquet, in addition to recognizing the All-Upstate first and second teams in 22 sports, we will present awards for Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year and Coach of the Year and Athletes of the Year in each sport. We also will present a Courage Award and a Heart & Desire Award.
Those who make the All-Upstate first and second teams and a select number of inspirational honorees will be invited to join Tebow at The Greenville News Upstate Awards program on May 16, 2016, at the TD Convention Center.
We are currently seeking sponsors to support our student-athletes so they may enjoy the evening of celebration and Q&A with Tebow – all at no cost. The event is open to the public, and ticket information will be available soon from The Greenville News.
Why are we making the massive investment in high school athletes? Because we know our student-athletes work hard. So do parents and others on each student-athlete’s support team.
Please help us celebrate the achievements of our very fine community by sharing a success story with us that might not appear in the win-loss column and by joining Tim Tebow in cheering our student-athletes on in May.