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SportsTown Awards will gift athletes with a piece of Eugene's sports history

The SportsTown award is crafted from Civic Stadium's old metal. The ceremony takes place Thursday, June 2 at the Valley River in and Suites in Eugene.

EUGENE, Ore. - A new Eugene-area sports award honors outstanding high school athletes and commemorates their achievements with a unique trophy crafted from the wood of historic Civic Stadium.

The SportsTown Awards will give student athletes a piece of Eugene history to mark their accomplishments.

It's been nearly nine months since Civic Stadium burned down. Leaders say the best way to honor the SportsTown athletes is to remember a place where part of Eugene's sports history started. So, they decided to make the awards from pieces of the old Civic Stadium.

When organizers first came up with the idea to recognize student athletes, Travel Lane County pushed for an out of the ordinary event.

"We wanted something really, really unique about this piece. Something the community can really get behind and support," said Joey Jewell from Travel Lane County.

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Of the six categories, a committee will select five winners. However, the high school mascot of the year will go to a popular vote.

"School pride is going to be a huge piece to this and we're really excited to see everybody coming in and getting the voting done," Jewell said.

Now, the votes are rolling in and organizers say they're excited about the unique awards.

"The Civic Alliance was looking for a way to repurpose the materials from Civic Stadium," said Jessica Shefferman from Travel Lane County.

After the massive fire in June, they commissioned artist Jason Pancoast to lead the design. Pancoast describes the prize as "kind of this cross between art and award."

Once Pancoast receives the old Civic Stadium metal material, it goes to the laser cut machine.

"There's a mirror that shoots it this way and then a mirror that shoots it this way and then a final mirror that points it down," Pancoast described.

After a few minutes, the rust is gone.

"Once they're designed, I cut, handprint them and I sort of put everything together," Pancoast said. "It's something that, you know, 20 years from now they can have on someone's wall and it's meaningful."

The artist said each of the categories will have its own, uniquely designed award. However, all the designs won't be revealed until the award ceremony Thursday, June 2 at the Valley River in and Suites in Eugene.

To nominate an athlete, click here. All community nominations are open until April 18. You can buy tickets to the event beginning May 15.

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