SportsTown Award nominations begin

Lane County is preparing for another SportsTown Awards. The event recognizes various people and events in the community. (SBG photo)

LANE COUNTY, Ore. - The SportsTown Awards are back and athlete nominations begin Monday. It's the only awards night where the community gets to celebrate Lane County sports achievements.

Last year was the inaugural year for the SportsTown Awards. More than 300 people attended the celebration and this year is expected to be bigger with a few more surprises in store.

In 2016, North Eugene High School's Cesar Ocampo won athletic trainer of the year.

"Less publicized sports, it gives them the chance to shine, gives them an opportunity to be celebrated," said Ocampo. "It was great to be recognized in front of peers, in front of colleagues."

Awards ranged from best mascot to most sustainable sports event. This year, new awards will be added like Fan of The Year.

"In all categories, there are people working hard and investing their life in what they do. Be it coaching, athletic training, or playing of the sport," said Ocampo.

Ocampo said he hopes to see a new group of people nominated. But for the event, at least one familiar face will return to host - former NFL player Jordan Kent.

"I think in year one we had a really, really good turn out, and we had a lot of people just kind of, their eyes were kind of blown away just from what they saw because they had never really seen anything like this because we hadn't done anything like this before," said organizer, Joey Jewell with the Eugene Cascades & Coast Sports Commission

He promises this year will be bigger than the last. "We just keep on trying to set that bar higher and higher every year so that we meet and exceed those expectations," said Jewell.

The event is on June 1 at the Valley River Inn.

Click here for a direct link to nominate your sports town hero and for more information.

Nominations will be accepted until April 12.

The Mascot Showdown takes place April 5 through April 26.

Tickets go on sale May 1.

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