Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, will be one of the featured guest presenters in the Central Ohio All Star Preps awards show June 18.
Mahomes will announce the male and female Athletes of the Year, which are the top awards of the night.
“We are thrilled the most recent Super Bowl MVP is joining our lineup of award presenters,” said Lee Cochran, ThisWeek Community News managing editor. “When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of our live show, we were determined to find another way to honor the sensational athletes in central Ohio. For this to work, we knew the show had to be special, and we appreciate that our business partners also believed in our vision. Getting Patrick Mahomes to join our celebration adds to the amazing night we’ll have.”
Mahomes, 24, led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory since the 1969 season and became the youngest player to be named the Super Bowl MVP.
Other athletes who will be announcing the Players of the Year for each sport covered by ThisWeek include:
*Venus Williams, tennis
*Michael Phelps, swimming and diving
*Drew Brees, football
*Wayne Gretzky, hockey
*Gabby Douglas, gymnastics
*Jackie Joyner-Kersee, cross country and track and field
*Gary Woodland, golf
*Misty May-Treanor, volleyball
*Jordan Burroughs, wrestling
*Norm Duke, bowling
*Rose Lavelle, soccer
*Jessica Mendoza, softball/baseball
*Keli Smith Puzo, field hockey
TV sports broadcasters Jesse Palmer, Sage Steele, Dr. Jerry Punch and Courtney Cronin will host the show. Additional presenters will be announced in the coming weeks for basketball Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
The show will begin at 6 p.m. and is free to watch at thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps.
Honorees who have been listed on the event website and in the print editions of ThisWeek should register by Sunday, May 17, to also receive a special gift package that will be mailed to their home before the event. Registration is not required to watch the show.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine has been a sponsor for all previous banquets.
“The Sports Medicine team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is proud to support the on-demand broadcast of the Central Ohio All Star Preps Awards event and recognize area coaches and student-athletes in fall and winter sports. The entire focus of our team is on treating injuries in student-athletes and providing services to help them prevent injury,” said Lisa Kluchurosky, service line administrator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine. “That’s why it’s so gratifying to partner with ThisWeek to honor these outstanding central Ohio young people who represent the thousands of student-athletes we care for who work so hard to excel in their respective sports.”
ThisWeek also will participate in a national effort to raise funds locally for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Donate on the event website (thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps) to the “Team Central Ohio Covid Relief Covid Relief.” This national effort will support the United Way, the American Red Cross and Feeding America. The community that raises the most funds by June 20 will receive a matching donation from the USA Today Network, up to $10,000, for those local charities.
“Becoming a sponsor of the 2020 Central Ohio All Star Prep Awards was again a natural fit for Raising Cane’s, “said Eric Ongaro, president of Raising Cane’s franchisee RCO Limited and a second-time sponsor for the awards show. “Since arriving in central Ohio 15 years ago, we have grown to 17 area community restaurants. Each one has supported the community by hosting countless fundraisers for youth and school leagues and teams. And they’ve also become favorite gathering places for friends and families before, during and after games, matches and other scholastic activities. We’re proud to be part of each of the central Ohio communities we serve and thrilled to be an official partner of the on-demand broadcast of the awards show.”
Branch Insurance is a first-time sponsor.
“Branch Insurance is honored to support the Central Ohio All Star Prep event and recognize area coaches, student-athletes and their families,” said Steve Lekas, CEO and co-founder. “Branch's purpose is to get back to getting each other's backs and while Branch does that through better service and bigger savings, these student-athletes demonstrate this notion through their sportsmanship on and off the field. We are excited to partner with ThisWeek to honor these outstanding central Ohio athletes who represent the thousands of individuals who make our community a better place every day.”
Because of the cancellation of spring sports, those athletes will not be honored as Players of the Year or by the announcement of the ThisWeek all-star teams. Instead, there will be a recognition of seniors who missed their final season as part of a national tribute video that will be shown during the broadcast.
The public also can show support for seniors by joining in the national movement with support messages on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #DontStopNow. One person nationally using #DontStopNow will win $1,000 and also $1,000 for the charity of his or her choice. See details on the event website the night of the show for additional information.
Gannett owns and operates the largest high school athlete recognition program in the U.S. Viewers can find various locations, including the Central Ohio All Star Preps show, at sportsawards.usatoday.com, as well as on the event website, thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps.