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14th Annual Event Recap | 2011 Top 10 Sports Moments | Past Award Recipients

Media Contact:
Dave Herrell
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DHerrell@NashvilleSports.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OFFICIAL LIST OF 14TH ANNUAL PEPSI CELEBRATION OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY KROGER AWARD NOMINEES RELEASED

Event honors greatest achievements in Middle Tennessee Sports

Nashville, Tenn. January 31, 2012 - The Nashville Sports Council announced today the official list of award nominees for the 14th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger.  The event is Nashville’s premier sports awards event honoring outstanding achievements in high school, collegiate, and professional sports by Middle Tennessee individuals, teams, and organizations, as voted on by the Nashville sports media, Nashville Sports Council membership and Kroger customers.    

This year’s Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger will include for the first time general admission seating for $15 per ticket / $10 for Kroger Plus customers at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Visit NashvilleSports.com for ticket, event and sponsorship information.  

The winners of each of the following award categories will be presented on Wednesday, February 22 at the historic Grand Ole Opry House:  Sports Person of the Year, Ed Temple Amateur (Male & Female), High School Athletics (Male & Female), High School Team Athletics (Male & Female), Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement, Community Spirit, Nashville Sports Council Volunteer of the Year, Kaia Jergenson Courage, and the Sergeant York Trophy.  The Top 10 Sports Moments of the Year for 2011 will also be unveiled.

“We are thrilled to announce with the Nashville Sports Council this amazing list of very deserving nominees,” said Buddy Lewis, vice president general manager of Pepsi Beverage Company’s Tennessee/Western Kentucky Market Unit.  “We look forward to recognizing these special individuals and teams for their 2011 achievements.”

The nominees in the above-mentioned categories are as follows:
Sports Person of the Year: Rick Byrd – Belmont Men’s Basketball, Tim Corbin – Vanderbilt Baseball, Dario Franchetti – IndyCar Driver, James Franklin – Vanderbilt Football, Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators.
Ed Temple Male Amateur Athletics:  Sonny Gray – Vanderbilt Baseball, Demonte Harper – Morehead State University Basketball, John Jenkins – Vanderbilt Basketball, Brett Patterson – Middle Tennessee State University, Zac Stacy – Vanderbilt Football.   
Ed Temple Female Amateur Athletics: Victoria Dunlap – Kentucky Basketball, Kathy Kroeger – Stanford Cross Country, Calle Nielson – Virginia Golf, Ebony Rowe – Middle Tennessee State Basketball, Jence Rhoads – Vanderbilt Basketball.  
High School Male Athletics: Mookie Betts – John Overton Basketball and Baseball, Josue Brown – Hunters Lane Wrestling, Corn Elder – Ensworth Football and Basketball, I’Tavius Mathers – Blackman Football, Alex Poythress – Clarksville Basketball.   
High School Female Athletics: Rachel Albritton – Riverdale Softball, Shacobia Barbee – Riverdale Basketball, Alexandra Farnsworth – Ensworth Golf, Alyssa Ivey – Ravenwood Volleyball, Caya Williams – Mt. Juliet Basketball.   
High School Male Team Athletics: Brentwood High Cross Country, Ensworth Football, Father Ryan Soccer, Lipscomb Baseball, Stratford Track and Field.  
High School Female Team Athletics: Beech Softball, Ensworth Golf, Franklin High Soccer, Ravenwood Volleyball, Riverdale Basketball.   
Sergeant York Trophy: Awarded to the winner of the quadrangular season football series between the four Ohio Valley Conference schools located in Tennessee: Austin Peay State University; University of Tennessee at Martin; Tennessee State University; and Tennessee Technological University.  Tennessee State University is this year’s recipient of the Sergeant York Trophy.  

In addition, the Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement, Community Spirit, Nashville Sports Council Volunteer of the Year, and the Kaia Jergenson Courage Award will be presented during the February 22 event.  The Nashville Sports Council will also award two $2,500 college scholarships to a deserving male and female high school student-athlete who excels in the classroom as well as in their respective sport.  This year the scholarships will be awarded to Mary Hannah Winstead from BGA and Brandon Spierto from Franklin High School.

“The 14th Annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger is a one-of-a-kind experience, that brings sports fans throughout Middle Tennessee together to celebrate our community’s accomplishments in sports,” said Scott Ramsey, president and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council.  “We are excited to recognize some of the greatest athletes and achievements and all of the positives that sports delivered to our community in 2011.”

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction and backstage reception (includes food & beverages) at the Grand Ole Opry House.  The awards presentation will follow, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Individual tickets and sponsorships are available.  Individual tickets for non-Nashville Sports Council members are $100, which includes an invitation to a backstage reception, event parking, and a Bronze level membership to the Nashville Sports Council, and a commemorative gift.  Members of the Nashville Sports Council receive a discount opportunity at $75.  General admission seating is available for $15 per ticket / $10 for Kroger Plus customers.  For tickets, sponsorship and event visit NashvilleSports.com or contact the Nashville Sports Council at 615.743.3120.

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About Pepsi Beverages Company
Pepsi Beverages Company (PBC) is PepsiCo's beverage manufacturing, sales and distribution operating unit in the United States, Canada and Mexico. PBC handles approximately 75 percent of PepsiCo's North America beverage volume. Its diverse portfolio includes some of the world's most widely recognized beverage brands, including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Aquafina, Gatorade, SoBe, Lipton, and Amp Energy. In many markets, PBC also manufactures and/or distributes non-Pepsi brands, including Dr Pepper, Crush, ROCKSTAR, and Muscle Milk. The operating unit is headquartered in Westchester County, New York and employs approximately 70,000 people. Learn more about PBC at www.pepsico.com/pbc.  

About Kroger
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,458 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The Company also operates 786 convenience stores, 361 fine jewelry stores, 1,014 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.

About the Nashville Sports Council
The Nashville Sports Council is a private, non-profit, membership-based organization of area corporations and individual sports enthusiasts.  Created in 1992, the Nashville Sports Council’s mission is to positively impact the economy and quality of life of the Greater Nashville Area by attracting and promoting professional and amateur sporting events.  The Nashville Sports Council has hosted more than 160 major sporting events that have produced more than $450 million in direct economic impact for the region.  For more information call 615.743.3120 or visit NashvilleSports.com.  Follow the Nashville Sports Council on Facebook and Twitter.