A host of Bolivar High School athletes — and one from Marion C. Early — are among the nearly 150 selected as finalists for Springfield Sports Commission awards. 

Set for Monday, June 17, at the University Plaza Convention Center, the event is a celebration of athletic achievement during the past school year, according to a news release. 

“It was a great year for a number of athletes and teams,” Lance Kettering, director of the Springfield Sports Commission, said in the release. “We have had seven years of recognizing high school athletes, and we’re proud to continue this recognition program.”

Each finalist will be introduced on stage, with a video to play before a winner of the category is announced, according to the release.

The Sports Commission Awards were determined by a selection committee, which narrowed each category to five athletes, or six, in some cases, if two athletes were from the same school. 

In addition to the teams of the year and athletes of the year, categories include football, volleyball, baseball and softball, as well as sports offered to both boys and girls: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, as well as wrestling. The night also features finalists for marching band, dance and cheerleading teams of the year, respectively, as well as bass fishing tandem of the year, according to the release. 

A full list of finalists can be found at mosportshalloffame.com.

Polk County’s fall sports finalists include Bolivar’s Anna Bandy in the girls cross country category and Caleb Pyle in the boys cross country field. Katie Brooks is a contender in the softball category. 

The Lady Liberators cross country squad, fresh off a 2018 state title, is among the finalists for girls team of the year. 

After a Class 2 160-pound class gold medal this year, Bolivar’s Hayden Burks is the Liberators’ lone winter sports finalist. 

Marion C. Early’s Zakhary Taylor claimed a Class 1 boys 100-meter dash state title last month and is a finalist in the boys track category. 

Bass fishing tandem Caleb Welch and Nathan Young of Bolivar are also among SCA finalists.

According to a previous SCA release, the Skyline High School boys basketball team will receive the inspiration award after the team took in Bolivar second-grader Jud Blair when Blair’s father died in December 2018. The team invited him to sit on the Tigers’ bench during varsity games in a season that reached the Class 2 state quarterfinals. 

“Skyline’s boys basketball team showed us what sports are supposed to be about, inspiring all of us to try to treat everybody with kindness,” Kettering said in the release. 

The convention center is at 333 S. John Q Hammons Parkway. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The ceremony begins at 7. Tables of eight are $350, while an individual advance ticket is $30, or $40 at the door. A ticket includes the buffet dinner. To order tickets or congratulatory ads, call 889-3100. 

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