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SOSC seeks nominees for top sports honors

Do you know of an athlete who should be considered for top honors for 2017?

If so, the Southern Oregon Sports Commission wants to hear from you.

The SOSC is in the midst of collecting nominations for its male and female athletes of the year. It is also instituting a new category and will present a Spirit of Competition Award.

All three winners will be announced in February at the SOSC banquet, which will also recognize the Mail Tribune’s top 10 sports stories of 2017.

Another feature of the event is the celebration of a sports advocate whose significant contributions have enhanced athletics locally and beyond. This year’s recipient is B.G. Gould, longtime Medford sports statistician and ambassador.

The fourth-annual event is at 5 p.m. Feb. 8 at Santo Community Center. Tickets are $30.

Athlete nomination forms are on the Travel Medford website at travelmedford.org/nominate. Tickets can also be purchased on the site.

A link to the nomination form is also on the Southern Oregon Sports Commission’s Facebook page.

The deadline for nominations is Friday.

The SOSC is part of Travel Medford. Proceeds from the banquet go to aiding sports tourism and promoting sporting events in the region.

The new Spirit of Competition Award is for adult or master athletes, or those who have overcome adversity.

There are no limitations on nominees for the top male and female awards.

Past male athletes of the year were baseball player Braden Shipley (for the year 2016), wrestler Brock Gutches (2015) and quarterback Austin Dodge (2014).

Female athlete selections were golfer Kiana Oshiro (2016), soccer player Mary Beth Barnum (2015) and swimmer Breanna Sapienza (2014).

Former advocates honored were Aksel Andersen (soccer, 2016), Gary Miller (baseball, 2015) and Jerry and Zellah Swartsley (running, 2014).

Gould has been a popular Medford sports figure for decades.

He’s been a fixture at football, basketball, baseball and softball games since moving to the Rogue Valley in 1967.

Gould has worked for the Medford School District since 1986 compiling statistics for coaches and the media. He’s also worked for college level and professional teams.

— Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or email ttrower@mailtribune.com