Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, three-time pro bowler and two-time all-pro first-team flank player TJ Watt, U.S. gold and silver medalist in women’s gymnastics, Laurie Hernandez, and three-time MVP, world champion and co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League Paul Rabil closes Join the growing list of top athletes who are part of the Cincinnati High School Sports Awards presented by Mercy Health.
The Cincinnati High School Sports Awards are part of the largest high school sports recognition program in the country. Top athletes in most state-recognized sports will be honored in an on-demand broadcast on June 30th at 8:00 p.m. on the event website.
More:Lindsey Vonn, Alex Smith, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Matt James and Tyler Cameron to be part of the Cincinnati High School Sports Awards
Jones was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 and is currently Special Hitting Advisor for the Atlanta Braves. He holds the Braves team record for the base percentage and is third for the team in the home runs. Jones began his career in 1990 as the No. 1 draft pick for the Braves. He was a member of the 1995 World Cup team and an eight-time All-Star. Jones was the only switch hitter in MLB history with a career hit average of at least 0.300 and 400 or more home runs. He finished the race with at least a batting average of 0.300, a base percentage of 0.400, and a slugging percentage of 500, the only switch hitter in history to hit all three milestones.
Watt, a former first-team All-American for Wisconsin, has dominated the league since the Steelers selected him as a first-round draft pick in 2017. In a stellar 2020 season, he took the top spot in the NFL for sacks and quarterback hits and packs for a loss. He was honored with the Deacon Jones Award, which is given annually to the sack champion of the NFL. Watt was also named AFC Defensive Player of the Year 2020 and was named Steelers MVP and Defensive Player of the Year with 101 awards for the second year running.
During her debut year as a senior gymnast, Hernandez joined the US women’s gymnastics team and was part of the “Final Five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She was part of the gold winning team that year and won a silver medal on the balance beam. That same year, Hernandez competed in Dancing with the Stars and went with the coveted Spiegelkugel trophy as the 23rd season champion. She is also the author of a New York Times bestseller and a children’s book.
The athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist Rabil is a leader in the world of professional lacrosse on and off the field. The Premier Lacrosse League, co-founded by Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil, brings justice to its players in the league. This was a first for a major North American professional team sports league and a strong move for the fastest growing team sport in the United States. Rabil, who currently plays for Cannons Lacrosse Club, is a ten-time first-team all-pro, a three-time Offensive Player of the Year, three-time Most Valuable Player, and seven-time champion throughout his college, professional, and international career. Off the field, he is the host of the Suiting Up podcast, which examines the playbook of the tools and strategies of the most influential people in sports, entertainment, business and politics.
Also new to the show are Martina Navratilova, the most successful tennis player of the open era; Olympic gold medalist and world softball champion, Jennie Finch; Amanda Magadan, midfielder for the US women’s national hockey team; American ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes and Monica Aldama, a 14-time national champion, cheer.
The Cincinnati High School Sports Awards are a multi-month recognition program for athletes. Due to the security precautions of COVID-19 for students and guest speakers, the event has been converted to an on-demand broadcast for 2021. The selection of award winners for state-sanctioned sports, all of which will be featured on the show, will be announced throughout the year website.
The show can be viewed for free on any smartphone or computer thanks to local business sponsors. Prize winners should register on the show’s website to reserve their free athlete gift box. Registrations are also used to send out awards for winners after the show.
Other athletes participating in the previously announced program are:
- Three-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers
- Two-time FIFA World Cup soccer champion Alex Morgan
- Five-time swimming Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky
- Olympic champion and four-time world champion in skiing Lindsey Vonn
- 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith
- Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings
At the first USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, top athletes, coaches and teams from selected nationally recognized sports in the USA are presented. Nationwide Athlete of the Year winners will be among the national award winners.