Oregon Sports Awards focuses spotlight on high schools

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Organizers moved it to the Tiger Woods Center at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. They cut the time nearly in half to about 90 minutes. And they made it a television production, even bringing in ESPN anchor Neil Everett as host last year.

But perhaps the biggest shift came last year when organizers expanded the scope of the awards to further emphasize high school sports. For the first time, the awards included a male and female athlete of the year in each high school sport.

“We’re always looking for ways to evolve the show and keep it relevant,” said Jim Etzel, president of Etzel marketing, which stages the event. “If we step back and look at it, the biggest base of participation in sports in our state is not pro, it’s not college, it’s high school.”

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