PACE Omaha is the 2021 Omaha Sports Commission Awards’ Dr. Jack Lewis Sports Person/Organization of the Year.
PACE, or Police Athletics for Community Engagement, provides sports for youths to help prevent at-risk activities such as gang activity and drug use.
“Since 2005, countless youth in the community are positively influenced through sports by PACE Omaha’s ‘come as you are’ philosophy that guarantees young people can freely participate in sporting activities,” the OSCAs’ Josh Todd said. “The Omaha Sports Commission believes sports can make a difference in the lives of young people and fully supports the work and commitment of PACE Omaha.”
In addition, the OSCAs has announced the finalists for its other annual awards. The public can participate in online voting at omahasports.org/vote from May 3-10 that will factor into the winners' selections.
The OSCAs will take place at 7 p.m. May 27 at the Relevant Center, 21220 Elkhorn Dr. in northwest Omaha, with tickets ($75) going on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday at omahasports.org/oscas. A live streaming option will also be available to purchase soon.
The OSCAs will also celebrate the induction of the 2021 Omaha Sports Hall of Fame class of Calvin Jones, Jim Hendry and the 1983-84 Omaha Central girls basketball undefeated state championship team.
“The pandemic forced us to announce the winners via a pre-produced show last year, but we have a new location and great group of athletes, teams and moments to recognize and celebrate together this year,” said Todd, the president and executive director of the Omaha Sports Commission.
A selection committee vote determined the finalists in the following sports categories for the period from spring 2020 to winter 2021:
Female athlete: Jordyn Bahl, Papillion-La Vista softball; Megan Carter, Omaha Marian diving; Rylee Gray, Elkhorn South volleyball; Lindsay Krause, Omaha Skutt volleyball; Britt Prince, Elkhorn North basketball; JoJo Randby, Marian swimming.
Male athlete: Drew Christo, Elkhorn baseball; Thomas Fidone, Lewis Central football; Chucky Hepburn, Bellevue West basketball; Ethan Neil, Papillion-La Vista tennis; Cole Payton, Omaha Westside football; Hunter Sallis, Millard North basketball.
Coach: Tim Cannon, Millard North boys basketball; Brett Froendt, Westside football; Jay Mims, Union Omaha soccer; Todd Petersen, Papillion-La Vista softball; Ann Prince, Elkhorn North girls basketball; Renee Saunders, Omaha Skutt volleyball.
Team: Creighton men’s basketball; Millard North boys basketball; Millard South wrestling; Papillion-La Vista softball; Omaha Skutt volleyball; Omaha Westside football
Sports moment: Class A boys basketball tournament; Westside football’s Cole Payton/Koby Bretz ‘throw’; Creighton men’s basketball reaches Sweet 16; Union Omaha professional soccer debut; UNO women’s basketball knocks off No. 1 seed in Summit League tournament.
Steve Pivovar Sports Media Person: Damon Benning/Mike’l Severe, 1620 The Zone; Sean Callahan, Husker Online; Andy Kendeigh, KETV; Kevin Kugler, Fox Sports/Westwood One; Stu Pospisil, Omaha World-Herald.