USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, presented by U.S. Polo Assn., is expanding to announce the nation’s top athletes in 25 sports in a first-of-its-kind national awards show at 8:00pm ET on Thursday, August 5.
The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards program operates as a multi-month high school student athlete recognition program in 53 regions and all 50 states. Top athletes in each area are recognized in most state-sanctioned sports, as well as honors for coach of the year, team of the year, and male and female athletes of the year. The regional honorees and winners will be revealed the last week of June and state winners will be announced July 15.
The athlete designated as the statewide winner in the sports recognized nationally will go on to receive recognition in the inaugural USA TODAY High School Sports Awards show, which recently partnered with the U.S. Polo Assn., in the efforts to honor thousands of students across the country. U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA).
“It’s an honor for U.S. Polo Assn. to be the presenting sponsor for this outstanding event that supports and highlights high school sports throughout the U.S.,” said J. Michael Prince, President and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, the worldwide licensor of the U.S. Polo Assn. brand. “U.S. Polo Assn. is an authentic, sport-inspired, global brand, so it’s the perfect match to partner with USA TODAY to give back to these exceptional student athletes. We are also thrilled to introduce the amazing sport of polo to this year’s roster of awards and expose the sport to a new audience through our partnership.”
As part of the partnership, the show will unveil a new award for the country’s top male and female athletes in the sport of polo.
“Polo is an inclusive sport where female and male players of all ages play on the same fields together, and at all levels,” Prince said. “In fact, many players begin playing in their youth and go on to play in the collegiate polo clubs. We love the connection of the brand and the sport and welcome the opportunity to support philanthropic causes such as the High School Sports Awards.”
Viewers also will see elite high school athletes, coaches and teams that were named the state winners in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. Honorees have the opportunity to be selected as the nation’s top male and female athletes in each sport. The national broadcast will showcase stories and highlights of their stellar performances from the past year.
“We’ve been honoring student athletes at regional events throughout the country with these ESPY-style awards shows for many years. The pandemic prevented us from hosting our typical live events. But we’re thrilled to have a brand like the U.S. Polo Assn. join us to make sure the recognition continues. Their support helps us bring even more to the program,” said Crystal Costa, the program’s event director. “And while we fully expect to return to live shows in 2022, the new format allowed us to bring to fruition our longtime goal of hosting a national awards program.”
The USA TODAY High School Sports awards show features top professional athletes who will share their own stories, words of advice and recognition, all in celebration of young adults who have shown dedication and excellence in their athletic pursuits. Featured hosts and guests included in the show will be announced in coming months.
Athletes who are selected as winners for each state, announced by Thursday, July 15 on each state’s sports awards website, will be invited to register for the national show. In doing so, they will receive a special gift box that includes special commemorative items, a keepsake co-branded trucker hat from the U.S. Polo Assn., the show program, and other sponsor gift items.
The on-demand awards show debuts 8:00pm ET on Friday, August 5 at USA TODAY, USA TODAY News and USA TODAY Sportswire channels, available on Amazon Fire TV, the Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus and most Smart TVs. It will also be available on Amazon Prime Video Direct and at SportsAwards.USATODAY.com.
Visit the website to sign up for updates to keep up with program announcements and honoree selections throughout the year, learn more about how to watch the show, or to find the regional or state program near you. Stories about the selections and more program information can also be found here.