Heisman Trophy winner to address student athletes during annual awards event

George Rogers, Heisman Trophy winner, former South Carolina running back and NFL standout with the New

Orleans Saints and 1988 Washington Redskins Super Bowl team, will speak during the annual Prep Sports Awards Thursday.

Summerville Communications, which publishes the Journal Scene, Berkeley Independent and The Gazette newspapers, will once again recognize high school athletes and coaches in Berkeley and Dorchester counties in its second annual Best of Prep Sports awards ceremony.

Best of Prep Sports is a unique event that highlights the outstanding performance of high school standouts on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

The ceremony is set for 7 p.m., on May 16 at Seacoast Church, 301 E. 5th North St. in Summerville. Among the 30-plus awards to be presented will be male and female athletes of the year, team of the year and coach of the year. There will also be winners in the categories of leadership, service and academics.

“This is a chance for our news organization to celebrate the accomplishments of our young athletes,” Summerville Communications executive editor David Kennard said. “Our sports reporters are privileged to know these fine young people from the sidelines but now we get to honor them for what they do both for the school and the community.”

The event will include an address by former University of South Carolina running back George Rogers, one of the best to ever play football in the Palmetto State.

Rogers won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1980 as a senior running back for the Gamecocks, leading the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns while eclipsing the 100-yard mark in every game.

He became the first player chosen in the 1981 National Football League draft and played seven seasons in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins, helping the Redskins win a Super Bowl in 1988 before retiring.

Rogers will share lessons and memories he made throughout his career. He founded the George Rogers Foundation in 1992 with a mission to provide financial assistance to first generation college students. Over the past 3 years the foundation has given out over $120,000 in scholarships.

In 1997, Rogers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Longtime Lowcountry television personality Warren Peper will serve as emcee for the ceremony.

General admission tickets may be purchased for $20 and include hors d’oeuvres, the awards ceremony and presentation by George Rogers.

Tickets are available at http://JournalScene.com/PrepSports.

“So much work goes into high school sports, and they are such an integral part of our community,” Kennard said. “As the leading source of local news, we felt this was one way of acknowledging the dedication of our athletes, coaches and everyone else involved.”