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Fans can vote now for state’s top female, male collegiate athletes

Mississippi football, baseball and basketball fans will have the opportunity to take part in the voting for the 2021 C Spire Outstanding Player Awards, which annually honor the Magnolia state’s top male and female college athletes.

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (MSHOF) and C Spire announced Wednesday that fan voting would count for a weighted 10%of the C Spire Conerly Trophy, C Spire Ferris Trophy, C Spire Howell Trophy and the C Spire Gillom Trophy. Coaches, professional scouts and a panel of statewide sports news media determine the remaining 90% of the voting.

The awards program was cancelled last year after a global pandemic caused some sports to be discontinued and others to be curtailed due to health restrictions and concerns. “College sports are back and we’re anxious for fans to weigh on their favorite players and programs,” said Bill Blackwell, executive director of the MSHOF.

Due to pandemic restrictions and general health concerns, the MSHOF and C Spire, which co-sponsor the awards, will confer the Outstanding Player Awards during a virtual program on Monday, May 24 at noon. Fans, players, coaches and family members can watch the program live online at www.msfame.com.  Veteran CBS NFL television analyst Charles Davis will be the special master of ceremonies.

“College sports is an important part of our state’s social fabric — so we felt it was important that we continue to honor these athletes and schools while giving passionate fans another way to support their favorite teams and players in a safe and responsible way,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire.

Fan voting is open now and concludes May 17 at noon CT.  Fans can vote once daily per email address for any of the 19 Mississippi college football, baseball or basketball nominees at the CSOPA site.

This is the first time in the program’s history that the Outstanding Player awards will be conferred at the same time.  The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Outstanding Player Award series.

The nominees for the C Spire Outstanding Players Awards in 2021 include:

  • Football: Conerly Trophy (selected by the schools that played football last fall or this spring): Belhaven running back Brad Foley, Jackson State wide receiver Daylen Baldwin, Millsaps defensive back Christian Roberts, Mississippi College running back Cole Fagan, Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi Valley State defensive end-linebacker Jerry Garner, Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore and Southern Miss offensive lineman Arvin Fletcher.
  • Men’s basketball: Howell Trophy (selected by statewide media) Jackson State guard Tristan Jarrett. Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr. and Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler
  • Women’s basketball: Gillom Trophy – Jackson State center Ameysha Williams and guard Dayzsha Rogan and Ole Miss forward Shakira Austin.
  • Baseball: Ferriss Trophy (selected by Major League Baseball professional scouts and coaches): Mississippi State outfielder Tanner Allen and pitcher Landon Sims and Ole Miss outfielder Kevin Graham and pitchers Gunner Hoglund and Doug Nikhazy.

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