The show will go on

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The show will go on

Best of HT Preps Awards series will be shown online at 6 p.m. Thursday In this time of adjustments because of the coronavirus COVID-19 p

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Best of HT Preps Awards series will be shown online at 6 p.m. Thursday

In this time of adjustments because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, HT Preps, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Gannett Ventures called the ultimate audible to keep, in this case, the show alive.

The fifth Best of HT Preps High School Sports Awards series, typically held in banquet form at Robarts Arena in Sarasota, transitioned to online in the form of an ESPY style awards show, complete with a red carpet, awards presentation.

This year’s show will premiere at 6 p.m. Thursday and is free to watch using any desktop or smart device at https://preps.sarasota.gatehouselive.com.

Instead of a guest speaker like former football player and current baseball player Tim Tebow, former Tampa Bay Bucs standout linebacker Derrick Brooks, current Florida Atlantic University coach Willie Taggart or Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas in the past, a host of professional athletes will make award presentations and also inspire the honorees.

The star-studded group includes Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry, six-time NHL MVP Wayne Gretzky and record-setting gold medal Olympians like Michael Phelps, Venus Williams and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, along with many others.

Sponsored locally by Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Lakewood Ranch, and Sarasota Ford, the show will be hosted by sports broadcasters, Jesse Palmer, Sage Steele, Dr. Jerry Punch and Courtney Cronin.

In addition to these celebrity athletes, Hoda Kotb will make an appearance as well as promote the award shows on the Today Show.

Awards will be presented to the players of the year in fall (boys and girls cross country, football, boys and girls golf, boys and girls swimming and diving, girls volleyball) and winter sports (boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls weightlifting and wrestling), as well as an overall Male and Female Athlete of the Year.

Because of the pandemic, spring sports seasons were not completed, as schools were forced to close and move classes online.

In addition to the show itself, the website features a live social media feed and a way for viewers to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts. High school sports supporters can also purchase keepsake editions that highlight all of the award winners and honorees.

How to watch Thursday’s Best of HT Preps Awards On-Demand Show:

The Best of HT Preps Awards Show, presented by Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Lakewood Ranch, and Sarasota Ford premieres at 6 p.m. Thursday and is free to watch using any desktop or smart device at https://preps.sarasota.gatehouselive.com It will highlight players of the year in state sanctioned sports, the male and female athletes of the year and several special awards.

Here are some answers to the most common questions based on the new format:

Q: What if I can’t watch the show at 6 p.m. on June 18?

A: Although the show goes live on the event website at 6 p.m. local time on June 18, the show will be hosted on our website on the homepage for a full month. It will also be archived for access later.

Q: Can I watch the show on TV?

A: The Best of HT Preps Awards Show sports awards show can be found by searching for the event name on YouTube and viewed on any smart television through the YouTube app.

Q: Where can I see the honorees who have been announced so far?

A: Honorees who have been announced so far can be found on the website by clicking the “Honorees” button in the navigation bar.

Q: How are honorees, finalists, and winners selected?

A: Honorees, finalists and winners are selected by the sports department at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune with input from area coaches.

Q: Will spring sports be awarded during the show?

A: Due to the fact that spring sports could not be completed due to COVID-19, spring sports will not be awarded during the show, however there is a special tribute to spring seniors that viewers won’t want to miss.

Q: Can I purchase a keepsake edition of the show?

A: After the show, a publication will print in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Sunday, June 21. The publication showcases the award winners, as well as all the honorees from the past year. Keepsake editions will be available for purchase online at htpreps.com for a limited time. Packages are available in 5, 10 or 15 copies.

Q: How can people watching donate to COVID-19 Relief efforts?

A: The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is joining with other media groups in the USA Today Network to raise funds for charitable organizations assisting with COVID-19 relief efforts. Viewers can donate via the website.

The local show with the most donations will receive a matching donation, up to $10,000, from USA Today Network.

Q: How can we get involved on social media?

A: Share your sports moments and memories from the past year, congratulate your favorite athletes, show photos and special moments from your watch parties and more on Twitter and Instagram to be part of the national conversation, showcased on the local event website and nationally on the USA Today High School at sportsawards.usatoday.com.

Use #HTPreps for a chance to be featured on the live social media feed on the event website. Add #HighSchoolSportsAwards for a chance to be featured on the national feed.

Each post that uses the event hashtags is automatically entered to win an autographed gift from one of our celebrity guests. Only public profiles and posts on Twitter and Instagram can be displayed on the social feeds and are eligible to win.

Anyone who uses the hashtag #DontStopNow for tribute messages to seniors who missed their spring sport season, along with the other event hashtags, will be automatically entered to win $1,000. This lucky winner, chosen nationally, will also get an additional $1,000 donated on their behalf to the local charity of their choice.

Honorees and award winners can also search “all star preps” on Instagram filters to add to their stories, showcasing them as an honoree or award winner.

Q: Will there be a live in-person event next year?

A: As long as the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a threat to our safety and health, we plan to host a live event in 2021 and celebrate with the community in-person once again.

Also, be sure to join in the conversation on social media using #HTPreps and #HighSchoolSportsAwards. We can’t wait to celebrate all of the amazing local athletes!

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