Last Thursday the Atlanta Sports Council announced the winners of the 2018 Atlanta Sports Awards honoring the area’s best athletes, coaches, teams and community contributors during its 13th annual Atlanta Sports Awards ceremony at The Fairmont in West Midtown.
Former Atlanta Braves general manager and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee John Schuerholz was honored as the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Coca-Cola. During his legendary 17 years of service as general manager, the Braves made MLB history by finishing first in their division for 14 consecutive seasons (1991-2005), securing five National League pennants and winning the 1995 World Series. Schuerholz then led the Braves for another decade as president before becoming the team’s vice chairman in 2016.
During its inaugural season, Atlanta United FC swept the awards ceremony with a total of three award wins, including Team of the Year presented by PrimeSport. Atlanta United FC Head Coach Gerardo Martino was named Coach of the Year presented by The Home Depot, and midfielder Miguel Almiron was awarded Professional Athlete of the Year presented by SunTrust.
For the second annual Moment of the Year Award presented by Mercedes-Benz USA, the winner was selected by the audience during the live text-to-vote portion of the show. The winning moment was the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (UGA vs. Bama).
The University of Georgia was also well represented as linebacker and first round draft pick Roquan Smith was recognized as Collegiate Athlete of the Year presented by Enterprise Holdings. In the 2017 season, Smith led his team in total stops (137) and was the first Georgia Bulldog to win the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Atlanta Falcons offensive guard Ben Garland, received the Community Spirit Award presented by Georgia Power, A Southern Company. Garland is known in the Atlanta community for his hands-on involvement in local causes and events, including those that aim to help Atlanta’s kids and veterans. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a captain in the Colorado Air National Guard, he is passionate about supporting military causes and is very involved in Falcons’ military outreach initiatives. In his three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Garland has participated in over 60 community events.
Former Cartersville football star Trevor Lawrence, now a quarterback at Clemson University, took home High School Athlete of the Year presented by 680 The Fan. Lawrence, a 5-star quarterback, broke the Georgia state records for passing yards and passing touchdowns during his senior year in 2017.
“We are honored to bring together and celebrate the state’s top athletic talent for a night of well-deserved recognition,” said Dan Corso, president of Atlanta Sports Council. “We sincerely thank our award sponsors and event partners for continuing to make this a successful and memorable event for the nominees, winners and guests.”
2018 Atlanta Sports Award winners:
Coach of the Year Presented by The Home Depot
- Gerardo Martino, Atlanta United FC
Collegiate Athlete of the Year Presented by Enterprise Holdings
- Roquan Smith, University of Georgia Football
High School Athlete of the Year Presented by 680 The Fan
- Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville High School Football
Professional Athlete of the Year Presented by SunTrust
- Miguel Almiron, Atlanta United FC
Team of the Year Presented by PrimeSport
Moment of the Year Presented by Mercedes-Benz USA
- College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – UGA vs. Bama
Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Coca-Cola
- John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves
Community Spirit Award Presented by Georgia Power, A Southern Company
- Ben Garland, Atlanta Falcons
In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of Atlanta’s premier athletes, the Atlanta Sports Council held a silent auction during the event where a portion of the proceeds benefitted the charities of Community Spirit Award winner Ben Garland.
For more information about the Atlanta Sports Awards and the Atlanta Sports Council, please visit: https://www.metroatlantachamber.com/councils/atlanta-sports-council