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Atlanta Sports Awards 2021: Everything you need to know

Fan voting has ended and winners will be announced on Aug. 21 exclusively on 11Alive

ATLANTA — Atlanta's sports teams gave us a memorable year full of triumph and celebration. Now it's time to decide who deserves to be honored as the very best of Atlanta sports. The 16th annual Atlanta Sports Awards, presented by the Atlanta Sports Council, is back and returns to 11Alive for a second consecutive year.

You, the fan, are playing a part in who wins these prestigious awards by casting your votes for Outstanding Team11 High School Athlete, Outstanding College Athlete, Top Sports Moment, Outstanding Coach, Outstanding Professional Athlete and Outstanding Team. A percentage of the total fan vote will be included with the ballots submitted by the Council's voting committee to determine this year's winners. Online fan voting took place from July 9 to 16.

Stay tuned as we highlight each category on-air, weekdays Aug. 9 to 20, and announce the winners on Aug. 21 on 11Alive and 11Alive.com. We will also recognize the Lifetime Achievement Award winner presented by Coca-Cola, the Positive Athlete Award presented by Georgia Power, a Southern Company, the Unsung Hero Award presented by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and achievements in eSports presented by the Atlanta eSports Alliance.

A spotlight on-air:

  • Aug. 9: Outstanding Coach presented by The Home Depot
  • Aug. 10: Top Sports Moment presented by Mercedes-Benz
  • Aug. 11: Outstanding College Athlete
  • Aug. 12: Outstanding Team11 High School Athlete
  • Aug. 13: Achievements in eSports presented by Atlanta eSports Alliance
  • Aug. 16: Outstanding Professional Athlete presented by Truist
  • Aug. 17: Unsung Hero presented by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation 
  • Aug. 18: Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Coca-Cola 
  • Aug. 19: Outstanding Sports Team
  • Aug. 20: Positive Athlete presented by Georgia Power, a Southern Company

One-Hour Special:

  • August 21: One-hour special airs on 11 Alive at 7 p.m.
  • August 22: One-hour special re-airs on 11 Alive at 11 a.m. and at 8 p.m. on WATL

Outstanding Professional Athlete presented by Truist

Chase Elliott, NASCAR: The Dawsonville driver took home his first Cup Series Championship by capturing his fifth win of the season at Phoenix Raceway. Elliott also won the All-Star Race at Bristol.

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves: The veteran first baseman hit .341, led the majors in runs and doubles, and took home the NL MVP Award. Freeman was the first Braves player to win the award since Chipper Jones in 1999.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons: Ridley found his rhythm in his third season, getting 90 catches and more than 1,300 yards, which was good for fifth-best in the NFL. Ridley had eight games with 100 yards or more.

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks: Nicknamed “Ice Trae,” the young point guard averaged 29 points and 11 assists per game, earning his first NBA All-Star nod. Young set his career-high with a 50-point performance against the Miami Heat. 

Outstanding Coach presented by The Home Depot

Nell Fortner, Georgia Tech: In her second year, Fortner led the Yellow Jackets women's basketball team to a 17-9 campaign, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Georgia Tech finished the season ranked No. 22 in the Coaches’ Poll.

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets men's basketball team finished the season 17-9, which included wins against Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. The Jackets won the ACC Tournament, earning a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.

Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves: The 2020 Baseball America Manager of the Year took the Braves to the NLCS while dealing with a shortened season and a myriad of rotation issues.

Joni Taylor, Georgia: After going 21-7, the Bulldogs' women's basketball team earned their highest NCAA Tournament seed since 2007. Taylor was named the SEC Coach of the Year and was a national coach of the year finalist. 

Outstanding College Athlete

Jake Magahey, UGA Swimming: As a freshman, Magahey won the NCAA Championship in the 500m freestyle and set school records in the 500m freestyle, 1,000m freestyle and 400m & 800m freestyle relays.

Jenna Staiti, UGA Women’s Basketball: Staiti is one of only eight lady Bulldogs all-time to score 1,000 career points, record over 500 rebounds and block 150 shots. Staiti led the SEC in blocked shots with more than three per game.

Tyler Strafaci, Georgia Tech Golf: The Grandson of a golf champion, Strafaci continued the family legacy by winning the U.S. Amateur in 2020, etching his name on the same trophy as fellow Yellow Jackets Matt Kuchar and Bobby Jones. 

Moses Wright, Georgia Tech Basketball: The senior was fourth in the ACC in scoring with 17 points-per-game and average eight rebounds per game. It was an effort that led him to being named the ACC Player of the Year.

Top Sports Moment presented by Mercedes-Benz

Elliott Wins it All: Chase Elliott won his first NASCAR Cup Series Title at Phoenix Raceway, joining his father, Bill, as a stock car champion. The Dawsonville native is just 24 years old, the third-youngest champion in NASCAR history.

DJ Dominant at East Lake: Dustin Johnson capped off an incredible season with a 21-under win at the TOUR Championship. He held off Justin Thomas to win the FEDEX Cup and $15 million.

Freeman’s Walk-Off Winner: Game 1 of the Wildcard Series between the Braves and Reds was scoreless after 13 innings until Freddie Freeman drove in the walk-off winner, propelling the Braves into their playoff run.

Five Stripes’ Homegrown Connection: Douglassville’s George Bello made his mark in the CONCACAF Champions League by setting up Jackson Conway, another homegrown player, for Conway’s first professional goal in a 1-0 win over Club America.

Outstanding Sports Team

Atlanta Braves: Led by Freddie Freeman’s MVP Campaign, the Braves were NL East Champions, winners of the NL Wild Card and Division series, and took the Dodgers to Game 7 of the NL Championship Series. 

Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball: After being picked in the pre-season to finish ninth in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets won nine straight on their way to an ACC Title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Grayson Rams Football: The Rams went a perfect 14-0 in Georgia’s largest classification. They averaged 38 points-per-game while only giving up eight per game on their way to the school’s third state championship.

Westlake Girl’s Basketball: The Lions won their fourth straight state championship, just the seventh women’s team in Georgia history to do so. They continued their perfect season by winning the GEICO nationals.

Outstanding Team11 High School Athlete

Sania Feagin, Forest Park Girl’s Basketball: The South Carolina signee won the Georgia girl’s basketball Gatorade Player of the Year Award after averaging a double-double. She led her team to the state championship two years in a row.

Brady House, Winder-Barrow Baseball: The 18-year-old shortstop was the top high school baseball product out of Georgia following a senior season in which he batted over .500, had 52 runs and eight home runs.

Jabari Smith Jr., Sandy Creek Basketball: As the son of a former professional basketball player, the 5-star forward helped Sandy Creek tally a 21-game winning streak and reach a spot in the state championship game.

Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Football: The future UGA quarterback led the state in passing yards and touchdowns. He led the Chargers to their first state title, taking down the five-time defending champions along the way.

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