Blum's Banter: Tribbys mark annual celebration of Boone County high school sports
The idea of a high school sports awards show coming to Columbia first circulated in the Tribune's offices in the fall of 2016.
After witnessing a similar event held by another newspaper under the same ownership umbrella as the Tribune, the thought from the editorial staff at the time was, "We can do this and honor Columbia's best high school athletes."
The first Tribbys took place in the summer of 2017 at the Missouri Theatre off South Ninth Street in downtown Columbia, with former Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as the special guest speaker.
The second annual event was at the same venue, with Alex Smith as the keynote speaker. That was my first night associated with the Tribune, and it was clear how much high school talent resided in Boone County. In a town whose athletic influence primarily comes from the state's flagship university, there is much more than just that.
This year's Tribbys, our fifth annual prep awards showcase, has transformed into the Boone County High School Sports Awards and takes place at 7 p.m. Monday with a virtual on-demand broadcast for the second consecutive year.
After emceeing the event in 2019 with Tribune sports editor Kevin Graeler and KRCG's Rod Smith at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, a special feeling overtook me. It wasn't because of the hard work those behind the scenes put into making the event happen. In reality, the amount of time and dedication Boone County's athletes and coaches put into every single sport dwarfs our team several times over.
Seeing that collection of athletes, parents, coaches and friends in the same room at the same time to celebrate some of the best mid-Missouri has to offer was truly memorable.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, that wasn't possible last year and won't be the case again Monday. But nevertheless, this year's virtual event is loaded with talent and plenty of celebrity guests to announce the awards.
The football awards given out by reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers? You got it. How about a multi-time World Cup champion announcing the soccer winners? That's happening too with Alex Morgan, before she represents the United States women's soccer team at the Tokyo Olympics.
New to this year's event is the team of the year award, with any squad from this past school year eligible to win. Of course, we'll honor a male athlete of the year, female athlete of the year and coach of the year, too.
The H.E.A.R.T. Award has been modified to the Courage Award but still stands for the same principles. It will be given to a Boone County athlete who represented their community in a positive way in the face of adversity.
We hope this year's Boone County High School Sports Awards will be a reminder of the positives that came from a tough year.
Contact Eric Blum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.