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State Games hands out SOY awards

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Aug. 17, 2003
Youth was an unnecessary commodity on Saturday at the State Games Sportsman of the Year awards banquet, where both the male and female winners had already celebrated their 50th birthdays.
David Carr and Lillian Zamora were respectively named the Male and Female Sportsman of the Year winners before a crowd of just over 100 at the banquet, which was held at the Quality Inn in Meridian.
For Carr, who competed in his first State Games this year, the award was validation that his athletic career didn't end at 50.
Carr and Zamora were chosen from a pool of 35 athletes who were honored as the male and female Sportsman of the Year winners in individual sports. Zamora was the female honoree for the 5K road race, and Carr won the award for the biathlon.
The 51-year-old Zamora, who is from Quitman, said the overall win was unexpected.
The awards were presented by C.D. Smith, a member of the State Games board of directors.
The presentation was relatively informal, and Smith kept the mood light.
Award winners for individual sports could be nominated by officials, fellow competitors, spectators, or anyone else who saw the athlete in action. Winners were then chosen by a committee of State Games officials.
Carr and Zamora will help the State Games promote amateur athletics throughout the state over the next year, and will also light the torch to open the 2004 Games.