Nominees sought for awards

John H. “Jack” Cramer was a standout local athlete who died unexpectedly at the age of 33 in 1977.

That year, Columbus Parks and Recreation started the Jack Cramer Ideals of Athletic Competition Award. The idea was to honor local individuals who exemplified the same character and passion as Cramer.

So for the past 40 years, many of the finest high school, college and adult athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors the city has known have been recognized with this prestigious award. Numerous other qualified candidates have been nominated and still would make ideal recipients.

That’s where the public comes in. Cramer Award winners have to be nominated. June 15 is the deadline.

The Ideals of Athletic Competition contains seven components that nominees should possess — dedication, preparation, determination, maximum exertion, team contribution, fair play and sportsmanship.

Nominees must be of at least high school age through adults, although high school students are rarely selected. Two years ago, former Columbus North basketball standout Ali Patberg became an exception when she was picked as the female winner shortly after graduating.

Last year’s winners were Columbus North boys and girls tennis coach Kendal Hammel and former Columbus East volleyball and basketball star and current Columbus Comets coach and radio girls basketball analyst Allison (Lee) White. They were chosen from among 12 nominees.

Typically, one male and one female are chosen. However, only one winner was selected in the award’s early years, and four were picked as recently as 2012.

Nomination forms are available by going to

The forms may be dropped off at Donner Center, emailed to with “Jack Cramer Nomination Form” in the subject line or mailed to Ideals of Athletic Competition Award Program, Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, P.O. Box 858, Columbus IN 47202.

Just remember that to be considered, a nomination must be received by June 15. A committee will meet on June 28 to select this year’s winners.

I look forward to another crop of outstanding candidates.