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Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 10:37 a.m. CST

This week, we unveiled the nomination form for "Jasper County's 25 Greatest Sports Figures." We would like to explain what we're trying to do.

The goal is to recognize, both now and in the future, those who have contributed to the world of sports, both locally and on a broader stage, who have ties to Jasper County. So, we use the phrase "sports figure," because we're not just talking about athletes.

To us, anyone who has been involved in sports in any way could potentially qualify for recognition. This includes, but should not be limited to:

• athletes

• coaches

• referees/game officials

• team doctors/trainers

• team managers

• boosters

• professional/semi-pro team officials

You may nominate as many sports figures as you would like. We do ask that you include at least a brief explanation of why you are nominating each sports figure, though.

The deadline to nominate sports figures for this project is Aug. 14, at which time we will compile a voting ballot that we will publish. At that time, we will need your help again to vote for your "Top 10" sports figures from among the nominees on the ballot.

We will tabulate the results of your votes to come up with our Top 25, each of whom will be featured in an upcoming special section. But the project won't end there. Each year, we will return to you, asking for more ideas for athletes who should be recognized for their contributions.

We know there are many people who have played a significant role in local sports, the lives of local athletes, and to the world of sports in a broader sense. But we need your help to ensure we recognize as many of them as possible — a nomination alone will be quite an honor for many of these folks.

Don't assume someone else will recognize a worthy sports figure. Take the initiative and nominate them yourself. So be sure to get all your nominations into us before it's too late.