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The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s All Arkansas Preps awards banquet, sponsored by St. Vincent, will feature keynote speaker Peyton Manning. Manning, one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks, will attend the event that honors high school athletes and their accomplishments on Saturday, June 1 at the Wally Allen Ballroom in the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Manning is a super bowl-winning quarterback for the Denver Broncos who is the only NFL player in history to be named MVP four times. In addition, he has made eleven Pro Bowl appearances while being named to the Associated Press NFL All-Pro First Team five times.

“When we first starting planning this event, the one name that kept coming up was: Peyton Manning,” said Tabitha Cunningham, promotions manager at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “Not only for his accomplishments on the field, but for his success off the field as well. We wanted our keynote speaker to be a great example for these high school athletes and someone who exhibits character and integrity on and off the field. Peyton does just that and we consider it a great honor he accepted our invitation to attend this event and we look forward to having him in Little Rock.”

Keith Jackson, a native Arkansan and former Green Bay Packer, will emcee the event. Jackson was a tight end at Oklahoma and played nine years in the NFL where he made six Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in his final season. He recently received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

All of these student athletes who are chosen as the first, second or sophomore teams will be invited to attend the event. Out of each sport, a male and female athlete will be selected to receive the honor of Outstanding Player of the Year. These students will receive an award at the event on stage and will have their photograph taken with Manning. In addition, an Overall Male Athlete, Overall Female Athlete and Coach of the Year will be chosen and honored at the event. More than 350 athletes will be chosen from eight different sports.

The All Arkansas Preps event, which is also sponsored by Metropolitan Bank, Academy Sports and Arkansas Select Buick GMC Dealers, will be a first-class experience for the 1,200 who attend. At this time, seats are being held for athletes and sponsors. Parents of the student athletes will be given instructions on how to purchase tickets to the event. At this time, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is inviting businesses that want to be a part of the event to call 501-378-3553 for more information. Tickets for the general public may be released on Wednesday, May 1. If you are interested in purchasing tickets to this event, please email us your email address ( and you will be notified when they are available for purchase. At this time we want to make sure we are able to reserve seats for students, parents, schools, sponsors and supporting businesses.