The first All-Ellis County All-Star Preps award event in 2019 was a massive success, and 2020 promises to be even bigger.

Not only have all-star teams been expanded to honor more student-athletes and coaches, the number of categories has been expanded to include Ellis County’s best in band, cheer and mascots.

But to top it all, one of the greatest players in baseball history to ever visit Ellis County — Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, the featured guest of last year’s event — will be followed this year by one of the greatest players in football history.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith will be the guest speaker at the second-annual All-Ellis County All-Star Preps awards show on Thursday, June 11, at the Waxahachie Civic Center. Smith will participate in a Q&A session during the awards show and take photos with student-athlete award winners.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on Student-athletes selected to one of the All-Ellis County all-star teams will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to claim their free ticket to the show, or they may request their code on the event website.

“The Daily Light and our sponsors are fired up to host our hometown teams with our hometown Cowboy, bringing our Ellis County community together,” said Colten Crist, advertising and operations manager of Waxahachie Media Group. “We are grateful to be afforded the opportunity to provide a night our hometown superstars will never forget.”

Waxahachie Media Group, which includes the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror, is hosting the once-in-a-lifetime event with presenting partner Methodist Midlothian, and honorees are able to attend at no charge, thanks to the gracious support of local business leaders.

“We are honored to host Ellis County’s top high school athletes after a successful season of hard work and dedication,” Methodist Midlothian and Methodist Mansfield Medical Center’s President Juan Fresquez said. “As a leading healthcare provider in the Ellis County region, Methodist is proud to provide athletes and the community with exceptional health care. We know what it takes to be the best of the best and we commend the efforts of these athletes in Ellis County who are committed to becoming the best in their respective sports.”

General admission tickets may be purchased for $60. General admission ticket includes dinner, awards ceremony and a question-and-answer portion by Smith.

General admission seating is first come, first served in proximity to the speaker. General public tickets will go on sale at a later date after the All-Ellis County athletes and their guests have reserved their tickets. Seating is limited.

Smith is a football icon and one of the greatest to ever play the game. In his 15 seasons with the NFL, he amassed many records that still stand today, including the most career rushing yards and the most career rushing touchdowns. Smith’s impressive resume includes three Super Bowl championship rings and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

As a first-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, Smith was the cornerstone of the Dallas Cowboys offense for 13 seasons. The eight-time Pro Bowler was the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and on October 27, 2002 he surpassed Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.

After his playing days, Smith served as a football analyst and then took his television career a step further when he won the third season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, during which he was dubbed “the king of effortless cool.” He also added author to his list of accomplishments, publishing Game On, which outlines the principles that helped him succeed both on and off the field.

Visit for more information. For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Colten Crist at 972-937-3310 or .