One week ago, it was unsure if Sean Lee would return for a 10th season with the Dallas Cowboys. He has since signed a newly restructured contract to remain with America’s Team and expressed his excitement to engage with the most talented student-athletes in the area at the inaugural All-Ellis County preps sports banquet.

The first-of-its-kind event in Ellis County, sponsored by Methodist Midlothian Medical Center and hosted by the Daily Light Media Group, will recognize the top high school athletes in the area June 11 at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

"I am excited to meet and honor the outstanding student-athletes at the All-Ellis County awards banquet," stated Lee, who has twice been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl and once chosen as a first-team All-Pro linebacker.

The evening will celebrate the accomplishments of more than 300 county athletes and coaches across 19 sports and 15 campuses.

Awards will be presented to the Player of the Year in each sport, as well as the countywide Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year. All-Ellis County selected athletes will be invited to attend this special awards event for free.

Over 100 football and volleyball athletes received All-Ellis County recognitions earlier this year, while the standout boys' and girls' basketball athletes will be highlighted later this month.

“We are delighted to honor the area’s top high school athletes after a successful season of hard work and dedication,” said Juan Fresquez, president of Methodist Midlothian and Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. “As a member of the Midlothian community and leading healthcare provider in the Ellis County region, Methodist is proud to provide our athletes and 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 work hard and put forth the effort in becoming the best in their respective sports.”

Lee is no stranger to the spotlight or community outreach, either.

The Cowboys selected Lee, a former three-star recruit as ranked by Rivals and Scout.com, out of Penn State in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. He has since served as the captain of the defense for most of his time in Dallas, often charged with wearing the lone defensive on-field headset and relaying the play call to teammates.

The 32-year-old linebacker has recorded 698 career tackles in the NFL, though the nature of the game has limited Lee to just 93 of 144 possible games over his eight years in the NFL. He has proven, however, to always be present, engaged and invested in the team’s success from the sidelines even when unable to take down a ball carrier on the field.

He is already considered one of the brightest young defensive minds and will undoubtedly have a bright future as a coach, should he so choose.

Off of the field, Lee is heavily involved with local youth through the YMCA, PMR Charities and the Dreambuilders Foundation, a Dallas-Fort Worth-based nonprofit that serves children and families faced with medical bills, in support of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Lee was also the Cowboys nominee for the prestigious Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award in 2016, which recognizes one player on each of the 32 NFL teams who have significantly positively impacted his community.

The All-Ellis County preps awards banquet will be held at the Waxahachie Civic Center from 6—9 p.m. Tuesday, June 11. More information about the event can be found by visiting WaxahachieTX.com/preps. All-Ellis County selected athletes will receive a letter, starting in April, and as they are recognized and awarded through the end of the school year with instructions on how to claim their free ticket.

General admission tickets may be purchased for $60. A general admission ticket includes dinner, awards ceremony, and presentation by Sean Lee.

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.

"It is truly an honor and privilege for the Daily Light Media Group team to acknowledge these outstanding student-athletes and, thanks to community partners like Methodist Midlothian, be able to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from a true professional like Sean Lee," said Colten Crist with the Daily Light Media Group. "We believe the first-ever All-Ellis County prep sports banquet will be an event unlike any other in the county and cannot wait to see all of the students and their parents enjoy the evening."

For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Colten Crist at (469) 517-1440 or ccrist@waxahachietx.com.