Nick Barnett was among the panel of honorees at Thursday night's Eighth Annual Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet in DePere.
Barnett was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award, and was joined by other local sporting standouts such as Barry Alvarez, head football coach and athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, who received the Distinguished Service Award, Tim Coghlin, St. Norbert College's hockey coach and recipient of the Superior Achievement Award, Tiffany Mor, the leading scorer and rebounder for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women's basketball team and Horizon League Player of the Year who was honored with the Collegiate Achievement Award, and the State Champion DePere High School girls basketball team, which received the High School Achievement Award.
The linebacker, who has led the Packers in tackles in each of his first two seasons since being drafted in the first round in 2003, was flattered to be chosen for the honor.
"I just feel blessed to be in a position to be around the people who are in this building," Barnett said. "To accept any kind of award is a true blessing, especially one from Lee Remmel, a great part of Packer tradition."
Mark Duffner, Barnett's position coach presented #56 at the banquet. The former Oregon State standout said that while it's nice to have his accomplishments acknowledged, he will also be spurred on by the award.
"Any time you get an award, it's a good pat on the back," said Barnett. "It lets you know that you're on the right path and to keep going and working hard."
The ceremony, which is presented by the DePere Rotary Club and Green Bay West Rotary Club, has become a staple on the Northeast Wisconsin sports calendar, due in large part to the esteem in which its namesake, Packers' team historian Lee Remmel, is held.
Alvarez paid tribute to Remmel in his acceptance speech of the award which in past years has honored a number of Wisconsin sports legends, including Ron Wolf, Bud Selig, Bart Starr, and Bob Harlan.
"I appreciate Lee's contribution and dedication to sports in general," Alvarez proclaimed. "You look around the country today and see what's happening in the sports world, with sportswriters and the call-in shows and those things, you really learn to appreciate what guys like Lee Remmel are all about. We need more Lee Remmels in our business."
In the evening's final speech, the Badgers coach expressed his affinity for the Green Bay area.
"This part of the country has been so meaningful to our football program," said Alvarez. "As we drove up today, I sat back and thought of all the players that we've recruited from this area and how much they have contributed to the program - not only as players, but leaders and captains of our football team."
Remmel was pleased with the 2005 edition of the banquet, both by the turnout and by the quality of the award recipients.
"I keep thinking that we can't improve on the class each year, but I think this class was very outstanding - no question about it," said Remmel. "And judging by the enthusiasm that they elicited from the over 500 people in attendance, I would have to think that it's one of the premier classes we've had."