Palm Beach County Sports Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2013
Contact: Kayla French
Palm Beach County Sports
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – The Palm Beach County Sports Commission (PBCSC) announces 14 finalists for the 2012 Annual Sports Awards. The Annual Sports Awards include Amateur Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, High School Athlete of the Year, High School Coach of the Year, Professional Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Sports Contributor of the Year. The recipients of the Annual Sports Awards will be recognized at the 2013 Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, presented by Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Sunday, March 24 beginning at 5:30pm.
Finalists for the 2012 Annual Sports Awards are:
Amateur Athlete of the Year
Jonathan Dunn, Northwood University, Basketball
The NAIA Division II National Player of the Year, first team All-American, and Sun Conference Player of the Year averaged 21.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 2.9 steals in leading Northwood to the school’s first #1 national ranking and NAIA DII Tournament Finals.
Matt Elam, Palm Beach Gardens and University of Florida, Football
After a high school career at William T. Dwyer that saw him become just the third Palm Beach County athlete to be named Florida’s “Mr. Football” and the only two-time winner of the Palm Beach County High School Player of the Year award, Elam cemented himself as one of the best college football players in the country in 2012. In his junior year, the University of Florida safety was named a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, and The Sporting News. Elam led the Gators in both interceptions (4) and unassisted tackles (49), and finished second in total tackles (65) and tackles for loss (10).
Tony McQuay, Riviera Beach and University of Florida, Track
McQuay won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games as part of the United States 4x400m relay team, posting a 43.41 split, the fastest in the final. Earlier in 2012, he placed 1st in the NCAA Championships for the University of Florida, winning the 400m in 44.58 seconds, and anchored the Gators champion 4x400m relay team. Both wins are the first in University of Florida history.
High School Coach of the Year
Amanda Angermeier, Boca Raton HS, Girls Volleyball
Angermeier won the first 8-A state championship in girl’s volleyball for Boca Raton High School, beating Winter Park in the finals for a 31-1 record.
Ron Ream, Benjamin School, Football
Ream’s won the first championship for the new Southeastern Football Conference with an 11-1 record, beating Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest 41-20 in title game.
Rick Rothman, Spanish River HS, Cross Country
Rothman was named National High School Athletic Coaches Association girls cross country coach of the year in August. Rothman won seven state titles in nearly three decades at Spanish River.
High School Athlete of the Year
Greg Bryant, American Heritage, Football
A finalist for both the Lou Groza Player of the Year and the U.S. Army National Player of the Year, Bryant averaged nearly eight yards per carry, running for 1,402 yards on the ground and adding another 265 receiving. One of the nations highest rated college prospects, he committed to Notre Dame before playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Kai James, William T. Dwyer, Girls Basketball
James averaged 12.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 3.4 block shots for Dwyer and before her senior season, the 6’5” James was named to the U.S. Under-17 Women’s Basketball Team, which won gold at the FIBA Women’s World Championships. The 22nd ranked prospect in the country has committed to play at Florida State.
Kelvin Taylor, Glades Day School, Football
The Lou Groza Award High School Player of the Year and state 2-A Player of the Year capped one of the greatest careers in the history of Florida high school football. Taylor ran for 2,260 yards, averaging 11.5 yards per carry, while scoring 40 touchdowns. He’s the only player in state history to break the 10,000 career rushing yard mark, finishing with 11,745 yards and 195 touchdowns. He will follow in his father Fred’s footsteps to play for the University of Florida.
Coach of the Year
Rollie Massimino, Northwood University, Men’s Basketball
Massimino was named the Rawlings Coach of the Year for leading Northwood to the best season in program history. The Seahawks finished the season 34-4, tied for the best overall record in the NAIA, earning Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships. Massimino’s team then advanced all the way to the NAIA Division II National Championship Game. The Seahawks have received bids to the national tournament in each of Massimino’s seven seasons, going a combined 171-37 under his leadership.
Mark Richt, Boca Raton and the University of Georgia, Football
In his 12th season leading the Bulldogs, the Boca Raton High School product and Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Famer went 12-2 overall and 7-1 in the vaunted SEC, winning the conference’s East Division but falling to eventual National Champion Alabama in the conference title game. Georgia went on to the Capital One Bowl, where they defeated Nebraska to finish the year ranked #4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #5 by the Associated Press.
John Rootes, Lynn University, Men’s Soccer
After falling in the national championship game last season, Rootes brought the Fighting Knights back in 2012 and coached the team to a 3-2 victory over Saginaw Valley State to win the NCAA Division II Championship. Lynn went 19-3-1 overall on the season, winning the 20th national title in school history.
Alfred Morris, FAU and Washington Redskins, Football
The leading rusher in Florida Atlantic University history, Morris was drafted in the 6th round (#173 overall) by the Washington Redskins. Morris won the job as Washington’s starting running back out of training camp and put on one of the most impressive rookie seasons in NFL history. He finished with 1,613 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, with both marks the second-most in the NFL. The 1,613 yards are the third-most by a rookie in NFL history and the most ever by any Redskins running back. In the final week of the season, with Washington needing a victory to win the NFC East and make the playoffs, Morris amazed with 200 yards and three scores.
Outstanding Sports Contributor of the Year
IGP Sports & Entertainment Group, The Honda Classic
IGP Sports & Entertainment Group is an international sports marketing, event management, and athlete representation firm specializing in the golf industry and manages The Honda Classic (a PGA TOUR event). The Honda Classic generated major benefits for Palm Beach County in 2012. Over 160,000 spectators attended the event, an increase of more than 40% over the previous year. The tournament generated over $40 million of economic impact and more than 5,000 hotel room nights for Palm Beach County. Over 5.1 million households watched the Honda Classic live on NBC and the Golf Channel. Additionally, the Honda Classic televised broadcast was internationally distributed to over 570 million households.
Steve Politziner, of ESPN 760 will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The PBCSC is honored to have Steve Politziner, Vice President and on-air host of ESPN 760 to emcee the 2013 Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.
Tickets are available online at www.palmbeachsports.com or by calling the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at 561-233-3180.
Candidates for Annual Sports Awards are nominated by interested individuals, with the finalists selected by members of the Hall of Fame Committee and Hall of Fame inductees.
About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the county as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the county, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season) and maximizes utilization of county facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that supports its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.