With the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame presented by the Law Firm of Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey and Fronrath postponed, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission took to social media to celebrate the great individuals that have made a lasting impact on sports in Palm Beach County.
Each year, the Annual Sports Awards selected by the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame honor coaches, athletes, and contributors at all levels. The awards are the Amateur Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, High School Female Athlete of the Year, High School Male Athlete of the Year, High School Coach of the Year, Special Olympics Athlete of the Year, and Dick Moroso Memorial Motorsports Award.
The Amateur Athlete of the Year Award was given to Florida Atlantic University football tight end Harrison Bryant. Bryant finished his time at FAU as the most decorated player in the program’s 19-season history. During the 2019 campaign, Bryant led FAU to a Conference-USA title and a win over Southern Methodist University in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. Bryant’s stellar season with 1,004 yards and seven receiving touchdowns earned him the John Mackey Award as the best tight end in college football.
Keiser University men’s and women’s swim coach Adam Epstein was named Coach of the Year. In three years at the helm, Epstein has led the men to three straight NAIA National Championships and the women to back-to-back runner-up finishes. Epstein’s efforts also earned him NAIA Coach of the Year for a third time.
The Female High School of the Year Award went to Dwyer track star Holly Cassels. During the 2019 season, Cassels led Dwyer to county and district championships for the third straight year. Cassels placed first in district and regional individual competition. Cassels finished third in regional competition to become the highest place finisher in school history. Cassels committed to join the University of Central Florida’s Track & Field program in February.
Palm Beach Gardens wrestler Bryan Canedo was named High School Male Athlete of the Year. Canedo finished the year 48-3 and won championships at the tri-county, district, regional, and state level in the 195 pound division. He is the first two-time state champion in school history.
Terri Kaiser, Lake Worth Christian School’s head volleyball coach, was named the High School Coach of the Year. The nod represents yet another achievement in Kaiser’s illustrious 42-year coaching career. Kaiser’s Defenders have won three state championships and hold six runner-up finishes. With 691 career wins, Kaiser’s program has consistently produced NCAA scholarship athletes. Most recently, Lake Worth Christian’s Sarah Franklin and Caitlyn Waters accepted scholarships to play at the Michigan State University and Palm Beach Atlantic University, respectively.
The Special Olympics Athlete of the Year Award went to Lindsay Fulop. Fulop is a 35-year veteran of the Special Olympics has competed in golf, swimming, track, basketball, softball, bowling, stand-up paddle, and open-water swimming.
Joe Amato was honored as the Dick Moroso Memorial Motorsports Award. In 24 years of competition as an owner and driver in the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) Top Fuel category, Joe Amato enjoyed immense success both on and off the track. As a driver, he won five Winston World Championships and 52 NHRA pro tour national events.