And the Finalists for the 2009 Annual Sports Awards are...

January 28, 2010


Contact: Joe Maltese, Palm Beach County Sports Commission

(O) 561-233-3178 (C) 561-722-5645


Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame Announces Annual Sports Award Finalists

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (January 28, 2010) – The results are in and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced the finalists for the 2009 Annual Sports Awards, with winners being honored during the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on March 21 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. 

The finalists include an impressive group of homegrown talent, including NFL superstars; top golf, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and football coaches; and some of the most talented soccer, golf, track and football athletes in the nation.

“The selection process is extremely challenging given the high caliber of athletes that we’re blessed to have in Palm Beach County,” said Joe Ceravolo, chairman of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Hall of Fame Committee. “Many of the finalists, and even nominees, would be considered shoe-ins to win their respective categories if only they lived somewhere else in the state or country.”

Finalists for the 2009 Annual Sports Awards are:

Amateur Athlete of the Year

Susan Cohn, Palm Beach Gardens, Golf – Susan won the Palm Beach County Women’s Amateur Championship for the third straight year and sixth time since 2000, on 6 different courses.

Jacoby Ford, West Palm Beach, Football and Track – The Cardinal Newman graduate is both a football and track star at the University of Clemson. As a wide receiver, Ford had 64 receptions for 824 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Clemson’s football team played in the ACC Championship game and finished the year with a victory at the Music City Bowl. In track, Ford is a NCAA champion in the 60-meter indoors and an ACC champion in the 100-meter.

Janoris Jenkins, Pahokee, Football – The Pahokee graduate is now a sophomore defensive back for the University of Florida football team. During the 2009 season, had 24 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles, 3 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. The Gators played in the SEC Championship game and finished the year with a Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati. 


High School Coach of the Year

Jack Daniels, William T. Dwyer HS, Football – Coached William T. Dwyer to a 4A State Championship, the first in the school’s history. Team defeated Niceville in the finals, and outscored its opponents 243-42 in five playoff games. Ended the season with a 14-1 record after losing the opener to Glades Central 21-7. Won the Lou Groza Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2009.  Compiled a 128-36 record over 14 years.

Jeff Goldberg, St. Andrews School, Lacrosse – Coached the St. Andrews School boys’ lacrosse team to its seventh straight state championships (the first five were club titles), beating Lake Brantley of Altamonte Springs in finals 19-5. The school’s 2009 record was 24-0, resulting in the school’s first unbeaten season since 1995. At end of the 2009 season, St. Andrews was ranked 10th in U.S. and first in Southeast.

Jessie Hester, Glades Central HS, Football – Coached Glades Central to State 2A runner-up and a 13-1 overall record.  Unbeaten in the regular season.


High School Athlete of the Year

Matt Elam, William T. Dwyer HS, Senior, Football – Played running back and linebacker. In 15 games, rushed for 1,898 yards, and 27 TDs on 178 carries as Dwyer won the 4A state championship. As a linebacker he made 80 tackles.  Awarded the Lou Groza Player of the Year as a junior and senior, and received the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year as a senior. He will play for the University of Florida.

Hasani Sinclair, American Heritage HS, Soccer – Gatorade Florida Player of the Year with 47 goals and 14 assists for 2A state champions. Member of the U.S. Under-18 national team, which won gold at Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January.  Committed to play at the University of South Florida.

Kelvin Taylor, Glades Day HS, Freshman, Football – In 14 games as running back had 295 carries, 2,601 yards, and 49 TDs with 4 TDs in the 1B championship victory.


Coach of the Year

Beth Daniel, Delray Beach, Golf – Beth Daniel was captain of the U.S. golf team that won the Solheim Cup 16-12 over the Europeans in biennial matches, and played on eight U.S. teams from the Solheim inception in 1990. U.S leads 8-3 in what amounts to Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) version of the men’s Ryder Cup. Daniel was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

Rudy Garbalosa, Lynn University, Baseball – Rudy Garbalosa coached Lynn University’s baseball team to its best season in school history by winning the NCAA Division II National Championship for baseball. Led team to its first national baseball crown, and 19th title in school history. Team finished the year with a remarkable 46-16 record.

Richard Williams, Tennis – Richard guided his daughters, Venus and Serena, to the pinnacle of the tennis world.  Both Serena and Venus made it to the 2009 Wimbledon Finals.  Serena had a record of 50 wins and 12 losses while Venus had a record of 38 wins and 16 losses in 2009.


Professional Athlete of the Year

Winner: Santonio Holmes, Belle Glade, Football (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Glades Central High School graduate scored the winning touchdown with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals for the Steelers’ record sixth Super Bowl title on February 1, 2009. Named MVP of Super Bowl XLIII with 9 receptions for 131 yards and the game winning touchdown. During the 2009-10 season, had 78 receptions for 1,243 yards and 4 touchdowns (through January 1, 2010).

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.  


Scheduled for induction into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame are baseball legend Hank Aaron, NFL Pro Bowl running back Fred Taylor, and LPGA standout Dottie Pepper. Rounding out the field of ten are Leo Armbrust, Leonard Banks, Richard Ellington, Margie Engel, Loring ‘Snag’ Holmes, Marilu Almeida Hunt, and Robert Zammit.

Tickets are available online at or by calling the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at 561-233-3180.

About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission…

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is 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, 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 support its goals. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Awards program, the Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids Fitness Festival, and awards the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information about the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, visit


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