The Pinellas County Athletic Conference usually holds a banquet at the end of the school year to announce award winners among coaches, athletes and administrators. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the winners were announced virtually this year. And there were no winners in spring sports because their seasons were cut short. Instead, there was a slideshow presentation to honor the seniors in those sports that was posted on the district’s website.
Boys cross country
Steven Wilcox, Northeast
After five of his top seven runners graduated, Wilcox found reinforcements in the school hallways and assembled a team that won its second straight St. Petersburg City title and qualified for the state meet as a team for the first time in five years.
Girls cross country
Peter Eagleson, Osceola
The nine-time coach of the year led the Warriors to conference and district titles, as well as a third-place finish in regions and a ninth-place finish at states.
Adam Stuck, Northeast
After graduating four seniors from last year’s team that won a district title, the Vikings still managed to do well in the postseason, placing fourth at districts with a young team.
Mike Klapka, Largo
The first-year coach had enough girls to field a full team at the school for the first time in more than 20 years. The Packers went on to win a district title and place fifth in the region.
Joseph Abad, St. Petersburg
In Abad’s first full season as coach, the Green Devils went 25-4, won a district title and went on to reach the region semifinals, where they lost to Fort Myers.
Cory Moore, Lakewood
A former standout at the school, Moore led the Spartans to their greatest season in school history, highlighted by an undefeated regular season and a state semifinal appearance.
Danielle Spurgeon, Seminole
This season, Spurgeon helped the Warhawks set two school records, a conference record and finish fourth overall at the state meet.
Scott Herndon, Countryside
The longtime coach (Tarpon Springs, Mitchell and Countryside) has had 42 All-Americans and 17 state champions during his career.
Sam Pruitt, St. Petersburg
A former state champion at the school, Pruitt has been a fixture with the program for more than three decades. This season, he helped three of his wrestlers qualify for the region meet.
Britt Taylor, East Lake
The sixth-year coach guided the Eagles to their second straight conference title game appearance, their second straight district title and their first trip to the state semifinals.
Will White, Northeast
Despite returning just three players, White guided the Vikings to a 22-6 record and the program’s sixth postseason appearance in the past seven seasons.
Brandon Vaughan, Lakewood
In Vaughan’s third season, the Spartans made significant progress, going from five wins in 2018-19 to a region quarterfinal appearance.
Rui Farias, St. Petersburg
Though the Green Devils were young, Farias still put together a team that went 18-4-2, won the ninth district title of his coaching career and advanced to the region finals. He also had a record six players that signed college scholarships.
Henry Deck Male Athlete of the Year
TJ Tampa, Lakewood
The two-sport star was an all-conference selection in football and basketball. He also helped the Spartans make deep postseason runs in both sports. Off the field, Tampa is active with the Heath squad at school and various community services. He has already signed to play football at Iowa State.
Henry Deck Female Athlete of the Year
Anabel Ellison, Tarpon Springs
A prolific scorer, Ellison racked up 1,730 points in her basketball career. She also set school records for most points in a game (44) and highest single-season scoring average (25.2 points per game). She has already signed with Marist.
Mike McPheron Award
Stevanie Copponi, Boca Ciega
The cross country and track runner battled through anxiety and panic attacks stemming from a difficult childhood to become the school’s Salutatorian for the Class of 2020. She is going to the University of Florida and wants to become a nurse practitioner.
Athletic Administrator of the Year Award
Jim Casey, Largo
As the school’s athletic coordinator for the past 20 years, Casey has worked with six different principals. He helped put together Largo’s Hall of Fame in 2016 and has been instrumental in hanging championship banners through the gymnasium.
Superintendent’s Challenge Cup
East Lake: 3.435