Pensacola Sports 69th Annual Awards Banquet to Honor Local Sports Greats

by Katie King |

Pensacola Sports 69th Annual Awards Banquet to Honor Local Sports Greats

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Pensacola, FL (January 25, 2023) – Many of the Pensacola area’s top athletes and teams will come together for a night of sports celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Sanders Beach Community Center in downtown Pensacola.

Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill will be the guest speaker, leading a group of about 30 local athletes and sports figures to be honored during the 69th Annual Pensacola Sports Awards Banquet, presented by Cox Communications. This Annual Awards Banquet is the longest-running program of Pensacola Sports (formerly Pensacola Sports Association) and is the annual celebration of all things sports in the community.

The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a cash bar cocktail hour. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with the awards ceremony to follow.

“Pensacola has a long, rich tradition of excellence in sports, and we are proud to honor this year’s group of exceptional athletes,” said Ray Palmer, president of Pensacola Sports. “We’re excited to be able to celebrate and honor this year’s top standouts and inductees.”

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball team will receive the Pro Athlete of the Year award. Pensacola Catholic High alum TJ McCants, who helped his Ole Miss baseball team surge to the NCAA College World Series national title in 2022, will receive the Amateur Athlete of the Year award. Additionally, Gulf Breeze High School’s RayAnn Moseley will receive the Special Olympic Athlete of the Year.

High school standouts include:

  • Chris Decorte – Navarre High Weightlifting
  • Ty Wise – Pace High Weightlifting
  • Emilia Collins – Navarre High Weightlifting
  • Kaila Corbridge – Pace High Weightlifting
  • Rachel Leggett – Navarre High Track & Field
  • Ava Grace Wheaton – Pace High Track & Field
  • Gabby Goyins – Catholic High tennis
  • Berkley Fanugao – Central High bowling
  • West Flowers – Gulf Breeze High Gymnast for Team USA

Collegiate standouts include:

  • Blair Cowan – UWF Soccer
  • Dalton Simpler – UWF Football
  • David Durden – UWF Football
  • Kelsey DeJesus – UWF Swimming
  • Ester Rizzetto – UWF Swimming
  • Georgia Hood – PSC Softball

Professional standouts include:

  • Buck Showalter – MLB Manager of the New York Mets
  • Kris Prather – Professional Bowler
  • Jeremy Reaves – NFL Player for the Washington Commanders

In addition, a variety of teams will also be recognized for their special achievements this year, including Jay High School’s softball team, Navarre High School’s girl’s weightlifting team, Tate High’s cheerleading team, and Pensacola Christian College’s women’s basketball team.

This year, four men will be inducted into the Pensacola Sports Hall of Fame:

  • Eddie Brown, the decades-long athletic director of the Salvation Army of Pensacola.
  • Dickie Davis, two-time winner of the annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.
  • Mark Humphreys Sr., a longtime FHSAA sports official and the president of the Miracle Strip Officials (MSOA), which provides quality sporting officials for the Panhandle.
  • Harry Walker, a longtime FHSAA sports official for football, basketball, flag football and baseball.

Other important awards including Sportsman of the Year and Volunteer of the Year will be revealed at the awards ceremony.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at

About Pensacola Sports

Pensacola Sports is one of the oldest sports associations/commissions in the United States, beginning in 1955. Today, Pensacola Sports manages or assists in numerous events a year throughout the Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa county areas, and is the lead sports tourism agency for Escambia County. Events include a high school all-star series, 5K-15K runs, half marathon, fishing tournament, soccer and softball tournaments, collegiate conference and national championships, and annual awards and scholarships banquets to name a few. Pensacola Sports is dedicated to building a better community through sports. Be Moved!



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