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2023 Lee County Athletic Hall of Fame inductees announced

Hall of Fame Banquet to be held April 20

By Staff | Jan 18, 2023

The School District of Lee County haas announced the Lee County Athletic Conference Hall of Fame inductees for 2023. Five athletes, three coaches and one contributor are being recognized for their outstanding athletic accomplishments for their school or their students.

The Lee County Athletic Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2023 features:

Athletes

Kevin Brown, North Fort Myers High

Keri Jewett-Giles, Dunbar High

Shane McClanahan, Cape Coral High

Kyle Miller, Estero High

Josh Sheridan, Fort Myers High

Coaches

Larry Gary, Cape Coral & Lehigh Senior High

Loretta Purish, North Fort Myers High

James (Jim) Reed, Cypress Lake High

Contributor

David LaRosa, Fort Myers High School

Kevin Brown: Kevin was a three time all-conference, three time all-area and second team all-state player in baseball at North. During his four-year career as a starter for the Miami Hurricanes, he helped lead the team to national championships 1999 and 2001. Kevin still holds the record for highest overall slugging percentage in College World Series history and is a two-time All College World Series Team member. He will also be inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame this spring.

Keri Jewett-Giles: Keri was named the News-Press player of the year her sophomore, junior and senior seasons of high school at Dunbar. She was also selected first team all-state her junior and senior seasons. Keri played at FGCU where she was named to the ASUN Conference’s All-Decade team and set FGCU’s Division I era career scoring average record. She was also selected as ASUN Player of the Year. Keri later went overseas to play professional basketball.

Shane McClanahan: Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 1st round (31st) of the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of South Florida, Shane was a News-Press Player of the Year finalist and News-Press 1st Team All-Area. He represented the area in the FHSAA Senior State All-Star Game. The Tampa Bay Rays named Shane their opening day starter in 2022 and later that season he was named the American League starting pitcher at the All-Star game.

Kyle Miller: Kyle was named to the New-Press All Decade High School Baseball Team May 2020. He was the 2012 News-Press Player of the Year after strong senior campaign where he went 9-0 with 0.58 ERA and 98 strikeouts to lead Estero High School on a 25-game winning streak that ended in a regional final. Miller played at Florida Atlantic University and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Sheridan: Josh was a two-time state wrestling champion in 1999 and 2000, a two-time AAU national wrestling champion and a two-time state runner-up 1997 and 1998. He was the Florida 2A Wrestler of the Year in 2000, a three-time USA Wrestling Magazine All-American and Rotary Scholar/Athlete of the Year in 2000. Josh also excelled in the classroom as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist with a high school grade point average of 4.69.

Larry Gary: Coach Gary was hired as Lee County’s first Black head football coach in 1994. In his more than 36 seasons, Gary has helped hundreds of students play in college. He has also coached and mentored 13 NFL players. Prior to returning to coaching at Cape Coral High School this year, Gary amassed a record of 64-59 while at Lehigh Senior High School and previously at Cape Coral High.

Loretta Purish: Loretta coached cross country for 28 years and track for 27 years at North Fort Myers High School. She stablished the first Girls Relay Meet in Lee County in 1990. In 2015, Loretta was named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year. Coach Purish’s teams were cross country district champions in 1997 and 1998 and regional champions in 1997. She led the girls cross country team to multiple top 10 finishes in the state competition.

James “Jim” Reed: If there was a volleyball pioneer in Southwest Florida it would certainly be Coach Reed. Arriving at Cypress Lake in the late ’70s, Reed quickly established Cypress Lake as a local and state powerhouse and maintained that dominance for 14 years. His team stats are remarkable: 14 years head volleyball coach; 11 South Florida Conference championships; undefeated seasons in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982; regional champs in 1981 and 1982; final 4 appearances in 1981 and 1982 and state champions in 1981.

David LaRosa: David has worked for 37 years in the School District of Lee County, 11 years as a teacher/coach, seven years as an athletic director in two different high schools, one year as an assistant principal and 13 years as a principal, 12 of those at Fort Myers High School. He is the first director of athletics for the School District, overseeing athletics in all of high schools and middle schools. He is a member of the board of directors for the FHSAA where he was president-elect. He was District 13 representative on the board of directors for the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

The inductees will be honored at a banquet scheduled for Thursday, April 20, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. and tickets are available for purchase for $25 per person.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel is located at 13051 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers. Those interested in purchasing tickets should contact the District Athletic Office at 239-335-1479.

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