WATCH REPLAY: Viera High School Hosts First Annual Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // December 18, 2017
EVENT Broadcasted live on Space Coast Daily TV
ABOVE VIDEO: The first ever Viera High School Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on Saturday night as over 150 people were in attendance.
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA — The first ever Viera High School Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on Saturday night with more than 150 people were in attendance.
Viera athletic director Chris Gallagher believed the time was right to begin recognizing the student-athletes that have made Viera a perennial power in many sports in a short period of time.
Since opening in August 2006, Viera has won four FHSAA state team titles, eight individual FHSAA titles, 15 Regional Championships, 66 District Championships, 26 Cape Coast Conference titles, and the honor Gallagher is most proud of, eight FHSAA Academic Team Championships.
Gallagher wasn’t alone in his planning and running of a successful event.
Viera School Principal Mike Alba, Assistant Principal, Facilities Tim Rooney; Assistant Principal, 10th grade Dean Courtney Lundy; wrestling coach Jim Gentile; and Steve Wilson of the Friday Night Locker Room all helped ensure a great event.
Florida State Senator Debbie Mayfield, Rep. Thad Altman and Brevard County School Board member Matt Susin were the distinguished guests of honor.
Broadcast live on Space Coast Daily TV, the event was held in the auditorium at Viera High and I was honored to emcee the proceedings.
The event was catered by Viera Pizza and former Arizona Wildcat and PAC-12 softball standout, Hallie Wilson from the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch Softball League was the guest speaker.
ABOVE VIDEO: Friday Night Locker Room’s Orville Susong talks with Luke Zippi after being inducted into the Viera High School Sports Hall of Fame. Zippi was the first Viera High student to earn an individual FHSAA State Championship, having won it in One-Meter Diving in 2009. Watch the Induction Ceremony.
There were five individual inductees and two teams.
Hawks diving legend Luke Zippi was the first induction of the evening. Zippi was the first Viera High student to earn an Individual FHSAA state cChampionship, winning the Class 2A 1-meter diving state championship in 2009.
Up next was soccer legend, Katie Stengel. Currently playing professionally for the Newcastle Jets of the Australian Women’s League and Boston Breakers of the Women’s Professional League, the 2010 Gatorade High School Player of the Year could not attend. Her mother, Monica and brother Jordan accepted on her behalf.
Wrestling standout Ty Cartmell, 2011 FHSAA Class 2A state wrestling champion at 189 pounds, was also inducted and gave an emotional acceptance speech. Cartmell was inducted by Viera head wrestling coach Jim Gentile, who has quite an impressive resume himself as the former two-time captain of the United States Military Academy’s defense at West Point.
Current University of Illinois women’s tennis player and FHSAA Class 3A state individual tennis champ in 2016 and state doubles champion in 2016 and 2017, Sasha Belaya was inducted but not in attendance. Athletic Director Chris Gallagher accepted on her behalf.
There were two teams inducted on the evening.
The 2010 Lady Hawks golf team consisted of team members Danielle Biaunco, Samantha Dahl, Mary Dawson, Nancy Keck, Olivia Lugar and Lauren Piccollela. The team was inducted by coach Greg Ford. This was Viera’s first team state champions, winning the FHSAA Class 2A title.
The final induction of the night went to the 2015- 2016 girls’ soccer team.
The 2015-2016 Hawks girls’ soccer team captured the second of the program’s back-to-back Class 4A state titles. On their way to doing so, they beat the No.1 team in the state and in the nation, St. Thomas Aquinas.
Led by Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer, head coach Courtney Lundy, the Florida Dairy Farmer’s Class 4A Coach of the Year for two consecutive years, the Hawk’s defeated Niceville, Florida, 2-1, on the field of Melbourne High’s Tom McIntyre Stadium to capture their second straight crown.
The Hawks were also the 2015-16 national champions, the first and only team to accomplish the feat at Viera.
Viera also recognized an outstanding member of the community by inducting Mike Acosta, owner of their local Viera Pizza. Acosta has been a tremendous supporter of the Hawks since the school opened 11-years ago.
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