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The Lifeline

Bringing you the best local stories in and around our community.

Here's to the Hall of Famers!

Featured Photo from Here's to the Hall of Famers!

Join us as we congratulate the 2021 Class of the Seminole County Sports Hall of Fame

Inclusion Award: Eric Taylor
Eric was born two months premature with cerebral palsy and spent his first several weeks in the hospital. Doctors said he may be intellectually challenged and “he may never do anything.” Eric endured several orthopedic surgeries and took his first steps while using a walker and leg braces at the age of four. He first walked unassisted when he was nine or 10 years old, but he always had the will to compete.

With the support of family and friends, Eric – now 36 years old – has spent 28 years competing and coaching for the Special Olympics. Since childhood, he has competed in Special Olympics events, including track and field, volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling, powerlifting, and golf. He has competed on a national level for Special Olympics USA five times in golf and three times in powerlifting, where he bench pressed his personal best of 225 pounds.

Eric also helps coach softball and golf for the Special Olympics. He is president of the Athlete Input Council for Seminole County as well as the Area 7 Athletic Council, which covers five counties, and Eric is a member of the Special Olympics Athletic Congress.

Female Athlete: Pat Costello
Pat has won numerous professional bowling titles and has distinguished herself in both the U.S. Women’s Bowling Championships and the United States Bowling Congress Queens competition. Pat won USBC Women’s Championship team events in 1969, 1973, and 1981, and she is one of only nine women to earn three or more team titles. 

Her fourth USBC Women’s Championship title came in 1982, and she won her fifth title in 1988. Pat went on to coach both the boys’ and girls’ bowling teams at Oviedo High School, guiding the girls’ team to two FHSAA State Championships.

Male Athlete: Chris DiMarco
Chris is a graduate of Lake Brantley High School, where he played for the Patriots golf team. Upon graduation, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Florida. Chris shot a three-round score of 209 to win the SEC individual title in 1989, leading his team to the SEC championship. While at the University of Florida, he earned All-America honors in 1988, 1989, and 1990. 

During his professional career, Chris has won three PGA tournaments and one European Tour championship. At the 2005 Masters Tournament, he finished second, losing a sudden-death playoff to Tiger Woods. From 2002 to 2006, Chris spent 61 weeks ranked among the top 10 golfers in the world.

Male Contributor: Randy Harvey
Randy was a 1978 graduate of Seminole High School, where he played baseball. Upon graduation, he transitioned from playing to umpiring because of his love of the game. He served the Seminole County community for more than 41 years as a highly respected and well-loved baseball umpire at multiple levels. 

Randy spent 15 years umpiring in the Florida League (potential pro league), 15 years for the SEC and ACC, 13 years for NCAA Division 1 Regional and Super Regional games, and 10-plus years for the Sun Belt and A-Sun Conference. He also umpired four ACC tournaments, four SEC tournaments, two Conference USA tournaments, as well as hundreds of local baseball games. 

His career highlights include umpiring parts of the 1991 and 1995 MLB seasons and the 2006 NCAA Division I College World Series. Randy called Sanford his home for 58 years until his untimely passing in September 2020.

Female Contributor: Stephanie Best
Stephanie was a member of the University of Central Florida’s inaugural softball team when it began in 2002. She currently holds numerous records at UCF, including career batting average, runs scored, hits, and home runs. She also holds numerous single-game records, a standout being 11 RBIs against Army in 2003. It was during that game she hit three home runs, including two grand slams in one inning.

In 2005, Stephanie was the NCAA National Woman of the Year while earning her third consecutive Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award. She earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Regional honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior while also being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America squad for those same three seasons. After her playing days, she served as an assistant coach for the UCF softball team. Today, Stephanie continues to make an impact on the youth of Seminole County and around the country with her training and coaching skills.

Legacy Award: Terry Cordell
Terry was a 1953 graduate of Seminole High School, where he was an all-around athlete and scholar. He played football and basketball for four years and baseball for three years before attending The Citadel, after which he served in the U.S. Army. 

Terry was stationed in the northernmost region of Vietnam in the Special Forces before becoming the first Army casualty in the Vietnam War in October 1962. In his memory, Seminole High School awards the annual Terry Cordell Award for Academic and Athletic Achievement. The award is given to an athlete who excels in three sports and maintains a high grade point average. The Cordell Army Airborne Ranger Company was also named in his honor at The Citadel.

Legacy Award: William “Bud” Layer
Bud was instrumental in the formation of the Seminole County Sports Hall of Fame. While spending a lifetime in the Seminole County Public Schools system, he was noted not only for his academic and athletic endeavors, but ultimately his civic contributions, as well. Athletically, he was head basketball coach at Seminole High School, where his team won the 1960 Orange Belt Conference championship. Academically, he served as president of the Seminole Education Association and was an assistant principal at Lyman High School and principal at Milwee Middle School, Teague Middle School, and Seminole High School. 

Bud also served as superintendent of Seminole County schools in the 1970s. He received many civic awards, including the Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship and the 1999 Topper Award from the Sanford Chamber of Commerce. While involved with the chamber, Bud helped establish the Seminole County Sports Hall of Fame which, after its formation, he oversaw for a number of years. Layer Elementary School was named after him and his wife Lucy, who was also a longtime teacher in Seminole County.

Legacy Award: Ronald “Lefty” Renaud
Lefty, a longtime resident of Sanford, began his athletic career in high school, where he excelled in football and as a left-handed baseball pitcher. Upon graduation in 1954, he was awarded a full baseball scholarship to FSU but turned down the offer because he was drafted by the Milwaukee Braves Major League Baseball team. Within two years, however, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he eventually played for the Army team in Ft. McPherson, Georgia. Lefty was the starting pitcher for the Third Army team when they won the National Championship game. After leaving the Army, he returned to Sanford in 1959 and became involved in coaching youth activities, where he excelled at teaching fair play and good sportsmanship.

In 1978, Lefty coached Sanford to the Junior League State Championship Tournament, where future MLB Hall of Famer Tim Raines was named MVP. While serving the youth of Sanford, Lefty was a full-time first responder at Kennedy Space Center as a leader in the fire and rescue division, where he also received many honors from the space program. Lefty was also an assistant baseball coach at Seminole State College for six years as well as a part-time tennis instructor at SSC.

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