Centennial’s Messina to be inducted into state athletic Hall of Fame

St. Lucie West Centennial High School athletic director John Messina joins six other individuals being inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame April 28 in Gainesville during the 23rd-annual Induction Ceremony. Their induction will bring to only 157 members who have earned this prestigious honor. As head baseball coach at Pace, Port St. Lucie and Jensen Beach high schools, Messina compiled a 465-160 record and totaled three state championships with two state runner-ups while coaching two USA Players of the Year — Alex Fernandez in 1988 and Rick Ankiel in 1997. Messina was also named the Florida State Coach of the Year on four occasions, earned the FIAAA Meritorious Service Award, two FHSAA Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Awards and currently serves on the FHSAA’s Academic All-State Committee and Representative Assembly. The Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame was started in 1991 by the FHSAA to honor high school student-athletes, coaches, administrators, contest officials, media and other contributors for significant long-term contributions with meaningful statewide impact in high school athletics sponsored by the Association. The seven individuals were chosen using a selection process which first involved a screening committee comprised of coaches, past Hall of Fame members, athletic directors, media representatives, contest officials and former male and female student-athletes. Once the screening committee pared down the nominee list, the selection committee then rated each remaining candidate. Congratulations to our colleague John Messina!