Sarasota High held its 2023 Hall of Fame ceremony at Michael's On East on Wednesday, honoring six inductees for their contributions to the school and the larger community.
Unlike other halls of fame, Sarasota's is not limited to athletics. The Hall also selects individuals who have made an impact on the community in other ways. This year's inductions included Fredd Atkins, Tom Whitehurst, Mollie Cardamone, Scott Dunlap, Carl Luer and Cedric Saunders.
Atkins, a 1969 graduate, was the first Black mayor of Sarasota and a city commissioner for 18 years. Atkins is a founder or a board member of several organizations, including Newtown Little League, the Greater Newtown Community Redevelopment Corporation and the Sarasota NAACP.
Tom Whitehurst, a 1966 graduate, played football and baseball at Sarasota and went on to play football at the University of Florida, where his career was cut short by injury. Whitehurst returned to Sarasota High as a football and assistant baseball coach, and succeeded Charlie Cleland as the head football coach in 1984. He led the Sailors to eight consecutive winning seasons and five playoff appearances.
Mollie Cardamone, a 1954 graduate, ran the retail business Children's World for 37 years at its Sarasota location and for 19 years at its Bradenton location. Cardamone also became involved in Sarasota politics, serving eight years as a city commissioner and two years as mayor.
Scott Dunlap, a 1981 graduate, was the class valedictorian and a member of the Sailors golf team. Dunlap played golf at the University of Florida before turning professional. He has had status on the PGA Tour and is still active on the PGA Tour Champions; he has earned more than $12 million in his career.
Carl Luer, a 1966 graduate, earned a master's degree in zoology from the University of South Florida in 1974 and earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Kansas in 1978. In 1979, he created a marine biomedical research program at Mote Marine Laboratory. Luer has published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
Cedric Saunders, a 1990 graduate, played football and baseball for the Sailors before playing football at Ohio State University. Saunders, a tight end, earned All-Big Ten Conference honors as a senior. He spent three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before becoming a scout. He would return to the Buccaneers as the team's director of player development for five years before joining the Detroit Lions organization, where he stayed for 10 years. Saunders is currently the president of football operations at Goal Line Football, a sports agency.