Jaguars punter Adam Podlesh was inducted into the Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on Monday at the Rochester Chapter of Sports for Israel dinner at Temple Beth El.
Podlesh, a 2002 graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School, was in Jacksonville participating in OTA practices, but his grandmother, Betty Podlesh, accepted the award on his behalf.
"I was really excited," Podlesh said. "My grandmother is very big in the Jewish community, having grown up there and lived there her whole life. She was happy to go up there and do it. She said she gave a short speech and people that were there said she was great."
The Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has inducted over 150 athletes and honorees since its inception in 1962. The athletes have competed at the local, state and national level. Podlesh will have a permanent plaque in his name at the Rochester Jewish Community Center.
"I have been aware of it (Hall of Fame)," Podlesh said. "Obviously, being a person in the Jewish community in that area, we have heard about the people elected to it. I'm very thankful."
Podlesh is familiar with the female recipient, Jenny Lewis, a recent Pittsford Sutherland graduate and state champion swimmer. Lewis' father was Podlesh's pediatrician growing up.
Several awards are distributed at the annual dinner to Jewish youth in the community who have excelled in athletics, individuals with disabilities who have achieved success and adults who have demonstrated leadership in the community and have dedicated themselves to the advancement of athletics.
The annual event helps raise funds to enable local Jewish youth to participate in the JCC Maccabi Games, the World Maccabian Games in Israel, and other programs that foster a connection with the local and global Jewish community.