Chris Bernhardt Jr.

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A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper's sports coverage. For live updates follow on twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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Springstead storms back, beats Hernando in 5

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's Jen Aten attempts to spike the ball over the block of Hernando's Madison Janssens Thursday night. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

SPRING HILL – The prep volleyball season is less than a week old, and Hernando and Springstead aren’t even in the same classification, let alone the same district.
But Thursday night’s meeting between the county rivals on Springstead’s shiny new gym floor didn’t lack in entertainment value. What appeared at first to be an easy victory for the visiting Lady Leopards turned out to be a stirring triumph for the host Lady Eagles, who rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win in five games, 28-30, 17-25, 25-17, 25-11, 15-7.

Down on the farm

Photos provided

Springstead grad Brandon Brosher is hitting .220, with 11 homers, 23 RBI and 22 runs scored in 55 games for the Columbia Fireflies this season. Photo by Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
Brandon Brosher pieced together a modest five-game hitting streak over the past two weeks for the Single-A Columbia Fireflies.

Spring Hill ends summer with World Series runs

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Spring Hill American White pitcher Dalton Williams throws to the plate last month in the District 6 Tournament against South Sumter. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

With summer coming to a close and school back in session, the Dixie Baseball All-Stars season has also wrapped up.
The Spring Hill American White AAA Minors (age 9-10) squad was largely comprised of players who won a World Series as AA Rookies (age 7-8) two years ago. They came close to adding another World Series crown to their resumes, finishing second in this year’s AAA Minors World Series in Oxford, Ala., taking place Aug. 5-10.

Eagles overcome sloppiness to win classic

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead sophomore Anthony Alexis runs for 142 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's preseason classic at Hudson. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

HUDSON – For the past two decades, Springstead has prided itself on playing a disciplined, mistake-free brand of football.
But preseason classics are rarely a showcase of crisp, fundamentally-sound performance. To that end, Thursday night’s exhibition at Hudson revealed plenty of ragged edges, though still yielded a positive result: a 32-6 victory.

Down on the farm

Photos provided

Springstead graduate Brandon Brosher hit a solo home run for the Columbia Fireflies on Friday night. Photo by Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
Brandon Brosher put together a modest three-game hitting streak this week for the Single-A Columbia Fireflies.

Football teams come together for good cause

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Adam Bass gains yardage against Fivay during Saturday's Clash 4 Clayton event at Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Dustin Kupcik admits, he didn’t really know Rob Mahler. Yet the Springstead athletic director felt a kinship with the former Hudson High head football coach that compelled him to act.
Last month, Mahler’s 1-year-old son Clayton was diagnosed with Stage 3 intermediate-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of pediatric cancer. Mahler had stepped down in November after two seasons leading the Cobras. Four years ago, Kupcik’s sister Kasey went through her own battle with cancer.

Brooksville Bulldogs pleased with runner-up finish

Photo provided

The Brooksville Bulldogs at the Dixie Majors All-Stars World Series in Monroe, La. Photo provided

Having suffered a brutal walk-off loss in its opening contest and with another game just hours away, the Brooksville Bulldogs were primed for a very short stay at the Dixie Baseball Majors (age 17-19) All-Stars World Series.
But the Bulldogs collected themselves and survived the second half of that doubleheader, then rattled off three more wins to reach the championship game before ultimately finishing as the runner-up in Monroe, La.

Down on the farm

Photos provided

Hernando alum Brandon Lawson threw five shutout innings on Thursday for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Photo provided by Charlotte Stone Crabs

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.

Bears mourn loss of beloved ‘Coach Buck’

Photo provided by Joe DiCristofalo

Willie "Coach Buck" Thomas Jr./Photo provided by Joe DiCristofalo

The opening weeks of August are typically a time of excitement and hope for a high school football team, with practices beginning and the season on the near horizon.
But at Central High, it’d be understandable if the mood was far more subdued. There’s a large void left on the Bears’ coaching staff and a metaphorical hole in the hearts of those connected to the program following last month’s sudden passing of assistant coach Willie Thomas Jr., better known as “Coach Buck.”

Down on the farm

Photos provided

Springstead graduate Brandon Brosher hit two-run homers on back-to-back nights for the Columbia Fireflies this week. Photo by Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
Brandon Brosher had an impressive two days on Thursday and Friday, producing nearly identical batting lines for the Single-A Columbia Fireflies against the Augusta GreenJackets.

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