Weeki Wachee Volleyball Heads to Elite Eight

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hornet's Nicole Diaz bumps a returned volley during the Regional Semi-Finals against Ridgewood Saturday 10/31/15 at Weeki Wachee High School

With Hernando County’s football teams already eliminated from postseason contention, or in the case of Nature Coast having locked up the district crown, another local squad took center stage last week. Weeki Wachee’s volleyball team captured a pair of regional matches on its home court to advance to the Class 2A, Region II final at Ponte Vedra High this Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Foley Focused on Cross Country Postseason

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando High's Trevor Foley, Cross Country

Trevor Foley has already helped his Hernando High cross country team collect one trophy. On Saturday, Foley and the Leopards will try for another at the Class 2A, Region II Meet in Ocala. Taking it easy with a hip injury, Foley still crossed the finish line first in last week’s 2A-District 7 Meet at the Weeki Wachee Preserve, running 17:19.55, which is actually his slowest time in two years on the prep level.

Four County Teams Claim District Crowns

Photography By Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Michael Molnar

With every fall sport except football in the thick of the postseason, four county teams earned the pleasure of celebrating a district championship. One of those squads was the Nature Coast football team, which improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Class 5A, District 7 Friday night with a 36-0 victory at Citrus. That win clinched the Sharks’ first playoff berth since 2009. Officially, Nature Coast’s only previous district title came in 2006 after it was stripped of its 2008 championship as part of its penalty for a fight at Groveland-South Lake that season.

Local Tae Kwon Do Fighter Finishes Third

Guest Contributor Scott Henry

Katie Henry stretched before competition.

Katie Henry knew she had to be perfect and almost pulled off a major upset in her rematch at the AAU Tae Kwon Do National Team Qualifier in Fort Lauderdale, FL in mid-September.

Fighting as a 12 year old against a 14 year old national champion, Katie lost to the national champion 12-0 in July. In the return match for a spot on the national team, Katie stormed out to a 7-1 lead only to fall short, losing 12-7.

Former Buc, Horace Copeland, Visits Youth Football League

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Former Buc Horace Copeland with SHAA's Bucs

Horace Copeland spent seven seasons from 1993-99 as a wide receiver in the NFL, six of them with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In more recent years, as a resident of Spring Hill he has made an effort to impact the local community, most notably running an annual youth football camp.

Bismarck Leads Sharks into Regional

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Tyler Bismarck, Nature Coast Golf Team

When Tyler Bismarck and the Nature Coast boys golf team tee off on Monday, the Sharks will embark on their toughest task of the season. So far, they haven’t had much reason to fret. First they finished the regular season 14-0-1. Then last Monday, they claimed the Class 2A, District 13 crown at their home course of Silverthorn.
But this time around, in the 2A-Region V Tournament at Lexington Oaks Golf Club in Wesley Chapel, Nature Coast will a face stiff challenge as it attempts to move on to the FHSAA Finals at the month’s end.

Sports Notebook: Sharks Inch Closer to Playoff Berth

Photography by Joe Cristafolo

Nature Coast v. Lecanto October 16th, 2015

As the prep football season approaches the stretch run, the Class 5A, District 7 postseason picture continued to gain some clarity Friday night. Nature Coast hosted Lecanto in a meeting of the last two unbeaten teams in district play, and maintained its perfect overall slate with a 43-24 victory. Though they did not officially clinch their first playoff berth since 2009, the Sharks (7-0 overall, 4-0 5A-7) can lock up the district championship with a win over Citrus this coming Friday. “It’s (the playoffs) like right in our face,” running back DeShawn Smith said. “It’s like right there.

Hernando’s Bronson Bouncing Back

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

 Hernando High Varisty Volleyball Ali Bronson

There were times when Ali Bronson wondered if she’d ever make it all the way back, whether she could return to the form that made her perhaps the county’s most dominant volleyball player the past two years. As a freshman, she had 118 kills. Then came another 289 as a sophomore. Each year, her Hernando High team won a district championship.

Parrott’s Rivera breaking barriers on football field

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Parrott's Elena Rivera with Head Coach Shawn Bigham

In the end, Shawn Bigham felt he had no choice. The player had worked too hard, shown too much ability to be turned away from the Parrott Middle School football team. The fact eighth-grader Elena Rivera happens to be a girl simply couldn’t outweigh everything the head coach had seen.

Sports Notebook: Sharks’ Smith stellar in second-quarter surge

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Despite 12 minute benching, DeShawn Smith, NCT makes strong showing on 10/9/15 against Weeki Wachee

Throughout the first quarter during Friday night’s homecoming game against Weeki Wachee, something may have seemed amiss about the Nature Coast offense. Not that it showed in the results. The Sharks moved the ball with ease for one touchdown, and were a yard away from another when the period ended. Yet senior running back DeShawn Smith, with 1,399 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground coming in, stood on the sideline, decked out in full uniform but never taking the field.