Strikers Take 2016 Sunshine Cup

From top left to right: Kylie Bland-Moore, Brooke Brening, Billie   Allnutt, Kayla Dawson, Madison Bowman, Gianna Huber,   Breanna Anselmo, Jordan Cheze  From bottom left to right: Skylar Benz, MacKenzie Curcio,   Brianna Evans, Jacqueline Jones, Carmen Chinchilla, Elise   Wilfong, Alexia Benjamin, Caitlyn Dilley  Not pictured to the left: Karla Cantero-Garcia, Mouna Shuayb  and Coach Jim Cheze

The Strikers under 14 girls soccer team began their journey together in November, 2015; with the first game being held on the 7th at the Anderson Snow Soccer Complex. Within their age division; there were three other teams to compete against; including the Citrus (Heat), the Brooksville (Hornets) and a 2nd U14 from FHYSC (Twisters). While some of these girls have played soccer for years, others have played only a short time.

Sports notebook: Brooks earns Hornets’ first regional crown

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee senior Dean Brooks won a regional championship at 285 pounds on Saturday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

A week after the Weeki Wachee wrestling team brought home its first district title, it can now boast its initial individual regional champion. Senior Dean Brooks won all three of his matches across Friday and Saturday, pinning Javohn Maravolo of Titusville-Astronaut in 2:30 to capture the 285-pound final of the Class 1A, Region II Tournament at Eastern Florida State College in Titusville.

Battery powers Leopards to comeback

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando senior Pierce Kimbrough unleashes a warmup pitch during Thursday night's game against Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Pierce Kimbrough did what he could to stay even in a pitchers’ duel, and when a few tough breaks defensively cost him, his catcher Tyson Libengood came through in the clutch.
The result was a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Springstead Thursday night at a chilly Emerson Field.
“The battery tonight was the difference, both of them,” Hernando head coach Tim Sims said.
Despite the fact that the Leopards (4-2) and Eagles (5-2) do not share a district, the high level of pride involved was evident considering both teams sent an ace left-hander to the mound.

Primavera helps Lady Sharks stay perfect

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast pitcher Abbey Primavera during Tuesday's 10-0 win over Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Nature Coast and Abbey Primavera had just completed another night at the office Tuesday night, walking off the softball diamond with another notch in the win column.
The Lady Sharks moved to 9-0 on the season behind a 10-0 victory over visiting county-rival Hernando, also a Class 5A, District 7 foe.
Primavera (7-0) tossed another shutout, the junior scattering five singles and two walks while striking out seven across six innings of work.

Sports Notebook: Weeki Wachee wrestling wins district

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee head coach Joe Felice (right) and his assistant watch on during the Kiwanis Invitational in December. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

For five years, Joe Felice has worked to build the Weeki Wachee wrestling program from scratch. On Saturday, he and the rest of the Hornets enjoyed the fruits of that labor. Weeki Wachee scored 221 team points in the Class 1A, District 6 Tournament at Anclote, well ahead of Hernando in second at 171. It marks the first district championship in team history, and only the school’s second in any sport following the volleyball team’s first-place finish earlier this school year.

Semi-pro team dedicates season to Rivera

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Martin Rivera Jr. (left) and Martin Rivera suit up for the West Coast Soldiers. The elder Rivera wears the number three in honor of his son Sebastian, who passed away in September. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Nearly five months have passed since the tragic loss of Central High quarterback Sebastian Rivera. The prep football season, the holidays have all come and gone. Time may heal wounds, but for Martin Rivera dealing with the passing of his son is still very much a work in progress.

Baxter’s play a silver lining for Sharks

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast forward Jordan Baxter goes up for a shot against Zephyrhills in Tuesday night's regional semifinal. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Jordan Baxter had come up big for Nature Coast’s boys basketball team in another pivotal postseason contest, but the only numbers that truly mattered to the junior were on the scoreboard. The 6-foot-3 forward scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, but the Sharks lost to visiting Zephyrhills in a Class 5A, Region II semifinal on Tuesday night, 61-51.
“It wasn’t good enough to get the win,” Baxter said. “I just feel really bad for the seniors. I’m not happy with it at all.”

Sports Notebook: HCA falls at FAMU

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

HCA guard Cayla Phillips handles the ball during Tuesday's regional semifinal win against Ocala-St. John Lutheran. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando Christian Academy’s girls basketball team knew it faced an uphill battle in Saturday night’s Class 2A, Region I final. Unfortunately for the Lady Lions, they were right. Traveling to Tallahassee to face defending state champion Florida A&M University Developmental Research School, HCA saw its finest season ever end with an 83-12 loss.

Sharks’ Carnegie comes through in clutch

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast senior Jamison Carnegie delivered four pivotal free throws in overtime of Thursday's 53-50 win over Wesley Chapel. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – When Nature Coast’s football team made its run to the regional final in the fall, Jamison Carnegie could only watch from the sidelines. The senior who began the season as the starting quarterback didn’t play in the Sharks’ final two postseason games due to an injured hand that lingered into the beginning of the basketball campaign.

Sports Notebook: Lady Shark lifters shine at states

Top photo submitted
All other photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast weightlifters Ashley Gentz (left) and Samanta Traudt display their gold medals won at the Class 1A FHSAA Finals in Kissimmee on Friday. Photo submitted

As the Nature Coast boys basketball team celebrated with its district championship trophy Friday night, the school’s girls weightlifting coach, Sharon Elliott, was among the faculty members filing out of the stands. Noticeably hanging from her neck was a silver medal, a reminder of what her own squad had accomplished just a few hours earlier. Yes, it was a good day to be a Shark.