Sports

USF Women’s Basketball in the Dance

The University of South Florida is participating in March Madness, as the women’s team was named to the NCAA tournament, though their spot in the tournament is not without controversy.

The Lady Bulls earned their spot in the women’s basketball tournament after a 24-8 season that saw them make it to the American Athletic Conference’s final, where they would lose to the number one team in the country, the undefeated University of Connecticut. This was their fifth straight 20 win season, and eighth overall, all under head coach Jose Fernandez.

Sports notebook: Gates strikes out 15 in perfect game

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's J.P. Gates threw a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters against Central on Tuesday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast junior J.P. Gates has literally been unhittable in three starts this season, but on Tuesday he took it to another level.
The hard-throwing southpaw, already committed to the University of Miami, threw a perfect game in a 10-0 win over Central that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Gates struck out 15. In other words, he fanned every single batter he faced.

Nature Coast sweeps county tennis invite

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Sierra Remondelli serves during Friday's final day of the county invitational at Delta Woods Park. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

The field wasn’t as complete as originally intended, but for the Nature Coast boys and girls tennis teams, what turned out be a county invitational this week proved a rewarding experience.
While the boys went down to the wire to edge Weeki Wachee, the Lady Sharks dominated two other county squads, as both captured first place in the tournament that was held Thursday and Friday at Delta Woods Park.

Central lifters earn district hardware

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Dominique Walker finished second at 199 in Monday's district meet, with a 315-255--570. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Last week, the Central boys weightlifting team was on the outside looking in as Hernando and Springstead tied for first place in the county meet.
But this week, it was the Bears taking home a trophy, finishing as the runner-up in Monday’s Class 1A, District 11 Meet at Weeki Wachee. Though Citrus ran away with the team title at 91 points, Central edged Hernando, 29-28.

Field at Tom Varn Stadium dedicated to Coach Ernie Chatman

(STAFF)

The Chatman Family gathers around the Ernie Chatman Field monument at the dedication ceremony on Feb. 21st.

The City of Brooksville dedicated Ernie Chatman Field at Tom Varn Stadium on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The Chatmans, Varns, and many local leaders were on hand for the dedication. The monument placed at Ernie Chatman field reads,

“Coach Chatman was strategic, but bold; tough, but kind-hearted; stoic, but nurturing; and humble, but proud...a one-of-a-kind coach.”

Springstead’s Rivera wins ‘amazing’ state title

Photography by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

Springstead 113-pounder Richie Rivera finishes off a takedown against Lleyton Taylor of Riverdale in their quarterfinal match Friday in Class 2A action. Rivera won 5-0. Photo by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

Capturing a wrestling state championship requires an incredible amount of mental fortitude all by itself.
But under the circumstances Springstead senior Richie Rivera faced during the Class 2A FHSAA Finals at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, his accomplishment of placing first at 113 pounds had his coach Bob Levija repeating one word over and over.
“It was amazing,” Levija said. “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced, that he could stay that focused and wrestled the way he did.
“He wrecked everybody. He was just really on.”

Sports notebook: Nature Coast softball stays perfect

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Senior Abbey Primavera has been an ace on the mound for Nature Coast this season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

So far this season, when the Nature Coast softball team gives up a run it seems like a big deal. Three weeks into the season, the Lady Sharks remain undefeated at 6-0.
On Tuesday, they thrashed Hudson, 17-2, in just five innings. Junior Chayse Skinner went 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and five driven in, while Alanis Berrios and Cerina Brooks also had three hits, combining to score five runs and plate four. Alyssa Kelly, who also homered, and Celine Kordon added three runs batted in apiece.

Eagle, Leopard lifters share county crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Dominique Walker benched 315 pounds and finished with a meet-best 570 total in Wednesday's county meet at Weeki Wachee. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

iWEEKI WACHEE – Coming into Wednesday’s boys weightlifting county meet, there was much uncertainty about just which team was the county’s finest.
By the time things wrapped up in the Weeki Wachee gym, there remained plenty of confusion. In an unprecedented turn of events, both Hernando and Springstead tied atop the team standings with 64 points apiece.

Sports notebook: County wrestlers advance to states

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando's Josh Hulse collected a regional championship on Saturday, winning at 120 pounds as the Leopards finished second in 2A-2. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

A week after both collected district championships, both Hernando and Springstead’s wrestling teams had to tangle with state title contenders in Friday and Saturday’s regional meets.
With that in mind, each squad had to be satisfied with its performance and all four Hernando County programs will have some representation at the FHSAA Finals next weekend at Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena.

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