Sports

i9 Summer Sports Programs

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

Now that school is out for the summer, what is there for your kids to do, especially outdoors?

i9 Sports based in Tampa, Florida, is one of the largest youth sports league franchise in the United States. i9 Sports offers youth sports leagues and camps for young athletes to experience a fun, safe environment as well as to learn good sportsmanship and athletic skills. In Hernando County, i9 Sports offer a multi-sports camp and a variety of leagues for children ages 3-14.

They Call Themselves the Hammerheads

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

For the last two years Rhonda Coleman has been involved with the Special Olympics-Hernando, and now is overseeing the program as Interim County Director, and she is also a mother of a Hammerheads aquatic athlete.

Since May 2, every Saturday morning the Hammerheads jump in the pool at the YMCA in Spring Hill to practice on a variety of swimming skills, from the 25 meter to the backstroke. The aquatics coaches and volunteers work closely with the athletes to see where they need more training and where they can excel for their upcoming competition in July.

Pair of Seniors Lead Spring Hill Christian Academy

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

BROOKSVILLE - For Jacob Nagy and Michael Hemstreet, the timing proved just right. Last season, Spring Hill Christian Academy made its first foray into eight-man football through the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools. That allowed Nagy and Hemstreet, both juniors, to strap on their pads and helmets, and lead the Wildcats through an inaugural 2-9 campaign last fall.

HCA's Springer hopes for successful second season

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

BROOKSVILLE - There were moments on the sideline during Thursday's eight-man football spring game when Kasey Springer seemed his harshest critic.
The Hernando Christian Academy quarterback didn't play poorly despite his team's 21-7 loss to visiting Spring Hill Christian Academy. But he wasn't about to pat himself on the back, either.

Dodgeball Trying to Carve Niche in County

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

BROOKSVILLE - Six balls sit lined up at center court of the Jerome Brown Community Center gym. The players sprint to grab them, and quite literally take aim at their opponents.
It's the City of Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department's version of dodgeball, and no it's not broadcast on ESPN 8 The "Ocho." Actors Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are nowhere in sight.

Coffey comes through for Sharks

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

BROOKSVILLE - Willie Coffey never anticipated he'd end up leading a potential game-winning drive under center Friday night. Recording a go-ahead safety with a sack in the end zone wasn't a likely scenario, either. Yet the Nature Coast Technical freshman found himself in the middle of both situations in a 34-32 victory over Palm Harbor University. He threw Hurricanes' quarterback Dylan Whitman for a 5-yard loss in the end zone with 1:18 remaining to put the host Sharks in front during the spring classic.

At full health, Hernando's Sternberger focused on field

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

So far, Austin Sternberger's prep career has gone far from smoothly. First the Hernando High left inside linebacker broke his collarbone two summers ago, costing him his entire sophomore season. Then he broke it again last spring, and though it didn't officially cost him any games, it certainly had an impact.

"I had to overcome a lot. I was smaller than everybody, weaker than everybody," Sternberger said. "I was out a total of 25 weeks. I really never got back to my top strength until way into my junior year.

Weeki Wachee's Brooks embracing leadership role

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

For Dean Brooks and his Weeki Wachee High teammates, the 2014 football season was difficult to endure.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound starting nose guard about to enter his senior year pulls no punches. He pointed to a lack of leadership and a divide between the veteran and younger players as the primary reason for the Hornets' 1-9 showing.

This spring, Brooks aims to fix that issue.

"The team is working good," Brooks said. "We just need to find teamwork and team leadership. We have the talent and the kids, we just have leadership problems.

NCT's Robinson focused on future

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

As Nature Coast Technical spends this spring and summer preparing for the next football season, the spotlight figures to shine brighest on running back DeShawn Smith.

Yet the Sharks are not a one-man show. On the defensive side, middle linebacker Matthew Robinson has already shown that he merits some attention.

As a sophomore last year he recorded 113 tackles, second in the county only to the soon-to-graduate Conor Ross of Springstead.

Owens set to take center stage

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

The inevitable winds of change are blowing through Springstead High these days, as the Eagles spend this spring preparing for next football season.

Though they'll take the field in a spring classic May 21 hosting Anclote at 7 p.m., when the Eagles officially begin the 2015 campaign in the fall they'll do so with a considerably different core group than the one that delivered the best three-year run in team history.

Among those in line to take on a bigger role is starting free safety T.J. Owens.

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