Hernando High School

Hernando prepares for first playoff appearance since 2012

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando's Noah Batten running the ball against Central during the regular season

(Brooksville)- It has taken a full five seasons, but Hernando is finally back in the postseason. 

The last time the Leopards qualified for the FHSAA state playoffs was in 2012 under then coach Dwayne Mobley. The end result ended up being Hernando being ousted in the opening round 60-3 by Gainesville. Hernando isn’t looking to have a similar result occur when they welcome Green Cove Springs Clay into town Friday night for a Class 5A, Region 2 quarterfinal matchup. 

Game preview: Nature Coast at Hernando

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando's David Hale Bronson running the ball

BROOKSVILLE- There hasn’t been a game in quite some time that’s quite caught the attention of prep football fans in Hernando County like Thursday night’s Class 5A, District 7 meeting between Hernando and Nature Coast at Tom Fisher Stadium. 

The last time Nature Coast lost to an in-county opponent was 2014 against Springstead in a 23-20 affair early in the regular season. Fast forward to 2017 and the Sharks are in a precarious spot after losing a crucial district contest to Inverness Citrus 37-27 on the road. It’s made this Thursday’s game that much more meaningful. 

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.

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.

Kimbrough enjoying surprising success on the links

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Pierce Kimbrough, HHS Boys Golf

Pierce Kimbrough nearly didn’t play high school golf at all this year. He’s a baseball player first and foremost, and he hadn’t even picked up a club in preparation for the start of the current season. “I’ve done it for three years, why not one more?” Kimbrough said.

Sports Notebook: Running Backs Carry Sharks, Bears

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Friday night in Hernando County, it was good to be a running back named Smith. A debate could probably go on for days over just who had the superior performance: Nature Coast’s DeShawn Smith or Central’s De’Vonta Smith.

Leopards’ Libengood Takes the Lead

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

The Hernando High football squad is in the second year of its rebuild under head coach Bill Vonada, and the veteran mentor will assuredly need to lean on his upperclassmen. That’s where players such as senior defensive end Tyson Libengood come into the equation. “His experience on the defense and in the heat of battle makes him a natural leader,” Vonada said. “He has some of the best physical potential on our defensive front… He works extremely hard in the weight room, and is willing to do the extra things. He is one of our best cover guys on punt.”

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.

Wrestling Wrap-Up

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by Rocco Maglio

Wrestling season will soon be coming to an end. With the success that Hernando county had last year there are high expectations.

For the last six years Springstead High School has finished in the top five at state for the Class 2A field. In 2014, they finished third. Three of the four wrestlers they brought reached the finals with two winning state titles (Mike McDonald and Jordan Rivera).

Last year Hernando High School surprised with an eighth place finish with both of their wrestlers who made state reaching the finals. They won one state title (Jesse Gaudin).

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