Hernando

Sports notebook: Hermine wreaks havoc

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Central running back De'Vonta Smith takes to the air while carrying the ball in Week 1 against Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

The official track of Hurricane Hermine will show that the storm made landfall in the Big Bend area, but it surely managed to leave its mark on Hernando County.
It washed out four days’ worth of prep athletic events and practices, including the entire Week 2 football schedule.
Four games, all non-district, were on the slate, most notably a meeting of county rivals Springstead and Hernando. Though the sun finally poked its head out as skies cleared in the county on Saturday, the prior deluge left fields at Ridgewood, Nature Coast and Hernando unplayable.

Preseason football notebook: Central drops shootout

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Central's Jonathan Allion gains yardage against East Ridge during Friday night's preseason game. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Based on the results of Friday night’s preseason classic, Central won’t have any problems putting points on the board. Whether it can outscore the opposition is another matter.
Hosting Clermont-East Ridge in an exhibition, the Bears were repeatedly burned by big plays, canceling out a spectacular performance by running back De’Vonta Smith in a 45-26 defeat.

Leopard alum Lawson drafted by Rays

Photo from gousfbulls.com

Hernando graduate Brandon Lawson was drafted in the 12th round by the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. Photo from gousfbulls.com

Brandon Lawson anticipated he’d experience one of his best moments this weekend. It just came a day later than he had hoped.
On Saturday, the third day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the 2013 Hernando High graduate and USF junior was chosen by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 14th pick of the 12th round, 360th overall.

Sports notebook: Finally healthy, Foley a state champ

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando sophomore Trevor Foley won the 1,600 Saturday at Class 2A FHSAA Finals. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Trevor Foley came into high school with heightened expectations. At Challenger K-8, he had proven to be one of the top middle school distance runners in the state.
But the Hernando High sophomore had yet to taste success at the state meet for either cross country or track and field due to bouts with untimely illness and injury.

Hernando working toward next step

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando head coach Bill Vonada focuses on his players during practice this week. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando head football coach Bill Vonada may be running for a school board seat, but that hasn’t kept him from running the Leopards’ spring practice this month.
The veteran headman, about to embark on his third season at Hernando, has often said that the administration anticipated a three-year rebuild when he was hired.
So far the Leopards have gone 3-6 and 3-7 during Vonada’s tenure, and for a program low on numbers both in terms of players and assistant coaches, there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Sharks stunned late as county teams falter

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Jayden Rivera rounds third on the way to scoring a run in Wednesday night's regional quarterfinal. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – It seemed like Wednesday would be a banner day for Hernando County prep baseball, as a record four local squads were set to compete in regional quarterfinals.
But it ended up being a rugged night for all those teams – Hernando, Nature Coast, Springstead and Weeki Wachee – as each saw their seasons come to a close in defeat.

Santiago steps up as Sharks finally win district

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Brandon Santiago earned the win while driving in four runs in Friday night's 5A-7 final win over Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – With ace J.P. Gates unavailable, having tossed a no-hitter in Wednesday’s 2-0 semifinal win over Central, Nature Coast’s baseball team had to turn to someone else while attempting to make history.
That turned out to be junior southpaw Brandon Santiago, the Sharks’ No. 2 starter, who ended up earning the win while also driving in four runs at the plate Friday at Emerson Field, as top-seeded Nature Coast defeated host Hernando in the Class 5A, District 7 final, 13-8.

Bounty of the Gulf

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Off the coast of Hernando County there are bountiful seas. Although we are lacking in beaches the gulf is full of treasures. Hernando County has around 20 miles of coastline. It also has several boat ramps that can be used to launch a boat into the Gulf.

Offshore where there is the proper mix of salt and fresh water there are scallops. As you head out further into the gulf there is still abundant sea life. There are flying fish only a few inches long that sail out of the water for up to a quarter mile. There are large jellyfish that look beautiful as you pass over them.

Sports notebook: Hernando girls earn regional repeat

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando's Maddie Pickersgill during her match with Crystal River's Olivia Parker Thursday afternoon in Brooksville. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Three Hernando County tennis teams advanced into regional play as district champions, but only one remained standing after Thursday’s finals.
For the second season in a row, Hernando’s girls collected a regional championship by defeating Crystal River at the Brooksville City Courts. This time around, the Lady Leopards won by a 5-2 score in the Class 2A, Region IV final.

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