Weeki Wachee

Hernando takes second at Weeki Wachee

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Photo by Cheryl Clanton

WEEKI WACHEE – Outside of the last match, it was a pleasant weekend for Hernando at the Weeki Wachee Duals.
The Leopards opened the season by placing second in the two-day tournament, going 7-1 with the only loss at the very end against unbeaten Dover-Strawberry Crest.
“We’re excited. We have a really good dual team. It was fun to see it in action. They did really good across the board,” Hernando head coach David Pritz said. “That last team was just better than us, but we wrestled tough.

Tale of two halves ends in tie

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Weeki Wachee's Bailey Hypes controls the ball while being persued by Nature Coast's Hunter Reid (10) and Caleb Rojas. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

WEEKI WACHEE – Both Nature Coast and Weeki Wachee had 40 minutes to be happy with on Wednesday night.
Problem for both teams was the Class 3A, District 7 boys soccer match lasted 80, and as a result it concluded in a 1-1 tie.
“We never play for a tie, but it was good to get the tie,” said Nature Coast sophomore Hunter Reid. “We let them control the first half. Came back in the second half, switched our formation and really, we showed them up. We possessed. We played the ball. We held the ball in the second half.”

Sports notebook: Vonada staying on at Hernando

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Bill Vonada will return as Hernando's head football coach next season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Turns out Hernando High won’t be in the market for a new head football coach after all. A week after Bill Vonada said he wouldn’t be back with the Leopards after three seasons, the school announced his return.
“We’re going to just do everything we can to move forward and put together the best program we can for the coming year,” Vonada said.
Out of respect to his players, Vonada declined to go into specific details about the chain of events that led him to temporarily leave the program.

Lady Hornets enjoying breakthrough season

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Freshman Reilley Bain leads Weeki Wachee with 13 goals and six assists. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Danny Fierro has a card on his fridge that his current seniors presented to him at the end of their sophomore season, his first as Weeki Wachee’s head girls soccer coach.
He recently sent those same players a photo of that card, and so he can recite what it said off the top of his head. They thanked him for being their coach, and believed “the longer we play for you, the better it will be.”

Sports notebook: Springstead athletes sign early

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead softball player Kama Woodall, left, and volleyball libero Alondra Rodriguez celebrate their signings on Monday, with Springstead principal Carmine Rufa. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

On Monday, two Springstead seniors took advantage of the early signing period that ended on Wednesday to ink national letters of intent with their respective college choices.
For softball pitching ace Kama Woodall, the pick was Division I North Carolina State. Alondra Rodriguez, the volleyball team’s libero the past three seasons, will be attending Division II Rollins College in Winter Park.
Woodall transferred to Springstead last school year after leading St. Petersburg-Canterbury to back-to-back state titles in 2013-14, and to the Final Four in 2015.

Sports notebook: Eagles fall to powerhouse Vanguard

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Springstead lost a regional quarterfinal at Ocala-Vanguard on Friday, 45-0. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

For Springstead’s football team, the return to the postseason after a two-season absence proved a short visit. But considering the task it faced, the result wasn’t unexpected.
The Eagles visited Ocala-Vanguard in a Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal on Friday night and suffered a 45-0 defeat.
Yet considering the Knights (9-1) boast several Division I prospects and averaged 45.7 points in the regular season with an average margin of victory of 41.4 points, it was no secret that Springstead (6-3) faced an uphill battle.

Weeki Wachee football coach resigns

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee resigned last Sunday after seven seasons at the helm. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

For the first time since it began play, the Weeki Wachee football team will be searching for a new head coach.
On Sunday, Mark Lee turned in his resignation to principal Troy LaBarbara, ending his seven-year tenure that started when the school opened in 2010. It came only days after the conclusion of a difficult 0-10 season.
“I thought it was best for a change for both sides,” Lee said. “Any time there’s a coaching change there’s a new energy and maybe that’ll help.”

Eagles handle Hornets to cap whirlwind week

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead quarterback Jordan Wright ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's 55-15 win over Weeki Wachee. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – For the third time in six days, Springstead had some football to play. On Thursday night, the Eagles had a chance to cruise before they enter postseason play next week.
Hosting winless Weeki Wachee, Springstead built a huge lead early and received contributions from a variety offensive players in a 55-15 victory.

Weeki Wachee can’t clear ‘final’ hurdle

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee's Seytia Hill attempts to spike over the Ponte Verdra defense during the regional final Tuesday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

WEEKI WACHEE – For Weeki Wachee, Tuesday night surely had too familiar a feel. Yes, the venue had changed, but the outcome and situation closely mirrored the end of the 2015 campaign.
The Lady Hornets hosted Ponte Vedra in the Class 6A, Region 2 final and just as they had a year ago in this same round but on the road, they fell to the Lady Sharks in four games, this time 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Sports notebook: Lady Hornets to host regional final

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

The Weeki Wachee volleyball team will host Ponte Vedra in a regional final on Tuesday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

For the second straight season, the Weeki Wachee volleyball team is headed back to the Elite Eight. This time, the Lady Hornets get to play it in their own gym.
On Tuesday at 7 p.m., they’ll host Ponte Vedra in the Class 6A, Region 2 final, a rematch of last year’s meeting in the same round, won by the host Sharks, 25-27, 25-19, 27-25, 25-13.


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