Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee sweeps way into semis

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee's Bri Grayson Simon (14) and Seytia Hill go up for the block on Gulf's Alyssa Abrams in Tuesday night's match. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

WEEKI WACHEE – The Weeki Wachee volleyball team took another step toward at least matching last season’s run to the Elite Eight on Tuesday night.
Hosting Gulf in a Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal, the Lady Hornets blanked the visitors in three games, 25-15, 27-25, 25-16, advancing to a semifinal Friday night starting 7 p.m. at Fivay.
“It’s anybody’s game. They’re going to keep on pushing. They want to go as far as they can go,” Weeki Wachee head coach Kelly Werkmeister said. “We’re going to ride it until God says it’s time for us to end.”

Sports notebook: NCT golf teams crowned region champs

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Skyler Muscianese and the Nature Coast girls won a regional championship on Monday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Never had any boys or girls golf team from Nature Coast captured a regional championship. On Monday, they both did.
The Class 2A, Region 5 boys and girls tournaments, both held at Crescent Oaks Golf Club in Tarpon Springs, each featured a Shark squad collecting a first-place trophy.
For the boys, it came down to one stroke, as Nature Coast bested Mitchell, 329-330. Both teams nonetheless qualified for a trip to states.
“That was exciting,” Nature Coast boys coach Tom Brown said. “I was hoping to get second, so it was really awesome.

Weeki Wachee wins second district crown

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee's Miranda Werkmeister totaled 19 kills and 25 digs in Thursday's 6A-7 final against Crystal River. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

CRYSTAL RIVER – Weeki Wachee came into the Class 6A, District 7 Tournament this week as the third seed, yet looked the part of a reigning district champion.
On Thursday night, the Lady Hornets knocked off the hosts and top seed, Crystal River, to earn a second straight district crown, 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-17.

Hornets survive do-or-die with Hernando

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee setter Sarah Asbury had a 44 assist and a 12-point turn at serve to start the third game for Tuesday's 6A-7 semifinal versus Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

CRYSTAL RIVER – Hernando and Weeki Wachee have met in a district championship match the past three seasons. But each time, the losing team could rest easy knowing it had a trip to regionals in its back pocket.
There was no such safety net on Tuesday night, when the county rivals squared off in the postseason for the fourth year in a row, but this time in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinals at Crystal River.

The Lady Leopards had captured both regular-season meetings, yet the Lady Hornets won when it mattered most, collecting a 25-18, 25-27, 25-10, 25-20 victory.

Sports notebook: Hernando downs county foes Weeki Wachee

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Leoprard David hale Bronson attempts to break through the Horents defense. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando captured a meeting of 5A-7 and county foes, downing Weeki Wachee (0-7 overall, 0-4 5A-7), 24-0. Quarterback Scott Bierwiler completed 7-of-9 passes for 106 yards, and rushed 10 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns for the Leopards (3-3 overall, 2-2 5A-7). David Hale Bronson ran for 91 yards and a score.

Sports notebook: Matthew forces scheduling changes

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's T.J. Owens dives over top a Weeki Wachee defender on Saturday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

While Hurricane Matthew barreled its way up the east coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Hernando County escaped any real impact from the deadly storm outside of a blustery Friday.
Still, just as with Hurricane Hermine last month, the threat of a tropical system led to the Hernando County School District calling off school and all after-school activities on Thursday and Friday.
That of course wreaked havoc on Week 7 of the prep football schedule. One non-district matchup, Hernando at Ocala-Forest, was completely canceled.

Sports notebook: Central wins second straight

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Nickinson Sineus attempts to catch a pass with a defender on his back in Friday night's game against Lake Wales. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It was a startling revelation to Central head coach Chris Sands, but nonetheless true. The last time the Bears won back-to-back football games came in 2008.
That all changed on Friday night, when Central won for the second week in a row, trouncing host Lecanto, 35-21.
More importantly for the Bears (3-2 overall), it pushed their record to 2-1 in Class 5A, District 7 after a brutal opening district loss at Nature Coast two weeks ago.

Sports notebook: Central’s Smith sets new county mark

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Bears Devonta Smith breaks county record during the game against the Hornest Friday night at Central High School. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

So far this season, the same narrative has followed Central’s De’Vonta Smith. He has tried to escape the shadow of his cousin DeShawn Smith, who led the nation in rushing and scoring during a historic campaign with Nature Coast in 2015.
On Friday night, the senior running back managed to put together a statistical performance even his cousin never quite matched, setting a new county single-game rushing record in the Bears’ 63-28 thumping of Weeki Wachee.

Sports notebook: Central overcomes miscues

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie drops back to pass in Friday night's game against Hudson. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Led by star running back De’Vonta Smith, Central has perhaps its most talented roster in recent memory, with hopes of turning a corner and competing for a playoff spot.
But it has become apparent that the Bears must find a way to reduce their self-destructive tendencies. After battling severe penalty problems in the preseason and Week 1 losses to Clermont-East Ridge and Springstead, Central had reason to celebrate on Friday thanks to a 21-7 victory at Fivay.

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.


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