Weeki Wachee

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.

Weeki Wachee grinds out win over Springstead

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee senior Sarah Asbury sets up her teammates during Tuesday's match at Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Weeki Wachee’s volleyball team hardly got off to the type of start it would have liked when the season began last week.
In their opener on Aug. 23, the Lady Hornets blew a 2-0 lead and fell at Crystal River, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-10. The next day, they got swept at home by county-rival Hernando, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21.
Though they managed a 25-8, 25-6, 25-18 win over Citrus last Thursday, Tuesday’s matchup at Springstead brought more struggle in the early going.

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.

Cromie still striving to improve under center

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Senior quarterback Alec Cromie leads Weeki Wachee into the 2016 season. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

At this point, Alec Cromie feels like a permanent fixture at the quarterback position for Weeki Wachee.
He has spent the past two seasons under center for the Hornets, providing head coach Mark Lee the type of classic signal caller required to properly execute his pass-heavy offense.
But this is high school football, where there’s a very finite amount of time to etch even the most enduring of legacies. For the senior Cromie, that small window will slam shut in the coming months.

Hornets hope to finally move forward

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It has become something of a rallying cry for Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee over the Hornets’ first four varsity seasons on the gridiron: moral victories just aren’t enough.
As Lee and his coaching staff have worked to build a football program from scratch, they have craved a corner-turning campaign in which the Hornets shed their fledgling ways and become a force on the North Suncoast.

Hornets hit hard in spring game

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie attempts a pass to teammate Diante Thomas in Friday night's spring game against Wesley Chapel. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

WEEKI WACHEE – Weeki Wachee went into Friday night’s spring game against visiting Wesley Chapel hoping to sure up its deficiencies in tackling and stopping the run.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, the exhibition went in a much different direction. The Wildcats gashed the hosts for 542 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, collecting a 54-20 victory.

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