Football

Friday night recaps 10/6/2017

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast against Central last Tuesday night

There was plenty of exciting action on the prep football gridiron last week, as Nature Coast and Central started off the slate on Tuesday night and had to suit up again a couple days later. With Hernando off on a bye week, we take a look at games played on Tuesday and Friday nights in Hernando County. 

Nature Coast 28, Central 26 (Tuesday night) 

In a contest rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma and both teams also slated to play later in the week, the Tuesday night tilt between Class 5A, District 7 rivals Nature Coast and Central lived up to the annual billing. 

Sharks survive scare, continue county dominance

photography by Cheryl Clanton

NCT offense lines up against Central defense on Oct. 3, 2017.

Hurricane Irma’s wrath over the state of Florida caused a hefty amount of games to be either cancelled or rescheduled across the North Suncoast area. One of those games was an early 5A-7 district matchup between the Nature Coast Sharks and the Central Bears, who are two premier programs in the county.

The rescheduling was only the beginning of what would transpire inside the “Bear Den” Tuesday night.

Friday Night Recap, Sept. 22, 2017

photography by CHERYL CLANTON
cheryl@hernandosun.com

Louis Miele 66, fighting in the trenches against Crystal RIver on Friday Sept. 22, 2017.  Photo by Cheryl Clanton

There was plenty of good matchups that took place last Friday night, Sept. 22, 2017, in Hernando County, as everyone around returned to normalcy and resumed its regular season. We take a look back at all the games that took in and outside of the county.

Nature Coast 19, Crystal River 7

It's four weeks into the season and Nature Coast is already looking mid-season form defensively, despite playing in only two games. The Sharks were able to use an opportunistic defense and roll to a 19-7 win over district rival Crystal River last Friday.

Sharks overcome penalties, keep winning streak alive

photography by Cheryl Clanton

Sophomore quarterback Fabian Burnett in action against Crystal River on Sept. 22, 2017

High school football was in full swing Friday night as the Nature Coast Sharks returned to the Shark Tank in Brooksville to welcome district opponent Crystal River in the Sharks’ first game since Hurricane Irma cancelled two weeks of games. Nature Coast, who had previously defeated South Sumter 33-7, was looking to extend its Hernando County record of 23-straight regular season wins.

It did not come easily, as Crystal River (0-5) came ready to play spoiler.

Irma’s aftermath causes scheduling chaos

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's football team sprints on to the field earlier this season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Hurricane Irma is in the rearview mirror, but her impacts are still being felt. High school sports may be a low-level concern as the state recovers from the storm, however coaches and administrators are nonetheless scrambling trying to figure out how to move forward.
In Hernando County, where school and all activities had already been called off last Thursday through Saturday in preparation for Irma, prep sports have been shut down until Monday, when all schools will reopen. That means no practices and no games, even if they’re off campus or outside the county.

NCT alum Breida making most of minicamp

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Former Nature Coast running back Matt Breida during the San Francisco 49ers' organized team activity at their training facility in Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

For Matt Breida, the dream of playing in the NFL hasn’t quite been realized, but he’s coming awfully close.
The 2013 Nature Coast graduate has been in San Francisco the past few weeks, participating in a rookie minicamp with the 49ers, the running back receiving his first taste of life as a professional football player.
“This is a big opportunity,” Breida said. “Being an undrafted free agent, I’m hoping to prove everyone wrong and prove I belong in the NFL.”

Rivera’s state title school year’s top story

Springstead 113-pounder Richie Rivera finishes off a takedown against Lleyton Taylor of Riverdale in their quarterfinal match in Class 2A state meet action. Rivera won 5-0. Photo by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

With the school year coming to a close in Hernando County, the time has come to reflect back on the 2016-17 prep sports season.
Success was spread out, with all six FHSAA-sanctioned schools boasting at least one district championship team, and the county had an Elite Eight squad in all three seasons, fall, winter and spring.
Here are the top three stories from the past 10 months of action:
1. Rivera overcomes adversity for state crown

Sports notebook: Gray tabbed as new headman for Hornets

Photo provided

Jacob Gray

For the first time in its history, the Weeki Wachee football program will have a new man at the helm and this week the school officially announced the hiring of Jacob Gray as head coach.
The 25-year-old Gray was plucked off the coaching staff of Jacksonville-Bolles, where he served as special teams coordinator for the Class 4A state runner-up Bulldogs.

Sports notebook: Nature Coast hires new football coach

Photo provided

Cory Johns

A football team that has gone a combined 22-2 the past two seasons figured to draw plenty of interest for its head coaching vacancy.
No surprise then that Nature Coast received over 80 resumes for its opening this past month, which the school filled this week with the hiring of Kissimmee-Liberty headman Cory Johns.
“It was one of those opportunities I couldn’t pass up,” Johns said. “I’m not into bouncing around. I’m looking for a place to be for a very long time, or at least as long as they’ll keep me. This place looked like it.

Hornets’ Cromie enters college football

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie signs his full scholarship with Tennessee-based Tusculum College on Wednesday. He was joined by, from left, girlfriend Arianna Doyle, mother Alice Mellecker and father Brett Cromie. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

The school year may only be half over, but for Alec Cromie the next step has already arrived.

Now a Weeki Wachee High graduate, Cromie will spend the weekend settling into his new digs at Tusculum College in Tennessee. The top statistical quarterback in Hernando County history officially signed with the Division II school on Wednesday and has already arrived on campus.

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