Central

Johnson takes control as Central seeks playoff success

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Caleb Johnson fights for control of the ball against Nature Coast's Robert McAfee, left, and Jordan Baxter. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Central’s boys basketball team has gone 12 seasons without advancing to the regional playoffs. Caleb Johnson spent the previous two attempting to carve out his niche in the Bears’ starting lineup.
For Johnson, there has been no questioning his role this season, as the junior guard leads the Bears in scoring by a wide margin, averaging 21.1 points per game coming into this week.
Whether Central can move past the district tournament for the first time since 2004 will be answered soon enough, but the Bears (12-8) have locked up the second seed in Class 6A, District 7.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bowl game a bitter end for Bears

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Central senior De'Vonta Smith scored twice in Thursday's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Hudson. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

HUDSON – At the end of the night, Central could still take solace in what it accomplished this season. But Thursday night simply wasn’t how the Bears wanted things to finish.
Traveling to Hudson for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Central fell behind quickly and could never recover, as the host Cobras rolled to a 50-12 victory.

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.

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.

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.

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