Nature Coast

Nature Coast boys, girls remain tops in county track

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Kailtyn Pierce competes in the triple jump during Thursday's Hernando-Citrus Classic. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

The names and faces have changed, yet for Nature Coast’s track and field program, the results remained the same in the Hernando-Citrus Classic.
All nine schools from the two counties converged on Weeki Wachee’s football field on Thursday, and both the Nature Coast boys and girls remained the defending champs.
For the Lady Sharks, it was a bit of a surprise, though they scored 170 points to finish well ahead of second-place Lecanto with 135.

Leopards beat Sharks with late rally

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando starting pitcher Cameron Price looks in before throwing a pitch in Wednesday night's game against Nature Coast. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – The big-league scouts camped out in the stands behind home plate, their radar guns aimed at the mound with every pitch out of the hand of J.P. Gates.
Yes, Nature Coast’s tall, hard-throwing lefty is a central attraction every time he pitches, as he did Wednesday night at Emerson Field. But the host Leopards produced some highlights of their own, and came away with a 6-3 victory.

Sports notebook: Springstead softball maintains top ranking

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's senior Kama Woodall has led the Lady Eagles at the plate and on the mound this season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead’s softball has been holding down the top spot in the Miracle Sports state softball rankings for Class 6A, and the Lady Eagles looked the part in two shutout district wins this past week.
On Tuesday, Springstead (16-1 overall, 7-1 6A-District 6) defeated Citrus, 7-0. Delaney Woodall went 2-for-4 with a run and two runs batted in, while Kayla Cruz and Kama Woodall each were 2-for-4 with one RBI. Paige Pfent was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Kama Woodall, who also doubled, threw a 1-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Remondelli makes statement with county crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast sophomore Sierra Remondelli in Thursday's match against Springstead. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – In terms of lineup, Nature Coast sophomore Sierra Remondelli isn’t typically the top player on her own girls tennis team.
Yet three weeks ago during the county invitational tournament at Delta Woods Park, it was Remondelli coming out on top of the bracketed three-team event that included her own higher-seeded teammates.

Sports notebook: County baseball teams stay busy over break

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's Dominic Marrone gets ready for a pitch in Wednesday's game against Nature Coast. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

With Hernando County public schools out for spring break this week, the sports schedule was relatively lite outside of Friday and Saturday’s Leopard Slam softball tournament.
Yet the county’s baseball teams still kept busy, all playing multiple games throughout the week.

Springstead repeats in Leopard Slam final

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead pitcher Kama Woodall accepts the championship trophy after Saturday night's Leopard Slam final. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – In the end, the sixth annual Leopard Slam softball tournament played out much like the last one. Just as they did a year ago, Springstead and Nature Coast squared off in the final.
Last season, it was the Lady Eagles celebrating with the championship trophy, and they found themselves in that position again on Saturday night at Tom Varn Park’s Ernie Chatman Field, knocking the Lady Sharks from the unbeaten ranks with an 8-2 victory.

Sports notebook: Gates strikes out 15 in perfect game

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's J.P. Gates threw a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters against Central on Tuesday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast junior J.P. Gates has literally been unhittable in three starts this season, but on Tuesday he took it to another level.
The hard-throwing southpaw, already committed to the University of Miami, threw a perfect game in a 10-0 win over Central that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Gates struck out 15. In other words, he fanned every single batter he faced.

Nature Coast sweeps county tennis invite

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Sierra Remondelli serves during Friday's final day of the county invitational at Delta Woods Park. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

The field wasn’t as complete as originally intended, but for the Nature Coast boys and girls tennis teams, what turned out be a county invitational this week proved a rewarding experience.
While the boys went down to the wire to edge Weeki Wachee, the Lady Sharks dominated two other county squads, as both captured first place in the tournament that was held Thursday and Friday at Delta Woods Park.

Central lifters earn district hardware

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Dominique Walker finished second at 199 in Monday's district meet, with a 315-255--570. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Last week, the Central boys weightlifting team was on the outside looking in as Hernando and Springstead tied for first place in the county meet.
But this week, it was the Bears taking home a trophy, finishing as the runner-up in Monday’s Class 1A, District 11 Meet at Weeki Wachee. Though Citrus ran away with the team title at 91 points, Central edged Hernando, 29-28.

Springstead’s Rivera wins ‘amazing’ state title

Photography by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

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

Capturing a wrestling state championship requires an incredible amount of mental fortitude all by itself.
But under the circumstances Springstead senior Richie Rivera faced during the Class 2A FHSAA Finals at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, his accomplishment of placing first at 113 pounds had his coach Bob Levija repeating one word over and over.
“It was amazing,” Levija said. “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced, that he could stay that focused and wrestled the way he did.
“He wrecked everybody. He was just really on.”

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