Nature Coast

Sports notebook: Nature Coast softball stays perfect

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Senior Abbey Primavera has been an ace on the mound for Nature Coast this season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

So far this season, when the Nature Coast softball team gives up a run it seems like a big deal. Three weeks into the season, the Lady Sharks remain undefeated at 6-0.
On Tuesday, they thrashed Hudson, 17-2, in just five innings. Junior Chayse Skinner went 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and five driven in, while Alanis Berrios and Cerina Brooks also had three hits, combining to score five runs and plate four. Alyssa Kelly, who also homered, and Celine Kordon added three runs batted in apiece.

Sports notebook: County wrestlers advance to states

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando's Josh Hulse collected a regional championship on Saturday, winning at 120 pounds as the Leopards finished second in 2A-2. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

A week after both collected district championships, both Hernando and Springstead’s wrestling teams had to tangle with state title contenders in Friday and Saturday’s regional meets.
With that in mind, each squad had to be satisfied with its performance and all four Hernando County programs will have some representation at the FHSAA Finals next weekend at Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena.

Palatka’s press proves Sharks undoing

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Jordan Baxter shoots a free throw against Central in Tuesday's regional semifinal. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

PALATKA – As his players filed out of a postgame locker room one last time, Nature Coast boys basketball head coach Dave Pisarcik made it clear he saw this season as a success.
There was no shame in what the Sharks had accomplished, going undefeated in the regular season and advancing to the Elite Eight for the fifth time in eight seasons.

Sharks gain ‘sweet’ redemption over Bears

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Kaine McColley shoots a free throw in Tuesday night's regional semifinal at Central. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – A week and a half earlier, Nature Coast experienced the only blemish on its season at the hands of county-rival Central.
Nothing will ever capture the district championship for the Sharks, but in a rematch in Tuesday night’s Class 6A, Region 2 boys basketball semifinal, they certainly made up for their one loss of 2016-17.
In front of a boisterous, standing-room-only crowd witnessing perhaps the most meaningful intercounty contest in Hernando County history, Nature Coast gained sweet redemption in the Sweet 16 with a 70-48 victory.

Sports notebook: Eagle, Leopard wrestlers earn district titles

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead Richie Rivera (blue and white) was among the Eagles' eight district champions on Saturday. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

For so many years, the idea of Springstead’s wrestlers capturing a district championship seemed like a foregone conclusion.
But after seeing its streak of 11 straight titles come to end last year, and dealing with a tumultuous coaching situation prior to this season, the Eagles were a considerable question mark when this campaign began.
On Saturday, though, Springstead put all that in the rearview mirror, collecting its 30th district crown with a first-place finish in the Class 2A, District 5 Tournament at Citrus.

Central rallies late, heads to Sweet 16 vs. Sharks

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Caleb Johnson dribbles down the court in Thursday night's game against Ridgewood. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – Central High had waited 20 years to see its boys basketball team host a regional playoff game.
Appropriate, then, that at times Thursday night it felt as though the home fans were producing two decades worth of noise.
In front of a large and often deafening crowd, the Bears mounted a furious rally in the final 3:30 of the fourth quarter in their Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal, erasing a seven-point deficit and knocking off visiting Ridgewood, 78-74.

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.

Central stuns Sharks for district crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central celebrates with the district championship trophy on Friday night at Citrus High. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

INVERNESS – When Central won its boys basketball district semifinal over Citrus on Wednesday night, head coach Matt Zandecki guaranteed one thing for Friday night’s final: his Bears would not be intimidated.
At that moment, it may have sounded like blind optimism. But by the end of the Class 6A, District 7 championship game at Citrus High, those words proved prophetic.

Sports notebook: Lady Sharks repeat as state runners-up

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's girls weightlifting team celebrates with its district championship trophy and medals last month. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

On Friday, the Nature Coast girls weightlifting team traveled to Belleview for the Class 1A FHSAA Finals, and they didn’t return home empty-handed.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Sharks were the state runners-up, scoring 17 points to edge Lake Weir, the team that had defeated Nature Coast at regionals two weeks earlier, by one point. River Ridge was again state champion, scoring 29.

Season ends for Sharks at Sunlake

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Vinny Stulec (5) scored twice for the Sharks in Saturday's regional semifinal at Sunlake. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

LAND O’ LAKES – Over the past two weeks, Nature Coast’s boys soccer team has cleared several hurdles. But on Saturday night, the Sharks finally stumbled, and a successful season came to a close.
Traveling to Sunlake for a Class 3A, Region 2 semifinal, Nature Coast pushed the host Seahawks almost literally until the final whistle before succumbing in a 3-2 defeat.

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