Nature Coast

Header equals history as Sharks advance

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Gilbert Delgado (middle) and his teammates begin celebrating his game-winning overtime goal Wednesday night. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – Nature Coast’s boys soccer team had three goals coming into the season. Now, the Sharks have three days to come up with a fourth.
On Wednesday, they made team history, as Gilbert Delgado’s header found the back of the net with 2:30 left in overtime, and the host Sharks pulled out a 1-0 victory over River Ridge in a Class 3A, Region 2 quarterfinal.

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.

Sharks celebrate second district crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Vinny Stulec kicks the ball ahead during Friday's 3A-7 final versus Pasco. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

DADE CITY – On Wednesday night, Nature Coast boys soccer coach Ian Wald talked about his team’s three goals for the season.
There was winning a district championship, earning the first-ever regional victory and one he refused to mention. Two nights later, he admitted that third goal was to defeat Pasco for the first time ever.
He could make that reveal following Friday’s Class 3A, District 7 final on the Pirates’ home field, when his squad dominated from start to finish in a 3-0 triumph.

Sharks send Hornets home in semis

Photography Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Vinny Stulec battles for possession in the middle of several Weeki Wachee players in the Coaches Cup final on Jan. 14. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

DADE CITY – It took a decade for the Nature Coast boys soccer program to find success. Now, the Sharks have made it a habit.
For the fourth consecutive season, they’re headed to the regional playoffs. That much was assured on Wednesday with a victory over Weeki Wachee in the Class 3A, District 7 semifinals at Pasco, 4-2.

Sports notebook: Lady Sharks take second in region

Photo provided

Nature Coast's Samantha Traudt, front, along with (standing from left) Kaitlyn Pierce, Coach Nikki Pierce and Jouie Miller celebrate the trio of lifters' first-place showings and the team's second-place finish at Saturday's regional meet. Photo provided

Nature Coast’s girl weightlifting team continued its march toward the state meet on Saturday, at the Class 1A, Region 5 Meet hosted by Belleview.
The Lady Sharks, hoping to compete for a state crown after finishing as the runners-up a year ago, took second in this meet to Ocala-Lake Weir, 38-42.

Sharks stomp Pirates to stay perfect

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Anthony Valante scored 22 points and knocked down four 3-pointers in Nature Coast's Friday night win at Crystal River. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

CRYSTAL RIVER – On Tuesday night, Nature Coast’s boys basketball team received its stiffest challenge from a Class 6A, District 7 foe this season, and apparently, it didn’t sit well.
Crystal River was the perhaps in the wrong place at the wrong time, then, when hosting the Sharks on Friday night. Coming into the season the Pirates, district runners-up to Nature Coast a year ago, were viewed as a serious threat in district play.

Lady Shark lifters earn district repeat

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's girls weightlifting team celebrates with its district championship trophy and medals after Wednesday's 1A-10 Meet at Weeki Wachee. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast’s girls weightlifting team has high aspirations this postseason, and took its first step toward achieving its goals on Wednesday.
The Lady Sharks, state runners-up in 2016, captured their second straight district championship, advancing a school-record 17 lifters to regionals and blowing away the rest of the field in the Class 1A, District 10 Meet at Weeki Wachee.

Sports notebook: Springstead basketball going strong

Boys basketball photo submitted, Girls basketball photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's boys basketball celebrates after winning the Springstead New Year's Shootout on Tuesday. Photo submitted

It has been a solid season for the Springstead boys and girls basketball teams, and they both got off to a strong start in 2017.
In the middle of the week, the boys held the second annual Springstead New Year’s Shootout, and the Eagles came away with a championship trophy.
“It’s a huge accomplishment, especially because we’re such a young team. We have five juniors and two sophomores playing bigtime minutes,” Springstead head coach Matthew McGarry said. “Any time you go into a tournament and win it, it’s good for the future.”

Eagles finish fourth in rugged home tourney

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's Richie Rivera grabs Lake Gibson's Nathan Lawwell from behind during Saturday 113-pound final. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

SPRING HILL – By the high standards Springstead’s wrestling program has established over the decades, a fourth-place showing in its own tournament won’t stand out in the history books.
But considering the level of competition in this weekend’s Corey Hill Memorial Invite, the Eagles’ performance certainly ranks as respectable.

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