Sports

Lady Hornets enjoying breakthrough season

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Freshman Reilley Bain leads Weeki Wachee with 13 goals and six assists. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Danny Fierro has a card on his fridge that his current seniors presented to him at the end of their sophomore season, his first as Weeki Wachee’s head girls soccer coach.
He recently sent those same players a photo of that card, and so he can recite what it said off the top of his head. They thanked him for being their coach, and believed “the longer we play for you, the better it will be.”

Rough start for rebuilding Leopards

Photography by Matt Pfiffner, Citrus Chronicle

Hernando's Ygenio Booker drives to the basket between Crystal River defenders DeAndre Parker, left, and Josh Cole during Tuesday night's district game at Crystal River. Photo by Matt Pfiffner, Citrus Chronicle

CRYSTAL RIVER – Tuesday night’s season opener for the Hernando boys basketball team featured district opponents in opposite situations.
On one side of the court was host Crystal River, a district runner-up last season returning four of its five starters. Then there was visiting Hernando, with just one starter back from the 2015-16 campaign.
As such, the result was predictable, as the Pirates captured an 87-69 victory. But the Leopards could take solace that, following a rugged first quarter, they hung with their Class 6A, District 7 foe the rest of the way.

Running for a Title: NCAA D2 Cross Country National Championships

Saint Leo University hosted the 2016 NCAA Divison 2 Cross Country National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 19. Hosting runners from more than 64 teams of men and women around the country, there was 248 runners for the men’s 10K race and 244 for the women’s 6K event.

“I imagine this is what a stampede sounds like,” one student said, after the start of the men’s race.

Sports notebook: Springstead athletes sign early

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead softball player Kama Woodall, left, and volleyball libero Alondra Rodriguez celebrate their signings on Monday, with Springstead principal Carmine Rufa. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

On Monday, two Springstead seniors took advantage of the early signing period that ended on Wednesday to ink national letters of intent with their respective college choices.
For softball pitching ace Kama Woodall, the pick was Division I North Carolina State. Alondra Rodriguez, the volleyball team’s libero the past three seasons, will be attending Division II Rollins College in Winter Park.
Woodall transferred to Springstead last school year after leading St. Petersburg-Canterbury to back-to-back state titles in 2013-14, and to the Final Four in 2015.

Saint Leo men's basketball looking to pounce

Photo courtesy of Saint Leo University

The 2016-2017 season for the Saint Leo University Men’s Basketball team began on Nov. 12 in Florence, Alabama. Before the first game of the season even tipped off though, there is a different attitude to the Lion’s season. After starting last year projected to finish second to last in the Sunshine State Conference, Saint Leo surprised everyone when they earned a bid in the NCAA tournament. This year, expectations are higher, as the team starts as the number two team in the conference.

Sharks suffer shocking semifinal loss

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

River Ridge's Alex Kostogiannes gets off a punt over the rush of Nature Coast's Lenkel Smith in Friday's playoff contest. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Going into Friday night’s second-round playoff game, undefeated Nature Coast seemed on a collision course with Green Cove Springs-Clay for an Elite Eight rematch.
But River Ridge had other ideas. Hosting the Class 5A, Region 2 football semifinal, the Royal Knights found a way to stymie the Sharks’ powerhouse offense and handed them a stunning 24-3 defeat.
“It hurts. It hurts,” Nature Coast head coach Justin Worden said. “We’ve got a good group of seniors. They’ve played hard all year. Mistakes finally caught up to us.

Special Olympics Hernando takes four gold medals in the 2016 Fall Classic!

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Photos courtesy of Rhonda Coleman

Special Olympics Hernando Softball Skills,(l-r) Coach Glen, Nick, Kyle, Ketih, Blake, Jimmy and Coach Jim

Special Olympics Hernando takes four gold medals in the 2016 Fall Classic!
On November 12 and 13, Hernando County Special Olympics athletes traveled to Orlando to compete in the 2016 Fall Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Saint Leo Women’s Soccer had a huge season

Photography by Jim Hogue

St. Leo's Arielle Kabangu puts pressure on goal during the SSC Tournament Championships against Nova Southeastern University on Nov. 6th.  St. Leo won 2-1.  Photo by Jim Hogue.

The Women's soccer team of Saint Leo University had a big regular season, winning the Sunshine State Conference’s regular season title as well as the conference tournament. Finishing with a record of 13 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie, the team entered the NCAA division two women’s soccer national tournament as the seventh ranked team in the country, and a favorite to have a deep run.

PHSC Baseball uses the Fall Season to determine lineup, showcase skills

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

PHSC Ryan Fatzinger pitches during the last two innings against Carrollwood Gators.

Since October 9th the PHSC baseball team has been hitting the field filling their 12 game Fall season schedule. November 13, against the Carrollwood Gators was their final game.

The Fall season gives the opportunity for freshman players to showcase their skills and potentially earn a starting position. Sophomore players fine tune and make adjustments, in hitting or field techniques, increasing their scouting potential for the upcoming Spring season.

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