Kupcik ready to tackle new role as AD

July 02, 2016 - 00:42

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Dustin Kupcik has taken over as athletic director at Springstead this summer, replacing the retired Bob Levija. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

There was a time when Dustin Kupcik couldn’t stand Springstead. There was a time, not too long ago, when he envisioned himself as a head football coach.
But his professional life has often led him down different paths, and so it has brought him to his brand new job, as athletic director at Springstead, taking over for the retired Bob Levija, who had held the position since 2001.

Levija leaves behind strong legacy at Springstead

May 30, 2016 - 00:43

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead athletic director Bob Levija is retiring after 37 years at the school. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

When the next school year begins in the fall, something that hasn’t happened at Springstead since the late ‘70s will occur. Bob Levija won’t be there.
At 65, Levija will retire from teaching, leaving behind a lasting legacy as the Eagles’ original wrestling coach and the athletic director who oversaw a seismic shift in the school’s athletic fortunes across the board.
“He definitely brought his demeanor of ‘I want to win’ into every sport,” said former Springstead wrestler and current head wrestling coach Mike LaRocca.

Springstead set for spring classic

May 19, 2016 - 00:26

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead head coach Mike Garofano during practice on Wednesday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

For Springstead, the 2015 season was without a doubt below standards. Going 4-5, the Eagles finished under .500 for just the second time in the past 13 years.
However, three straight victories to end the regular season plus an undefeated junior varsity slate left Springstead optimistic for the future.
On Thursday night, the Eagles travel to Anclote for a 7 p.m. spring classic, the culmination of the past few weeks of practice.

County softball season ends in Elite Eight

April 30, 2016 - 01:09

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Danny Aiello

Springstead's Kama Woodall talks with head coach Craig Swartout during an at-bat Friday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – One pitch. That’s all it took for Hernando County’s two remaining prep softball teams to have their dreams of a Final Four appearance dashed on Friday night.
In the Class 6A, Region II final, Springstead hosted Land O’ Lakes and lost an epic pitcher’s duel, 1-0. Meanwhile in the 5A-II finale, Nature Coast traveled to South Sumter and suffered a 3-1 defeat.

Sharks stunned late as county teams falter

April 28, 2016 - 02:10

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Jayden Rivera rounds third on the way to scoring a run in Wednesday night's regional quarterfinal. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – It seemed like Wednesday would be a banner day for Hernando County prep baseball, as a record four local squads were set to compete in regional quarterfinals.
But it ended up being a rugged night for all those teams – Hernando, Nature Coast, Springstead and Weeki Wachee – as each saw their seasons come to a close in defeat.

Pfent walk-off blast sends Eagles to Elite Eight

April 27, 2016 - 00:50

Photography Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Paige Pfent uses her bat to knock dirt from her cleats during Tuesday's regional semifinal against Crystal River. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – At this point, Paige Pfent’s home run heroics are almost becoming predictable.
It may have felt that way as she rounded the bases Tuesday night, after the right-hander hit a majestic two-run shot well beyond the fence in right-center field to end the Class 6A, Region II semifinal against visiting Crystal River, providing the host Lady Eagles with a 3-1 victory in eight innings.

Sports notebook: Eagles best Hornets in baseball district final

April 23, 2016 - 21:38

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Johnny Oliveira hit a solo home run in the first inning of the Eagles' 9-5 victory over Weeki Wachee in the 5A-7 title game Saturday afternoon. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – When heavy rain on Friday night saturated the Springstead infield, the Class 6A, District 6 baseball final had to hold off until Saturday afternoon.
For the host Eagles, it was worth the wait, as they rallied quickly from a 3-0 deficit and pulled out a 9-5 victory over surprising Weeki Wachee.
“Feels great. It’s the best feeling in the world,” said center fielder Johnny Oliveira said. “Now we’ve got to come out strong next week and the following weeks. Just got to keep rallying.

Woodall brings playoff experience to mound

April 21, 2016 - 01:04

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead pitcher Kama Woodall is surrounded by teammates on the mound during Wednesday's regional quarterfinal win over North Marion. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – For most of Springstead’s softball team, Wednesday night’s game against Citra-North Marion was the first foray into regional play. But for pitcher Kama Woodall, these high-leverage postseason contests are old hat.
The junior tossed a 1-hitter in the Class 6A, Region II quarterfinal, striking out 12 as the host Lady Eagles cruised to a 6-0 victory.
“We feel great,” Woodall said. “Coming into the season we just wanted to win every game we could. Now that we’ve kind of meshed together this season and made it this far, it’s a pretty big deal for us.

Sports notebook: Springstead softball lives up to top seed

April 17, 2016 - 00:32

Photography Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Leah Grant slides into home during Wednesday's 6A-6 semifinal versus Lecanto. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Having lost only one game all regular season, and gone 10-0 in district play, it came as no shock that Springstead’s softball team won the Class 6A, District 6 Tournament as the top seed on its home field this week.
But the Lady Eagles are trying not to take anything for granted as they embark on a promising postseason run, so they appreciated Thursday’s 3-0 victory over Crystal River in the district title tilt.

Pfent powers Springstead to district final

April 14, 2016 - 00:44

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Paige Pfent is greeted by her teammates at home plate after her first-inning home run Wednesday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Anyone driving past Springstead High at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night might still be wondering where that yellow thing came from.
It was a softball off the bat of Lady Eagles catcher Paige Pfent, who hit a towering home run in the bottom of the first inning of a Class 6A, District 6 semifinal against Lecanto.
The solo shot easily cleared two fences in left field and landed in the left-hand northbound lane of Mariner Boulevard, then bounced across the rest of the busy five-lane road and finally came to a stop in the grass across the street.


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