Nature Coast

Sports notebook: County baseball teams stay busy over break

March 19, 2017 - 00:57

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

March 19, 2017 - 00:35

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

March 12, 2017 - 03:06

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

March 12, 2017 - 00:51

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

March 11, 2017 - 21:13

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

March 05, 2017 - 00:52

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.”

Sports notebook: Nature Coast softball stays perfect

March 04, 2017 - 23:04

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

February 26, 2017 - 00:44

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

February 25, 2017 - 22:37

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

February 22, 2017 - 01:37

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.

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