Nature Coast

Sports notebook: Eagle, Leopard wrestlers earn district titles

February 19, 2017 - 01:16

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

February 17, 2017 - 02:06

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

February 11, 2017 - 23:28

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

February 11, 2017 - 00:08

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

February 05, 2017 - 02:25

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

February 05, 2017 - 00:25

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.

Header equals history as Sharks advance

February 02, 2017 - 02:18

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

January 28, 2017 - 20:24

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

January 28, 2017 - 01:10

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

January 26, 2017 - 01:36

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.


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