Between the Lines 20140918

Breaking Hernando county news, local sports and events, and weather from Hernando Today | | Hernando Today
Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015
Weather station KBKV in BROOKSVILLE reports 74 degrees Fahrenheit and Clear. Winds from the at 0 mph.74°

Published: September 18, 2014 | Updated: September 19, 2014 at 05:11 PM
Girls Scouts running event

SAFETY HARBOR – On Sept. 27, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) will host its second annual Thin Mint Sprint and Tagalong Trot in downtown Safety Harbor. This year’s event is expected to draw 1,000 participants from elite runners to walkers.

The Thin Mint Sprint, a 5K (3.1 mile) race, will begin at 8 a.m. The Tagalong Trot, a one-mile fun run/walk designed for younger racers or those who do not wish to participate in the 5K, will begin at 9 a.m.

Both will start in front of the Safety Harbor Marina (110 Veterans Memorial Lane).

Registration is available online at through Friday. Entry fees are $30 for the Thin Mint Sprint and $20 for the Tagalong Trot.

There will be an awards ceremony for the top three male and female finishers following the 5K race. The top 50 male and top 50 female 5K finishers will also receive a box of their favorite Girl Scout Cookies, compliments of FITniche. Every runner or walker who finishes their race event will receive a medal.

Post-race, all participants will have access to a celebration area complete with refreshments, music and Girl Scout Cookies.

For those unable to attend in person, there’s also the option to participate in spirit as a virtual runner. GSWCF will send a running bib and race shirt to all virtual runners so they can run or walk at their convenience. The cost to participate in the virtual race is $20 through Friday.

All proceeds from the event will support the nearly 21,000 girls and nearly 8,500 adult members served by GSWCF in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.

For more information, contact Terri Costello, development manager at (813) 262-1688 or

Sport Shooting Festivals coming

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Sunshine State Games Sport Shooting Festivals return to the range in the fall and registration is now open for the three regional festivals, featuring 19 events, to be held at seven venues.

Not only is there a variety of events being held in September and October, they’re geographically spread out around the state.

The Gulf Coast Shooting Festival takes place Oct. 25-26, with six events to be held between Hernando Sportsman’s Club, as well as Sarasota Military Academy, and Skyway Trap and Skeet Club with United States Clay Target Academy in St. Petersburg.

Events of the Gulf Coast Shooting Festival will have lesser restrictions and rules than normal Olympic-style shooting events to encourage more participation and introduce athletes to an Olympic-style event.

All Florida residents who have lived in the state for at least 30 days prior to the date of competition are eligible if they meet the requirements specified by each sport. Non-resident guest athletes/teams may participate upon approval by the Florida Sports Foundation.

Age divisions, levels of expertise and types of qualification vary with each sport.

For the festival at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club, located at 16121 Commercial Way (U.S. Hwy 19), registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 8 a.m.

The festival will showcase the following competitions: international style pistol – standard pistol, air pistol, centerfire and sport pistol; smallbore rifle prone and 3-position – international style rifle and sporter rifle.

The smallbore rifle (3-position at 50 yards) competition will be limited to the first 80 entries.

The pistol completion will be limited to the first 40 entries.

To preregister, visit: Mail-in registration forms can be found at Deadline for mail-in registrations is Oct. 20. Fees are $25 for preregistration, $35 for on-site registration. Preregistration must be received by Oct. 20 or register online until Oct. 23.

For more information, visit:, or

For further information, contact Sarah Kirchberg at (727) 724-3082 or

Senior Games online registration open

TALLAHASSEE – Registration is now open for the 2014 Florida International Senior Games and State Championships, to be held Dec. 6-14 in Lee County and the City of Cape Coral.

Visit to register for the 23rd annual Olympic-style sports festival for athletes age 50 and over.

The 2014 Florida International Senior Games and State Championships is a qualifier for the 2015 National Senior Games, to be held, in Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, Minn. in the summer of 2015.

Entry fees begin at $11 per event and vary by sport. Sports with multiple events carry additional charges per event. Team sports have a team entry fee. The deadline for online registration is Nov. 21.

The Florida International Senior Games and State Championships feature 24 sports and events over nine days of competition. Some sports and events require a qualifying performance at a local Senior Games event to participate at the State Championships. Those sports include: 3-on-3 basketball, basketball shooting, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and track and field.

Sports that are open to all athletes without a qualifying performance at a local Senior Games include: archery, bag toss, billiards, bocce, croquet, fencing, powerlifting, power walk, race walk, racquetball, road race (5K and 10K) and volleyball.

The Pensacola Senior Games began on Sept. 8 and continue through Sunday.

Other remaining local Senior Games include: Tampa Bay Senior Games, Sept. 29-Oct. 17; Gainesville Senior Games, Oct. 3-12; Jacksonville Senior Games, Oct. 6-11; Ormond Beach Senior Games, Oct. 25-Nov. 1; Martin County Senior Games (Stuart), Nov. 1-10; and Golden Age Games (Sanford), Nov. 8-15.

For more information, visit or call toll-free 1-866-FLGAMES (354-2637).

4-H Benefit Trap Tournament

BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando Sportsman’s Club is hosting a 4-H Benefit Trap Tournament on Oct. 4, at the club’s trap range, located at 16121 Commercial Way (U.S. 19).

All proceeds are to benefit the youth of the Hernando Sportsman’s 4-H Club.

The trap tournament consists of four rounds of 25 shots each, for a total of 100 shots. Trophies will be awarded in three categories: youth, adult and senior. The winner is determined by most targets hit.

Cost is $40 per trap shooter, $35 if preregistered by Sept. 27. Lunch is provided to all participants.

To preregister, mail in this registration form to the club: .

Registration for shooters begin at 8 a.m. Shooting will start at 9 a.m. Please bring your own shotgun, ammo and lawn chair.

For more information, contact Ken at (352) 797-0409.

Wounded Warriors event

BROOKSVILLE – A Wounded Warriors Project event will be held at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club, located at 16121 Commercial Way (U.S. 19) on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is being held for local veterans to shoot various kinds of firearms for free, from pistols, to rifles, to full auto-style heavy firearms.

All the firearms and ammo have been donated for use that day for vets and their families. A bounce house will be on site for kids.

Texas Roadhouse and Golden Corral will both donate lunch for the veterans and their families. The public is welcome to attend as spectators for free.

Any veterans who wish to participate should contact Rick Cicero at (434) 294-5883 or

For more information, visit

Running series coming to Florida

Texas 10 Race Management, LLC, in conjunction with WinWin Events, will launch an all-new 10-mile running series in Florida on the heels of the already successful Texas 10 Series.

Event management is offering runners a primary 10-mile race in addition to companion five-mile and kid’s one-mile events.

The 2014 Florida 10 Series will kick off in Lakeland on Oct. 19 and be followed with an event in Sarasota on Dec. 7.

The inaugural Florida10 Lakeland event will take place in northern Lakeland near Florida Polytechnic University.

All 10-mile finishers earn points to be eligible for up to $7,800 prize money in the Ponce De Leon Cup competition, which will be divided among the male and female age groups. Additionally, clubs can earn up to $2,600 in the Everglade Cup Competition, which is based on the finishers in all three Florida 10 Series distances.

The Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast Chapter has been selected as the highlight charity of the Florida 10 Charity Challenge powered by Reason2Race.

With this program, athletes may race for and in honor of the highlight charity or any other 501 (c)(3) charity.

Event management will provide a $1,000 prize purse for the top fundraisers’ charities at each Florida 10 Series race.

The top overall fundraiser wins a $500 donation with the second-place fundraiser’s charity receiving a $200 donation. The third- through fifth-place fundraisers will receive $100 contributions toward their charities.

As with any active lifestyle event, volunteers are a must and a Florida 10 event – where approximately 100 volunteers will be needed — is no different. Volunteer groups or organizations may receive donations for serving with as few as 15 volunteers.

Online registration for all future events and details of the Florida 10 Charity Challenge and the Ponce De Leon and Everglade Club Cup competitions is available at

Kiwanis Club golf tournament

SPRING HILL – The Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill is holding its 10th annual Children’s Charity Golf Invitational on Sept. 26 at Silverthorn Country Club.

The club, which is partnering with the City of Brooksville and The 1st Tee of Brooksville, is seeking corporate sponsors as well as players/teams.

For more information, visit

Grass volleyball series coming

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Sunshine State Games begins a new Grass Volleyball Series, in partnership with the Florida Region of USA Volleyball, with a series of events for volleyball enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

Two local events each in September and October lead up to a State Championships in November.

Divisions are available for Recreational Adult Coed 6’s, Competitive Adult Coed 4’s and Junior 6’s (girls/boys age 16 and up only). The Junior 6 division will not be available at all locations.

Dates and locations include: Saturday, Estero Recreation Center in Fort Myers; Oct. 11, 17th Street Park in Sarasota; Oct. 25, Holiday Inn Sports Complex in Fort Lauderdale; and State Championships, Nov. 8, Hickory Point Recreation Park in Tavares.

Registration fee for the Competitive Adult Coed 4’s division teams is $100, Recreational Adult Coed 6’s is $150 and Junior 6’s (girls age 16-18) is $100.

Team VIP fees are also available for an additional cost. The VIP fees include lunch, water during the event, and access to the VIP area. Each of the six stops will benefit a local charity.

All teams participating in one of the six Florida stops are eligible to compete in the State Championships.

Registration and competition information is currently available at

Firearms safety classes

BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando Sportsman’s Club is offering several firearms safety classes over the next few months.

The class dates are Oct. 1, Oct. 18, Nov. 5, Nov. 15, and Dec. 3. A special “ladies only” firearms safety course will be held on Sept. 20 and Dec. 20.

All classes are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hernando Sportsman’s Club, 16121 Commercial Way.

This is an introductory “First Steps” orientation class for new shooters. The courses cover lessons about the basics of firearms safety around the home; intro to pistol safety, parts and operation; intro to ammo and the fundamentals of pistol shooting; intro to pistol shooting from the seated and standing position; and intro to pistol cleaning and storage.

The classes include instruction, live-fire training on the range and a lunch break. All materials and equipment needed for the class and live-fire training is provided to students, including the use of a .22-caliber firearm, ammo, earplugs and eye protection.

The cost is $60. Successful completion of this class also provides required documentation to apply for a Florida concealed carry permit if desired.

Pre-registration is required. Please call (352) 597-9931 to preregister.

For information on the club, visit

Ride to Defeat ALS

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The ALS Association Florida Chapter is pleased to announce that UnitedHealthcare is once again sponsoring its annual Ride to Defeat ALS, a one-day cycling event that raises funds to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The event takes place Nov. 8 at The Holiday Inn Harbourside Hotel, located at 401 2nd St. in Indian Rocks Beach. The event kicks off at 8 a.m.

UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a portion of the ride titled “The UnitedHealthcare Metric Century,” a 62-mile route that parallels the Gulf of Mexico and passes through historic Fort De Soto Park on Mullet Key.

Nearly 500 cyclists are expected to participate. Funds raised during this event will support research, programs and services for people living with ALS in Florida. This fundraising community event also serves to generate hope and action around the fight to conquer Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The day’s ride concludes with a lunch and family celebration at The Holiday Inn Harbourside Hotel. Along with cyclists, many volunteers are also needed before, during and after the event.

To register for the ride or sign up to help, visit

Project Appleseed rifle marksmanship clinic

BROOKSVILLE – The Project Appleseed marksmanship clinic will be held Oct. 11-12 and Nov. 29-30 at the Hernando Sportsman’s Club, located at 16121 Commercial Way (U.S. Hwy. 19).

Registration begins at 8 a.m. The clinic starts at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 5 p.m.

Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association and dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. The Revolutionary War Veterans Association is a non-profit organization operated by volunteer instructors.

Their heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy.

Participants are taught fundamental rifle marksmanship skills that allow a rifleman to be accurate out to 400 yards, with iron sights, standard rifle and surplus ammo. Most of the instruction at a Project Appleseed event is conducted on the firing range at 25 meters, at reduced-size targets to simulate 100 to 400 yards. Students will learn safe gun handling, proper use of a sling and Revolutionary War history.

Please bring ear/eye protection, rifle with sling and ammo, rifle mat, bug repellent, hat, sunscreen, a packed lunch, snacks and drinks. Please bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Food and beverages are also available for purchase for lunch in the clubhouse.

A .22-caliber rifle is recommended due to the cost of ammo, but a centerfire rifle can be used if preferred. About 500 rounds of ammo will be needed per day.

Marksmanship Clinic fees are $60 for adults, $20 for youth under age 18. Active military, Guard and Reserve, law enforcement officers with ID, disabled, elected officials and Revolutionary re-enactors in costume are free. Additional club range fees of $14 per day apply for adults and children age 12 and older.

To register online, go to For more information, contact Trey Dawson at (727) 452-4650 or

J.C. Karate offering classes

RIDGE MANOR – J.C. Karate is currently offering classes starting for only $30 a month.

Come out and train under Soke Master Jason P. Chase Sr., a two-time Triple Crown state champion and 2011 National Instructor of the Year, with no hidden fees or surprise costs, in a family-friendly environment where character development and life skills along with martial arts training will taught.

J.C. Karate is located in Ridge Manor at 31162 Cortez Blvd., in the Winn-Dixie plaza.

For more information, contact (352) 467-0506 or

Tennis camp and classes

SPRING HILL – Ace Performance Tennis is offering Quick Start Drills Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Delta Woods Park.

The cost is $10.00 per class. Drills and games are designed for beginning players using the USTA-approved strategies for 60-foot court players.

Learn to play tennis quickly with age- and size-appropriate equipment and modified courts.

Additionally, Ace Performance Tennis is offering a Ladies Night Out, Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Delta Woods Park.

The cost is $10 per class. Women of beginning and intermediate skill levels will learn to play in a fun social setting.

For more information on the camp and classes, contact John or Louise Downey at (352) 666-0658 or


Boys Golf:

Springstead vs. Lecanto at World Woods

Lecanto def. Springstead, 161-174

SPG (174) – Brendan Pfent 44, Ben Cash 43, Brett Maharaj 43, Wyatt Van Meter 44, Tyler Cash 49

Records – Springstead (1-4).

Girls Golf:

Weeki Wachee vs. Crystal River at GlenLakes

Crystal River def. Weeki Wachee, 226-286

WW (286) – Lexus Raghunanadan 70, Robin Riecss 70, Mia Fillio 73, Brianna Barnason 73

CR (226) – Haley Snodgrass 54, Katelyn Clardy 56, Olivia Diop 58, Isadeau Van Derwall 58, Brooke Bischer 67

Records – Weeki Wachee (1-1).


Boys Golf:

Central vs. Springstead at World Woods

Postponed by inclement weather, rescheduled date TBA

Hernando vs. Crystal River at Plantation on Crystal River

Postponed by inclement weather, rescheduled date TBA

Weeki Wachee vs. Seven Rivers Christian at Southern Woods

Postponed by inclement weather, rescheduled date TBA

Girls Golf:

Central vs. Hernando vs. Nature Coast at Silverthorn

Postponed by inclement weather, Central vs. Nature Coast rescheduled for Thursday, 3 p.m.

Springstead vs. Weeki Wachee at GlenLakes

Postponed by inclement weather, rescheduled date TBA


Nature Coast at Hernando

Hernando def. Nature Coast, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-17

Records – Hernando (6-1, 6-0 5A-7).

HCA at St. Petersburg-Canterbury

Canterbury def. HCA, 25-10, 25-9, 25-8

Records – HCA (3-10, 2-2 2A-8).

St. Petersburg-Dixie Hollins at Springstead

Springstead def. Dixie Hollins, 25-13, 25-14, 25-19

Records – Springstead (4-1, 2-0 6A-10).

Weeki Wachee at Zephyrhills

Weeki Wachee def. Zephyrhills, 25-15, 25-17, 25-8

WW – Sarah Asbury 10 assists, 7 digs, 3 kills, 3 aces; Alyssa Cupeles 16 assists, 4 aces; Miranda Werkmeister 13 digs, 18 kills, 7 aces; Zoe Murchio 15 digs

Records – Weeki Wachee (5-5, 4-2 5A-7).

Central snaps 20-game losing skid

For the last 20 games, the Central Bears have taken the field only to be defeated.

Going into Friday’s game without six Week 1 starters, including John Templar and Emmanuel Scott, who were suspended for their ejections last week against The Villages, things didn’t look good for the Hernando County squad.

To further complicate things, Chris Hernandez, the Bears’ other starting linebacker besides Tempalr, came down with strep throat Thursday night and was not able to play either.

Despite all of that, Central took the field and beat Poinciana at the Bears’ Den, 21-14.

“I’m so proud of our guys tonight,” said first-year Bears head coach Chris Sands, celebrating his first coaching victory. “It’s great for our fans, administration and our guys.”

Riding the hot hand of quarterback Cody Brooks, and his newfound chemistry with Nature Coast transfer Ryan McCane, Central (1-2) abandoned the game plan of a run-heavy offense it had coming into this game.

“We had a game plan to come out and run the ball, and the passing lanes just opened up,” Sands said. “Cody was awesome, he threw for two touchdowns without turning it over and that’s all you can ask for as a head coach.”

While the offense was connecting in full force, Sands couldn’t stop talking about how proud he was of his defense, and the guys who stepped in when their numbers were called.

“I’m so proud of this team,” Sands said. “We had guys who don’t always get the reps and minutes they need in games and practices come in today and make plays. It was huge for us to come out and get those kind of performances. I can sit here and name names all night.”

One name he did mention was that of McCane, who isn’t a defender by trade, but stepped up when his coach needed him.

“Man, Ryan McCane was huge for us tonight,” Sands said. “He caught two touchdowns, and played well on defense. By the end of the second quarter the kid was soaking wet playing both ways, but he stepped up.”

The victory, Central’s first on the field since Sept. 7, 2012 at Wildwood, will give the Bears much-needed momentum heading into their first district game against Nature Coast next week.

Poinciana (0-3) defeated Central last year, but later forfeited the game, technically giving the Bears a victory during their recent skid.

“We finally brought the buzz back to Central,” Sands said. “Central prides itself on winning games consistently. As good as this one is, our goal is to win a district championship and make the playoffs.

“Ever since our staff got here in January there has been a buzz around here about what we were going to do. Well now that we won, the campus will be buzzing as well as the community.”

Sands also pointed to the season-opening loss to Hudson as a turning point for his team.

“We are teaching our guys how to win,” Sands said. “After the preseason game (a 14-9 win at Williston) they didn’t know how to win, they were riding high and then the loss to Hudson happened. I look at that as a turning point. Now we know how to win and what we need to do to keep winning.”

Nature Coast (0-2), who lost to Springstead Friday night, 23-20, will not be an easy turnaround for the Bears, but Sands feels confident his squad will be ready to go come Friday.

“They have a great team, well-coached and have a lot of athletes,” Sands said. “Tomorrow, the coaches will review the film and come up with a game plan. Come Friday when those lights come on, our guys will be ready to go out there.”


Boys Golf:

Central vs. Hernando at Southern Hills

Hernando def. Central, 179-213

HER (179) – Clay Everett 41, Zayne Vasquez 43, Pierce Kimbrough 46, Bryan Mitko 49, Daniel Merritt 50, Seth Halliday 62, Carson Schulz 73

CEN (213) – Phoenix Morey 45, Jans Tamayo 50, Alex Fredenburg 53, Brett Treider 65

Records – Hernando (3-0), Central (1-1).

Nature Coast vs. Saddlebrook at Silverthorn

Saddlebrook def. Nature Coast, 161-172

NCT (172) – Glen Richard 39, Jake Arnett 40, Dan Wempe 46, Chris Felts 47, Tyler Bismarck 50, Mickey Dono 52

SB (161) – Hugo Johnning 39, Bank Sayavong 39, Alex Gibson 40, Luke Liu 43, Joe He 44

Records – Nature Coast (2-3).

Weeki Wachee vs. Springstead vs. Bishop McLaughlin at GlenLakes

Bishop McLaughlin 190, Springstead 193, Weeki Wachee 220

SPG (193) – Brett Maharaj 44, Ben Cash 46, Brendan Pfent 48, Wyatt Van Meter 55, James Floyd 62, Bradley Pearce 62.

WW (220) – Zach Peak 50, Cameron Sereda 52, Cameron McGee 58, Ben Doring 60, Tommy Bebout 69

BM (190) – Cary Wong 46, Casey Fenton 47, Luke Telese 48, Cade Alfieri 49

Records – Springstead (1-3), Weeki Wachee (0-5).

Girls Golf:

Central vs. Weeki Wachee at Southern Hills

Weeki Wachee def. Central, 273-296

WW (273) – Lauren Brigham 54, Illan Holdway 69, Robin Riecss 75, Brianna Barnason 75, Alexis 76, Mia Fillio 77, Lexus Raghunanadan 76

CEN (296) – Gina Gonzalez 68, Emily Roche 74, Shannon Scoggins 76, Casidy Reidenbach 78

Records – Weeki Wachee (1-0), Central (0-1).

Hernando vs. Springstead at Brooksville Country Club

Hernando def. Springtead by forfeit

HER (236) – Maddy Pickersgill 48, Erika Lewis 61, Anna Wulff 62, Kaylee Flaherty 65, Cheyenne Marshall 75

SPG – Alesha Loder 79, Kaitlyn Ledington 79


Zephyrhills at Central

Central def. Zephyrhills, 25-14, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17

Records – Central (2-5, 2-4 5A-7).

Hernando at Pasco

Hernando def. Pasco, 25-23, 25-15, 23-25, 25-16

Records – Hernando (5-1, 5-0 5A-7).

Wesley Chapel at Nature Coast

Franklin’s pick-6 staves off Eagles

SPRING HILL – Last November 15, Citrus junior wide receiver Sam Franklin didn’t make it out of the first quarter of the Class 6A, Region II quarterfinal after throwing a punch at Springstead wide receiver Brandon Geiger.

On Friday night at Booster Stadium, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Franklin wasn’t thrown out for a flagrant foul and assessed a six-week punishment by the FHSAA for any unsporting behavior, instead he landed the final blow in a scoreless game.

On the last play of regulation, Eagle junior quarterback Victor Koerick, in his first varsity start (2-of-6 passing for six yards and six carries for 1 yard rushing), was picked off by Franklin.

Behind a couple key blocks, Franklin raced along the far sideline – in front of the CHS bench – traversing 76 yards with the pick-6 in Citrus’ improbable 6-0 win.

The season-opening setback dropped SHS to 22-17 lifetime in lid-lifters.

Franklin’s dazzling return – the Golden Hurricanes’ game-high third turnover against the usually ball-security conscious SHS – left Inverness’ first-year skipper Justin Taylor speechless in the wake of his first-ever varsity tilt.

“Before that last pass, I prayed to God he’d give me the strength to do something,” recalled the 18-year-old Franklin. “They had just tried the same pass on the other side of the field, so, yeah; I thought it was coming my way.

“After I grabbed the ball, I got a couple great blocks including one from (Andrew) Swicegood,” said Franklin. “And I turned it into a great play. Sure, I made that last play, but I can’t take credit for the win. We’re a team here; we love each other.”

“Right now, there are no words,” insisted Coach Taylor, the Canes’ 19th skipper since 1951. “I’m extremely happy with all the hard work the guys have put in.”

On Franklin’s last-second return, “We put Sam in there late in the game for a reason. He’s a special player and we thought that if he could get his hands on the ball, we’d have an opportunity (to score).”

In a game where the Hurricanes offense alternated Desmond Franklin and Ryan Grow under center, CHS was muzzled to 81 total yards on 34 snaps (2.38 yards per play) and zero offensive points.

The Eagle defense featured pressure from inside linebackers Dylan McLeod, Conor Ross (forced fumble, plus a sack), Kevin Rivera (fumble recovery), Joseph Trautman and Zack Lawrence.

The ’Canes departed home with three first downs including none in the second half.

Even when the ever-present Sam Franklin came through on special teams to block an Eric Stevens punt, the visitors set up shop at the Eagle 6 and couldn’t score with 7:30 left in the game when placekicker Joe Kelly pushed a 27-yard field goal attempt wide right.

CHS’ rushing offense managed 30 yards on 18 attempts led by senior Breon Whaley’s seven carries for 23 yards.

Despite yielding 195 total yards, including 189 on the ground – led by Eagle senior Daniel Wright’s 26 carries for a game-high 127 yards – the Inverness crew never collapsed.

Of the Hurricanes’ three takeaways, senior linebacker John Bronson recovered a Wright fumble on a pass, but the offense stalled settling for one of their game-high five punts.

“No matter what happened we never got down,” explained Coach Taylor on the keys to the game. “We knew we’d be a in a dogfight for 48 minutes. Even after we didn’t score on first-and-goal, we continued playing good defense.

“The biggest positive I take away from this is when you fight, good things will happen,” added Taylor.

Despite a 12-3 advantage in first downs and a definitive edge in time of possession, the closest the Eagles came to offering a second offensive option to Wright was senior Robert Holdway’s seven carries for 40.

After the game, SHS’ second-year mentor Mike Garofano remained composed.

“One last play made the difference, but no one play wins or loses a football game,” detailed Garofano as he dropped his second straight season-opener. “They (Citrus) made one more play.”

Without reviewing videotape, “We definitely struggled to finish drives,” pointed out Garofano. “And we lost the turnover battle, which we normally win. They get a first-and-goal on our 6-yard line and we held them. They don’t score against our defense, so we played really well defensively.

“I thought we handled their athleticism. And they’ve got some skill guys who’ll be playing on Saturdays,” noted Garofano. “But we had some of the best hits I’ve seen in a while, too. The effort was definitely there.”

Rewinding the game’s final snap, “On the last pass play, had we checked down and gotten 10 yards, we still had one timeout left,” explained Garofano. “We were going to try to win it with a field goal. Instead, the guy that gets thrown out against us last year wins it for them.”

Citrus 6, Springstead 0

Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4

CIT 0 0 0 6–6

SPG 0 0 0 0–0

Individual Scoring:

CIT – S. Franklin 76 interception return (no kick attempted)


First Downs 3 12

Atts./Rushing Yds. 34-81 50-189

Comp./Pass Atts./Int. 6-16-0 2-6-1

Passing Yds. 51 6

Total Offense 34-81 56-195

Fumbles/Lost 3-1 2-1

Return Yards 2-0 2-20

Punts/Avg. 5-36.8 3-18.7

Penalties 6-38 7-47



Citrus at Nature Coast

Citrus def. Nature Coast, 25-12, 25-15, 25-19

Records – Nature Coast (1-1).

Springstead at Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee def. Springstead, 26-28, 25-22, 25-22, 25-17

WW – Sarah Asbury 18 assists, 8 kills; Nicole Diaz 11 kills; Alyssa Cupeles 22 assists; Zoe Murchio 31 digs; Alexis McDowell 18 digs, 6 kills; Anastasia Papoi 12 digs; Mariann Flaherty 4 kills, 4 aces, 3 blocks.

NOTE: Weeki Wachee’s first ever victory over Springstead

Records – Weeki Wachee (2-0), Springstead (0-1).

Hernando, Weeki Wachee hoping for more

In 2013, a budding new rivalry emerged in the county volleyball ranks.

Hernando and Weeki Wachee squared off four times, the last coming in the Class 5A, District 7 championship match, won by the Lady Leopards in four games.

Nevertheless, both advanced to the regional quarterfinals, the Lady Hornets becoming the first team in school history to do so in any sport.

With both teams returning several key players, on paper they appear set for another collision course as a new season begins this week.

“We have our goals set,” Hernando head coach Robin Bailey said. “We felt like we should have won our regional game last year. We want to push it, especially these seniors. We’re hoping for a repeat.”

The Lady Leopards (17-6 in 2013) boast seven seniors on their roster, including All-County libero Brianna Brady, Sierra Cannon, Ryleigh D’Ambrosio, Danielle Harvey, Kaitlyn Jones, Rebecca Laing and Sequoia Sellers.

That list doesn’t include perhaps the county’s finest returning player, sophomore middle hitter Ali Bronson.

She burst onto the scene as a freshman, becoming Hernando’s go-to hitter at the net while earning All-County honors, and was in strong consideration for Player of the Year.

Bronson has fully recovered from the foot injury that sidelined her most of basketball season, Bailey said.

“She’s stepping it up,” Bailey said. “It’s not just that she’s settling for hitting the ball over the net. She knows where she wants to put it and executes it.”

The graduation of Tana McDaniel, an All-County middle hitter and vocal team captain, certainly leaves a void, but these Lady Leopards remain battle-tested.

“I think we have more experience,” Bailey said. “Tana was a contributor and a motivator. But most of the girls I have played last year.”

Weeki Wachee (16-11 in 2013) has five seniors including All-County setter Alyssa Cupeles, who had 658 assists as a junior.

Other seniors include Alexis McDowell, Montanna Messina, Samantha Page and Anastasia Papoi.

Sophomore outside hitter Miranda Werkmeister posted 235 kills and 332 digs as a freshman to garner an All-County nod, as did junior libero Zoe Murchio with 318 digs.

Last year’s Player of the Year, middle hitter Chreslyn Serama, would have returned for her senior year, but moved to Tennessee immediately after last season.

Thus, the Lady Hornets have to find a way to replace a player who recorded 246 kills in a breakout campaign.

“I’ve got some veterans and I’ve got some rookies. We’re trying to bring them together and keep the team competitive,” Weeki Wachee head coach Kelly Werkmeister said. “You’re not really going to replace Chreslyn, but we’ve got a couple of girls.”

One of those is sophomore outside hitter Nicole Diaz, a transfer from Puerto Rico, as well as Messina and sophomore middle hitter Taylor Miller.

After going 7-36 their first two seasons, the Lady Hornets certainly don’t want to slide backward.

“We’re going to be a competitive team,” Coach Werkmeister said. “To say what we’re going to go for as a record, I can’t say what that’s going to be. We hope it’ll be a good year. But these girls are united.”

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Springstead (13-10 in 2013) must replace graduated two-time All-County setter Bryanna Leonard while maneuvering through the mostly Pinellas County-based 6A-10.

Third-year head coach Noemi Rivera does have several returnees, seniors Leah Doskoez, Paige Krause, Kristin Sanchez, Cailla Strobel, Jessica Wendelstedt and junior Celeste Veenstra.

“We obviously want to have a winning season,” Rivera said. “We want to be number one in the county and have a good fight at districts. Our passing game has improved and we’re strong in the front row. I’m really looking forward to the season.”

Meanwhile, Nature Coast and Central, both in 5A-7, are breaking in new head coaches.

Ben Crofchick replaces Emily Gore on the Lady Sharks’ bench and has a realistic view on a team that went 4-22 and 6-19 the past two years. That followed a run of five consecutive 20-win seasons, four district titles in five years and two straight trips to the Elite Eight.

“This is a tough area. Hernando County has got some great volleyball,” Crofchick said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. I just want to win more games than last year.”

With four seniors in Bronte Cameron, Courtney David, Talicia Liles and Kelly Murphy, along with junior libero Brittney Rodriguez, Crofchick believes the team’s strength will lie in a defense exhibiting “a relentless-pursuit attitude.”

“We call this a rebuilding season so we can start reloading for next year,” Crofchick said. “We’re in a season where every win is important, but I’m more concerned with how we play.”

The situation at Central is murkier. As of this weekend, the Lady Bears are without a head coach, coming off a 6-17 season.

Athletic director Al Sorrentino, overseeing the team for the time being, said several potential hires fell through over the summer, though one is lined up and just awaiting official approval from the school district.

Regardless, Sorrentino said, the team will take the court for its season opener Tuesday at Weeki Wachee. Seniors Taylor Gray, Christina Lewis and Desiree McGee are among the returnees.

“The girls are still working hard. I think we have a pretty good, talented group on the varsity level,” Sorrentino said. “They know coaches are coming and should be here sometime next week. It really hasn’t discouraged them from doing what we need to do.

“In some ways, you don’t want to not have a coach, but it’s a positive thing that some of the seniors have had to take on a bit more leadership.”

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Hernando Christian Academy went 11-14 a year ago and returns just one player, senior middle hitter Emily Hethorn.

Head coach Stacy Hethorn spoke highly of three new players, sophomores Kendall Rossiter and Lauren Zappone, as well as eighth-grader Korrie Rossiter.

The Lady Lions have to deal with a rugged 2A-8 that includes powerhouses St. Petersburg-Keswick Christian and Tampa-Bayshore Christian.

“I’d like to see us go at least .500 this year,” said Coach Hethorn, adding that as far as cracking the top two in the district, “We might start the season slow, but I think at the end we’ll be a strong, competitive enough team that we could do it.”

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