Pit Bulls Are Shaped By Their Environment

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OK, now it is time to take the test. Would you know a pit bull if you saw one? If you look to the right of this article, you will see a pit bull recognition test – the answers are in the box below.

Here are the facts about pit bulls: They are not a specific breed of dog. This is a term usually used to describe dogs from the heritage of three different breeds: American Staffordshire Terriers (AKC), Staffordshire Bull Terriers (AKC) and the American Pit Bull Terrier (UKC).

The public is consistently exposed to the negative stories in the media. Pit Bulls in loving families who are raised as any other pet dog would be, are wonderful companions. The problem dogs are the ones that are poorly bred and/or raised by irresponsible or unscrupulous owners.

It is true that pit bulls have been bred for decades, if not centuries to fight other dogs; a reprehensible practice. But, in all these years of dog fighting, these dogs were not documented as being human aggressive. This has evolved from human irresponsibility. Dog fighting needs to be stopped, there is no question about this, but this still does not equate to human aggression.

While these dogs have been bred for strength and endurance, there other qualities are immense loyalty and gentleness. Even the terrible people who fight these poor dogs would not tolerate human aggression. While these dogs were used for fighting, they were also the family pet. Dogs that exhibited human aggression were destroyed and only the human friendly dogs were allowed to continue breeding.

Dog aggression does not translate to human aggression. Pit bulls being human aggressive is a myth. Poorly bred and poorly treated dogs, of any breed, leads to aggression towards humans.

Pit bulls by nature crave human companionship. Their whole body will quake with excitement at the approach of someone who will pet them and they love human contact and affection. Many of these poor dogs have endured physical abuse due to the myth that they are human aggressive. Even after abuse, they want nothing more than to be part of a family to love and play with.

As with all breeds there are exceptions to the expected behavior and temperament of the nature of the dog and this is true of humans as well. There are good people and bad people, acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior.

The other myth is that all pit bulls are animal aggressive. This is also false. It is how any animal is trained and treated that will trigger aggression. This is a human failing, not the failing for the poor animal.

We, as owners, need to be responsible in our treatment of all animals. That is the solution to any aggression issues with pets.

Joanne Schoch is the executive director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. Got a pet-related question? Send it to For Pet’s Sake, c/o the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, Inc., P.O. Box 10328, Brooksville, FL 34603.

Citrus County Deaths Of Mom, 3 Kids May Be Murder-Suicide

FLORAL CITY – Greg Maslowski called 911 and told them to come quickly. He had just found his stepdaughter and her three boys, all younger than 4, dead in his home.

“I’m outside the house. I’m not going in the house,” he told a 911 operator at about 10 a.m. Friday as his wife screamed and shrieked in the background. “I’m not even going in the room.”

As he spoke with the operator, his wife cried, “Please God. No, no, no.”

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is treating the deaths at 4983 E. Stoer Lane in Floral City as a murder-suicide, said Heather Yates, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. Authorities said a firearm was recovered nearby.

The woman, 23-year-old Alicia Chomic, was found in a bedroom with her sons, Anthony Michael Lietz Jr., 15 months; Damian Michael Lietz, 2; and Thomas Anthony Goldsmith Jr., 3. Deputies say the four likely died sometime Thursday night.

Chomic, who has recently lived in Pasco County, and her older children were on a bed; her youngest child was in a bassinet.

Citrus County records list Greg and Vickie Maslowski as the owners of the property, identified as a mobile home.

The Maslowskis were taken to an area hospital, suffering from distress after discovering of the bodies, deputies say. They weren’t there when the deaths occurred.Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Chomic’s mother was so upset authorities were not able to talk to her much.

“It’s very tough for us to pull a lot of information out,” Dawsy said. “We will be interviewing her again tomorrow, but we felt right now that we have enough information.”

Deputies said Chomic had moved back to the home of her mother and stepfather with the children in the past week. Public records indicate she had lived for the past several years in Pasco County.

Chomic’s mother, Vickie Maslowski, and stepfather came home Thursday night and noticed that the door to the room Chomic shared with her sons was closed. The stepfather said on the 911 call that the couple thought Chomic and the children were sleeping.

“There was no sort of movement or anything,” Dawsy said. “So they never went in and checked. So we’re taking it from there and moving back on a timeline.”

Friday morning, Chomic’s mother went into the room and found the bodies.

“The problem is, is I’ve got three people that look like they’re passed away in my … three children,” Greg Maslowski, 45, told the 911 operator. “My wife’s going crazy.”

Investigators have contacted the boys’ fathers and said they had not found a suicide note or letter.

Reached Friday evening, Greg Maslowski declined to comment.

Little was known late Friday about Chomic’s background or what might have led her to kill her three children and then herself. Public records show she had lived in Pasco County from at least 2004 to 2007, at several addresses in New Port Richey and Port Richey.

One of those addresses was the Ebenezer Vincent apartments in New Port Richey, a small apartment complex of about two dozen units, populated mostly by lower-income residents. Several neighbors at the complex contacted Friday evening said they did not know Chomic.

Floral City is a rural community about 60 miles north of Tampa. The home where the apparent murder-suicide occurred is on a quiet street near farms and open fields.

Neighbors said they didn’t hear anything unusual Thursday night or Friday morning and couldn’t recall having seen the mother and her children before.

Neighbor Tammy Shelton said she didn’t hear gunshots and that her three dogs – who normally respond to anything, even car lights – didn’t appear to hear anything, either.

Neighbor Alicia Diamond said her own father heard the victim’s first name and rushed home from work, worrying that his daughter was dead.

Tribune reporter Josh Poltilove, and News Channel 8 reporter Peter Bernard contributed to this report. Information from the Associated Press also was used in this report.

Hooters Gal Makes Second Swimsuit Calendar

SPRING HILL –
The scenery is a major draw for any Hooters restaurant.

Beautiful women like 19-year-old Kaylie Kushmer greet you, serve you food and say “goodbye” as you walk out the door.

For a lucky few, they had a close-up view of a photo shoot – one that included the local Hooters waitress in a black, two-piece swimsuit decorated with sparkling rhinestones.

“The customers were coming in and they were getting a behind-the-scenes experience,” said a giggling Kushmer.

They might have had the closest look at the bubbly brunette, but they surely are not the only ones who were able to see her don the skimpy swimwear.

For the second year in a row, Kushmer has been featured in the annual Hooters Calendar. Her latest photo can be found at the bottom of the June page of the 2009 edition, which is on sale at all Hooters locations and online.

The tanned and slender business student stands 5 feet 9 inches tall. She has long curly hair and her bright eyes change color whenever there is a change in her mood, she said.

They were a grayish-blue on a recent afternoon as she gleefully talked about her calendar shoot, her fondness of Hooters and her future.

Kushmer is a full-time student at Pasco-Hernando Community College and plans to transfer to the University of South Florida next year. After that, she wishes to attend law school.

The Central High School graduate was born in Brandon and relocated to Hernando Beach while a sophomore in high school.

Her managers at the Spring Hill restaurant learned of her second consecutive inclusion in the calendar before she did. Instead of simply telling Kushmer, they threw her a surprise party and announced it then.

Up to 15 percent of the waitresses across the country sent photos to the calendar committee. The judges chose about 80 out of the thousands of submitted photos.

Kushmer was not the only one from the Spring Hill location who tried out for a chance to be in the calendar. The competition side was the one thing she found unappealing. Her smile vanished for the first and only time during the interview when she mentioned it.

“There are others here who tried out who should have made it,” she said.

Kushmer first applied at Hooters when she was 16 years old. To be a hostess, one must be 17. The minimum age requirement for a waitress is 18.

The hiring manager politely turned her away following her first visit, but as promised, she reapplied on her 17th birthday and was hired. One year later, on the day she turned 18, she worked as a waitress for the first time. It was a double shift.

She wore a sash that advertised her birthday to everyone. She set a personal record for tips.

Kushmer’s photo is seen by managers as an inducement for customers to spend more money – or at least buy more calendars. She laughs whenever they remind her.

“They try to convince us it helps sales,” she said. “They’ll tell us (before our shift), ‘You have to sell 500 calendars and there’s no excuse not to because Kaylie’s working today.'”

Her inclusion in the 2009 calendar also allows her to take part in activities with the other models. When the group visited Kushmer’s location for a recent appearance, they warmed her heart with compliments about her co-workers and customers.

“They kept saying, ‘That’s the nicest (restaurant) we’ve ever been to,'” she said.

She wasn’t surprised by the comments. She remains employed at the U.S. 19 location because of the comfortable atmosphere. When she attends school in Tampa, she might entertain the idea of signing on at a second Hooters, but she has vowed to continue waitressing in Spring Hill during the weekends.

“This restaurant is much different from the others,” Kushmer said. “It’s a lot more fun and easygoing.”

Because she goes to school during the week, most of her work hours are scheduled for the weekends. Football season is particularly busy and draws the most regulars.

She loves the chain so much she has hopes for a successful, lucrative career as a business attorney that would grant her the capital to purchase her own Hooters restaurant.

In the meantime, she plans to focus on her studies, relish her job and pile on more happy memories.

As long as future calendar shoots remain a possibility, Kushmer’s bosses do their best to ensure she doesn’t detach from her roots. Tampa might be bigger and the lights might be brighter, but Hernando County is home. Those reminders never stop coming.

“They keep telling me that under my name it had better say, ‘from Spring Hill, Florida,'” she said. “It will. I love it here.”

Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or wholt@hernandotoday.com.

Business Briefcase 285187

Hernando-Pasco Hospice promote Young, Brown

HUDSON Hernando-Pasco Hospice Inc. has promoted W. Richard Young to senior vice president of financial services and Nancy L. Brown to senior vice president of clinical services for the not-for-profit agency, which serves Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Both are based out of the administrative office in Hudson. Young joined HPH in 2007 as chief financial officer and will continue to oversee the agency’s $65 million annual budget, cash flow and investments. In his new role, Young will take charge of HPH Homecare. The latter is a not-for-profit affiliate of HPH which provides homecare services in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Brown will oversee HPH’s patient and family care programs in its tri-county service area in addition to managing the bereavement, staff education, quality improvement, volunteer and spiritual care departments. Presently, HPH serves more than 1,000 patients daily who are affected by a life-limiting illness regardless of their ability to pay.

Dr. Higgins attends Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Specialists

SPRING HILL Dr. Michael W. Higgins attended the 2008 Annual Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Specialists last month in Boca Raton. The Clinical Assembly was three days of intensive training on current trends, techniques and new treatment options for joint replacements, sports injury and other orthopedic conditions. Higgins specializes in non-operative and operative management of the spine and general orthopedic conditions. His office is located at 10429 Spring Hill Drive. He can be reached at 352-688-6035. For more information, visit www.hernandoorthospine.com.

Prostate Cancer Support Group will meet today

BROOKSVILLE The Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will hold its regular “Man to Man” prostate cancer support group at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6. Cosponsored by the American Cancer Society, “Man to Man” meets on the first Monday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Brooksville Center, located at 7154 Medical Center. Among the topics most frequently discussed are the importance of early detection, signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, prognosis, disease stages, incontinence, and impotence, the various treatment options including hormone therapy and medications and the latest research and treatment modalities. Speakers include physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and others. For more information call Mary Capo at 352-596-1926.

Anderson to speak at Tuesday support group meeting

SPRING HILL The Florida Cancer Institute – New Hope recently announced Dr. Norman H. Anderson will be the guest speaker at its upcoming women’s breast cancer support group meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The support group will meet at its center, located at 7154 Medical Center Drive. Anderson is chief executive officer of the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute in Ocala. He graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Medicine in Gainesville, where he also completed his internship and residencies at the Division of Radiation Oncology. He also holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mechanical engineering from the University of Central Florida and a degree in clinical psychology from Emory University in Atlanta. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Tambra Randazzo at 592-8128. Florida Cancer Institute – New Hope is affiliated with US Oncology, the nation’s largest health care services network dedicated exclusively to cancer treatment and research. It has six locations throughout Pasco and Hernando counties. For more information, call 1-888-206-0054 or visit www.FloridaCancerInstitute-NewHope.com.

Chamber’s business social is Tuesday

BROOKSVILLE The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Business After Business Social will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The host and sponsor is Green World Path Inc., located at 1665 Donto Way. There will be an organic meal, dessert and wine tasting. There also will be live music and dancing. For more information, call 796-0697.

Florida Farm Bureau annual meeting will begin Wednesday

ORLANDO Hundreds of farmers and ranchers from across the state will convene Oct. 8-10 at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s 67th annual meeting. Organized around the theme “Growing for Tomorrow,” the meeting will offer events centered on Florida Farm Bureau Women, Young Farmers and Ranchers and legislative action and education. Voting delegates will elect the president and vice president and adopt the policies that will guide the organization during the next 12 months. For more information on the annual meeting, contact Rachel Kudelko at 352-378-8100, Ext. 1030, or e-mail her at Rachel.kudelko@ffbf.org. Information may also be found at http://floridafarmbureau.org/annual_meeting. The Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general-interest agricultural association with more than 140,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the federation is an independent, nonprofit agricultural organization.

Wireless Zone/Verizon Wireless will host ribbon cutting Wednesday

SPRING HILL The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce announced a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place for new member Wireless Zone/Verizon Wireless at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8. The business is located at 4385 Commercial Way. For more information, call Jaime Sheridan at 727-514-9702.

Hanna’s ‘Into the Wild’ to film at Weeki Wachee Springs Thursday

WEEKI WACHEE Jack Hanna, famed wildlife expert and television personality, will be at Weeki Wachee Springs attraction Thursday, Oct. 9. He will film a portion of his made-for-kids reality show, “Into the Wild.” The unscripted series documents Hanna’s adventures throughout the world as he encounters fascinating animals and cultures. The highlight of the filming will be when the show’s star jumps into the spring to swim with the world famous mermaids. “Into the Wild” recently won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series. For more information, call the park at 352-596-2062 or visit www.weekiwachee.com.

Caregiver Support Group will meet Thursday

SPRING HILL Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will hold its Caregiver Support Group at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. The group meets the second Thursday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Spring Hill Center, located at 10441 Quality Drive, Suite 203 in the Medical Arts Building next to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. For more information call Dorothy Hiller at 352-688-7744.

Networking at Noon is Friday

BROOKSVILLE The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at the Brooksville Country Club, located at Majestic Oaks at 23446 Links Drive. The cost for this month’s Network at Noon is $10 with a reservation, $15 without a reservation and $20 for nonmembers. Cancelations must be made 24 hours prior to the deadline (Wednesday, Oct. 8). For more information or to make a reservation, call Patty Himmelberger at 796-0697, Ext. 18.

HBA supports H.E.L.P., application deadline is Oct. 17

SPRING HILL The Hernando Builders Association would like to encourage the citizens of Hernando County to learn more about the Housing Enhancement Loan Program (H.E.L.P.). The Hernando County Housing Authority is now accepting applications for this program, which is designed to provide assistance to seniors and very low income residents who are experiencing conditions in their home that pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the household occupants and may not meet current health, fire and building codes. The H.E.L.P. program will provide zero interest loans of up to $37,000 to help senior households with the cost of repairs. To qualify, applicants must meet certain age and income requirements and the residence must be a house and not a mobile home. Applications are being accepted until Friday, Oct. 17. For more information, call the Hernando County Housing Authority at 352-754-4160.

Sponsorships, booths still available for Oct. 18 Health Fair

BROOKSVILLE Sponsorships and booths are still available for the fourth Annual Hernando County Health Fair, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 18. The annual event has drawn as many as 2,000 visitors. Various sponsorship packages are available starting at $500. The Health Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, located at 14494 Cortez Blvd. More than 65 local health care businesses share information, give demonstrations and provide free health screenings for the community. Interior booths are available for $135 and a limited number of outside booths also will be available for $110. Complimentary samples from local food establishments will be available as well as live music and entertainment. Flu shots will be offered for $30 each (Medicare and most insurances will be accepted). Current presenting sponsors include Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville and Spring Hill Regional Hospitals, the Nature Coast Community Health Center, Elks Brooksville Lodge 2582 and Hernando County Health Department. Media sponsors include Hernando Today, WWJB AM Radio, TBO.com and News Channel 8 On Your Side. Additional major sponsors include Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope, Gulf Coast Spine Institute, Hernando Gastroenterology Associates, Hernando Orthopedic and Spinal Surgery – Dr. Michael Higgins, Medicare Health Options, Spring Oaks/Forest Oaks The Grand, Stolte Eye Center, Summit Imaging, THE Bus and WellCare. For more information, call Denise Nohejl at 352-544-5206.

Food vendors announced for Health Fair

BROOKSVILLE Food vendors for the 4th Annual Community Health Fair have been announced. The following local food establishments will offer complimentary samples of their signature items to those who attend the fair – Boston Cooker, Brooksville Natural Foods, Chick-fil-A, Coldstone, Honey Baked Ham, Marco’s Pizza, Mediterranean Pita Grill, Panera Bread, Papa Joe’s, Publix and Starbucks. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, located at 14494 Cortez Blvd. There will be live music and entertainment and flu shots will be available for $30. (Medicare and most insurance will be accepted). For more information contact Denise Nohejl at 352-544-5206.

Jazzercise to take part in Miami Dolphins halftime show Oct. 26

SPRING HILL Local Jazzercisers will help energize the crowd at the Miami Dolphins halftime show at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, when they present a dance routine to benefit Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. More than 150 Jazzercise instructors and students from all over Central and South Florida, including 15 from Hernando County, are currently practicing for the show before and after scheduled Jazzercise classes. Each participant also donated money to breast cancer as part of her participation in the show. Jazzercise, which is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall “feel-good” factor. For more information on Jazzercise, call Mooneyham at 352-442-8595. Classes are offered in Spring Hill and Brooksville. For worldwide class information, go to jazzercise.com or call 1-800-FIT-IS-IT.

AVON is fundraising for the Dawn Center throughout October

SPRING HILL AVON Representatives and owners of AVON Discount Store, located at 3513 Commercial Way in Spring Hill, are taking part in October Awareness Month, a month-long fundraiser for both breast cancer and domestic violence. AVON is the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause. The AVON Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and donated nearly a half-billion dollars worldwide since 1992.AVON representatives help by selling pink-ribbon items and doing the AVON three-day walk (all proceeds go to the foundation). Plus, in 2004 AVON started the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence campaign, which has already raised more than $7 million for awareness and support. Local AVON representatives, Susan and John Dixon, sell these products all year long to bring awareness to both causes. They have partnered with the Dawn Center, a local women’s shelter for domestic violence and sexual abuse. For each domestic violence item AVON sells, it will donate $2 directly to this local shelter as well as selling Purple Wooden roses for $1. The store is also a drop-off point for donations of toiletries, gas cards and non-perishables to go to the shelter. For more information on what AVON has for products for these causes, call the Dixons at 352-684-9299 or stop in their store, which is open week days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Business Briefcase, compiled by Tony Holt, is published each Monday. News releases must be received by the Wednesday before the desired publication date. Items of interest include employee promotions, company openings, closings, expansions and relocations

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Vedelle G. Dalby, 82, of Spring Hill, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hernando-Pasco Hospice Care Unit, Chatman Boulevard, Brooksville. She was born in Federal, Pa., and moved to this area 21 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mrs. Dalby was a homemaker, president of the Oakridge Fire Department Auxiliary, a member of the Pennsylvania Bowling League, member and past president of the Pennsylvania Club of Spring Hill, and a Christian by faith.
She is survived by her husband, Wilbert.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

Joseph J. Bobak, 81, of Weeki Wachee, died Saturday, Sept. 27.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Esther; a son, Kenneth A. Bobak of Weeki Wachee; four daughters, Cynthia Fletcher, Beverly Ann Marusa, both of Brunswick, Ohio, Teresa DeMarco of Medina, Ohio, and Patricia Jo Kackley of Strongsville, Ohio; a brother, Dr. Edward Bobak of Garfield Heights, Ohio; a sister, Helen Danilowicz of San Diego, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Grace Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home, U.S. 19, Hudson.

Mary D. Pallay, 91, of Brooksville, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at her home. She was born in Jersey City, N.J.
Mrs. Pallay worked for a Garage Door Company as a cable roller.
Survivors include her son, Bob Kazmierski of Brooksville; a brother, Edward; two sisters, Jennie and Josephine; seven grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Commercial Way, Spring Hill Chapel.

Elisa Cintron, 83, of Spring Hill, died Sunday, Sept. 28, at Hernando-Pasco Hospice Care Unit, Chatman Boulevard, Brooksville. She was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and moved to this area seven years ago from Freehold, N.J.
Mrs. Cintron was a retired gift and card shop owner in Middletown, N.J., and a member of Christian Life Assembly of God.
Survivors include her husband, Angel G. Sr.; a son, Angel G. Cintron Jr. of New Port Richey; a daughter, Lourdes Cintron of Spring Hill; two sisters, Isabelle Flecha of Fort Lauderdale and Felicity Flecha of Atlantic Highlands, N.J.; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

William L. White Sr., 75, of Ridge Manor, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at his home. He was born in New York, New York, and moved to this area 16 years ago from Miami.
Mr. White was a volunteer fireman during the ’50s in Zephyrhills. He was a member of Kairos Prison Ministry, the Emmaus Community and Spring Lake United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Lorraine; a son, William White Jr.; four daughters, Denise Flynn, Cindy Burke, Georgette White-Roig and Kimberly White-Pinilla; 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Turner Funeral Homes, Brooksville Chapel.

Evelyn Huhn, 82, of Brooksville, died Thursday, Sept. 25, at Kindred Hospital. She was born in Manistique, Mich., and moved to this area 16 years ago from Clearwater.
Mrs. Huhn retired from Honeywell and was a Lutheran by faith.
Survivors include her husband, Robert; two daughters, Sharon Sugamosto of Shelby Township, Mich., and Donna Franz of Brooksville; two brothers, Kenneth Schubring of Atlanta, Ga., and Wesley Schubring of Sarasota; a sister, Marilyn Rudquist of Rochester, Mich.; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Home, Brooksville Chapel.

Alma Fleischman, 88, of Brooksville, died Monday, Sept. 29.
Survivors include a son, Leonard; a daughter, Joy; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Arrangements by Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Brooksville Chapel.

To Pull Or Not To Pull The Plug

Today, the most routine medical procedure requires your initials and signature in various places to document you are aware of all the possible death scenarios. After you sign off on these possible tragedies so as to decrease medical liability, you are presented with “living will” documents to fill out.
The instructions to fill out this life-and-death decision are generally as follows. “I, John Doe, want to choose how I will be treated by my doctors and other health care providers during the last days of my life. I do not want to suffer unnecessarily and I do not want to be kept on machines that will serve only to delay the time of my death. My choices about treatments which have little chance of making my condition better, if I am unable to make my own decisions, are listed below.”
This official questionnaire asks you to check box “yes” if you want treatment or “no” boxes if you do not want treatment. The box checked will determine if you receive certain types of treatment to, or not to, preserve your life. In other words: to pull or not to pull the plug — that is the question. Before you rush to automatically pull the plug, remember times are changing.
No one wants to exist permanently in a vegetative state only to die. This dependent quasi-dead life would make the person a burden to family and society without awareness of the world or ability to contribute to others. Few, if any, individuals would see this state as desirable. Everyone would want the plug pulled if there is no chance of being a cognizant, feeling human being.
The question that immediately should strike the person filling out this life or death decision document is who is going to determine that your body and mind cannot heal sufficiently to live a meaningful life? A person in an unconscious or permanently confused state cannot make this decision. The professional assessment that CPR, life support, surgery, blood, tube feeding are only going to “delay the time of death” and have “little chance of making my condition better” will be initially made by medical professionals. A designated surrogate will be the one to integrate this information and make treatment choices.
This life-and-death decision has to be based on assumptions about the probability of one’s health improving. The person who would have your best interest at heart would be your most intimate relationship. This person would be best able to protect you in the hospital and decide what would be the best for you. Leaving the evaluation solely to professionals could eliminate the necessary time for your body to sufficiently recoup to make an accurate decision.
There is no medical staff that can predict with certitude the course of an illness or a traumatic accident. The best a group of professionals would be able to do is to make a series of educated guesses of the probability of a person’s chance of recovery and weigh it against the cost factors of keeping the person alive.
Financial concerns influence our cultural attitude toward life and death. Government pricing of allowances for specific services and procedures directly influences the medical industry’s perspective of long-term care. This medical pricing is influenced by the state of the treasury. As the generational war unfolds, young people’s resentment will increase, as they are required to shoulder the burden of the taxes for the “baby boomers,” who have not saved for their own health and retirement expenses. The flood of geriatric patients will result in radical cutbacks in services, especially for the acute and chronically ill, to avoid bankruptcy. The scarcity of resources makes it more difficult to be on the side of prolonging the patient’s life.
The sanctity of life is under attack — especially for the elderly. Prolonging artificial life at all costs as during the 1970s is over. Suffering is no longer seen as an inevitable part of living but something to eliminate even at the expense of ending life. Euthanasia has been passed in Oregon and is being considered in other parts of the USA. Death is the final answer to physical suffering of the patient and psychological pain of the loved ones. Europe is pulling the plug early and is spending substantially less per patient. There is a real incentive for patients to die early.
Before you check the box for prolonging your life, you may be under the misconception there would be no possibility for your recovery. The “culture of convenience” is making it more likely that our government-dominated medical industry might decide to make sacrificial lambs of people over a certain age to appease a more aggressive and politically powerful segment of voters.
Checking “yes” to treatment and designating a trusted loved one to watch over you when you may be temporarily incapacitated is probably the best way to prevent your meaningful life from being snuffed out before God intended. Although a loved one would be hard pressed to go against the prognosis of the authorities, this individual would have the greatest motivation to exhaust all possibilities before giving up on your life.
Death may be cheaper and a final solution to an aging population. But it should not be left in the hands of a medical establishment that receives its instructions from centralized government bureaucrats.

Dr. Domenick J. Maglio, Ph.D., is the author of “Invasion Within” and “Essential Parenting.” He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.

Cemex To Idle Brooksville North Plant

BROOKSVILLE –
Faced with a hobbled housing market and plummeting demand for its products, Cemex will temporarily shutter its Brooksville North cement production plant by the end of year, company officials confirmed Monday.

“Most” of the employees will be transferred to Cemex’s Brooksville South plant on Cobb Road, but some will be laid off, Cemex spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen said.

“We’ve had a severe downturn in the housing market, and we’re taking the necessary steps to meet those challenges,” Borgen said. “Now, unfortunately, we made the tough decision to idle our Brooksville plant.”

The company plans to reopen the plant on U.S. 98 north of Brooksville “when conditions improve,” Borgen said.

Borgen, a Houston-based spokeswoman who evacuated to Dallas as Hurricane Ike threatened, couldn’t cite the total number of employees working at the Brooksville North plant, how many will get pink slips or what kind of severance package they will receive, if any. Borgen said she’d heard employees were informed of the move Friday but couldn’t confirm that.

Local Cemex officials directed media inquires to Borgen.

The company is moving forward with a $230 million project to build a new cement kiln at its Brooksville South facility on Cobb Road, Borgen said. The second kiln was expected to add some 30 jobs to the company’s roughly 200-member Hernando work force. It now appears those positions will be filled with existing employees.

The company last year bought out Rinker, the Australia-based maker of ready-mix concrete and aggregates, for $14.2 billion. The Brooksville South Plant had been a Rinker facility.

The mining and cement production industries have been among the county’s most stable, said Mike McHugh, the county’s director of business development who worked in the industry before coming to the county.

McHugh said he doesn’t recall a cement plant ever being idled in Hernando County.

“So it certainly speaks to the difficulties in the construction and housing market right now,” McHugh said.

But it also makes sense that the company is moving operations to its new, more efficient facility, McHugh said.

Cemex last week announced total earnings of some $1.25 billion for the third quarter of this year, a decrease of about 3 percent compared to the same period last year.

The company estimates its earnings for the first nine months of 2008 at about $3.55 billion, an 8 percent decline versus the same period last year. About half of the drop of earnings “is the result of the lower expected performance from our U.S. operations,” the company said in the earnings statement.

“We continue to face a challenging economic environment in most of our markets,” Rodrigo Trevino, CEMEX’s chief financial officer, said in the statement. “Volumes during the quarter have been negatively affected by the continuing downturn in markets such as the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom.”

The company projects its domestic cement volume in the U.S. for 2008 to decrease by around 18 percent; ready-mix volume to decrease by about 28 percent; and aggregate products to decrease by about 28 percent.

The continued decline in the residential construction sector is the main culprit, company officials said. That decline, in turn, affects the industrial and commercial sectors.

Foreign-exchange fluctuations, including the depreciation of the Mexican peso, have also taken a toll on earnings, Trevino said.

The news comes as Hernando’s unemployment rate continues to climb, hitting 8.4 percent in July, according to the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation. The state’s jobless rate is 6.1 percent.

Reporter Tony Marrero can be reached at 352-544-5286 or lmarrero@hernandotoday.com.

Obituaries

Carmen “Chick” Camorata, 86, of Spring Hill, died Monday, Sept. 8, at Oak Hill Hospital. He was born in Elm, N.J., and moved to the area in 1991.

Mr. Camorata served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Hammonton New Jersey Fire Department.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys; son, Skip Conover, of Spring Hill; daughter, Darlene Camorata; sisters, Catherine O’Toole, and Rose Camorata; and four grandchildren.

Arrangements by Brewer and Sons Funeral Home, Spring Hill Chapel.

Survivors include his son, Neil F. “Freddy,” of Brooksville.

Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Home, Brooksville Chapel.

Patricia A. Breslin, 53, of Spring Hill, died Friday, Sept. 12.

Survivors include her son, Patrick Breslin-Williams, of Pennsylvania; and three sisters, Maureen, Frances and Nancy.

Arrangements by Downing Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Spring Hill.

Lorraine M. Hewitt, 87, of Spring Hill, died Saturday, Sept. 18, at her home. She was born in Ashland, Pa.

Ms. Hewitt was a former librarian and a member of the Women’s Army Air Corps. She also was a member of Holiday Rambler Chapter 92, American Legion Post 186, Brooksville Lodge 2582, Moose Lodge 1765. She was the founding member of the Elite Investment Club and past lady president of the Elks Ladies.

Survivors include her daughters, Sue Van Horn-Marsh, of Spring Hill, and Barbara Adams, of Camp Hill, Pa.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Arrangements by Turner Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

Large Firms Behind Power Plant Proposal

BROOKSVILLE –
The energy investment firm proposing a gas-fired power plant on mining land north of Brooksville apparently has some heavy-duty financial backing.

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan Chase, a global financial services firm, shed some light Friday on the hierarchy of companies behind the plan for a 1,200-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant on Florida Crushed Stone property between the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 98.

Florida Power Development LLC is the corporation proposing the plant project that is dubbed SunCoast Power, said Tasha Pelio, a New York based spokeswoman for JP Morgan.

Florida Power Development is a subsidiary of Central Power Holdings, owned by Arroyo Energy Investors based in Houston, Texas.

Arroyo had been owned by Bear Stearns, one of the largest global investment banks and securities trading and brokerage firms before its collapse earlier this year. JP Morgan acquired the firm in May.

Arroyo has interests in natural gas and electric power generation facilities throughout the country and in Florida, including plants in Polk and Orange counties that sell power to Progress Energy and Tampa Electric Company, according to the company’s Web site.

Pelio said the Brooksville plant proposal is still in the early stages and declined to comment further. Florida Crushed Stone officials have not returned calls.

The plant infrastructure would be built on 75 acres of reclaimed mine land on Florida Crushed Stone’s 580-acre property, according to an overview of the project provided to the county planning department. It’s unclear whether the Florida Power Development would lease or purchase the land.

The plant would take three years to build, cost an estimated $1.3 billion, and would employ about 40 full-time employees.

The plan is a response to Progress Energy’s request for proposals for projects to help meet the region’s burgeoning energy needs. The facility needs to produce a minimum of 1,159-megawatts and the power needs to be available for commercial delivery by June 1, 2013.

The overview noted the plant would be supplied with natural gas through a new line built on Florida Crushed Stone property to tap into an existing line to the west.

The project does not require a change to the county’s comprehensive land use map, but the county commission would have to OK the site plan.

The project “needs the blessing of Hernando County to remain competitive in Progress Energy’s selection process,” the overview states.

The plant would be built in Commissioner Diane Rowden’s district. Rowden hadn’t seen the proposal by Friday.

“If it would help lower our power bills, that would be nice, wouldn’t it,” she said.

Reporter Tony Marrero can be reached at 352-544-5286 or lmarrero@hernandotoday.com.

Beware: Don’t Feed The Bears!

To the victor go the spoils an elder wise man once pointed out.

For a second consecutive season, Central High pocketed the Hernando County football championship.

As a result of the Bears’ on field success, CHS paced the annual Hernando Today All-County Football All-Star Team with 10 players, in addition to Coach of the Year Cliff Lohrey.

Class 3A, District 6 runner-up Nature Coast Technical, which finished second in the county, collected eight selections.

The county’s third-place team, Springstead, earned six picks followed by Hernando Christian Academy (3) and Hernando High (2).

Overall, area coaches and the Hernando Today staff picked almost an entirely new All-Star squad as only six picks were repeat choices from the 2006 squad.

Bears’ bounty: 11 picks

Lohrey, who guided Central to the Class 4A, District 8 and county championships in his initial campaign in 2006, saw his Silver and Navy-clad Bears finish 6-4 in 2007.

Springstead’s veteran Head Coach Bill Vonada explained why Lohrey was the unanimous choice to repeat at Coach of the Year.

“He won the county,” said Vonada. “And his team managed to pull out some games despite some adversity. I thought he did a great job.”

“In 2006, we raised the expectations around here,” shared Lohrey, a Crystal River High School graduate. “Some teams are content with finishing 6-4, but not me. Honestly, we felt like we kinda underachieved on the field.

“We want to be a perennial title team and district contenders,” added Lohrey. “That’s our on-field goal. It’s pretty simple.”

The Bears were paced by 10 All-Star picks featuring: QB Chase Walker, RB Duane Marks, WR Chad Walker, TE Jeff Wright, OL Jason Morton, PK Cody Grey, DL Austin Forte and Brooks Reid, LB Nathan Brazeau and SF Heath Heroux.

Marks and Heroux joined Lohrey as repeat picks from the 2006 squad.

Only Forte and Reid were underclassmen as other eight Bears were seniors.

Chase Walker connected on a county-best 81 passes in 150 attempts (county-high 54 percent), a county-best 1,078 yards and nine touchdowns against six interceptions. Not bad for a signal caller who totaled 647 yards the year before and had more INTs (10) than TDs (5).

On Walker, “our offense went through him. He had a complete grasp of it,” commended Lohrey. “His leadership and physical abilities stood out. It’s nice to put your best athlete at quarterback because he’ll touch the ball every time.”

Marks was named to the 2006 squad at tight end. He was primarily utilized as an H-Back. Last fall, with the graduation loss of do-everything DuJuan Harris to Troy, Marks was the Bears’ primary sledgehammer with 704 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

“Duane was a 3-year varsity guy for us,” said Lohrey. “And he played just about anywhere we needed. He was a physical back, who had some speed. He’s the type of player that wants the ball in his hands.

“There’s no question when we had our best players in the game (including Marks, who was hurt during midseason) we played our best ball. Even though he got hurt, he never complained once.”

Walker-to-Walker

Chase Walker’s favorite target was his red-headed twin brother, Chad. Chad led the county in receiving with 34 catches for 476 yards and a county-high five TD catches through the air.

“Chad was definitely a weapon,” analyzed Lohrey. “And he took a lot of pride in his downfield blocking, too. He was a tremendous athlete who could run.”

In 2006, Wright snared a quiet seven passes for 88 measly yards.

A year later, Wright emerged as the county’s finest tight end and received the distinction as Hernando County’s Special Teams Most Valuable Player.

Wright did so by quadrupling his production with 28 receptions for 435 yards and two TD grabs.

On special teams, he was a demon with four returns for touchdowns highlighted by two punts and two kickoffs for scores.

“Jeff (Wright) emerged as a vital part of our offense,” described Lohrey. “We moved him from split end to H-Back. He did it all; he could block, run and catch. To me, he found his stride on the field.”

Like Wright, Morton emerged from the shadows for a dominant role.

“During my time, Jason (Morton) has come further than any player I’ve been around,” said Lohrey. “He came in very raw, but he’s very coachable and he really worked on his technique. Physically, he’s an imposing young man. We’re certainly gonna miss him up front this year.”

Grey, a standout soccer player, went 31-for-31 in extra points and connected on 3-of-11 field goal attempts.

“I wish we would have gotten him here earlier,” lamented Lohrey. “Place kicker is an important position. Extra points have to be like free throws, they’ve got to be automatic. He didn’t miss any (PATs). And there’s no question he’s got a big leg.”

High risk, high rewards

Central’s pressure defensive scheme anchored that side of the line of scrimmage.

Two main culprits included defensive linemen Reid and Forte.

Forte led the team with 8.5 sacks while he and Reid split 83 tackles.

“Austin has a knack for the ball,” shared Lohrey. “And Brooks has started every game since his sophomore season. He’s not a publicity guy; he simply does his job. Brooks can be as good as he wants to be this year.”

According to Lohrey, the heart and soul of the Bears belonged to Brazeau.

“To me, he’s one of the best players in the county – on either side of the ball. He’s the face of what you would want your program to be. Nathan’s got a great work ethic, great character and he loves his teammates.”

Heroux was a repeat selection at safety. But his game is liken to more of a linebacker or a John Lynch-type hitter.

“We moved him around,” said Lohrey. “He’s a great athlete. People tend to think of great athletes as offensive players; Heath is that on the defensive side. What I liked the most is since he’s been here; there has been no ounce of concern for his body. He’ll definitely check your chin during a game.”

NCT: great eight

After capturing the 3A-6 crown and splitting the county title in 2006 with Central, NCT was the lone Hernando County team to reach the coveted state playoffs in 2007.

As the Sharks finished 7-4 overall, NCT was feted with eight All-Stars including: TB Tevin Drake, OL Tim LaRose and J.J. Baker, QB Stephen Pelaez, DL Preston Williams, LB Alfredo Lindo, DB Michael Fields and SF Jimmy Huang.

Drake and LaRose were repeat selections from 2006.

Drake, who led the county in rushing with 1,527 yards and a school-record 22 rushing touchdowns, was tabbed not only as the County’s Offensive Player of the Year, but also feted as the County’s Most Valuable Player.

“Offensively, it’s no secret we want to run the football,” shared NCT Head Coach Jamie Joyner. “But even though everybody knew he was getting the ball, he still performed. Tevin set the tone for us offensively.”

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound LaRose anchored strong tackle.

“We’re gonna miss his leadership on and off the field,” discussed Joyner. “He wanted people to run behind him. He didn’t say a whole lot. He was a man of few words.”

NCT was primarily a right-handed running team behind strong guard Baker.

“When he first got here, J.J. was on the defensive line,” recalled Joyner. “It’s no secret where we ran the ball; we were very right-handed. But with J.J. and Tim there we dominated that side of the line. J.J. was one of the hardest working kids we’ve had.”

Pelaez was aptly feted as a utility pick. He filled in wherever needed at NCT. As a senior, he combined for 1,555 yards total offense.

“Stephen played every position on offense except lineman,” reminded Joyner. “If we asked him to drop kick the ball, he could do that. He was that kind of athlete. And he was certainly an impact player for us. He was probably our best inside runner.”

Fields of dreams

Fields had a season for the ages. Forget the fact that Fields went from zero tackles as a sophomore to rank eighth overall with 58 tackles this past season. He caused two fumbles and recovered one.

But from the edge, he stood out. He became a Rhonde Barber-type shutdown cornerback compiling 12 pass breakups and tying the county record of Hernando High’s Eddie Looper with 10 interceptions.

For his efforts he was voted as the county’s Defensive Player of the Year and named to the Class 3A All-State Team.

“Fields’ stats speak for themselves,” admitted Coach Vonada. “He’s very deserving of all the accolades.”

“Michael was a shutdown corner,” emphasized Joyner. “Against North Marion, he blanketed their 6-foot-5 All-State receiver to zero catches. When he’s on that side of the ball, we don’t worry about things.”

Like Fields, Williams was one of four first-time Shark All-Star defenders.

Williams excelled in applying pressure. He totaled 12 quarterback pressures and six tackles for a loss.

“I may never coach another Preston Williams,” lamented Joyner. “I think he was sometimes overlooked at nose guard. He was a cat off the ball. Against St. Pete in the preseason he tackled two guys on a reverse. That just doesn’t happen. He was the type of player who never took a play off.”

Lindo was a tackling machine for NCT Defense Coordinator Charles Liggett’s defense with 127 tackles. Lindo notched a team-high 20 QBP, caused three fumbles and recovered three fumbles.

“Alfredo Lindo is an animal,” stated Joyner. “He’s the most intense kid we’ve got. He was a lot like Preston (Williams). He was intensely competitive and a tone-setter.”

Like Fields, Huang flew under the radar screen until his senior year compiling 85 tackles from his safety position.

“Jimmy (Huang) was never the biggest guy out there,” Joyner said. “He’s a self-made man on the field. He waited his turn and he certainly put the work in. He was invaluable as a run stopper.”

Six Eagles

Six Springstead Eagles were named to the county All-Star squad – all first-time selections – including RB Mike Greco, WR Domnique Roberson, RB/QB/WR Ben Noury, OL Luis Delgado, LB Nate Schafer and DB Bryce Hollingshead.

Fortunately for Coach Vonada, Greco, Roberson, Noury, Schafer and Hollingshead all return.

Greco, who finished third in the county in rushing (786 yards), was the only player to also rank (ninth) in the Top 10 in receiving as well.

“Mike (Greco) certainly progressed as the season went on,” remarked Vonada. “He had some big runs and big pass plays. Other teams had to start accounting for him.”

Roberson, who moved into Spring Hill as last season began, steadily improved on offense and defense. Roberson ranked third in the county in receptions (31) and tied Chad Walker with the most TD grabs (5).

“He took a couple games to get his feet under him,” explained Vonada. “But he started breaking out in week three. He’s a natural leader on offense and defense.”

Like NCT’s Pelaez, Noury served as a jack-of-all trades playing quarterback, wide receiver and running back besides playing defense and punting the football.

“He did an awful lot of things for us,” explained Vonada. “The kid never came off the field. He did everything for us but sweep up the concession stand. And he’s a terrific student/athlete.”

Ex-NCT lineman Delgado helped the SHS offense average almost 300 yards per game.

“It just seemed week after week, Luis (Delgado) always drew the toughest guys across the way,” pointed out Vonada. “And he stood his ground. He was our toughest and most dependable lineman.”

Schafer was the leading tackler for the Eagles with 108 total tackles.

“He was a real consistent performer for us,” described Vonada. “He averaged over 10 tackles a game. He picked up a lot of the slack when we surrounded him with new guys on defense.”

Hollingshead impressed by having a knack for impact plays. He swiped four passes and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

“Bryce has really turned into a fine young man, too” declared Vonada. “He turned into a dependable player on and off the field. You can see that he’s coming into his own on the football field.”

HCA: trio of Lions

Hernando Christian Academy, which averaged over 31 points per game and permitted only 12.3 ppg, finished 6-2 overall under first-year Head Coach David Raley.

The Lions, who were denied two games to September’s torrential showers, were represented by three juniors: QB David Rotteveel, RB/TE/LB/PT Clay Kessler and NG Josh Romeo.

Rotteveel, a transfer from Hudson, nearly passed for 1,000 yards in eight games and hurled a county-high 11 TDs against six INTs.

“David almost passed for 1,000 yards and in the games we led early, we stopped throwing the ball,” recalled Coach Raley. “He’s a terrific person and he’s the most accurate passer I’ve ever had. He has exceptional accuracy.”

Romeo, another Hudson transfer, recorded 33 tackles at nose guard including five sacks.

“Josh was the best defensive lineman in all of Class 1B,” praised Raley. “He’s a great athlete at 5-foot-10 and 250 pounds. He’s amazingly nimble in a rolly-polly body.”

When healthy, Kessler was a force on offense (17 TDs), defense (68 tackles) and special teams. He was voted the county’s top punter averaging over 41.8 yards per kick with no blocks.

“Clay is a big strong kid,” said Raley. “And he never comes off the field. And he was the hardest working kid on the field or in the weight room. There are not enough superlatives to describe what he meant to us.”

Leopard duo

Rounding out the All-Star squad were two members from Hernando High: junior OL David Hines and senior LB Taylor Rotunda.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Hines was the Leopards’ most consistent offensive lineman, though he battled through injuries.

On defense, Rotunda paced the 2-8 Leopards with 117 tackles.

2007 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (15 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB Chase Walker 12th Central County’s lone 1,000-yard passer.
RB Mike Greco 11th Springstead Gained nearly 1,000 yds. total offense.
RB Duane Marks* 12th Central Three-way threat scored 11 TDs.
WR Chad Walker 12th Central Snared a county-high 34 aerials.
WR Domnique Roberson 11th Springstead Grabbed 31 passes; gradually improved.
TE Jeff Wright 12th Central Caught 28 passes as an “H-Back”.
OL Tim LaRose* 12th NCT Never missed a snap in 4 varsity seasons.
OL J.J. Baker 12th NCT Solid blocker at strong guard for Sharks.
OL David Hines 11th Hernando Great size at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds.
OL Jason Morton 12th Central Prototype tackle at 6-foot-4, 325 lbs.
OL Luis Delgado 12th Springstead Most consistent Eagle lineman.
PK Cody Grey 12th Central Paced county w/3 FGs, 31 PATs.
UTL Stephen Pelaez 12th NCT Passed, rushed for 1,555 yards.
UTL Ben Noury 11th Springstead Huge 3-way threat for the Eagles.
UTL David Rotteveel 11th HCA Threw for 899 yds., 11 TDs in 8 games.

Defense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Austin Forte 11th Central Registered team-best 8.5 sacks, 2 blocks.
DL Preston Williams 12th NCT Had 3 sacks, 12 QB pressures for Sharks.
DL Brooks Reid 11th Central Emerging lineman with 42 tackles.
LB Alfredo Lindo 11th NCT Collected 127 tackles, 20 QBP, 3 FR, 3 CF.
LB Nathan Brazeau 12th Central Posted a team-best 111.5 tackles, 6.5 sacks.
LB Taylor Rotunda 12th Hernando Collected team-high 117 tackles.
LB Nate Schafer 11th Springstead Garnered team-high 108 tackles, 2 TBLs.
DB Michael Fields 11th NCT All-State pick swiped 10 INTs, had 12 PB.
DB Bryce Hollingshead11th Springstead Had 4 INTs, returned 1 FR for a score.
SF Heath Heroux* 12th Central Utilized LB mentality with 60 tackles.
SF Jimmy Huang 12th NCT Collected 85 tackles, 2 INTs, 6 PB..
PT Clay Kessler 11th HCA Averaged over 41 yds. per boot, no blocks.
UTL Josh Romeo 11th HCA 33 tackles including 5 SKs.

Offensive MVP – Tevin Drake* (NCT)
Defensive MVP – Michael Fields (NCT)
Special Teams MVP – Jeff Wright (Central)
Coach of the Year – Cliff Lohrey* (Central)
County MVP – Tevin Drake (Central)
* Denotes repeat selection

2006 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (14 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB John Hogeland* 12th Springstead County’s leading passer w/849 yds., 8 TDs.
RB DuJuan Harris* 12th Central Amasssed 1,641 rushing yds., 17 TDs.
RB Tevin Drake 9th NCT In 5 games rushed for 857 yds., 11 TDs.
WR Jeff Haynes 12th Springstead Snared county-high 27 aerials.
WR Stephen Pelaez 11th NCT Grabbed 18 passes, 294 yds.
TE Duane Marks 11th Central Caught 19 passes, 254 yds. as an “H-Back”.
OL Tim LaRose 11th NCT Strong tackle for county’s leading offense.
OL David Kriner 12th NCT Sharks’ best blocker for 3 years.
OL Mike Schafer 12th Springstead At 6-foot-3, 223-lbs., most consistent OL.
OL Aaron Bourguignon 12th Central Anchored strong tackle for district champs.
OL Joe Homan 12th Central Trap master at center for the Bears.
PK Josh Magrini 12th Springstead Hit 20-of-21 PATs, county-best 4 FGs.
UTL Josh Ortiz* 12th NCT Passed, rushed for a combined 1,534 yards.
UTL Robert Smith 12th Hernando Rushed for 743 yds., 8 TDs.

Defense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Josh Olivera* 12th Springstead Team-best 88 tackles, 1 sack, 1 CF.
DL Michael Cole 12th NCT 63 tackles, 9 TBL, 7 QBP, 1 INT, 1 FR.
DL Jason Joens 12th NCT 73 tackles, 3 TBL, 9 QBP.
LB Cody Fritsch 12th NCT Totaled 166 tackles, 6 TBL, 8 QBP, 3 BLK.
LB Jessie Hartman 12th Central Posted a team-best 111.5 tackles, 6.5 sacks.
LB Nick Pauliot 11th Hernando Collected team-high 105 tackles, 19 QBP.
LB Anthony Scarantino*12th Springstead Garnered 57 tackles, 1 sack, 1 CF, 1 FR.
DB Randall Smith 12th Hernando 38 tackles, 6 PB, team-best 3 INTs.
DB Bryan Villegas 12th Springstead Notched 77 tackles, 4 INTs.
SF Heath Heroux 11th Central 47 tackles, 1 INT, 1 CF.
SF Josh Ortiz 12th NCT Two-way threat, 2 INTs, one TD for score.
PT Casey Jones* 12th NCT Very consistent. Averaged over 38 yds.
UTL Corey Drummond 12th HCA Totaled 126 tackles, 3 CF, 2 FR, 1 INT.

Offensive MVP – DuJuan Harris (NCT)
Defensive MVP – Nick Pauliot (Hernando)
Special Teams MVP – George Fribley III (Hernando)
Coach of the Year – Cliff Lohrey (Central)
County MVP – DuJuan Harris (NCT)
* Denotes repeat selection

2005 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (14 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB John Hogeland 11th Springstead Steadily improved in his first year.
RB Michael King* 12th Springstead Homerun threat w/ 754 yards, 8 TDs.
RB James “LJ” Thomas 12th Hernando Leopard workhorse w/829 yds., 11 TDs.
WR Brock Byrd 12th Hernando Explosive. Avg. nearly 22 yds. per catch.
WR Nate Dahmer 12th HCA Snared a county-best 8 TDs.
TE Chris Ferguson* 12th Springstead Prototype TE at 6-foot-4, 250-lbs.
OL Chris Sibilia 12th Springstead Solid blocker on the perimeter.
OL Philip McGuire 12th Springstead Will get down and dirty.
OL Brandon Nuby 10th NCT Sharks’ “Hog of the Year” recipient.
OL Justin Cochran 12th Hernando Great pulling offensive guard.
OL Andreu Szempruch 11th HCA Undersized at 6-foot, 188-pounds.
PK Stephen Bock 12th Central Paced county w/7 FGs, 21 PATs.
UTL Ryan Walczak* 12th HCA Accounted 1,108 yards, 14 TDs for Lions.
UTL Josh Ortiz* 11th NCT Amassed 1,138 total yds. of offense.

Defense Selections (14 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Brandon White 11th Hernando 63 total tackles, including 45 solos, 1.5 SK.
DL Kyle Friant 12th Central 81 total tackles, lived in the backfield.
DL Morgan Roderick 12th NCT 68 tackles, 13 TFL, 4 SKs, 3 QBPs.
DL Josh Oliveira 11th Springstead 67 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 SKs, 3 CF, 4 FR.
LB Seth Metz 12th Springstead Led county w/ 133 tackles, 6 SKs, 4 CF.
LB Anthony Scarantino11th Springstead 106 tackles, 2.5 SKs, 1 FR.
LB Bryan Nutter 12th Central Two-way standout; 80 tackles, 3 FR.
LB Carlos Becaria 11th Central Two-way threat; 103 total tackles, 3 FR.
DB Andrew Ortiz 12th Springstead Shutdown corner; 84 tackles, 6 INTs.
DB Tim Hery 12th Springstead Former cheerleader w/ 70 tackles, 5 INTs.
SF Brock Byrd 12th Hernando Two-way threat; 66 total tackles, 4 INTs.
PT Casey Jones 11th NCT Averaged over 39 yds. per kick, no blocks.
UTL DuJuan Harris 11th Central Never left the field for the Bears.
UTL Corey Drummond* 11th HCA 110 total tackles including 78 solos, 1 SK.

Offensive MVP – Seth Metz 12th Springstead Led county 929 rushing yards, 12 TDs.
Defensive MVP – Seth Metz 12th Springstead Led county w/ 133 tackles, 6 SKs, 4 CF.
S. Teams MVP – George Fribley 10th Hernando Led county w/3 KORs for TDs.
Coach of the Year – Bill Vonada (Springstead)
Player of Year – Seth Metz (Springstead)
* Denotes repeat selection

2004 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (14 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB Ian Wald* 12th Springstead Lefty was proto-type option quarterback.
RB Tim Dow* 12th Springstead Plowed for 983 yds., 14 TDs.
RB Rian Williams 11th NCT Paced county w/ 1,728 yds., 20 TDs.
WR Jeremy Flowers* 12th Central Led county w/ 40 reps, 556 yds., 5 TDs.
WR Josh Ortiz 10th NCT Snared 22 reps., 398 yds., 6 TDs.
TE Chris Ferguson* 11th Springstead Great blocker; 24 reps., 344 yds., 2 TDs.
OL Andrew Leavine 11th Central Bears protected by 6-foot-5 condominium.
OL William Wilson 12th Springstead In crucial times, Eagles ran behind him.
OL Chris Schaefer 12th Springstead Undersized tackle played “big”.
OL David Kriner 10th NCT Red headed bulldozer.
OL Windham Rotunda* 12th Hernando Excelled on both sides of the line.
PK Justin DeMutiis 12th Springstead Paced county w/6 FGs, 33-of-35 PATs.
UTL Shane Collard 12th Central Two-way standout for the Bears.
UTL Chad Sanders 12th Hernando Rushed for 1,322 yds., 13 TDs.

Defense Selections (14 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Jon Howland 12th Springstead 71 total tackles, including 12 TFL, 8 SKs.
DL John Washington 12th Hernando Side-to-side guy; 108 total tackles, 6 SKs.
DL Addison Chipoletti12th Hernando Great motor; 74 tackles, 2 SKs, 1 FR.
DL Josh Golden 11th Springstead 51 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 CF, 1 FR.
LB Daniel Harris* 12th Central Led county w/ 110 tackles, 7 SKs.
LB Nick Belavilas 12th Springstead 88 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 CF, 3 FRs, 1 INT.
LB John Hardy 12th Springstead 71 tackles, 3 TFL, 1SK, 2 CF, 2 INTs.
LB Quinden Floyd 11th Springstead Speedster; 42 tackles, 4 SKs, 2 CF, 2 INT.
DB Michael King 11th Springstead Hard to elude; nibble; 59 tackles, 2 FRs.
DB Jeremy Flowers* 12th Central 57 tackles, 2 FRs, 3 INTs.
SF Shane Collard 12th Central 46 tackles, 2 SKs, 2 INTs.
PT Ian Wald 12th Springstead Averaged over 38.5 yds. per kick.
UTL Corey Drummond 10th HCA 94 tackles, including 60 solos, 2 CF, 3 FRs.
UTL Ryan Walczak 11th HCA 70 tackles including 37 solos, 1 CF, 2 FRs.

Offensive MVP – Ian Wald 12th Springstead Led county 690 passing yds., rushed for 888.
Defensive MVP – Daniel Harris 12th Central Inspirational leader, averaged 10 tackles.
S. Teams MVP – Justin DeMutiis 12th Springstead Could pooch it or boot it deep.
Coach of the Year – Bill Vonada (Springstead)
County MVP – Ian Wald (Springstead)
* Denotes repeat selection

2003 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB Ian Wald 11th Springstead County’s finest two-way threat
RB Tim Dow 11th Springstead Battering ram led Eagles w/ 733 yds.
RB Rod Roberts* 11th Hernando Paced county with 9.38 yds. per carry avg.
WR Chris Ferguson 10th Springstead County’s top receiver w/ 27 reps., 416 yds.
WR Ermine Lewis 12th Central Snared 16 passes, 332 yds., 2 TDs
TE Brae White* 12th Hernando Averaged 39 yds. per catch, fine blocker
CT Joe Vitale* 12th Springstead Starter for over 3½ years at 6-foot, 250-lbs.
OG Eric Bruscino 12th Springstead Solid performer at 6-foot, 267-lbs.
OG Rotunda Windham 11th Hernando Beginning to blossom at 6-foot-3, 260-lbs.
OT Brian Oakes* 12th Central Focal point of Bears’ OL…Quick, athletic.
OT Charles Gonyea 12th Springstead Go-to blocker at 6-foot-5, 255-lbs.
PK Mike Hibbert* 12th Central Paced county w/ 15, 21 PATs.
UTL Jeremy Flowers 11th Central Opened at WR…Led county in passing.

Defense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Michael Noyes 12th Central 67 total tackles, including 44 solos, 1 FR.
DL Tank Donaldson* 12th Hernando Two-player starter, 23 total tackles.
DL Charles Gonyea* 12th Springstead 25 tackles, 7 TBLs, 3 SKs.
DL Chris Schaefer 11th Springstead 33 tackles, 7 TBLs, 4 SKs.
LB Kurt Carriveau* 12th Springstead 60 tackles, 4 CFs, 2 FRs, 2 INTs.
LB Jarvis Baylor 12th Hernando Led county w/134 total tackles, 1 CF, 1 FR.
LB Darnell Craig 12th Central 125 total tackles, including 85 solos, 4 FRs.
LB Daniel Harris 11th Central 43 total tackles including 33 solos, 4 SKs.
DB Jose Yearwood* 12th Springstead Two-way threat; 44 tackles, 2 INTs.
DB Rod Roberts 12th Hernando 2-way threat when healthy, 40 tackles, 6 PB.
SF Jeremy Flowers 11th Central 29 total tackles, 2 INTs.
PT Mike Hibbert 12th Central Averaged over 41 yds. per kick.
UTL Anthony Wright 12th Central 45 tackles including 16 solos, 3 SKs.

Offensive MVP – Ian Wald (Springstead)
Defensive MVP – Darnell Craig (Central)
Special Teams MVP – Mike Hibbert (Central)
Coach of the Year – Bill Vonada (Springstead)
County MVP – Darnell Craig (Central)
* Denotes repeat selection

2002 Hernando Today All-County Football Team

Offense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
QB Brad Wyatt 12th Hernando County’s leading passer with 724 yds.
RB Tim Gaynor 12th Central Leading rusher w/ 1,351 yds., 13 TDs.
RB Rod Roberts 11th Hernando County’s No. 2 rusher w/ 808 yds., 5 TDs
WR Nate Jenkins 11th Springstead County’s leading receiver w/ 14 reps.
WR Mozell Elder 11th Hernando Snared 10 passes, county-best 3 TDs.
TE Brae White 11th Hernando Two-way starter, 6 reps. for 101 yds.
CT John Humbert 12th Hernando At 6-foot-2, 250-lbs., a major force on traps
CT Joe Vitale 11th Springstead Third-year starter at 6-foot, 228-lbs.
OG Robbie Jernigan 12th Hernando Graded out most consistent Leopard OLman.
OT Brian Oakes 11th Central Enabled Bears to rush for 2,122 yds.
OT Nick Marty 12th Central A load on sweeps at 6-foot-5, 295-lbs.
PK Mike Hibbert 11th Springstead Paced county w/ 10 FGs
UTL Jagren Castillo 11th Hernando Totaled 875 offensive yds., 12 TDs

Defense Selections (13 positions)
POS NAME GRADE SCHOOL QUICK HITS
DL Tank Donaldson 11th Hernando 44 tackles, 1 INT.
DL Windham Rotunda 10th Hernando 40 tackles, 2 FRs.
DL Charles Gonyea 11th Springstead 23 tackles, 1 SK, 1 FR.
DL Eric Bruscino 11th Springstead 62 tackles including 30 solos.
LB Ermine Lewis 11th Central 76 tackles, 6 SKs vs. RR, 2 FRs.
LB Richie DelValle 12th Central 102 tackles including 44 solos.
LB Andres Lawson 11th Hernando County-best 130 tackles in 10 games, 2 FRs.
LB Kurt Carriveau 11th Springstead 96 tackles including 60 solos, 4 FRs, 2 INTs.
DB Antonio Brown 10th Hernando 29 tackles, 1 FR, county-best 5 INTs.
DB Jose Yearwood 11th Springstead 68 tackles including 31 solos.
SF Willie Fifer 12th Hernando 104 tackles, 2 CFs, 2 FRrs.
PT Willie Fifer 12th Hernando Averaged county-best 38.5 yards per kick.
UTL Brandon Dampier 11th Central 45 tackles including 16 solos, 3 SKs.

Offensive MVP – Tim Gaynor (Central)
Defensive MVP – Kurt Carriveau (Springstead)
Special Teams MVP – Mike Hibbert (Springstead)
Coach of the Year – Bill Browning (Hernando)
County MVP – Tim Gaynor (Central)

Sports Editor Tony Castro can be reached at (352) 544-5278 or online at acastro@hernandotoday.com.