Six Straight For Streaking Springstead

At the beginning of the season, veteran Springstead Head Coach Sal Calabrese felt anything above .500 would be a bonus for his young team.

At this point, he may want to raise the bar.

The Eagles, fresh off an impressive 2-0 win over defending Class 4A, District 8 champion Hudson on Wednesday, pushed their winning streak to six Thursday with a 4-0 win over Sunlake at Booster Stadium.

“This is our second match back-to-back and I didn’t make a whole lot of changes,” Calabrese said. “All the boys that started and played last night played tonight. The boys deserve all the credit. They played hard.

“It’s just work ethic, hard work. Some of these guys played 80 minutes last night and 80 minutes tonight. This game is not meant to be played back-to-back, but they did a great job.”

Dominating performance

Sunlake came in with a respectable 6-4-2 mark (5-3-2 in 4A-8) and tied Springstead (9-3-2 overall, 8-2-2 4A-8) 2-2 on Nov. 24.

This time, however, the Seahawks barely looked competitive, mustering just four relatively tame shots on goal against Eagle keeper Joey Lasala, who saved them all in posting a shutout.

“Awful,” Sunlake Head Coach Sam Koleduk said. “We had a tough game against Pasco last night, lost 2-1, and mentally we weren’t prepared tonight. Sal had them ready to play. I thought they played well.”

Senior midfielder Stephan Philippeaux was the offensive star for the Eagles, scoring a pair of goals to go along with an assist.

Off a free kick that went off the defense, he found Josh Peirce for the first goal of the night 12 minutes in.

Four minutes later, Philippeaux got to the ball on a breakaway and put it passed the keeper, who had left the net to pursue the play.

With around 11 minutes remaining in the second half, Philippeaux tacked on his second score, connecting on a corner kick by Terry Wald.

“I feel like I played great,” Philippeaux said. “We played great as a team. We came out here wanting to win and we got the victory.

“We’re just working together, pass after pass, goal after goal. The defense is holding up fine. We’re doing good.”

Philippeaux came into the week with three goals and no assists, but scored twice Monday versus Nature Coast and had an assist in the Hudson match.

“Terry (Wald) kicked the ball over to me (on the first goal),” Philippeaux said. “I kicked it around the defender, I ran around him. The goalie came out and I kicked it in.

“…It was a good, hard cross through the middle (on the second goal).”

In the waning seconds of the match, Wald notched his second assist on a breakaway goal by Matthew Gozdziewski.

Springstead won’t return to the pitch until a tournament at Ridgewood starting Dec. 29.

Sunlake 0 0 – 0
Springstead 2 2 – 4
Goals – SPG: Philippeaux 2, Peirce, Gozdziewski.
Assists – SPG: Wald 2, Philippeaux.
Shots on goal – SL: 4, SPG: 12.
Saves – SL: Krupka 8; SPG: Lasala 4.
Yellow Cards – none.
Blue Cards – none.
Red Cards – none.
Records: Sunlake (6-5-2 overall, 5-4-2 4A-8), Springstead (9-3-2 overall, 8-2-2 4A-8).

Sports writer Chris Bernhardt Jr. can be reached at (352) 544-5288 or

Panhandling A Common Sight

Heather Hasenstaub feels sharp pain each day.
She cannot walk without a cane. She recently suffered burn injuries on her right arm and leg. Three of her top teeth were broken during a fall. She was trying to escape a burning house.
Doctors advised her not to be on her feet for more than 15 minutes at a time.
She stands on street corners for up to five hours straight. Her house was gutted due to the fire, and she is not receiving any government aid in spite of her physical difficulties, she said.
It is either beg for money or go hungry.
The physical pain is one thing. Her self-esteem hurts more.
“This is humiliating,” Hasenstaub said as she stared blankly toward Shady Hills Road. “When I was better off, I used to see people with these signs and automatically assume they were hustling.”
Solicitation along medians, streets and highways is illegal in Hernando County. The statute is meant to “prevent dangers to persons and property, to prevent delays and to avoid interference with the traffic flow,” the law states.
Cities across the country are looking to crack down on panhandling, including High Point, N.C., Spokane, Wash., and Des Moines, Iowa.
Sheriff’s deputies have told Hasenstaub, 33, and her family to move elsewhere. They stand on the Pasco County side of the road and have been seen there for several weeks.
Most motorists stop at the traffic light and anxiously look ahead. They pretend they don’t see Hasenstaub, or her fiancée and 17-year-old daughter.
Some give cash and coins, but it seems most people who acknowledge them are not feeling as charitable.
Hasenstaub and her daughter, Tiffany Heitz, 17, will see obscene gestures or hear screams and swearing.
“I’ve seen people I’ve known before and they’re laughing at me,” said Heitz. “It’s an eye-opener. You have no idea how hard it is.”
Her body aches every day. She is often joined by her boyfriend. They will either stay at a friend’s house or sleep in a two-door Chevrolet Monte Carlo along with her mother and fiancé. It is difficult for four people to sleep in a small-sized sedan, she said.
Hasenstaub said their home was damaged by fire several months ago, but she couldn’t recall the exact date. Neither could her fiancé. But that’s not how they lost their home.
The concrete walls were salvaged, they said, but the floor, ceiling and interior required a lot of repair. They didn’t have insurance, so they tried to live in their scorched home amidst the smell of burned wood and ashes.
The house, which is located in Gulf Highlands in Port Richey, eventually was foreclosed.
Whenever Hasenstaub and her daughter see a school bus heading toward them along County Line Road, they will turn around and hide in the bushes, she said.
The high school students are the worst hecklers.
One day, Hasenstaub was struck in the forehead by a quarter. The person who threw it yelled, “Get a job!”
“My feelings were hurt more than anything,” she said.
Less than five miles away from where Hasenstaub and her family stood Wednesday morning was another panhandler.
Jim Hughes, 52, was at the corner of Barclay Avenue and Spring Hill Drive. He was looking for money and a ride to Port Charlotte. But first, he wanted to get a drink and find someone willing to drive him to U.S. 41.
He has a post office box in Port Charlotte, he said. He also likes the food served by the homeless shelter there, not to mention the showering facilities he can use along the way in Sarasota.
It was mid-morning and he already smelled of alcohol. The money he collected that day – about $12 – was going to be spent on booze at the nearby 7-Eleven. He admitted it.
“I want to find work,” he said when asked what he ultimately wants. “I want to get off the street.”
He pulled a cigarette from a pack of Pall Malls he was given earlier that day.
Hughes wore a red and white baseball cap, blue jeans, black tennis shoes, a blue T-shirt and a leather jacket. The clothes looked relatively new.
The rest of him looked ragged. He had not showered in more than two weeks and he had dirt under his fingernails. His brown and gray beard extended to his breast bone.
Hughes spent the previous night in jail. He was arrested in Spring Hill for public drunkenness, he said.
“The nurse told me I stunk,” he said. “I told her, ‘You walk 25 or 35 miles a day for two weeks and see if you stink.'”
Hughes was standing on the median across from Advanced Auto Parts. He crossed the street and sat down on the curb along the parking lot.
He clutched a sign that read, “On the road. I need help. God bless you.” It also contained a peace sign.
At that moment, Mary Beers, of Spring Hill, pulled over in her Chevrolet sport utility vehicle and gave Hughes a $5 bill.
He kissed her hand twice.
“Get something to eat and buy a lottery ticket – a scratch off or something,” Beers told him. “You might get lucky.”
“I just got lucky,” he said.
Another woman pulled up a minute later and gave him two more dollars. She wished him a Merry Christmas.
Hughes said he used to be a machine operator for a furniture chain while he lived in North Carolina.
During the last 10 years, he has been living in various places across the country – mostly in the South. He lives off what people give him. He spends most of it on liquor and beer, he said.
“I don’t have any choice,” when asked why he solicits along street corners. “I have no money.”

Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or

Office Manager Wants To Bring ‘Fresh Blood’ To Fire Board

SPRING HILL – A 28-year-old accounting office manager says she is ready to help the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District fight for its independence.

So Amy Brosnan has filed to run for one of the fire board’s three open seats – the one currently held by Robert Giammarco, who has said he believes the district won’t be able to break its connection to the county.

But Brosnan said her bid “isn’t about running against (Giammarco).”

“It’s about running for something I believe in and the community should believe in as well,” she said. “I believe in the people of Spring Hill, and that this fire department is right for them.”

Born in Freeport, N.Y., Brosnan moved with her family to Spring Hill at the age of six. She graduated from Central High School in 1996 and earned an associates degree from the University of South Florida. Grandfathers on either side of the family served as volunteer chiefs back in New York, Brosnan said. She says she makes up for a lack of firefighting experience with budgeting skills gleaned from her time at Jobi Accounting and Tax Services in Spring Hill.

“We’ll see if we can save taxpayers money and still keep the elite services they’re used to,” Brosnan said.

Brosnan said she grew up in a house on Roble Avenue in Spring Hill and has lived there for the last two years or so. The house is still owned by her parents, Cathy and Paul Brosnan, who moved to Weeki Wachee about three years ago. Amy Brosnan said she lived with them in Weeki Wachee for a year when they first moved.

Paul Brosnan, like his daughter Amy, frequents Spring Hill fire board meetings and has been an outspoken advocate for independence and critic of the county.

The referendum that will give Spring Hill residents the chance to decide if the district should continue to be a county-dependent entity, or strike out on its own with only state oversight, is to go before voters Election Day, Nov. 4.

Giammarco was appointed by the county commission in May of last year when it was discovered that then-commissioner Margaret Perreira’s term ended in 2006 and that there should have been an election the previous November. Giammarco has angered his colleagues on the board as well as firefighters and residents and has been accused of being a “gopher” for the county.

He has been particularly attentive to the district’s finances, and critics have said he’s done so to a point that could compromise public safety. Giammarco has refuted those claims, saying there are ways to save tax dollars.

Reached Monday, Giammarco said he was surprised to hear that Brosnan planned to run but welcomed the addition of another voice that could, he said, bring in “a breath of fresh air.”

Two other seats, held by commissioners Charles Raborn and George Biro, also are up for grabs this year. No one had filed to run for either seat as of Monday afternoon.

The qualifying deadline is May 19.

Reporter Tony Marrero can be reached at 352-544-5286 or