Sunlake High girls swimming primed for another big splash

The Land O’ Lakes High varsity football team upending Sunlake High in the 12th annual Butter Bowl wasn’t the only long-running sports streak broken between the two rival schools. The other came in girls swimming and diving — with Sunlake finally getting the upper hand against its crosstown foe. The Seahawks girls defeated the Gators in a dual meet 108-78, on Sept. 19 at the Land O’ Lakes … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes girl is all-star golfer

Hailey Stricker already has collected a fair number of medals and trophies competing in youth tournaments throughout Tampa Bay. The 12-year-old from Land O’ Lakes is seeking an addition to her trophy case — as a member of the Clearwater Jr. PGA All-Star team. The 10-member all-star team will compete on Aug. 26 in the PGA Jr. League North Florida Section Championship at Orlando’s Grand … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes youth reaches motocross championship

Colt Golembeski’s dream of racing in the sport’s premiere amateur competition is coming true this week. The 10-year-old Land O’ Lakes resident is competing this week in the 37th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, held at the iconic Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Golembeski, who began racing at age 6, endured a series of area and … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes gets a new baseball coach

Just two months after guiding Carrollwood Day School to the state final four, Ken Akins looks to achieve similar results at another local private school. Akins is the new head baseball coach at Academy at the Lakes (AATL), replacing John DiBenedetto, who left the Wildcats program after three seasons for an athletic director position at Mother of Teresa Calcutta Catholic School, a kindergarten … [Read more...]

AATL softball captures first state title

A pitcher’s duel, extra innings and weathering wet, muddy conditions were all needed before Academy at the Lakes softball could finally claim its first-ever state championship. Overcoming hurdles, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The Wildcats (26-4) defeated Monticello Aucilla Christian 1-0 in 11 innings on May 22 in the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Class 2A … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes savors first winning season

After five seasons of varsity baseball, senior Eric Hutchison can finally say he was part of a winning team. “It’s always nice to be the first success in something. The fact that I’m a senior makes it much better,” said Hutchison, a team captain pitcher/infielder who’s played for Academy at the Lakes (AATL) since eighth grade. The Wildcats just wrapped up its first winning season in program … [Read more...]

Local soccer player scores prestigious statewide honor

Whenever the Land O’ Lakes Gators needed a score, Sydny Nasello was there to answer the call. And, she delivered often, racking up 120 goals during her four-year varsity soccer career. In this past season alone, the senior tallied 45 goals and 13 assists — guiding the Gators to the regional finals, a 23-3 record and undefeated (7-0) district mark. Her skills on the field — combined … [Read more...]

Track and field standout leaps into nationals

It didn’t take long for Keymo Pearson to realize Arielle Boone oozed potential when she joined his AAU track club last spring. “Day 1, when I saw her…I said, ‘Hey, if this girl stays with the team, she’s going to be great.’ My exact words were, ‘She has the chance to be one of the best jumpers in Pasco County history,’” said Pearson, an assistant track coach at the Wesley Chapel-based Speed … [Read more...]

New Land O’ Lakes football coach embraces program’s traditions

Chad Walker, a veteran college football assistant, is bringing his experience to Land O’ Lakes High as its new head varsity football coach. He is replacing Brian Wachtel, who resigned in November after a combined 25-42 mark in seven seasons. His only winning season was in 2013, when the team went 8-3. Walker, was among 40 applicants for the position. The Pennsylvania native was selected … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes swim teams celebrate ‘dream’ season

Land O’ Lakes High School’s 2017 swim season was a memorable one. The Gators thrived in the Class 2A swim meet last month, earning medals and shattering school records in jaw-dropping fashion. The girls squad finished fifth (out of 47 teams), while the boys placed 10th (out of 39 teams) — marking the highest combined finish at states on record for both teams. They collectively earned … [Read more...]