Going out on top

Pennye Garcia, the longest-standing cheerleading coach in Pasco County is retiring — and she’s going out on top. Garcia, who’s coached at Sunlake High in multiple stints (2007-2008, 2013-2017), was recently crowned Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) East Cheer Coach of the Year, for the second consecutive year. It, too, marks the second straight year one of Garcia’s cheerleaders — senior … [Read more...]

Sunlake girls weightlifting well-represented on SAC awards

The dominance of the Sunlake girls weightlifting program remained apparent at the annual Sunshine Athletic Conference (East) Awards. Seahawks coach Denise Garcia won her second consecutive SAC East Girls’ Weightlifting Coach of the Year Award, and 10 of her lifters were named to the 2016-2017 SAC East All-Conference team, announced on March 6. A mix of youth and experience, Sunlake won … [Read more...]

Sunlake falls short of state title bid

They were just one win shy from reaching the Class 7A state tournament. Yet, as the performance in their first-ever region final would indicate, Sunlake’s varsity girls basketball team still has some work to get there. The Seahawks (17-9) — the last girls hoops squad standing in Pasco County — suffered a devastating 66-24 loss to Orlando Edgewater (16-14) on Feb. 17 at Wiregrass Ranch High … [Read more...]

Academy softball player makes national team

Academy at the Lakes’ Alexis Kilfoyl is a softball prodigy, of sorts. She’s been a varsity star since the seventh grade. She was a freshman when she committed to the University of Alabama, which is perennially one of the nation’s top softball programs. As a sophomore, she’s already one of the area’s top pitchers and hitters. Now, she’s among elite company. On Jan. 3, the … [Read more...]

More girls pumping iron at Academy at the Lakes

When Academy at the Lakes began its girls weightlifting program, there was just one girl on the team. That was in 2014, and the sole lifter was senior Kennedy Van Zandt Lachiotte. Since then, the program has grown steadily. Participation (and expectations) is up under second-year coach Marla Oliver, who took over in 2015 after John Castelmare’s retirement. And, despite the exit of … [Read more...]

Thomas leads makeshift AATL hoops team

Imani Thomas has had to adapt —and lead — in the face of mass exodus. The Academy at the Lakes senior, like others, wasn’t even sure if the private school would field a basketball team prior to the 2016-2017 season. The program had lost its uber-successful coach — Karim Nohra— who “retired” then wound up at Carrollwood Day School. It lost its most prolific scorer — junior Audra Leipold … [Read more...]

Pickleball is popular among local seniors

Don’t let the strange-sounding name fool you. It’s called pickleball. And, it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially among seniors over 50. There are more than 2.5 million pickleball players in the United States, according to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In Florida alone, there’s more than 370 pickleball sites, a USA Pickleball Association … [Read more...]

Record 3-point shooter adds new challenges

Justin Dargahi, a record-holding three-point shooter, has added a few new challenges for 2016 and beyond. First: Turn around the struggling Gaither High girls varsity basketball program. Next: Set the world record for most three pointers made by a pair, in one minute. Dargahi — the Guinness World Record for the most 3s made from NBA range (23 feet, 9 inches) in one minute (26) — first … [Read more...]

New girls basketball coach joins Land O’ Lakes High

Unforeseen circumstances have forced Land O’ Lakes High School to hire its second girls varsity basketball coach in three months. Marcus Ludwig, a former Wharton High boys junior varsity coach, was named the Gators coach on Sept. 19. Ludwig, 33, replaces Ed Mullikin, who was hired in late June. Mullikin was initially set to replace Phyllis Crain, who guided the Gators to regional … [Read more...]

Area fall football preview: Pasco County

The 2016 high school football season is just around the corner and several teams in our coverage area enter the year with intriguing storylines, standout players and must-see matchups. Pasco Pirates Coach: Tom McHugh (9th year) 2015 Record: 4-6 Spring Game result: 40-6 loss against Wiregrass Ranch Land O’ Lakes Gators Coach: Brian Wachtel (6th year) 2015 Record: 3-7 Spring Game result: … [Read more...]