Prep football midseason review

The 2019 Florida high school football regular season has reached the midway point. Here’s a closer look at how teams and players are faring from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Perfect performers At the midway mark, there are three programs sporting undefeated records — Academy at the Lakes, Gaither and Steinbrenner. What do each have in common? Potent offenses backed by efficient, … [Read more...]

New sports complex expected to attract national events

With concrete footers poured and steel beams heading vertical, the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Complex is a step closer to its much-anticipated opening. The $44 million sports complex is targeted for a mid-July 2020 soft opening — more than two years after a celebrated groundbreaking ceremony that marked the beginning of construction at 3211 Lajuana Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Once completed, the … [Read more...]

Local softball stars soak in national exposure

It’s a rare feat when any local athlete — or any athlete for that matter — makes a national team. More uncommon is when two athletes from the same hometown earn such prestigious designation together. But, that’s what recently happened to Academy at the Lakes product Lexi Kilfoyl and Land O’ Lakes High School product Callie Turner. Both pitchers earned state champions for their … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes football aims for third state crown

The Academy at the Lakes (AATL) Wildcats varsity football team undoubtedly feels it has a target on its back in 2019. And, why not, when you consider the team has won 20 consecutive games en route to back-to-back eight-man state titles in 2017 and 2018. But, it’s something the team is used to of late, players insist, even back to when the program was mired through three straight losing … [Read more...]

AATL gets new softball coach

Coming off back-to-back state titles, the Academy at the Lakes Wildcats varsity softball team will have a new face leading the successful program. Wildcats coach Diane Stephenson stepped down after the 2019 season to accept a position closer to her home at St. Petersburg’s Admiral Farragut Academy. A two-time Class 2A Softball Coach of the Year, Stephenson posted a 65-14 mark in three seasons … [Read more...]

State title winners head off to regionals

In his 15 years of coaching Land O’ Lakes Little League, Daniel Broderick can’t recall the last time one of its youth baseball teams won a state title. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and I’ve never been a state champion,” Broderick said, during a recent interview. The last time a Land O’ Lakes Little League baseball team won a state championship was in 2002, league officials … [Read more...]

Lexi Kilfoyl named Florida’s best — again

One of area’s most dominant softball players ever has again proved she’s tops in the entire Sunshine State. Academy at the Lakes (AATL) senior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl has been named 2019 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year, given to the state’s best softball player, regardless of classification. When it comes to receiving the notable distinction, the Wildcats star is on familiar … [Read more...]

Stephenson steps down

As Lexi Kilfoyl gears up for the college ranks, the Wildcats softball program will take on even more of a new look next season, as Head Coach Diane Stephenson, who was named Florida Dairy Farmers 2019 Class 2A Coach of the Year, steps away from the program to accept a job at St. Petersburg’s Admiral Farragut Academy. Stephenson took over the Wildcats program in 2017 after a lengthy Division I … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes Athletics Hall of Fame adds members

The Land O’ Lakes Gators Athletics Foundation recently added five new members to the school’s athletics Hall of Fame, during a dinner ceremony. The inductees for the 2019 class were: Stacy Bishop, a record-setting girls soccer player from 1999 to 2003; Jerry Brewster, a state qualifying wrestler and team MVP in 1986; John Childers III, an All-Conference basketball standout in the mid 1980s; … [Read more...]

Hockey team formed for Land O’ Lakes High

It all started as an idea between two dads who just wanted the best for their hockey-playing sons: What if we started our own hockey team at Land O’ Lakes High School? After long months of conversations, fundraising and coordination, Joshua Whitman and Bill O’ Connor’s theoretical question became a reality. This coming fall, the Land O’ Lakes High School hockey club will begin its first … [Read more...]