Local gridiron star makes college announcement

One of the area’s top football players plans to head north for his college career. Jordan Miner, a rising senior defensive back at Wiregrass Ranch High School, has verbally committed to Penn State University, a Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) program in State College, Pennsylvania. He made the announcement on July 6, during a broadcast on Spectrum Sports Florida television … [Read more...]

Youth track club reaches nationals

One local youth track club has reached the national stage — gearing up to compete against some of the sport’s best. Speed Starz Track Club recently qualified for the 21st Annual AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Club Championships, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The Wesley Chapel-based club is sending five athletes, ranging in age from 13 to 17, for its first appearance in … [Read more...]

Wiregrass Ranch football loses two playmakers

The 2017 football season is two months away, but one of Pasco County’s top teams already has taken a hit. In a week’s span, two varsity standouts from Wiregrass Ranch High School — cornerback Shamaur McDowell and quarterback/safety Raymond Woodie III — have exited the rising program, which last season finished Class 7A, District 8 runner-up, making its first playoff appearance since … [Read more...]

Wharton track standout leaves legacy of excellence

Bryanna Rivers’ name won’t soon be forgotten at Wharton High School. She lays claim to three school track records — one individual, two relays. She’s amassed 11 state track medals — the most in program history. And, she’s just the second track athlete at Wharton to earn a full-ride Division I athletic scholarship — to the University of Massachusetts; the other was hurdler/sprinter … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel High softball reaches first regional appearance

The banner season for Wesley Chapel High softball isn’t quite over. At 18-6, the Wildcats already have secured the program’s best record — and first winning season — in its 10-year history. Now comes the school’s first playoff appearance. The team is set to face the Robinson Knights (22-5) in the Class 6A Regional Quarterfinal on May 3 at 7 p.m. The game, at Robinson High School in … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel softball on the rise

The Wesley Chapel High varsity softball program has never experienced a winning season — until now. Years of futility were dotted by coaching instability and a dearth of talent, since the program began in 2007. In the program’s first five years, the Wildcats went 1-15, 2-20, 2-21, 1-22 and 2-21. Ensuing years were likewise taxing, as the team went 5-14, 0-24, 2-22 and 7-17. This season, … [Read more...]

Cypress Creek football presents ‘great opportunity’

In less than three weeks, a new high school football program will take the field in Wesley Chapel. Like other Florida high schools, the Cypress Creek Coyotes are set to begin spring football practices on April 24. But, the circumstances for this team are unique — particularly for new head coach Mike Johnson and prospective athletes. The program faces logistical hurdles because Cypress … [Read more...]

Erik Thomas relishes NCAA tournament cameo

Erik Thomas’ illustrious collegiate career is over, but the former Wesley Chapel High basketball star has no plans to step away from the court. On March 14, the University of New Orleans Privateers suffered a heart-wrenching 67-66 loss to Mount St. Mary’s in the First Four game of the NCAA Tournament. The defeat was a bittersweet ending to what otherwise was a noteworthy senior season … [Read more...]

Former Wesley Chapel hoops star in NCAA Tournament

One of the greatest prep basketball players in Pasco County history now gets to showcase his skills before millions of viewer’s in the NCAA Tournament this week. Wesley Chapel High product Erik Thomas, a 6-foot-5 senior forward at the University of New Orleans, helped the Privateers punch a ticket to the Big Dance after downing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in overtime, 68-65, on March 11 in the … [Read more...]

Hockey facility opens in Wesley Chapel

The wait to skate is over. Following about 2 1/2 years of construction, Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel has opened its doors. The 150,500-square-foot, two-story complex, at 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., is off Interstate 75 at the State Road 56 interchange in Wesley Chapel. The facility had its “soft” opening on Jan. 26, where more than 300 people turned out for the first … [Read more...]