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...]

Sophomore paces Wharton boys cross-country

Wharton High School’s Tre Rivers is quietly making a name for himself as one of the state’s top distance runners. And, he’s just a sophomore. On Nov. 5, Rivers placed ninth in the Class 4A FHSAA Cross Country Finals at Appalachia Regional Park, crossing the finish line in 16:16.09, a 5K personal record and the fastest time of any Hillsborough County runner at the state meet. “It was a … [Read more...]

Freedom golf reaches 3A state tourney

For the second time in school history, the Freedom High varsity boys golf team has reached the state tournament. Collectively strong postseason performances were enough to earn an FHSAA 3A tournament berth, the program’s first since 2013. The Patriots captured their fourth consecutive district title on Oct. 10, and followed up with a second-place regional finish on Oct. 17 at Lansbrook Golf … [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...]

Wesley Chapel’s first-year coach finds early football success

If the first four games are any indication, the Wesley Chapel High School Wildcats are on pace to have their first winning season since 2011. Beyond that, the Wildcats (4-0)—the lone undefeated team in Pasco County— have the makings of a team capable of finding triumphs not seen since the early ‘00s, when the team was coached by John Castelamare. The Wildcats went a combined 35-8 from … [Read more...]