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...]

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...]

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...]

Area softball preview

The high school softball season in Florida is underway, and several of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Land O’ Lakes to Steinbrenner, there’s no shortage of prep softball talent. Some players to watch, as the season progresses:   Pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl, sophomore, Academy at the Lakes: Just a few weeks into the 2017 … [Read more...]

Area baseball players to watch

The high school baseball season in Florida has kicked off. Some of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Steinbrenner and Gaither to Land O’ Lakes High, there’s no shortage of prep baseball talent. Here’s a look at some players to keep an eye on as the season progresses: RHP (right-handed pitcher)/INF (infielder) CJ Van Eyk, Sr., … [Read more...]

Carrollwood Day falls in state title game

The remarkable run is over. In its first-ever state appearance, the Carrollwood Day School girls basketball team fell just shy in claiming a 3A state championship, losing to Tallahassee FAMU Developmental Research School 46 to 37 on Feb. 23 at the Lakeland Center. Carrollwood (27-3) couldn’t overcome a full-court pressure (33 turnovers) nor shaky shooting (30.2 percent) against FAMU … [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...]

Zephyrhills girls weightlifting shines at states

The Zephyrhills High School girls weightlifting team can now lay claim as one of the top teams in the state. Buoyed by the performances of two upperclassmen and an underclassman, the Bulldogs sprung into a tie for seventh place (out of 35 schools) at the FHSAA Class 1A girls weightlifting finals at Belleview High School on Feb. 3. “I did not ever expect to be a top-10 team,” said Joe … [Read more...]

Local athletes sign with colleges

The athletic talent pool continues to flourish throughout north Hillsborough, and east and central Pasco. Dozens of local high school athletes signed their letters of intent (LOI) on Feb. 1 to various colleges and universities as part of National Signing Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in February. Once again, schools in our coverage area were well-represented. Wiregrass … [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...]