Local athlete relishes national team experience

Alexis Kilfoyl has had a busy summer, as a member of the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Training Team. The Academy at the Lakes pitching sensation is one of just 24 athletes on the prestigious roster, which features some of the nation’s top players under 19 years old. After a weeklong training camp in mid-June, Kilfoyl and her Team USA comrades participated in a round of … [Read more...]

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...]

Local pitchers delay pro careers for college

Two of the area’s top pitchers are postponing their pro careers — for now. Sunlake High School’s Tommy Mace and Steinbrenner High’s CJ Van Eyk — both selected in the middle rounds of June’s MLB Draft — have opted to forgo professional baseball contracts, and instead attend in-state Division I programs. Mace, drafted in the 12th round (347th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds, will pitch at … [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...]

Saint Leo coach seeks to ‘win at a high level’

Rick O’ Dette won nearly 500 games coaching baseball in the Midwest — now he’s looking for similar results down south in Pasco County. O’ Dette, who coached at Division II Saint Joseph’s College of Indiana for 17 seasons, was named Saint Leo University’s new baseball coach on June 15. He replaces Saint Leo alumnus Sean O’ Connor, who surprisingly was let go after a 23-26 record in 2017 — his … [Read more...]

Sizing up Saint Leo’s baseball prospects

The Saint Leo baseball program just experienced its first losing season since 2012 — a mark newly named head coach Rick O’ Dette looks to quickly reverse. Throughout the 2016-2017 season, the Lions fared well at the plate (.320 team batting average, 6.6 runs per game), but struggled mightily on the mound (6.56 team ERA, 73 home runs allowed). The Lions’ 23-26 record (8-16 Sunshine State … [Read more...]

Locals fare well in 2017 MLB Draft

Dreams of playing professional baseball are about to come true for several local athletes. The 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft wrapped up on June 14, and several baseball players with ties to The Laker/Lutz News Coverage Area were selected. The first-year player draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players, from high schools, colleges and … [Read more...]

Saint Leo golfer nominated athlete of the year

Saint Leo senior Marie Coors has been named the 2017 Division II Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for golf, as announced by Chris Voelz, executive director of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA). Coors is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious Division II Honda Athlete of the Year, which will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among … [Read more...]

Saint Leo adds women’s beach volleyball

It’s a sport sweeping the nation — and one local institution is taking advantage. Saint Leo University is the latest Florida college to add women’s beach volleyball as a varsity NCAA sport. Competition for the sand-based sport begins Spring 2018, as an independent (non-conference) team. It marks Saint Leo's 20th intercollegiate sport and its 11th offering in women's athletics; the … [Read more...]