Local soccer player scores prestigious statewide honor

Whenever the Land O’ Lakes Gators needed a score, Sydny Nasello was there to answer the call. And, she delivered often, racking up 120 goals during her four-year varsity soccer career. In this past season alone, the senior tallied 45 goals and 13 assists — guiding the Gators to the regional finals, a 23-3 record and undefeated (7-0) district mark. Her skills on the field — combined … [Read more...]

Solid year for local hoops

Florida high school basketball has wrapped up, and while no teams from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area won a state title, several boys and girls squads nonetheless achieved impressive performances during the 2017-2018 season. Here’s a look back at some of the teams and players who stood out: Boys Carrollwood Day School Patriots (Class 4A) Record: 24-4 overall, 8-1 district 4-4A Four … [Read more...]

Track and field standout leaps into nationals

It didn’t take long for Keymo Pearson to realize Arielle Boone oozed potential when she joined his AAU track club last spring. “Day 1, when I saw her…I said, ‘Hey, if this girl stays with the team, she’s going to be great.’ My exact words were, ‘She has the chance to be one of the best jumpers in Pasco County history,’” said Pearson, an assistant track coach at the Wesley Chapel-based Speed … [Read more...]

Saint Leo University gets set for beach volleyball

Brooke Turner had her fair share of options to play indoor volleyball coming out of Gaither High School. But, none could match what Saint Leo University offered: an intercollegiate beach volleyball program. “I wanted to come here to play both,” Turner said. “And, it’s also close to home, too.” Turner, a freshman, is one of 16 players on Saint Leo’s inaugural beach volleyball … [Read more...]

New Land O’ Lakes football coach embraces program’s traditions

Chad Walker, a veteran college football assistant, is bringing his experience to Land O’ Lakes High as its new head varsity football coach. He is replacing Brian Wachtel, who resigned in November after a combined 25-42 mark in seven seasons. His only winning season was in 2013, when the team went 8-3. Walker, was among 40 applicants for the position. The Pennsylvania native was selected … [Read more...]

Sunlake, Pasco impress at wrestling championships

Sunlake High School’s wrestling team can now lay claim as best in Pasco County. The Seahawks outlasted 13 other schools and about 200 wrestlers to win its first-ever Sunshine Athletic Championship on Feb. 10 at Pasco High School. For the Seahawks, depth won out. Sunlake (189 points) claimed three individual champions — Ross Jennings (106 pound), Sullivan Harris (113 pound) and Tyler … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills a hotbed for shuffleboard

The Betmar Acres community customarily hosts one of the state’s largest three-day shuffleboard tournaments every January, and this year was no different. The Florida Shuffleboard Association (FSA) Betmar Winter Open Tournament drew 50 men’s doubles teams and 34 women’s teams — 168 players total — all competing for a state championship and point positioning. Tavares, Deland, Leesburg, … [Read more...]

Special Olympics program rewards athletes, volunteers

Vicky King is perhaps best known as the longtime head coach of the powerhouse Land O’ Lakes High girls soccer team. After all, the Gators did just secure its fourth-straight district championship and fifth-straight 20-plus win season, with sights now set on another regional title and state finals appearance. However, that’s not the only team she coaches. King also oversees the high … [Read more...]

Expanded playoffs, other changes on tap for high school football

An expanded playoff format and other changes are likely headed to Florida high school football next season. During the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Athletic Director Advisory Committee (ADAC) meeting earlier this month, the group endorsed a handful of proposals that would affect the sport beginning this fall. The first would be to add two more teams from each region to the … [Read more...]

Locals shine during 2017-2018 college football season

Another exciting and memorable college football season is in the books. In addition to the University of Alabama capturing its sixth national title under head coach Nick Saban and the University of Central Florida finishing with an unblemished 13-0 record, several locals had noteworthy individual campaigns in 2017. Here’s a look back at some of the top performers from The Laker/Lutz News … [Read more...]