Volleyball team seeks to avenge state title defeat

The Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School Hurricanes volleyball team lost just one game last season — but, that loss came in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship. The Hurricanes had won 30 consecutive games through the regular and postseason before losing to Doral’s Divine Savior Academy Sharks, in three straight-sets at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers. The scores were 25-16, … [Read more...]

Local softball stars soak in national exposure

It’s a rare feat when any local athlete — or any athlete for that matter — makes a national team. More uncommon is when two athletes from the same hometown earn such prestigious designation together. But, that’s what recently happened to Academy at the Lakes product Lexi Kilfoyl and Land O’ Lakes High School product Callie Turner. Both pitchers earned state champions for their … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes football aims for third state crown

The Academy at the Lakes (AATL) Wildcats varsity football team undoubtedly feels it has a target on its back in 2019. And, why not, when you consider the team has won 20 consecutive games en route to back-to-back eight-man state titles in 2017 and 2018. But, it’s something the team is used to of late, players insist, even back to when the program was mired through three straight losing … [Read more...]

AATL gets new softball coach

Coming off back-to-back state titles, the Academy at the Lakes Wildcats varsity softball team will have a new face leading the successful program. Wildcats coach Diane Stephenson stepped down after the 2019 season to accept a position closer to her home at St. Petersburg’s Admiral Farragut Academy. A two-time Class 2A Softball Coach of the Year, Stephenson posted a 65-14 mark in three seasons … [Read more...]

Lutz softball continues to fine-tune its offerings

Following a successful spring campaign, Lutz Softball is gearing up for another season of fastpitch softball next month — with a number of recent additions and upgrades. Formerly known as the Lutz Leaguerettes, the ages 4 to 18 recreational girls softball organization has expanded its fastpitch offerings since scrapping slowpitch play altogether a few years ago. The league has introduced a … [Read more...]

Fall football preview: Pasco County

With the 2019 high school football season almost here — preseason classics begin Aug. 16 and regular season kicks off Aug. 23 — we take a look at how Pasco County teams in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area stack up. Pasco County Schools in Laker/Lutz News coverage area (and their 2018 records) Academy at the Lakes Wildcats (eight-man): (10-0 overall, 7-0 district) Bishop McLaughlin … [Read more...]

Fall football preview: Hillsborough County

With the 2019 high school football season just mere weeks away — preseason classics begin Aug. 16 and regular season kicks off Aug. 23 — we take a look at how Hillsborough County teams in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area stack up. Next week, we’ll preview Pasco County teams. Hillsborough County schools (2018 records) Carrollwood Day School Patriots: 6-6 overall, 2-2 region Freedom … [Read more...]

Bishop McLaughlin hires football coach with NFL pedigree

It’s not often a former NFL and NCAA Division I coach comes knocking on the door of a local high school wanting to coach youth football. But, that’s what happened at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School. Joe Vaughn spent the last seven seasons — from 2012 to 2018 — as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before that, from 2006 to 2011, Vaughn … [Read more...]

State title winners head off to regionals

In his 15 years of coaching Land O’ Lakes Little League, Daniel Broderick can’t recall the last time one of its youth baseball teams won a state title. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and I’ve never been a state champion,” Broderick said, during a recent interview. The last time a Land O’ Lakes Little League baseball team won a state championship was in 2002, league officials … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills tennis center breaks ground

A groundbreaking ceremony officially marked the beginning of construction on the long-awaited Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center in Zephyrhills. After more than two years of planning and design, the tennis center is slated to be ready for play sometime in spring 2020. The facility will feature 11 outdoor tennis courts (eight clay surface, two hard surface, exhibition court), built … [Read more...]