Land O’ Lakes High head football coach resigns

Land O’ Lakes High School’s varsity football program will have a new leader in 2018. Brian Wachtel, the Gators head coach since 2011, stepped down following the team’s final regular season game on Nov. 3 — a 36-6 win over Fivay High School. Wachtel, 39, announced his decision to principal Ric Mellin prior to the game. Land O’ Lakes athletic director Michael Frump said the school will … [Read more...]

2017 FHSAA Cross Country Championships results

Class 4A Boys Teams Steinbrenner High School (2nd place) Davis Bly, junior (17th—16:16.02) Jackson Miller, senior (45th—16:51.98) Zachary Whitmer, senior (47th—16:52.57) Daniel Weller, senior (55th—16:56.86) Ryan Gorman, junior(59th—16:59.44)             Wharton High School (15th place) Tre Rivers, junior … [Read more...]

Sunlake golfer among local standouts at states

Nearly two dozen high school golfers, boys and girls, from The Laker/Lutz News Coverage area competed in the 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state tournament, which ran Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 Sunlake High’s Jordan Sarhaddi was one of the standouts. The junior tied for 16th in the 2A boys meet, shooting a +13 (75-82—157) at El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Resort … [Read more...]

Pasco all-star football game on tap for Dec. 7

It’s back. Football fans again will be able to see Pasco County’s top senior football players face off on one field, at the 2017 Pasco County East-West Classic. The third annual all-star showcase is slated for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., at Sunlake Field, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The game, organized by the Pasco County Fellowship of Christian Athletes, features the top senior players … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills High names ‘Tom Fisher Field’

It’s been nearly a decade since Tom Fisher last roamed the sidelines, but his name won’t soon be forgotten at Zephyrhills High School. The school’s Oct. 27 homecoming festivities added greater significance, when Zephyrhills’ Bulldog Stadium was formally renamed “Tom Fisher Field.” The dedication ceremony, held at midfield and attended by Fisher, drew dozens of former players and coaches, … [Read more...]

DuJuan Harris patiently awaits next NFL shot

Once or twice a week, a veteran NFL running back can be found training at Wesley Chapel District Park, readying for another shot to play on Sundays. “I’ll get that call soon. I know how the game goes,” he says. Indeed, Brooksville native DuJuan Harris knows pro football all too well. Since 2011, the 29-year-old has bounced around to eight NFL franchises across both coasts, in various … [Read more...]

Prep football mid-season review

With the midway point of the 2017 prep football season recently passing by, here’s a look at some noteworthy teams and players in The Laker/Lutz News coverage. Best team: Zephyrhills High Bulldogs (6-1 overall, 5-0 district) Aside from an early season hiccup to Wiregrass Ranch (31-to-29 loss), the Bulldogs have planted themselves as one of the top — and most electrifying— teams in the … [Read more...]

Local athletes celebrate paralympic achievements

Whenever she competes, 12-year-old Danielle Kanas gives it her all. And that mindset has worked for the Martinez Middle School seventh-grader, who ran, swam, threw and jumped her way to 15 gold medals and six national records this summer at the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals in Middleton, Wisconsin. Kanas — a single-arm amputee, missing her left arm below the elbow — recently added … [Read more...]

Eiland exits Kansas City Royals organization

Dave Eiland, one of Zephyrhills’ most celebrated sports figures, was let go as pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals after six seasons with the major league ball club. The move to not renew Eiland’s contract — first reported by the Kansas City Star on Oct. 2— was part of a greater staff shakeup as the club enters the offseason following an 80-82 season. The club also opted to part ways with … [Read more...]

New coach named for Wesley Chapel High softball

The Wesley Chapel High School varsity softball program, coming off its best season in school history, will look to continue its recent string of success under new leadership. Bill Hoopes, who runs the Tampa Bay-based Florida Firecrackers U16 travel softball team, last month was named the program’s head coach, replacing first-year coach Steve Mumaw. In a public Facebook post dated Sept. … [Read more...]