Spring football preview: Pasco County

Spring football practices are one week away for high schools across the state. Though the first games of the 2017 season remain several months away, Florida high schools are allowed a maximum of 20 practice sessions from April 24 to May 31, according to Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) guidelines. Here’s a look at what schools in our coverage area in Pasco are working … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel softball on the rise

The Wesley Chapel High varsity softball program has never experienced a winning season — until now. Years of futility were dotted by coaching instability and a dearth of talent, since the program began in 2007. In the program’s first five years, the Wildcats went 1-15, 2-20, 2-21, 1-22 and 2-21. Ensuing years were likewise taxing, as the team went 5-14, 0-24, 2-22 and 7-17. This season, … [Read more...]

Sunshine Athletic Conference East awards announced

On March 6, high school coaches from the Pasco County School District announced SAC (Sunshine Athletic Conference) All-Conference Teams, Athletes of the Year, and Coaches of the Year, for the 2016-2017 winter sports season. Selections were made for both the East and West Division. The following high schools from our coverage area were represented in the East: Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, Sunlake, … [Read more...]

Cypress Creek football presents ‘great opportunity’

In less than three weeks, a new high school football program will take the field in Wesley Chapel. Like other Florida high schools, the Cypress Creek Coyotes are set to begin spring football practices on April 24. But, the circumstances for this team are unique — particularly for new head coach Mike Johnson and prospective athletes. The program faces logistical hurdles because Cypress … [Read more...]

Erik Thomas relishes NCAA tournament cameo

Erik Thomas’ illustrious collegiate career is over, but the former Wesley Chapel High basketball star has no plans to step away from the court. On March 14, the University of New Orleans Privateers suffered a heart-wrenching 67-66 loss to Mount St. Mary’s in the First Four game of the NCAA Tournament. The defeat was a bittersweet ending to what otherwise was a noteworthy senior season … [Read more...]

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...]