In Print: Playoffs kick off Friday for Sunlake, Zephyrhills

Are you ready for the playoffs? Are the Sunlake Seahawks, or the Zephyrhills Bulldogs?

Well, someone needs to be, because the state football playoffs begin Friday, with Zephyrhills on the road to the Panhandle area, while Sunlake is hosting a tough team from Ocala.

Sunlake High School head football coach Bill Browning looks on with concern as his team trails Zephyrhills, 22-7, last Friday. The Seahawks lost to the Bulldogs in the final game of the season, pitting together the two area teams heading to the playoffs. (Fred Bellet/Photo)

Sunlake High School head football coach Bill Browning looks on with concern as his team trails Zephyrhills, 22-7, last Friday. The Seahawks lost to the Bulldogs in the final game of the season, pitting together the two area teams heading to the playoffs. (Fred Bellet/Photo)

“The farthest we’ve gotten is the second round in the playoffs,” Seahawks coach Bill Browning told reporter Michael Murillo. “That our goal now, to go farther than any Sunlake team has.”

Sunlake will face Vanguard High School, which finished 4-5 on the season, but was able to claim a playoff spot as the runner-up in Class 6A-District 5. Yet, the Knights were 1-4 on the road, and gave up an average of nearly 47 points in their five losses.

Zephyrhills will have a bit of a tougher time. The Class 5A-District 6 runner-up has a long drive ahead of them Friday to Live Oak, just south of Interstate 10. If that wasn’t enough to worry about, the team from Suwannee High School also is known as the Bulldogs — and they have an impressive 9-1 record, losing only the final game of the season.

“You feel really good for a short time, but you know you’ve got to get back to work and start over,” Zephyrhills head coach Reggie Roberts said. “Our objective is not just to get there. It’s to perform once we get to the playoffs.”

How are both teams preparing? Find out in this week’s print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, available on newsstands now. Or read it for free in our online e-edition. Get the Zephyrhills version of the story here, with more details on Sunlake here.

Also, check out LakerLutzNews.com Friday night for results from both games, and find complete coverage in the Nov. 19 print edition of The Laker/Lutz News.

It’s great having a chance to celebrate football and other sports. But when we do, we should stop to thank a veteran.

Tuesday was Veterans Day, and just ahead of a day filled with events, one group of veterans do what they do for every holiday honoring those who served — they remembered those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms.

Last weekend, four members of American Legion Post 108 visited the Lutz Cemetery to place flags on the gravestones of soldiers.

“There’s a lot of sacrifice here,” Bill Garrison, a former code breaker with the U.S. Air Force, told reporter B.C. Manion.

“Unfortunately, they don’t get the honor and respect that they deserve,” said Richard Fernandez, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The men and others visit the cemetery every Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day. The come bearing small American flags, which they will then collect the day after the holidays, honoring veterans from all the major wars.

To learn more about this solemn service provided by these American Legion members, check out this week’s print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, or read our free online e-edition by clicking here.

The elections are finally over after months and months and months of campaigning. While Pasco County had a turnout of more than 50 percent, turnout for the mid-term elections overall across the country were at the lowest levels since World War II.

Many local candidates — including those running for county commission and for an office in Tallahassee — touted local jobs and local money to help grow Pasco’s economy. Yet, none of the candidates really spent a lot of time trying to provide their own influx of cash to local businesses.

In fact, in just three races — two county commission races, and the election battle between Danny Burgess and Beverly Ledbetter for Will Weatherford’s state House seat — more than $324,000 was sent out of the county. That’s 71 percent of the total money raised by all six candidates involved.

What do the candidates have to say about it? We’re not sure. Many wouldn’t address it, but Ledbetter — who lost to Burgess in the House race — did talk about where money in her campaign was spent.

“Our campaign bought local services when available, such as some printing supplies and materials,” Ledbetter told reporter Michael Hinman in an email. “I used a local Dade City printer for some work, and a local company for the T-shirts.”

Yet, despite those efforts, Ledbetter spent just $3,000 in Pasco — less than 10 percent of the total amount she raised. Burgess wasn’t much better, however, spending $35,000 — less than 27 percent — of the money he raised locally.

Find out what all this outside spending means to local businesses in this week’s print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, or read it online right now for free in our e-edition by clicking here.

And finally, photojournalist Fred Bellet has some great pictures to share from a recent work day at the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce in Land O’ Lakes, turning the headquarters a vibrant tropical blue. See it online by clicking here.

All of these stories and more can be found in this week’s The Laker/Lutz News, available in newsstands throughout east and central Pasco County as well as northern Hillsborough County. Find out what has your community talking this week by getting your local news straight from the only source you need.

If The Laker/Lutz News is not coming to your door, call us to see where you can get your copy at (813) 909-2800, or read our free e-edition by clicking here.

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this: