Prep football midseason review

The 2019 Florida high school football regular season has reached the midway point. Here’s a closer look at how teams and players are faring from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Perfect performers At the midway mark, there are three programs sporting undefeated records — Academy at the Lakes, Gaither and Steinbrenner. What do each have in common? Potent offenses backed by efficient, … [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...]

Laker/Lutz News captures seven Florida Press awards

The Laker/Lutz News brought home a total of seven reporting and photography awards from the Florida Press Association 2018-2019 Weekly Newspaper Contest. Staff photographer Christine Holtzman, and freelance contributors Richard K. Riley and Fred Bellet accounted for five of those awards. Holtzman won first place feature photo for an image she captured of a young girl from Land O’ Lakes, … [Read more...]

Area softball players among best in state

The high school softball season has come and gone, but local athletes are still picking up accolades from their 2019 campaigns. The 2019 Miracle Sports All-State teams were released last month honoring the top players in Florida — and area players were well-represented. Sixteen athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were recognized, either as first-team, second-team or honorable … [Read more...]

Teen’s mobile app aids in communication

Fourteen-year-old Bradley Rothbaum has already created a mobile app that has attracted national recognition. He didn’t have to go far for the source that inspired this achievement. He developed the app in response to his own health dilemma. Bradley was diagnosed with cancer in March 2017. The condition affected  the chewing muscles in his mouth, and within weeks he began … [Read more...]

Lexi Kilfoyl named Florida’s best — again

One of area’s most dominant softball players ever has again proved she’s tops in the entire Sunshine State. Academy at the Lakes (AATL) senior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl has been named 2019 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year, given to the state’s best softball player, regardless of classification. When it comes to receiving the notable distinction, the Wildcats star is on familiar … [Read more...]

Pasco County honors its 2019 graduates

As graduates stepped across the stage at the University of South Florida’s Yuengling Center to accept their diplomas — the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. That’s not an atypical reaction at graduation ceremonies, but this one was particularly special. The Class of 2019 at Cypress Creek Middle High School made history on June 5, by becoming the first crop of graduates from the Wesley … [Read more...]

AATL tops Land O’ Lakes in postseason tune-up

Two of the state’s top softball players matched up for the final time against one another in high school uniforms when Academy at the Lakes hosted Land O’ Lakes in a recent non-district game at Starkey Ranch District Park. In the latest matchup between crosstown foes, the Wildcats and senior ace pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl bested the Gators and their senior star pitcher, Callie Turner, en route to … [Read more...]