Land O’ Lakes cheerleaders win ‘Best of Pasco’

After a long history of struggles, the Land O’ Lakes High School varsity girls competitive cheerleading team is finding its groove. The Gators won the prestigious ‘Best of Pasco’ Sunshine Athletic Conference Cheerleading Competition on Nov. 16. At the event, hosted by Land O’ Lakes High, the Gators claimed a score of 78.4, defeating 12 other county high schools. The school’s crosstown rival, … [Read more...]

Steinbrenner boys cross-country wins first state title

After finishing runner-up at the past two 4A state championships, Steinbrenner High’s varsity cross-country team won it all this year — defeating 31 other teams. The FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) 4A state championships were held on Nov. 9 at Tallahassee’s Apalachee Regional Park. The Steinbrenner Warriors were paced by senior Josh King, who finished in sixth place overall, … [Read more...]

Charter sports league enjoying growth

The Tampa Charter Athletic League (TCAL) started with just five middle schools when it launched in 2013. In a few short years, the league has ballooned to 22 schools and nearly 5,000 athletes throughout Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Of those schools, seven are in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area: Carrollwood Day School, Imagine School Land O’ Lakes, Learning Gate Community, Lutz … [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...]

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...]

Hockey team formed for Land O’ Lakes High

It all started as an idea between two dads who just wanted the best for their hockey-playing sons: What if we started our own hockey team at Land O’ Lakes High School? After long months of conversations, fundraising and coordination, Joshua Whitman and Bill O’ Connor’s theoretical question became a reality. This coming fall, the Land O’ Lakes High School hockey club will begin its first … [Read more...]

Sunlake girls weightlifting coach earns statewide honor

In her decade-plus long tenure as the Sunlake High girls weightlifting coach, Denise Garcia has racked up her fair share of achievements. Some of the biggest came this year alone. Back in February, Garcia guided the Seahawks to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 2A state championship — marking the program’s first-ever team weightlifting title. The veteran coach … [Read more...]

Locals stand out at track championships

Local high school athletes ran, jumped and tossed their way to standout showings at the 2019 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state track and field championships. More than two dozen boys and girls athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area earned medalist honors, or top-eight finishes, across all classifications at the state meet, on May 4 and May 5 at the University of … [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...]

Locals shine at boys weightlifting

A handful of locals turned in top-notch performances at the 2019 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) boys weightlifting state championships, held last month in Panama City. Standouts included Sunlake High School seniors Caleb Huff and Victor Velez, who each won a gold medal in Class 2A. Huff won in the 119-pound division and Velez won in the 129-pound division. Huff … [Read more...]