Sunlake girls weightlifting state champs — again

Since taking its first-ever state title last year, Sunlake High School’s varsity girls weightlifting had a newfound target on their back — as hungry competition looked to dethrone the team all season long. Some opponents went so far to say it to their face. “We knew there were going to be people trying to take the title and trying to overcome us in general,” Sunlake senior Antoinette … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes youth runner setting new records

Elli Black didn’t just win the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K women’s race last month, she also set a major milestone — becoming the youngest winner in the event’s 40-plus year history, at just 11 years old. The Land O’ Lakes youth clocked 30:57 in the 4.97-mile course to best more than 2,200 female participants in the popular annual race on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard. The second-place … [Read more...]

Locals finish strong at state swim meet

Several local schools and individuals in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area put up solid showings at the 2019 FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) state swimming and diving championships, held last month at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, in Stuart. A total of eight area schools were represented across all four classifications —  Academy at the Lakes (Class 1A), … [Read more...]

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...]