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...]

New Tampa teen’s javelin throw among nation’s best

As a kicker on the Wharton High School varsity football team and a defender on the varsity boys soccer team, Zach Godbold relies on his legs quite a bit. But, it’s his right arm and throwing ability, that could take him furthest in his athletic endeavors. The 17-year-old New Tampa resident happens to be one of the nation’s top high school javelin throwers, as a junior on the Wharton varsity … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes tennis standout eyes district title

After a sophomore campaign that yielded an undefeated mark in regular season dual matches and being named Sunshine Athletic Conference Eastside Girls Tennis Player of the Year, Land O’ Lakes High School’s Courtney Piltaver has even bigger goals in sight this season. The junior is eyeing a 6-3A district title. “I’m hoping to win districts this year,” she said. Beyond that, Piltaver is … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes standout finds home in new pro football league

Not too long ago, Shaheed Salmon was making thumping defensive stops as an All-State linebacker all over the gridiron of John Benedetto Stadium at Land O’ Lakes High School. He’s still doing the same — now, as a professional football player. The 2014 Land O’ Lakes High graduate is a backup linebacker in the American Alliance of Football’s (AAF) Birmingham Iron franchise. The league is … [Read more...]

Sunlake girls weightlifting celebrates state title

The Sunlake High School varsity girls weightlifting team perennially has been among the more dominant programs in the area, wielding multiple conference and district titles over the years. But, their latest feat places them on an entirely new level. The Seahawks claimed the 2019 FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Class 2A girls weightlifting state championship, on Feb. 8 in … [Read more...]

Top moments in sports during 2018

Teams captured state titles and local athletes turned in outstanding performances, during a year that brought shining moments and lasting memories. Here are some of the highlights, from across The Laker/Lutz News coverage area: USA Women’s Hockey, fans celebrate gold in Wesley Chapel Just days after celebrating a gold medal win in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, the … [Read more...]