Distance runner receives Academic All-State honors

As he was busy shattering school records in cross country and track, Freedom High School’s Alejandro Michel was also leading the pack in the classroom — posting a weighted 8.8285 grade-point average and earning salutatorian honors for the Class of 2018. Those accomplishments resulted in a rare statewide designation for student-athletes: Alejandro Michel was one of 24 athletes named to the … [Read more...]

AATL softball captures first state title

A pitcher’s duel, extra innings and weathering wet, muddy conditions were all needed before Academy at the Lakes softball could finally claim its first-ever state championship. Overcoming hurdles, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The Wildcats (26-4) defeated Monticello Aucilla Christian 1-0 in 11 innings on May 22 in the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Class 2A … [Read more...]

Dr. Susan A. MacManus retires from USF

When Dr. Susan A. MacManus recently headed to the front of Room 128, in the Social Science Building on the University of South Florida campus — it was to deliver the final lecture of her 47-year teaching career. Her regular students were there, but there were visitors, too — former students who wanted to be there to share the moment. MacManus offered her thoughts about the coming Mid-Terms, … [Read more...]

McGough, other local athletes get NFL shots

The 2018 NFL Draft has come and gone, and one athlete from The Laker/Lutz News Coverage area had the privilege of hearing his name called during the three-day event from April 26 to April 28 — Gaither High School product Alex McGough. McGough was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round (220th overall) as a quarterback out of Florida International University. A four-year … [Read more...]

Saint Leo baseball to retire jersey of its first MLB draftee

Nearly 50 years have passed since Fred Cambria last sported a Saint Leo University baseball uniform, but his contributions to the program won’t be forgotten. Cambria — the first Major League Baseball draftee in Saint Leo history— will have his No. 22 jersey retired by the school on April 14, prior to a Lions home game against Sunshine State Conference foe Rollins College at 1:30 p.m. In a … [Read more...]

Locals shine during 2017-2018 college football season

Another exciting and memorable college football season is in the books. In addition to the University of Alabama capturing its sixth national title under head coach Nick Saban and the University of Central Florida finishing with an unblemished 13-0 record, several locals had noteworthy individual campaigns in 2017. Here’s a look back at some of the top performers from The Laker/Lutz News … [Read more...]

Local football players sign with colleges during early period

Several of the area’s top football players took advantage of a new NCAA rule allowing prospective student-athletes to sign their National Letters of Intent (NLI) in December, rather than waiting until February to put pen to paper. Approved in May, the college football early signing period created a 72-hour window for signings from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22. The next opportunity to sign an NLI will … [Read more...]

Benjamin Busch featured artist at Saint Leo writing program  

Benjamin Busch is a seeker of risk. That might explain how a newly cap-and-gowned Vassar College graduate, with an arts degree, joined the Marines in 1992. It was a decision, as Busch describes it, “like no art major at Vassar had made. But, I’ve always had this duality just as a person of the world, and was drawn absolutely to risk. At the same time uncertainty for me, that which I do not … [Read more...]

Dade City Youth Council wins statewide photo contest

Reyes Figueroa loves Dade City. And, he appreciates the east Pasco community’s acceptance in celebrating diverse cultures — particularly his Hispanic heritage. Last month, the 17-year-old Pasco High School junior and Dade City Youth Council delegate won first place in the Florida League of Cities’ (FLC) Youth Council Photography Contest. The winning photo, “Cinco De Mayo Parade,” was … [Read more...]

Local pitchers delay pro careers for college

Two of the area’s top pitchers are postponing their pro careers — for now. Sunlake High School’s Tommy Mace and Steinbrenner High’s CJ Van Eyk — both selected in the middle rounds of June’s MLB Draft — have opted to forgo professional baseball contracts, and instead attend in-state Division I programs. Mace, drafted in the 12th round (347th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds, will pitch at … [Read more...]