Locals among top MLB draft prospects

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB)’s 2020 first-year player draft has been shortened to five rounds, from the usual 40 rounds in previous years. The draft, scheduled for June 10 and June 11, assigns amateur baseball players to MLB teams. Even with the new consolidated format, however, several locals from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area have a solid chance at being … [Read more...]

Finding a way to shine a spotlight on seniors

During normal times, Marie Joles is busy at her day job, working as a dental hygienist. And, typically during this time of year, high school seniors are gearing up for their final festivities in high school — prom, awards ceremonies, graduation. But, the threat of a highly contagious and deadly virus — the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — has upended life’s ordinary … [Read more...]

Pasco expanding film production footprint

Pasco County’s tourism office last year rebranded to Experience Florida’s Sports Coast with the idea of becoming a destination for youth and amateur sports. But, the county doesn’t want to be pigeonholed simply as a playground for various athletics tournaments and festivals. The county’s tourism department is now expanding its brand portfolio to include film production — aiming to further … [Read more...]

Hometown kids shine in 2019 college football season

The college football season has come to a close, and it was one in which many players with ties to The Laker/Lutz News coverage area showcased their skills. Dozens of area athletes are a part of programs at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Series (FCS) levels, as well as Division II, Division III, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) … [Read more...]

Bay Area singer shows opera in a different light

As a singer, Tatiana Kallmann embraces a not-so-mainstream music genre – pop- opera. Known also as crossover music, this style fuses modern-day pop songs with classical opera pieces dating back hundreds of years. The soprano will share this type of music at the Unity North Tampa, on Dec. 23, a church which she has attended, and where she has performed previously. Kallmann, a Colombia … [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...]

Nikki Alvarez-Sowles named county clerk & comptroller

Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Nikki Alvarez-Sowles to serve as the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller. She will serve in that role through January 2021, filling out the balance of term for the post vacated by Paula S. O’ Neil, who retired on July 1. Alvarez-Sowles is the county’s eighth clerk & comptroller. She was named an interim successor by Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge … [Read more...]

Pasco educator embraces theater again

During college years and beyond, Patty Smithey has devoted much of her time traveling the globe, and helping kids as an educator. Earlier this year, though, the Land O’ Lakes resident decided to devote more of her leisure time tapping into her artistic side with acting – a lifelong passion. “I realized recently that I needed to do something that really, truly made me happy,” Smithey … [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...]

Locals make impact in college football ranks

The college football regular season has come to a close, and dozens of players with ties to The Laker/Lutz News coverage area showcased their skills on Saturdays in the fall. More than 100 players from the area are a part of various programs at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Series (FCS) levels, as well as Division II, Division III and the National … [Read more...]