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...]

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...]

Local high schools shine at state swim meets

The 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Swimming & Diving Championships wrapped up its meets across all four classes on Nov. 11. Among local schools, Land O’ Lakes and Sunlake displayed the strongest showings at the state event, held at Sailfish Splash Water Park in Stuart. The Sunlake High School girls team placed fourth (out of 48 schools) in the Class 3A meet, … [Read more...]

Sunlake golfer among local standouts at states

Nearly two dozen high school golfers, boys and girls, from The Laker/Lutz News Coverage area competed in the 2017 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state tournament, which ran Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 Sunlake High’s Jordan Sarhaddi was one of the standouts. The junior tied for 16th in the 2A boys meet, shooting a +13 (75-82—157) at El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Resort … [Read more...]

Prep football mid-season review

With the midway point of the 2017 prep football season recently passing by, here’s a look at some noteworthy teams and players in The Laker/Lutz News coverage. Best team: Zephyrhills High Bulldogs (6-1 overall, 5-0 district) Aside from an early season hiccup to Wiregrass Ranch (31-to-29 loss), the Bulldogs have planted themselves as one of the top — and most electrifying— teams in the … [Read more...]

Area football games rescheduled

With Hurricane Irma wiping out athletic events for schools in Hillsborough and Pasco counties for the week of Sept. 11, many anticipated Friday night football contests already have been rescheduled, or played, in some cases. In Pasco, a few local schools didn’t waste much time agreeing to make up games on Sept. 18, including the Zephyrhills High squad, which traveled to Ridgewood High, and … [Read more...]

Lutz celebrates July Fourth in grand fashion

People who like to run, enjoy mingling with friends or are attracted to an old-fashioned, small-town parade found all that and more at the Independence Day celebration on the Fourth of July in Lutz. The community, just north of Tampa, is known for its traditional Independence Day celebrations, and once again, it delivered. Carmen Rairigh, of Lutz, was there with a group of about 40 … [Read more...]

Spring football preview: Hillsborough County

Spring football practices are now underway for high schools across the state. Though the first games of the 2017 season remain several months away, Florida high schools are allowed a maximum of 20 practice sessions from April 24 to May 31, according to Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) guidelines. Here’s a look at what schools in our coverage area in Hillsborough are working … [Read more...]

Area baseball players to watch

The high school baseball season in Florida has kicked off. Some of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Steinbrenner and Gaither to Land O’ Lakes High, there’s no shortage of prep baseball talent. Here’s a look at some players to keep an eye on as the season progresses: RHP (right-handed pitcher)/INF (infielder) CJ Van Eyk, Sr., … [Read more...]

Ice arena offers plenty of room, action

There’s no shortage of activities — or room— at the newly minted Florida Hospital Center Ice. From learning to skate, to playing hockey and curling, there’s plenty to do at the much-ballyhooed facility, which measures 150,500 square feet. On Jan. 28, during the facility’s opening weekend, hundreds of youth and adults packed into what has been described as “the largest ice sports facility in … [Read more...]