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...]

Zephyrhills girls weightlifting shines at states

The Zephyrhills High School girls weightlifting team can now lay claim as one of the top teams in the state. Buoyed by the performances of two upperclassmen and an underclassman, the Bulldogs sprung into a tie for seventh place (out of 35 schools) at the FHSAA Class 1A girls weightlifting finals at Belleview High School on Feb. 3. “I did not ever expect to be a top-10 team,” said Joe … [Read more...]

Chiefs wrap up Super Bowl season

Through 38 years of organized youth tackle football, the 2016 fall varsity season will go down as one of the Lutz Chiefs’ most dominant ever. They went 14-1. They were crowned Tampa Bay Youth Football League (TBYFL) Super Bowl champs. And, they won “The Battle of the Bay,” toppling the best Pinellas County had to offer. All told, it was a remarkable year for the Chiefs … [Read more...]

Hockey complex to open in December

It’s almost here. The highly-anticipated Florida Hospital Center Ice hockey complex is slated to open in mid-December. According to Gordie Zimmermann, a developer with Z Mitch, the complex’s “soft opening” may occur somewhere between Dec. 10 and Dec. 15. The facility’s grand opening, he said, will likely be held sometime in early January. In May, officials said the … [Read more...]

Freedom boys golf team places 11th at states

The Freedom High School varsity boys golf team finished in a tie for 11th place (out of 16 teams) at the FHSAA Class 3A State Championship on Oct. 26-27 at the par-72 El Campeon golf course at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Orlando. Freedom shot 325-321--646, tying Lakewood Ranch High School. It was the Patriots’ second state championship appearance. In 2013, Freedom finished in 16th place, … [Read more...]