Prep football midseason review

The 2019 Florida high school football regular season has reached the midway point. Here’s a closer look at how teams and players are faring from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Perfect performers At the midway mark, there are three programs sporting undefeated records — Academy at the Lakes, Gaither and Steinbrenner. What do each have in common? Potent offenses backed by efficient, … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes football aims for third state crown

The Academy at the Lakes (AATL) Wildcats varsity football team undoubtedly feels it has a target on its back in 2019. And, why not, when you consider the team has won 20 consecutive games en route to back-to-back eight-man state titles in 2017 and 2018. But, it’s something the team is used to of late, players insist, even back to when the program was mired through three straight losing … [Read more...]

AATL football earns awards

Accolades keep piling up for the back-to-back eight-man football state championship-winning Academy at the Lakes Wildcats. Team members were well-represented on the 2018 Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools (FCAPPS) all-state, all-conference and miscellaneous award selections, which were recently announced. A total of eight Academy players were recognized, … [Read more...]

New Year in sports offers plenty to watch, experience

As we embark on a new year, the sports world within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area promises to deliver plenty to watch, experience, and perhaps appreciate. Here’s a closer look at some of the happenings in 2019: One major development will be the progression of new sports facilities throughout East Pasco County  —  whether it’s the end-of-year completion of the Wiregrass Ranch Sports … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes wins second straight football title

They did it again. The Academy at the Lakes Wildcats notched its second straight eight-man football title, downing Miami Citi Christian Academy Fire 36-18 in the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools (FCAPPS) state championship on Dec. 8, at Southeastern University in Lakeland. Academy at the Lakes (10-0) never trailed against the Fire (7-3) in a game marked by … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes football eyes state title run

Following last year’s historic eight-man state title run, questions swirled about how the Academy at the Lakes football program would respond in 2018 with the loss a number of impactful seniors, including do-it-all tailback/linebacker Daniel Gonzalez, the 2017 Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools (FCAPPS) Heisman Trophy winner. Fair to say, they’ve handled the adjustment … [Read more...]

Spring football preview for area teams

Spring football practices are underway at high schools across the state — though the first games of the 2018 season remain several months away. Florida high schools are allowed a maximum of 20 practice sessions from April 23 to May 31, according to Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) guidelines. Here are five points to consider as spring practices ramp up: How does Academy at … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes wins state football title

They reached their goal. Academy at the Lakes weathered chilly conditions and an undefeated opponent from Jacksonville to capture the school’s first-ever eight-man state football championship. An unwavering defensive performance — along with four combined touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jalen Brown and senior running back/linebacker Daniel Gonzalez — propelled the Wildcats to a 30-9 … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes football relishes playoffs, breakout season

Academy at the Lakes football head coach Shawn Brown anticipated a team turnaround before the season. He was right. After three consecutive losing seasons in the eight-man football ranks, the Wildcats are in the midst of one of its best in program history, with a state title in reach. The team currently stands at 9-1, including a 7-0 mark in Florida Christian Region 2 — worthy enough for … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes poised for breakout season

After three consecutive losing seasons in the eight-man football ranks, Academy at the Lakes looks to make a splash in 2017, under fourth-year head coach Shawn Brown. The Wildcats are coming off a 2-8 mark in 2016, after finishing 4-7 and 3-5 the prior two seasons. But now — with a fruitful combination of talent, depth and experience — the Wildcats appear primed for a breakout … [Read more...]