New Land O’ Lakes football coach embraces program’s traditions

Chad Walker, a veteran college football assistant, is bringing his experience to Land O’ Lakes High as its new head varsity football coach. He is replacing Brian Wachtel, who resigned in November after a combined 25-42 mark in seven seasons. His only winning season was in 2013, when the team went 8-3. Walker, was among 40 applicants for the position. The Pennsylvania native was selected … [Read more...]

Sunlake, Pasco impress at wrestling championships

Sunlake High School’s wrestling team can now lay claim as best in Pasco County. The Seahawks outlasted 13 other schools and about 200 wrestlers to win its first-ever Sunshine Athletic Championship on Feb. 10 at Pasco High School. For the Seahawks, depth won out. Sunlake (189 points) claimed three individual champions — Ross Jennings (106 pound), Sullivan Harris (113 pound) and Tyler … [Read more...]

Shannon Saile named preseason Pitcher of the Year

Former Land O’ Lakes High softball standout Shannon Saile, now a sophomore pitcher at Florida International University, has been named 2018 Conference USA (C-USA) Preseason Pitcher of the Year and to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Saile is a year removed from C-USA Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-C-USA and All-Freshman recognition. In her 31 starts in 2017, Saile topped league pitchers … [Read more...]

These graduates have taken a different path to success

One plans to help build ships. Another wants to work in child care. Two others plan health care careers. And, that’s just four of the more than 50 graduates who received their diplomas during the 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Jan. 25 at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel. Some had completed their GEDs. Others had finished the cosmetology program or Early Childhood … [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...]

Pasco County Schools has big plans for 2018

Pasco County Schools expects 2018 to be a busy year for planning, designing, renovating expanding and building new school projects. Among the largest renovation projects are Land O ‘Lakes High School in Land O’ Lakes and Woodland Elementary School in Zephyrhills. John Petrashek, director of construction services for Pasco County Schools, said he expected the first phase of a massive … [Read more...]

2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

Two award-winning teachers create ‘safe’ places to learn

Drop by Hannah Trapani’s mathematics classroom and chances are the teacher will be helping her students figure out a complicated mathematics problem by literally drawing it out. Trapani has been known to have students cut dyed spaghetti into specific lengths and glue the pieces to a graph, to help drive home a lesson. “If they can start visualizing what they’re doing, I think that helps a … [Read more...]

Recalling some top moments in sports for 2017

Coaches were celebrated, state titles acquired and local athletes turned in outstanding performances. The past year brought countless moments and lasting memories in sports, from Lutz and Land O’ Lakes, across to Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills. Here’s a look back at some of the top sports happenings from 2017: Florida Hospital Center Ice opens Hockey and ice-skating enthusiasts rejoiced … [Read more...]

All-Pasco County fall awards announced

High school coaches from the Pasco County School District recently announced Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) All-Conference Teams, Athletes of the Year and Coaches of the Year, for the 2017-2018 fall sports season. Selections were made for both the East and West Division. The following high schools from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were represented in the East: Cypress Creek, Land O’ … [Read more...]