Using the power of music to help others

Emma Skantze was a 9-year-old student at Turner Elementary School when she decided she wanted to get involved to help others. After brainstorming with her mom, she came up with the idea of organizing a concert. The first event featured her and some of her friends. But now, as she prepares for the seventh annual Helping Hands benefit, she’s working out all of the details for having two … [Read more...]

Spring football preview: Pasco County

Spring football practices are one week away 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 Pasco are working … [Read more...]

New start times for some schools

The Pasco County School Board has approved school bell times for the 2017-2018, and those times include some changes for schools within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Here’s a look at which schools are getting new starting times, along with an explanation that was provided in a news release from Pasco County Schools. Bexley Elementary, 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., a new school, will begin … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel softball on the rise

The Wesley Chapel High varsity softball program has never experienced a winning season — until now. Years of futility were dotted by coaching instability and a dearth of talent, since the program began in 2007. In the program’s first five years, the Wildcats went 1-15, 2-20, 2-21, 1-22 and 2-21. Ensuing years were likewise taxing, as the team went 5-14, 0-24, 2-22 and 7-17. This season, … [Read more...]

Sunshine Athletic Conference East awards announced

On March 6, high school coaches from the Pasco County School District announced SAC (Sunshine Athletic Conference) All-Conference Teams, Athletes of the Year, and Coaches of the Year, for the 2016-2017 winter sports season. Selections were made for both the East and West Division. The following high schools from our coverage area were represented in the East: Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, Sunlake, … [Read more...]

Teen isn’t defined by rare disease

Remington Walls is just like any other 17-year-old. Except that he can’t eat food. Walls, a junior at Land O’ Lakes High School, suffers from a rare disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). Essentially, all food deteriorates his esophagus — and there is no cure. His only source of nutrition comes via a hypoallergenic amino acid-based liquid formula, called Neocate EO28 … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes buses to roll out in May

Land O’ Lakes residents can soon step aboard buses on a special circular route through the community. By May 22, Pasco County expects to begin the new route. A tentative ribbon cutting will be on May 18 at a bus stop at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. The first buses would roll a few days later. The announcement came at a March 9 board meeting of the … [Read more...]

Going out on top

Pennye Garcia, the longest-standing cheerleading coach in Pasco County is retiring — and she’s going out on top. Garcia, who’s coached at Sunlake High in multiple stints (2007-2008, 2013-2017), was recently crowned Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) East Cheer Coach of the Year, for the second consecutive year. It, too, marks the second straight year one of Garcia’s cheerleaders — senior … [Read more...]

Area softball preview

The high school softball season in Florida is underway, and several of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Land O’ Lakes to Steinbrenner, there’s no shortage of prep softball talent. Some players to watch, as the season progresses:   Pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl, sophomore, Academy at the Lakes: Just a few weeks into the 2017 … [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...]