Academy at the Lakes gets a new baseball coach

Just two months after guiding Carrollwood Day School to the state final four, Ken Akins looks to achieve similar results at another local private school. Akins is the new head baseball coach at Academy at the Lakes (AATL), replacing John DiBenedetto, who left the Wildcats program after three seasons for an athletic director position at Mother of Teresa Calcutta Catholic School, a kindergarten … [Read more...]

Plans call for aquatics center in Land O’ Lakes

Conceptual drawings have been done for the Christopher N. Chiles Aquatic Center in Land O’ Lakes that could become a magnet for swimming tournaments, and would provide a wide range of services for swimmers of all ages and abilities. It would cost about $8 million for the facility, without a complete roof system, said Scott Sutek, executive director for the envisioned aquatic center. Backers … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes savors first winning season

After five seasons of varsity baseball, senior Eric Hutchison can finally say he was part of a winning team. “It’s always nice to be the first success in something. The fact that I’m a senior makes it much better,” said Hutchison, a team captain pitcher/infielder who’s played for Academy at the Lakes (AATL) since eighth grade. The Wildcats just wrapped up its first winning season in program … [Read more...]

Sports tourism expert praises Pasco’s offerings

As Pasco County stocks up on sports and recreation facilities, one local sports tourism expert envisions the growing area as a regional asset and an enticement for attracting more big-ticket sporting events to Tampa Bay. Jason Aughey, senior director at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, was the featured guest speaker on March 22 at an economic development briefing hosted by the North Tampa Bay … [Read more...]

Local park’s new name reflects its historic role

A park that has played a historic role in Land O’ Lakes now has a name to reflect that fact. Officials gathered on March 1 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the renaming of the former Land O’ Lakes Community Center. The center and adjacent park is now known as Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park. On March 1, elected officials and community leaders gathered at the park for the site’s … [Read more...]

Debate continues over best response to Parkland killings

Students, faculty and staff are expected to begin the long journey back toward normalcy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this week in Parkland. But, the debate over the best response to the Valentine Day’s slaying of 14 students and three teachers remains embroiled in controversy. In the aftermath of the shooting spree, conducted by a lone gunman using an AR-15 semi-automatic … [Read more...]

‘An Evening in Paris’ offers tender moments

Whether they were rocking it out, slow dancing, or shuffling to “The Cupid Shuffle,” the daughters and dads at “An Evening in Paris” Father/Daughter Dance were sharing some special moments. Six-year-old Daniella Rodrigues, of Land O’ Lakes, received her first corsage. Scott Hancock and his 4-year-old daughter, Amelie, shared a slow dance. Zoli Summerville and her dad, Cory, of Wesley … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes park and community center have a new name

The Pasco County Commission has renamed the community center and park in Land O’ Lakes as the Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park. Commissioners adopted the new name on Nov. 7, at the request of Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore. “They are trying to have more of an identity in that area,” said Moore. “I think they’ll be excited by this.” Moore said he consulted with members of the … [Read more...]

Pickleball is popular among local seniors

Don’t let the strange-sounding name fool you. It’s called pickleball. And, it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially among seniors over 50. There are more than 2.5 million pickleball players in the United States, according to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In Florida alone, there’s more than 370 pickleball sites, a USA Pickleball Association … [Read more...]

There’s no shortage of holiday cheer here

The Thanksgiving turkey and all of the fixins’ — and all of the leftovers — are gone. Lucky for you, you’ve got a whole month of holiday happenings available for your enjoyment. Here’s a look at just some of the free and low-cost options being offered in the The Laker/Lutz News coverage area, with a few other regional events tossed in that we thought would give you some holiday … [Read more...]