Pasco Sheriff’s Office expands youth Explorer program

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Explorer program, which teaches local youth different aspects of law enforcement, is expanding its reach to include middle-schoolers between the ages of 11 to 13. The Junior Explorer Unit— referred to as Explorer Post 915—builds on the agency’s original Explorer Post 916. Chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, these original Explorers are young adults, ages 14 to 21, … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes High head football coach resigns

Land O’ Lakes High School’s varsity football program will have a new leader in 2018. Brian Wachtel, the Gators head coach since 2011, stepped down following the team’s final regular season game on Nov. 3 — a 36-6 win over Fivay High School. Wachtel, 39, announced his decision to principal Ric Mellin prior to the game. Land O’ Lakes athletic director Michael Frump said the school will … [Read more...]

Pasco all-star football game on tap for Dec. 7

It’s back. Football fans again will be able to see Pasco County’s top senior football players face off on one field, at the 2017 Pasco County East-West Classic. The third annual all-star showcase is slated for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., at Sunlake Field, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The game, organized by the Pasco County Fellowship of Christian Athletes, features the top senior players … [Read more...]

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...]

Pasco Pirates off to solid start

Just a few weeks into the regular season, the Pasco High football team already has surpassed its win total from all of last season. In fact, they’ve doubled it. The 2016 season was unpleasant for the Pirates, losing nine straight games until they beat Gulf High — a struggling program that’s now lost 22 straight regular season games — in the season finale. The 1-9 record was its worst … [Read more...]

Committee recommends higher impact fees

A committee appointed by the Pasco County Commission to suggest ways to boost funding for Pasco County school construction has recommended a hike in school impact fees. The committee stopped short of initially suggesting the full amount recommended by a consultant hired by Pasco County Schools. However, the committee said the full amount of the increase should be approved, if the Pasco … [Read more...]

Students vie in entrepreneurial competition

Timothy Hernandez noticed a problem, and he set about to solve it. Not too long ago, the 17-year-old Zephyrhills High School senior was undergoing safety training as a YMCA pool lifeguard. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) masks kept falling off during tutorials. “It was a real inconvenience,” he said. Strap-based CPR masks didn’t fare much better, said Hernandez, who currently … [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...]

Lacrosse fundraiser rescheduled to March

The PascoLax Harley Jam, organized by the Pasco County Lacrosse Alliance (PCLA), has been rescheduled. The event, originally slated for Dec. 3, will take place on March 25, from noon to 6 p.m., at the Concourse Rotary Pavilion, 15325 Alric Pottberg Road in Spring Hill. The shindig, which organizers intend to hold annually, will feature a rock/country concert and a reverse … [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...]