New and renovated schools planned

The Pasco County School Board received an overview last week on projects planned to construct, renovate, expand and repair schools across the district. They also heard a wrap-up on projects in progress or finished this year. The presentation, by Chris Williams, director of planning services and Olga Swinson, chief finance officer, came as the district prepares to vote on a final capital … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes leads area on All-State picks

With the high school softball season complete, the 2018 Miracle Sports All-State teams were released June 15, recognizing Florida’s top players. Nineteen athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were recognized, either as first-team, second-team or honorable mention. Unsurprisingly, the Class 2A state champion, Academy at the Lakes Wildcats, had the most representatives from the … [Read more...]

Locals well-represented in 2018 MLB Draft

Becoming a professional baseball player will soon be a reality for a handful of athletes with ties to The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. The 2018 Major League Baseball Draft ran from June 4 to June 6 — whereby four locals had their names called. University of North Florida junior right-hander Frank German, who grew up in Lutz and graduated from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, … [Read more...]

Cancer survivor wins scholarships, offers prevention advice

Cailyn Ruff was a senior at Sunlake High School, in Land O’ Lakes, when she felt an odd bump on her head. That was about a year-and-a-half ago. “It was like a big mole,” the 19-year-old said. “I saw it through my part line. It looked funny. It would bleed.” As it grew, she became concerned and brought it to the attention of her dermatologist. Next, came a biopsy. “It was a good … [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...]

Sunlake High student named Foot Locker scholar-athlete

Sunlake High School’s Andrea Wallace is more than just a star basketball player who can score and rebound at will, and dazzle in the post, with her 6-foot-1 frame. She’s also a standout in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average all through high school. Besides athletics and academics, Wallace, too, strives to make an impact in the community. It’s why she founded a school club … [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...]

Wiregrass Ranch boys lacrosse thrives in first FHSAA campaign

As several Pasco County schools this year fielded inaugural FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) varsity lacrosse programs, one newcomer stands above the rest. The Wiregrass Ranch High School boys lacrosse team recently clinched the No. 2 seed in District 15 — best among all Pasco County schools. And, a win in the district playoffs this week guarantees a spot in the regional … [Read more...]

Local educator named a PBS ‘Digital Innovator All-Star’

It’s no secret that educator Bobbi Starling knows her way around technology. When she was a classroom teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Zephyrhills and at Centennial Middle School in Dade City, she was constantly introducing students to technical tools which could enhance their education and broaden their view of the world. Now, as the magnet schools program coordinator for the … [Read more...]

Sunshine Athletic Conference awards announced

High school coaches from the Pasco County School District recently announced the Sunshine Athletic Conference All-Conference Teams, Athletes of the Year and Coaches of the Year, for the 2017-2018 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: Cypress Creek, Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, … [Read more...]