Local pitchers delay pro careers for college

Two of the area’s top pitchers are postponing their pro careers — for now. Sunlake High School’s Tommy Mace and Steinbrenner High’s CJ Van Eyk — both selected in the middle rounds of June’s MLB Draft — have opted to forgo professional baseball contracts, and instead attend in-state Division I programs. Mace, drafted in the 12th round (347th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds, will pitch at … [Read more...]

Youth track club reaches nationals

One local youth track club has reached the national stage — gearing up to compete against some of the sport’s best. Speed Starz Track Club recently qualified for the 21st Annual AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Club Championships, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The Wesley Chapel-based club is sending five athletes, ranging in age from 13 to 17, for its first appearance in … [Read more...]

Wiregrass Ranch football loses two playmakers

The 2017 football season is two months away, but one of Pasco County’s top teams already has taken a hit. In a week’s span, two varsity standouts from Wiregrass Ranch High School — cornerback Shamaur McDowell and quarterback/safety Raymond Woodie III — have exited the rising program, which last season finished Class 7A, District 8 runner-up, making its first playoff appearance since … [Read more...]

School construction needs outpace funding

The Pasco County School Board has begun exploring the idea of asking voters to support a half-penny sales tax to help pay for school construction. During a June 20 workshop on the district’s capital needs, School Board member Cynthia Armstrong asked staff to come back with a projection of how much the half-penny tax would generate in 10 years and a list detailing the types of projects the tax … [Read more...]

Locals fare well in 2017 MLB Draft

Dreams of playing professional baseball are about to come true for several local athletes. The 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft wrapped up on June 14, and several baseball players with ties to The Laker/Lutz News Coverage Area were selected. The first-year player draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players, from high schools, colleges and … [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...]

Wesley Chapel High softball reaches first regional appearance

The banner season for Wesley Chapel High softball isn’t quite over. At 18-6, the Wildcats already have secured the program’s best record — and first winning season — in its 10-year history. Now comes the school’s first playoff appearance. The team is set to face the Robinson Knights (22-5) in the Class 6A Regional Quarterfinal on May 3 at 7 p.m. The game, at Robinson High School in … [Read more...]

A church finds its permanent dwelling place

North Pointe Church, which has seen much change since forming more than a dozen years ago, finally is getting a permanent home. The church, which most recently has been meeting at Sunlake High School, plans a soft opening for its new location in early May. It plans a free community getting-to-know-you barbecue on May 20, followed by its official grand opening services on May 21. The church … [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...]

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...]