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...]

Offense, cohesion carry Cypress Creek softball

In east and central Pasco County, softball programs such as Academy at the Lakes, Land O’ Lakes, and Sunlake have garnered much of the attention of late. And, rightly so. As of March 25, there’s just a single loss combined among the three schools—Sunlake suffered its lone loss to Land O’ Lakes on March 2— and each team ranks among the state’s top 20 or so softball programs. But, there’s … [Read more...]

Solid year for local hoops

Florida high school basketball has wrapped up, and while no teams from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area won a state title, several boys and girls squads nonetheless achieved impressive performances during the 2017-2018 season. Here’s a look back at some of the teams and players who stood out: Boys Carrollwood Day School Patriots (Class 4A) Record: 24-4 overall, 8-1 district 4-4A Four … [Read more...]

Track and field standout leaps into nationals

It didn’t take long for Keymo Pearson to realize Arielle Boone oozed potential when she joined his AAU track club last spring. “Day 1, when I saw her…I said, ‘Hey, if this girl stays with the team, she’s going to be great.’ My exact words were, ‘She has the chance to be one of the best jumpers in Pasco County history,’” said Pearson, an assistant track coach at the Wesley Chapel-based Speed … [Read more...]