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...]

Wiregrass Ranch High loses top rusher

One of Pasco County’s top running backs is taking his talents south — to Hillsborough County. Senior 1,000-yard rusher Da Da McGee has transferred from Wiregrass Ranch High School to Hillsborough High School, just weeks before the start of the 2017 prep football season. McGee was one of seven tailbacks in Pasco County to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last season, rushing for 1,063 yards … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Sunlake girls weightlifting well-represented on SAC awards

The dominance of the Sunlake girls weightlifting program remained apparent at the annual Sunshine Athletic Conference (East) Awards. Seahawks coach Denise Garcia won her second consecutive SAC East Girls’ Weightlifting Coach of the Year Award, and 10 of her lifters were named to the 2016-2017 SAC East All-Conference team, announced on March 6. A mix of youth and experience, Sunlake won … [Read more...]

Area baseball players to watch

The high school baseball season in Florida has kicked off. Some of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Steinbrenner and Gaither to Land O’ Lakes High, there’s no shortage of prep baseball talent. Here’s a look at some players to keep an eye on as the season progresses: RHP (right-handed pitcher)/INF (infielder) CJ Van Eyk, Sr., … [Read more...]

Sunlake cheerleader, coach receive county honors

Sunlake High School’s competitive cheerleading season may be over, but the awards are tumbling in. Senior cheerleader Amanda Slozer and head coach Pennye Garcia recently received the Sunshine Athletic Conference’s (SAC) Cheerleader of the Year and Coach of the Year for the East Pasco division, respectively. Slozer, 18, said she was “shocked” when she found out she was being awarded for her … [Read more...]

Coach Kris Keppel exhibits grace to the end

The impact that Joel “Kris” Kristan Keppel’s life had on those who knew him was exhibited in all sorts of ways last week in Land O’ Lakes. Keppel, a revered cross-country coach at Land O’ Lakes High, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Jan. 25. Land O’Lakes High Principal Ric Mellin notified the school’s staff and students with this recorded message: “It is with a heavy heart … [Read more...]