AATL gets new softball coach

Coming off back-to-back state titles, the Academy at the Lakes Wildcats varsity softball team will have a new face leading the successful program. Wildcats coach Diane Stephenson stepped down after the 2019 season to accept a position closer to her home at St. Petersburg’s Admiral Farragut Academy. A two-time Class 2A Softball Coach of the Year, Stephenson posted a 65-14 mark in three seasons … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes gets a new baseball coach

Just two months after guiding Carrollwood Day School to the state final four, Ken Akins looks to achieve similar results at another local private school. Akins is the new head baseball coach at Academy at the Lakes (AATL), replacing John DiBenedetto, who left the Wildcats program after three seasons for an athletic director position at Mother of Teresa Calcutta Catholic School, a kindergarten … [Read more...]

AATL softball captures first state title

A pitcher’s duel, extra innings and weathering wet, muddy conditions were all needed before Academy at the Lakes softball could finally claim its first-ever state championship. Overcoming hurdles, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The Wildcats (26-4) defeated Monticello Aucilla Christian 1-0 in 11 innings on May 22 in the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Class 2A … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes wins state football title

They reached their goal. Academy at the Lakes weathered chilly conditions and an undefeated opponent from Jacksonville to capture the school’s first-ever eight-man state football championship. An unwavering defensive performance — along with four combined touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jalen Brown and senior running back/linebacker Daniel Gonzalez — propelled the Wildcats to a 30-9 … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes hires new softball coach

The Academy at the Lakes athletics department moved swiftly to hire a new varsity softball coach — one who happens to have decades of Division I collegiate coaching experience. Diane Stephenson was named the new head varsity coach on July 27, just one week after legendary coach Jerry English announced his retirement. Stephenson, who operates the Positive Force Fastpitch Academy in St. … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes athletics tops all 2A private schools

When Tom Haslam took the athletic director position at Academy at the Lakes around seven years ago, the school had varsity teams. But, a lot of their games were against junior varsity opponents. With a high school enrollment of slightly more than 100, the talent pool was limited. In some sports, around half of the school’s schedule would be games against a rival school's lesser squad. "We … [Read more...]