Local softball stars soak in national exposure

It’s a rare feat when any local athlete — or any athlete for that matter — makes a national team. More uncommon is when two athletes from the same hometown earn such prestigious designation together. But, that’s what recently happened to Academy at the Lakes product Lexi Kilfoyl and Land O’ Lakes High School product Callie Turner. Both pitchers earned state champions for their … [Read more...]

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...]

AATL tops Land O’ Lakes in postseason tune-up

Two of the state’s top softball players matched up for the final time against one another in high school uniforms when Academy at the Lakes hosted Land O’ Lakes in a recent non-district game at Starkey Ranch District Park. In the latest matchup between crosstown foes, the Wildcats and senior ace pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl bested the Gators and their senior star pitcher, Callie Turner, en route to … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes standout finds home in new pro football league

Not too long ago, Shaheed Salmon was making thumping defensive stops as an All-State linebacker all over the gridiron of John Benedetto Stadium at Land O’ Lakes High School. He’s still doing the same — now, as a professional football player. The 2014 Land O’ Lakes High graduate is a backup linebacker in the American Alliance of Football’s (AAF) Birmingham Iron franchise. The league is … [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 shine during 2017-2018 college football season

Another exciting and memorable college football season is in the books. In addition to the University of Alabama capturing its sixth national title under head coach Nick Saban and the University of Central Florida finishing with an unblemished 13-0 record, several locals had noteworthy individual campaigns in 2017. Here’s a look back at some of the top performers from The Laker/Lutz News … [Read more...]

Local athlete relishes national team experience

Alexis Kilfoyl has had a busy summer, as a member of the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Training Team. The Academy at the Lakes pitching sensation is one of just 24 athletes on the prestigious roster, which features some of the nation’s top players under 19 years old. After a weeklong training camp in mid-June, Kilfoyl and her Team USA comrades participated in a round of … [Read more...]

Area softball preview

The high school softball season in Florida is underway, and several of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Land O’ Lakes to Steinbrenner, there’s no shortage of prep softball talent. Some players to watch, as the season progresses:   Pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl, sophomore, Academy at the Lakes: Just a few weeks into the 2017 … [Read more...]

Academy softball player makes national team

Academy at the Lakes’ Alexis Kilfoyl is a softball prodigy, of sorts. She’s been a varsity star since the seventh grade. She was a freshman when she committed to the University of Alabama, which is perennially one of the nation’s top softball programs. As a sophomore, she’s already one of the area’s top pitchers and hitters. Now, she’s among elite company. On Jan. 3, the … [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...]