Pasco students showcase their talents

The talent was endless. The applause was, too. Special needs students from seven Pasco County schools displayed their unique skills on May 17 before more than 100 parents, peers and school faculty. The eighth annual Showcase for Exceptional Talent was held at the Wesley Chapel High School Center for the Arts auditorium. From dancing and singing/duets, to lip-syncing and comedy … [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...]

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...]

New start times for some schools

The Pasco County School Board has approved school bell times for the 2017-2018, and those times include some changes for schools within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Here’s a look at which schools are getting new starting times, along with an explanation that was provided in a news release from Pasco County Schools. Bexley Elementary, 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., a new school, will begin … [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...]

Cypress Creek football presents ‘great opportunity’

In less than three weeks, a new high school football program will take the field in Wesley Chapel. Like other Florida high schools, the Cypress Creek Coyotes are set to begin spring football practices on April 24. But, the circumstances for this team are unique — particularly for new head coach Mike Johnson and prospective athletes. The program faces logistical hurdles because Cypress … [Read more...]

Local student finds freedom, opportunity in U.S.

Wiregrass Ranch High School senior Luis Pereira doesn’t take his freedom for granted. Less than two years ago, his family arrived in Wesley Chapel — after emigrating from Venezuela to seek political asylum in the United States. Since that time, the 19-year-old has managed to be inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars, has won the TEDX Talk competition at Wiregrass and has … [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 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...]