Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, April 15 through Friday, April 21. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Katie Barnett, track, Admiral Farragut: The senior, who signed with Princeton last week, won the triple jump (36-6.75), the long jump (17-3.5) and was on the winning 4x400 relay (4:26.43) at the Class A, District 6 meet.
Hope Hernandez, softball, Chamberlain: The Troy signee was 2-for-3, scored a run and prevented one from scoring thanks to a stellar play in the field in the Chiefs’ 2-1 win over Steinbrenner to close out the regular season.
Bryanna Rivers, track, Wharton: The senior won the 800 (2:19.17), the 1,600 (5:13.68) and was on the winning 4x800 relay (9:52.89) at the Class 4A, District 6 meet.
Beatrice Roseus, tennis, Nature Coast: Playing No. 5 singles in the Class 2A region final against Tarpon Springs, the freshman fought back to win her match 6-1, 2-6, 10-6 to clinch a 4-1 win and a state tournament berth. …Full Story
CLEARWATER – Calvary Christian just keeps on rolling.
The Warriors improved to 22-0 after a surprisingly easy 8-1 win over Jesuit on Friday night. During the win streak there have been several close calls, including a come-from-behind 9-8 win over St. Petersburg on Thursday. But the win over the Tigers was no such game.
Calvary Christian scored four runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Matheu Nelson, and never looked back. Starting pitcher Graham Hoffman, normally a reliever, threw four solid innings in his first start. Reliever Nolan Hudi, normally a starter, threw three innings of shutout relief.
“When we scored early they got down on themselves and that boosted us,’’ Nelson said. “We just put our foot on the gas and kept going.’’
The Warriors figured out Jesuit starter Price Sartor right away. Eric Kennedy led off the bottom of the first with a double to leftfield. Justin Bench then bunted for a base hit to put two on. One out later, Nelson drilled a 3-1 pitch over the rightfield fence to make it 3-0. …Full Story
HOLIDAY – Nature Coast’s domination at the district level continued Friday night in the Class 2A, District 7 championships at Anclote.
Both the Sharks teams came away with titles. For the boys (159 points), the victory marked the seventh time in 10 years that the program has won a district crown, and for the girls (199 points), the win was the sixth consecutive championship for the team.
“It’s not always easy, but these kids do a good job of doing what they’re told and putting in the work,” Nature Coast boys coach Rudy Story said. “We are a well-rounded track team, and we show that every time we compete.”
Nature Coast senior Kaitlyn Pierce won the 400-meter dash for the second straight year, posting a 1:04 for the second straight year as well. She also qualified for regionals in the triple jump and 200. The Sharks also took home titles in the pole vault (Jessica Osborne), shot put (Jouie Miller), 300 hurdles (Velma Brinson), 1,600 (Leah Marville), 3,200 (Keira Barbee), 4x800 relay, and 4x400 relay. …Full Story
DUNEDIN – It's hard to believe that a game that featured a six-run lead would have a stellar defensive play determine the outcome.
In Friday's 48th edition of the Dunedin Spring Classic finals, the host Falcons surged to that big early advantage only to see Bradenton Inspiration Academy jump on tiring pitching to climb within a run in the fifth inning.
The slight edge lasted to the bottom of the seventh when Inspiration leadoff hitter Collin Moore slashed a hot roller that caught the front edge of the first base bag. The quirky hit looked to be a sure double until rightfielder Tyler Vogel entered the picture.
Vogel was kept busy earlier with five putouts and a laser throw that just missed catching Josiah Clark at the plate in the fifth, but he saved his heroics for last. Sprinting to foul territory, the sophomore caught up to the ball and rifled a perfect peg to shortstop Ray Sass to catch Moore by 3 feet. Senior closer and tourney MVP Alex Sexton shut the door the rest of the way to earn Dunedin its first tourney title since 2010, 6-5. …Full Story
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Wharton senior Bryanna Rivers won the 1600-meter run in 5:13.68 at the Class 4A, District 6 meet on Thursday.
TAMPA — At Thursday’s Class 4A, District 6 track meet, Steinbrenner’s girls and boys did what they’ve done pretty much all season.
The Warrior girls, for instance, won with 237 points, 76.5 ahead of runnerup Wharton. The Warrior boys, meantime, won with 194 points, 56 ahead of runnerup Wiregrass Ranch.
More importantly, the Warriors qualified a slew of athletes for next week’s region meet (top four finishers in each event advance). In that regard, the Warrior girls were nearly perfect, qualifying at least one athlete in 16 of the 17 events.
“That was goal, along with keeping everybody healthy,” Steinbrenner coach Ladd Baldwin said. “We accomplished just about everything we hoped we would accomplish.”
Double duty: Wharton senior Avonti Holt won the long jump with a leap of 5.26 meters (17-3.25 feet) and the 100-meter dash in 12.12 seconds.
Wharton senior Bryanna Rivers won the 1,600 meters in 5:13.68, and the 800 meters in 2:19.17.
Plant senior Zach Teate won the shot put with a throw of 15.11 meters (49-7 feet) and the discus with a throw of 41.55 meters (136-4 feet).
Steinbrenner’s Mason Young won the 1,600 meters in 4:37.63 and the 800 meters in 1:58.52. …Full Story
TAMPA – Nothing came easy for Chamberlain and Steinbrenner on offense Thursday night.
Bunts were scooped up. Short hoppers were smothered. Flyballs were snagged.
The regular-season finale for both teams was highlighted by defensive gems.
Manufacturing runs took work. The Chiefs did enough right away, scoring twice in the first inning and holding on in a 2-1 victory.
“Gabby Vallee controlled the circle, and we played tremendous defense,” Chamberlain coach Bobby Diez said. “It’s a big game. It was Steinbrenner’s senior night. We stepped up.”
The Chiefs’ Hope Hernandez, a Troy signee, led off the game with a single. She moved to second on sacrifice bunt by Alex Quinonez, then to third on a single by Maddie Lewis and scored on a fielder’s choice. Quinonez scored on a single by Reganne McCarl for a 2-0 lead.
Hernandez, a shortstop, helped the lead stick by making spectacular plays on sure base hits. The biggest one came in the fifth inning when she seemingly popped out of nowhere to chase down a ball headed for the gap and whipped it to first for final out of the inning.
Teammate Alex Suarez went all out, too, diving to snare softballs in centerfield. …Full Story
CLEARWATER — With stalwarts and superstars, the East Lake girls track team has cultivated itself into a dynasty. And with a dominating victory over the Class 3A-10 field at a hot Clearwater High, the Eagles took home their fifth straight district championship.
Rolling up 153 points, East Lake easily outdistanced runners-up Venice (109), Boca Ciega (90.5) and Osceola (86.5).
"It's incredible," said Eagles coach Britt Taylor after the victory. "We have a lot of depth on the girls' side but it just gets outshined by our superstars. They're a great team and I couldn't be happier heading into regionals."
One of Taylor's superstars, senior Jennifer Lima, continued her reign of command as she repeated as district champion in the meet's three longest races. …Full Story
Derek J. LaRiviere | Special to the Times
Nature Coast rushes the court to celebrate Class 2A region championship after Beatrice Roseus clinches the victory.
SPRING HILL – While this season marked the first time that Nature Coast had even reached the postseason since 2012, the Shark girls are now headed to the state championships for only the second time in school history.
Nature Coast showed its resolve, bouncing back in more than one match on Thursday afternoon before emerging with a 4-1 team win over Tarpon Springs in the Class 2A region finals at Delta Woods Park.
“We’re such a young team, and I’m just so happy these girls are able to have this experience,” Nature Coast coach Kristine Brown said. “This group showed so much resiliency this year, and it’s continued in the playoffs.”
In No. 1 singles action, Angela Cabahug (9-11) seemed in control when she won the first set over Tarpon Springs standout Candice Woodruff, but the Spongers senior bounced back with a 6-4 win in the second set. The junior was able overcome the momentum switch and take the third set 10-7, giving the Sharks the first of what ended up being four very close matches.
In contrast, the No. 2 singles contest was not close as Sharks junior Nicole Remedio (13-7) took a straight-set (6-1, 6-1) win over senior Clivonya Woodside, giving Nature Coast a two-match advantage. …Full Story
DADE CITY — A week after edging East Lake by four points for the Class 3A, District 6 title, the Pasco girls tennis team defeated the Eagles 4-3 in Thursday’s 3A region final to earn their second-ever state berth.
The Pirates, who went 13-1 during the regular season, have played in three region finals, winning in 2014 and losing in 2012.
Coach Don Charlick said each team has shared some of the same traits.
“What they’ve had in common is a great attitude, integrity and a will to win,” he said.
At districts, East Lake and Pasco each notched two victories in singles play and one apiece in doubles. So it came as no surprise that the region match came down to No. 2 doubles with the teams tied at 3.
Natalie Sawczuk and Madison Jender defeated Jayne Kawalec and Kendal Curtis 6-0, 6-2 to clinch it for host Pasco.
“The advantage is that those girls have been playing together the past three years,” Charlick said of Sawczuk and Jender. “They were No. 1 doubles last year and No. 2 doubles before that.” …Full Story
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Berkeley Prep senior Amanda Dumar won the 100 and 300-meter hurdles on Wednesday at the Class 2A, District 10 meet. Dumar won the 100 hurdles in 100 hurdles in 15.81 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 45.61.
TAMPA — Berkeley Prep’s girls and boys not only won Wednesday’s Class 2A, District 10 track meet, they darn near grabbed the spotlight in every event.
By the time all the running, jumping, leaping and throwing finished, the Bucs’ girls had racked up 259 points, 109 ahead of runnerup Academy of the Holy Names. On the boys’ side, Berkeley won the district title (for the first time since 2005) with 213 points, 91 ahead of runnerup Jefferson.
“I would say it was an outstanding performance by just about every one,” Bucs track coach Erik Lipham said. “You can’t ask for much more than that.”
Leading the Bucs’ girls were two of Hillsborough County’s most versatile athletes, senior Amanda Dumar and sophomore Chloe Davis, both of whom scored in four events.
Dumar won the 100 hurdles in 15.81 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 45.61, took third in the triple jump at 10.51 meters (34-5.75 feet) after taking only one attempt, and anchored the winning 4x400 relay (4:03.38).
Davis won the triple jump at 10.87 meters (35-8) and the long jump at 5.35 meters (17-6.75), placed second in the 300 hurdles (46.38) and ran on the winning 4x400 relay. …Full Story
LAND O’LAKES – The matchup on the mound was one of the most anticipated this season.
Academy at the Lakes’ Alexis Kilfoyl vs. Land O’Lakes' Callie Turner.
Both are sophomores who will be facing each for quite some time considering they have already committed to Southeastern Conference programs (Kilfoyl to Alabama; Turner to Tennessee). The two specialize in shutting down – and striking out – opponents.
It is difficult to get a hit, much less manufacture a run against either one. Gators coach Mitch Wilkins explained to some Little Leaguers before Tuesday’sgame that the outcome could down to one play.
Sure enough, it did.
In the bottom of the seventh, Land O’Lakes’ Tia Williams led off with a single, then moved to second on a groundout by Brianna Lindner and to third when Ashley Williams reached on an error.
That put Williams in position to score. She headed home once Brooke Stanley made contact and beat the throw on a fielder’s choice for the winning run in a 1-0 victory.
“I was just wanting to see where the ball was hit,” Williams said. “I knew that if it was anywhere near the right side that I was going to go right away because I wanted to get that run in.” …Full Story
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Berkeley Prep No. 1 singles player, eighth grader Jaela Bandes, rips a backhand during regional action on Tuesday against Seffner Christian. Bandes won her match 6-4, 6-2 and Berkeley took the team title after sweeping all five singles matches.
TAMPA — Berkeley Prep eighth grader Jaela Bandes had two basic goals this week: She wanted to get to the state tennis tournament and she wanted a rematch with Cambridge Christian No. 1 singles player Cooper Jackson.
After Tuesday afternoon, both goals remained alive.
The first two keys to her mission involved Berkeley Prep winning as a team in Tuesday’s first-round regional against Seffner Christian (mission accomplished after sweeping singles matches 5-0), and Cambridge defeating Carrollwood Day in another Tuesday regional (mission accomplished with a Cambridge 5-2 victory).
That means Berkeley Prep’s girls will play Cambridge Christian on Thursday in a Class A region final, with the team winner earning a ticket to the state tournament.
It also means Bandes and Jackson will meet in No. 1 singles, a face-off Jackson won in a hard-fought match in last week’s district finals.
“I expect another great match with Jackson,” Bandes said after defeating Seffner Christian’s No. 1 player Harris Caldwell 6-4, 6-2. “I look forward to it.”
On Tuesday, Bandes didn’t feel 100 percent after a week of battling the flu, but she still found enough energy, and strategy, to get the job done. …Full Story
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, April 8 through Friday, April 14. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Taylor Bump, softball, Canterbury: The Michigan signee was 3-for-4 with a solo homer in a 10-4 win over previously undefeated Academy at the Lakes. Bump has nine home runs, tying her with three others for third-most in the state.
Jordan Day, softball, Seminole: The senior was 3-for-3 and threw a complete game in a 5-3 victory over East Lake that ended the Eagles’ 12-game win streak.
Kendra Falby, track, Academy at the Lakes: The eighth-grader won the 100 meters (12.82 seconds) and took second in the 200 (26.77) at the Class A, District 6 meet. She also plays softball and leads the team in hitting with a .571 average.
Delaney Meyer, track, Newsome: Meyer won two events at the Class 4A, District 7 meet — high jump in 1.47 meters (4-9.75) and 300 hurdles in 50.30 seconds. She also placed second in the 100 hurdles as the Wolves won the overall team title. …Full Story
ST. PETERSBURG – Calvary Christian was one out, one strike actually, away from losing its first game of the 2017 season. The Warriors trailed 1-0 and had runners on first and third against Northside Christian ace reliever Corey Yawn in the top of the seventh inning. Matheu Nelson kept fighting off pitches before he finally laced a low fastball into right-centerfield for a tying base hit.
In the top of the ninth inning, Graham Hoffman came up with a two-out RBI single of his own and Calvary Christian held on to defeat the Mustangs 2-1. The Warriors are 17-0. Northside Christian falls to 15-4.
“Guys are playing hard and they don’t stop," Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen said. “We’ve been down a few times but this is our first extra-innings game. The guys just keep fighting back. That’s a great team over there. This was a great high school baseball game."
Northside Christian starter Kyle Goldberg and Calvary Christian starter Nolan Hudi both pitched five solid innings. Hudi made only one mistake, and that came in the third inning with two outs. He left a fastball over the plate and Yawn crushed it over the leftfield fence for a 1-0 lead. …Full Story
TAMPA – Monday’s game between Springstead and Academy at the Lakes was billed as a pitchers’ duel, a classic matchup between a pair of Division I-A-bound aces.
The Eagles’ Kama Woodall (N.C. State) and the Wildcats’ Alexis Kilfoyl (Alabama) did not disappoint. The two took turns racking up a dizzying amount of strikeouts.
Hits were scarce. So were runs.
The only run that mattered came in the first inning. AATL’s Jessica Mott led off with walk and ended up scoring on Devyne Davis’ single for a 1-0 lead.
Kilfoyl did the rest. The sophomore threw a three-hit shutout and finished with 14 strikeouts in a 4-0 win that kept the Wildcats 'prefect record (15-0) intact.
This was a game Kilfoyl had circled on the calendar. She missed the first meeting against Springstead (17-3) in the preseason because she had her wisdom teeth pulled.
“I was pretty excited, and I was preparing myself mentally and physically,” Kilfoyl said. “It feels great because Springstead is bigger and a good team. My pitches were moving and everyone came together.” …Full Story