HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for Feb. 13-19
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, Feb. 13 through Friday, Feb. 19. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Jordan Day, softball, Seminole: The junior pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits in a 1-0, 11-inning victory over Countryside that kept the Warhawks undefeated. She also was 4-for-4 at the plate, including a single that led to the winning run.
Ashley Gentz, track, Nature Coast: Gentz had a busy day at the Early Bird Invitational at Clearwater. She won the long jump, going 16-10, and the 400 meters in 1:00.48. For good measure, she ran legs on the first-place 4x400 and runnerup 4x100 relays.
Courtney Hall, basketball, Brooks DeBartolo: The senior forward had 21 points and 20 rebounds in the Phoenix’s first Class 4A final four appearance. Brooks DeBartolo beat East Gadsden in the semifinal before falling to defending champ Lake Highland Prep.
Hannah McAuliffe, track, Lakewood: In her first track meet, the sophomore, who regularly runs with the Spartan boys distance runners, won the 3,200 meters (12:25.44) and placed third in the 1,600 (5:37.63) in the Early Bird Invitational.
Kelsea Vanderveer, softball, Mitchell: The senior was a combined 4-for-5 with five RBIs and five runs scored in wins over Dixie Hollins and Clearwater. One of those was grand slam. She currently is eighth in the nation in runs scored with 14.
Natalie Zweig, softball, Sickles: The freshman pitcher is 4-0 after allowing a combined one run in wins over previously undefeated Gaither and district rival Plant.She has a 1.36 ERA and 39 strikeouts this season, including a season-high nine against the Cowboys.
Connor Brown, wrestling, Berkeley Prep: The junior won a district title at 126 pounds, dispatching two of his opponents in a mere 45 seconds each. He was one of seven Buccaneers to win an individual title, helping Berkeley to the overall team title.
Brandon Drayton, basketball, Largo: The senior had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in the Packers’ 67-60 win over Naples Palmetto Ridge in the Class 6A region final. Largo is in the state semifinals for the first time since 1998.
Tyler Edling, baseball, Mitchell: The junior threw 6.2 innings against East Lake and did not allow a run in the Mustangs’ 1-0 win. He scattered five hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter. He now has a 1.62 ERA in 8.2 innings.
Tim Elko, baseball, Hillsborough: The Ole Miss commit went 3-for-4 in both of the Terriers’ wins, 12-8 over Leto and 7-6 over King, recording five RBIs. Elko is hitting .615 for undefeated Hillsborough.
George Hall, wrestling, East Lake: With East Lake and Dixie Hollins battling for the district team title, the 170-pounder’s win over Boca Ciega’s Sadrick Daniel gave the Eagles enough of a cushion to claim their first title since 2008.
Jeremy Oppenheimer, basketball, Zephyrhills: The senior guard ignited a fourth-quarter rally, scoring a team-high 31 points (nine in overtime) in a 76-68 win over Ponte Vedra in the Class 5A region final to help the Bulldogs reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1966.
Voting is now closed.