With the school year over, the Times is taking a final look back at 2011-12 to hand out superlatives to the top teams and player from the North Suncoast:
Springstead wrestling: It’s hard to argue against the Eagles, who breezed to their second straight Class 2A state title. Thanks to individual state titles by Cody Ross, Sean Redman and John Dreggors, Springstead beat Riverdale by 80 points to cement itself as the area’s top team.
Academy at the Lakes girls basketball: At last, the final four for coach Karim Nohra.
Nature Coast boys basketball: Ditto for the Sharks, who finally made it to Lakeland.
Pasco football: Outscored county foes 480-24 en route to the Class 5A state semifinals.
Land O’Lakes boys soccer: Area juggernaut fell just short of a long-awaited state title.
Wiregrass Ranch tennis: Dominant in Pasco County, two runners-up at state.
Most likely to succeed
Tyler Bergantino, Nature Coast: The Sharks’ star center has the size (6-foot-9) and skills (17.2 points, 13.5 rebounds per game) that impressed recruiters — even before he nearly recorded a triple double in the state semifinals. He could have a big career at UMass.
Argishti Gazari, Anclote: USF-bound runner won state in the 3,200 meters and placed third in the 1,600.
Jeff Kruse, Gulf: Division I-caliber lineman chose the Ivy League and will shine at Cornell.
Ravin Gilbert, Wesley Chapel: Georgia State landed a strong sprinter in Gilbert.
Best all-around athlete
Trey Dudley-Giles, Pasco (Male): Dudley-Giles starred in football as the Times’ co-player of the year and the conference’s top offensive player. The UMass recruit was also a first-team all-SAC baseball player, batting .400 and posting a 2.78 ERA.
Spencer Valdespino, Bishop McLaughlin (Female): Valdespino, a Nicholls State recruit, was an all-North Suncoast first teamer in soccer (18 goals, 17 assists) and softball (.500 batting average, three home runs). She also advanced to regionals as an individual in golf.
Jackson Cannon, Land O’Lakes: Star linebacker was conference’s best in discus and averaged 6 rebounds in basketball.
Caroline Patton, Zephyrhills: One of the county’s top girls soccer players also has school records in track and weightlifting.
Nina Argento, Mitchell: Earned first-team all-SAC honors in girls golf and averaged 11 points in basketball.
Alexis Adams, Springstead: The Eagles’ ace threw shutouts in seven consecutive games to lead her team to the region finals. The pitcher of the year’s streak included a no-hitter in the region semis and five one-hitters to cap off one of the best careers in Hernando County history.
Jacob Guy, Pasco: UF-bound quarterback was 17-of-18 passing in a region final victory over Jesuit.
River Ridge girls soccer: The Royal Knights edged rival Mitchell in penalty kicks in the district championship and in double overtime in the region semifinals.
Marqui Redding, Hernando: The running back earned the start because of injury and ran for four TDs and 181 yards in the season opener.
Sunlake football: The Seahawks are no longer the little brother in Land O’Lakes after a 21-10 victory over the Gators. The young program kept going with its first trip to the playoffs and a thrilling 22-21 postseason win at Ocala Vanguard.
Fivay softball: The Falcons went from worst in the district to champions this spring.
Bishop McLaughlin volleyball: Hurricanes won only two games three years ago but advanced to regionals.
Pasco girls basketball: Pirates made the playoffs after winning twice in 2009-10 season.
Ridgewood baseball: The first season without coach Larry Beets ended in the first district title since 2005.