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  • These softball players swing mighty mean bats

    These softball players swing mighty mean bats For years, the long ball might as well have been an ancient artifact in softball, a rare find in a game dominated by power pitchers.  After all, there were plenty of aces in the bay area who wielded the most important weapon in the sport — speed. When they were ...
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    Mon. Feb. 09, 2015 at 8:01 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • HomeTeam Hot Shots: Audra Leipold, female winner for Jan. 31-Feb. 6

    HomeTeam Hot Shots: Audra Leipold, female winner for Jan. 31-Feb. 6 Female Hot Shot winner: Audra Leipold, Academy at the Lakes Since joining the Wildcats’ varsity team as an eighth grader, Audra Leipold immediately became the team’s top scoring threat. She helped Academy at the Lakes to a state tournament appearance last season, and now in her freshman year the Wildcats ...
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    Mon. Feb. 09, 2015 at 7:28 p.m. | Rodney Page

  • HomeTeam 25 softball rankings: Canterbury debuts at top

    HomeTeam 25 softball rankings: Canterbury debuts at top 1.Canterbury (0-0) This week: Tuesday at Lakeside Chr.; Friday at Kissimmee Osceola Lowdown: The two-time defending Class 2A state champions return eight starters, including Division I recruits Kama Woodall (NC State), shortstop Taylor Bump (Michigan), pitcher Hailey Hopkins (Kent State) and catcher Danielle Romanello (Florida). The only glaring absence is ...
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    Mon. Feb. 09, 2015 at 6:18 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Hudson names Rob Mahler football coach

    Rob Mahler has been named the new football coach at Hudson. Mahler, a 2001 Hudson graduate, takes over for Mark Kantor, who left to coach Wiregrass Ranch. Mahler has been an assistant coach at Hudson from 2003-09 and was the offensive coordinator in 2013 and ‘14. "I feel very fortunate ...
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    Mon. Feb. 09, 2015 at 5:43 p.m. | Rodney Page

  • Universal Academy of Florida breaking stereotypes via athletics

    Universal Academy of Florida breaking stereotypes via athletics When the Universal Academy of Florida boys soccer players walked off the field at halftime of a tied game, Xs and Os were not immediately on their minds — not even in the biggest game in program history.  The sun had already fallen below the towering stadium lights at Player’s ...
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    Sun. Feb. 08, 2015 at 9:29 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Life in the spotlight amplifies anxieties for top recruits

    Life in the spotlight amplifies anxieties for top recruits The hype surrounding Byron Cowart’s college choice plagued the five-star football recruit for months on end. On the outside, reporters and recruiting analysts begged Cowart for tidbits, anything that would hint to where the most sought-after high school player in the nation would be spending his next three or four ...
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    Sat. Feb. 07, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. | Kelly Parsons and Antonya English

  • HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for Jan. 31-Feb. 6

    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, Jan. 31 through Friday, Feb. 6. The winners get a T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in ...
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    Sat. Feb. 07, 2015 at 11:29 a.m. | Times Staff

  • District boys basketball: Nature Coast 63, Zephyrhills 57

    BROOKSVILLE — As has been the case for most of the season, the teams vying for the Class 5A, District 7 championship Friday night started slowly. Once the shots began to fall, however, the competition was furious as Nature Coast captured its fourth consecutive district title in a 63-57 victory ...
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    Fri. Feb. 06, 2015 at 10:15 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • District boys basketball: Mitchell 60, Largo 53

    TRINITY — Every time Largo showed a new look, Mitchell instantly had an answer. Man-to-man defense? Pick and roll, or spread out and slash runners through the lane. Zone? Overload and find the open man. Full court press? Work sideline to sideline till it’s broken. The mature Mustangs made it ...
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    Fri. Feb. 06, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. | Chuck Frye

  • Region boys soccer: Sunlake 2, Taylor County 0

    LAND O’LAKES — A lot went against Sunlake on Friday, but not nearly enough to prevent the Seahawks from reaching the state semifinals a third straight year. First-half goals by Coby Shirmo and Allan Lewis were enough as Sunlake (28-1) defeated Taylor County 2-0. Sunlake finished with nine players, the ...
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    Fri. Feb. 06, 2015 at 9:49 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Region boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch 1, Melbourne 0

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch added another chapter to its already historic season after defeating Melbourne 1-0 Friday night in a Class 4A region final. The Bulls, playing in the first region final in school history, got a goal from Brendan Duran with three minutes left and hung on for ...
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    Fri. Feb. 06, 2015 at 9:36 p.m. | Rodney Page

  • Region girls basketball: Land O'Lakes 55, Central 44

    LAND O’ LAKES — When Jhade Hayes got mad, Central couldn’t get even. Hayes started the second half by scoring seven points in less than a minute, propelling Land O’ Lakes to a 20-point lead and eventual 55-44 victory over Central in a Classs 5A region quarterfinal. Hayes scored 25 ...
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    Thu. Feb. 05, 2015 at 9:54 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Region girls basketball: Wiregrass Ranch 50, Strawberry Crest 38

    DOVER — With about four minutes to go in the third quarter of Wiregrass Ranch’s Class 7A region quarterfinal matchup with Strawberry Crest, Bulls coach John Gant looked over to his assistant coach, who was sitting at the scorers table, to ask if the Chargers had even scored yet in ...
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    Thu. Feb. 05, 2015 at 9:50 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Region girls basketball: Nature Coast 60, River Ridge 41

    BROOKSVILLE — River Ridge came out shooting and put a scare into Nature Coast, but it wasn’t enough to snag the Royal Knights’ first state playoff victory. The Sharks took advantage of River Ridge’s streaky offense to land a 60-41 win Thursday night in a Class 5A region quarterfinal. “We ...
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    Thu. Feb. 05, 2015 at 9:32 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • Region girls basketball: Academy at the Lakes 72, Canterbury 25

    LAND O’LAKES — Academy at the Lakes guard Audra Leipold could hardly hold back her emotions. Nine minutes and 50 seconds into the Wildcats’ 72-25 rout of Canterbury in Thursday’s Class 2A region quarterfinal, the freshman drove to the basket for a layup to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her ...
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    Thu. Feb. 05, 2015 at 9:09 p.m. | Jeff Odom

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