Each week, our HomeTeam staffers will nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. These nominations span Saturday, May 4 through Friday, May 10. Winners get a free T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in the area. Read up on what made our nominees stand out then look for our writers’ picks for overall winners in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times.
Sydney Boynton, Academy at the Lakes softball: The senior pitcher knocked in three runs and struck out eight opponents to turn the tide in a 9-4 win over Quincy Munroe in Monday’s region final. She also had two RBIs in a state semifinal loss to Canterbury.
Kelsey Hill, Canterbury softball: In the Class 2A state semifinals, the senior went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a double that scored the final two runs in the Crusaders’ 13-3 victory over Academy at the Lakes.
Jasmine Laska, Pinellas Park track: After dominating county competition in the throwing events, the senior continued to do well in the postseason. At last week's Class 4A state meet, she placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 110 feet, 10 inches.
Tyler Watson, Wharton track: On a wretched day of rain and wind at the 4A state meet, the senior exited Hodges Stadium as Hillsborough County's lone three-medal recipient on the day. Watson placed fourth in the 300 hurdles, seventh in the 100 hurdles and ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team that placed sixth.
Caroline Whiteside, Freedom softball: The first over-the-fence home run of Whiteside's life was a two-out, two-strike grand slam in the top of the seventh in the region final, lifting the Patriots to a 5-1 win at Sarasota.
Cayman Ellis, St. Petersburg track: Battling through a steady rain and strong wind that caused several delays, the senior won his first state title in the pole vault, clearing 14 feet, 6 inches at the Class 4A meet.
Christian Arroyo, Hernando baseball: The UF signee bashed a two-run home run to rightfield that gave his team the lead for good in a 3-1 comeback win over Eustis in a Class 5A region semifinal.
Zach Drury, Wiregrass Ranch baseball: The standout junior shut out nationally ranked Steinbrenner in a 4-0 upset win in a 7A region semifinal. He allowed only two hits in the game.
Luke Heyer, Durant baseball: The junior infielder went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including the go-ahead score in the fifth inning, in Durant's 6-1 victory over Timber Creek. Heyer's two-out RBI single in the third inning was the tying score in the Cougars' 8A region final.
Brett Morales, King baseball: The Florida signee and MLB draft prospect struck out a school-record 17 batters in a 4-1 complete-game victory over Mitchell in a Class 6A region final.
David Paul, Clearwater Central Catholic baseball: Was clutch against rival Calvary Christian in a Class 3A region semifinal, striking out nine and allowing three hits in a 7-1 win to improve to 9-0. Then, in Friday's 9-4 region final win over West Palm Beach King's Academy, Paul relieved in the seventh inning and got three straight outs.