A spotlight on the Times’ bay area players of the week.
Male Hot Shot: Noah Weller, Seminole
Skinny: Weller, a senior, strained his shoulder diving for a loose ball in the first half against St. Petersburg last week. The pain was so severe he took himself out of the game to have the trainers look at it. Would Weller sit out the rest of the game? Not a chance. He came through when his team needed him most, scoring seven of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to help the Warhawks beat their biggest rival 44-37. It was the first time Seminole had beaten the Green Devils in two seasons, and the victory gave the Warhawks the inside track to the No. 1 seed in Class 7A, District 10. “My shoulder hurt a lot, but I knew I had to stay in there and help my teammates as much as I could,” Weller said. “We’ve had a hard time finishing games against St. Petersburg, and I wanted to be in there to help us close it out this time.”
Female Hot Shot: Silvana Paonessa, Nature Coast
Skinny: One of the North Suncoast’s top soccer players starred when her Sharks needed her. Her six goals were a key reason Nature Coast triumphed in the Class 3A, District 6 tournament to claim the program’s first district championship. The former football kicker and a second-team all-North Suncoast soccer performer had a hat trick against Weeki Wachee in the opener and scored another goal in a 4-0 semifinal win over Leesburg that clinched her team’s second consecutive playoff appearance. In the final, she scored the Sharks’ first two goals in a 3-0 victory over Citrus that made school history.