Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brandon Schultz and Jackie Laihinen

Brandon Schultz, Ridgewood

Two years ago, Schultz moved to the area from Minnesota. He was more of a sprinter then.

Former Ridgewood coach Sue Vien wanted to change that. She put a hurdle in front of Schultz and asked him to clear it. He did. His technique was impressive enough that Vien turned him into a hurdler.

It was a good move. Schultz has turned into one of the top hurdlers in the state. He already has set school records at 110 and 300 meters. Last season, he finished second in the 110 hurdles at the Class 2A state meet.

He has continued to dominate both events this season. Schultz, a senior, won the 110 (14.78 seconds) and 300 hurdles (40.01 seconds) at East Lake's Early Bird Track Invitational.

"When I first moved down here it was tough," Schultz said. "The competition was better and the practices were a lot harder. But it definitely helped me become better."

Schultz gave up playing football because his coaches in both sports thought he had a better chance of becoming a hurdler in college. He has been accepted to Bethune Cookman, but he does not have any scholarship offers yet.

"I want to run in college and hopefully my opportunity will come," Schultz said. "This year I want to keep improving and try to win both events at states."

Jackie Laihinen, Carrollwood Day

Laihinen had to make a big change two years ago when she moved with her family from Wisconsin to Tampa. A basketball player up north, Laihinen enrolled at Carrollwood Day and played on the basketball team. The Patriots struggled through a 5-14 season.

Then she was in for a second big change in as many years. Karim Nohra took over as head coach after a successful run at Academy at the Lakes. Five new freshmen enrolled and all five would form the varsity team's starting lineup.

Laihinen not only had to get used to a new coach, but a whole new team.

"It was different at first but I got used to it," Laihinen said. "It's actually been a lot of fun.''

The Patriots are 26-2 and play Tuesday night in the Class 3A state semifinals. Laihinen came up big against Orlando Christian Prep with nine points in a 51-43 win in the region final. She is one of several players for the Patriots who can score, but is not normally the team's top scorer.

That's fine with her. She remembers how it was last season and she's looking forward to being part of Carrollwood Day's first state tournament.

"We're all very excited," she said. "We can't wait to get there."

Up next

Games at 7 p.m. tonight.

Region boys basketball semifinals

8A: Bartow at Sickles

8A: Tampa Bay Tech at St. Pete

7A: Hillsborough at Mitchell

7A: Largo at Port Charlotte

6A: Nature Coast at Central

6A: Cape Coral Mariner at Lakewood

5A: Tampa Catholic at Community School of Naples

Region boys basketball finals

4A: Orlando First Academy at Seffner Christian

2A: North Florida Educational at Bayshore Christian

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brandon Schultz and Jackie Laihinen 02/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, February 20, 2017 6:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs: Quick and easy fixes for what ails Tampa Bay?


    The Bucs are 2-4 and have lost five straight road games, so there's plenty to fix. What's the quickest and easiest fix for coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay? The Times' Bucs coverage team weighs in:


    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  5. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170