After three of the five Cougars age divisions advanced past the first round of the playoffs, West Hernando took some lumps in the Pasco Police Athletic League postseason. However, the teams were still able to get a representative to the Super Bowl for the third year in a row.
In a slate of games at New Port Richey, the Junior Varsity (11-2) and Flyweights (8-4) both fell short of the big game with losses to New Port Richey and Hudson, respectively. The J.V. dropped its game 6-0 after struggling to score in the red zone against the Buccaneers. The Flyweights were shut out 22-0 by a strong Cobra team.
A 14-13 stunning upset over Shady Hills by the Junior Flyweights (9-3) earned them a berth in the Super Bowl, following in the footsteps of the Cougar Mighty Mites who played in the 2006 and 2007 contests. The Raiders were the most impressive team in PPAL this season at 11-0 entering the game.
The Super Bowl will be held in Zephyrhills on Saturday at Kreusen Field where the Cougars will face the Dade City Pirates. A win would give West Hernando a championship for the second time in two seasons after not capturing one in the 15 seasons before that.
CHEERLEADING: The West Hernando Cougars cheerleaders competed in the Cheer Champion Express Florida Invitational this past Saturday at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa.
For the third time in as many weeks, the Junior Varsity was the top squad at the competition it entered. The J.V. won the Grand Champions title for the second time this season, beating out 132 other teams for the honor. The Flyweights and Varsity also won their divisions for the Cougars, while the Junior Flyweights and Mighty Mites placed at the major event.
In other news, the Junior Flyweights, who previously were thought to be the only Cougar squad to not place at last week's PPAL Cheer-Off, were awarded the third place award after the competition. The team was erroneously deducted points after a judge's mistake.
West Hernando Cheerleading Coordinator Debbie McFarland has her squad scheduled for one more major competition: The Cheer Blast on Nov. 23 at the Tampa Bay Convention Center.
MARTIAL ARTS: Dragon's Dojo of Spring Hill competed in the Disney Martial Arts Festival last month and was very successful. The group took home 27 gold medals and 50 medals overall in the categories of forms, sparring, grappling and combined martial arts.
Nick Richartz, 17, led the way for the school, capturing four gold medals, including first place showings in two separate divisions of Olympic Sparring, another in TKD Forms and one more in Gi Grappling.
Michelle Alfonso, 15, and William Schook, 12, both took home three gold medals each. Alfonso scored victories in the youth and adult divisions of Gi Grappling and also first in TKD Forms. Schook took first in Olympic Sparring, TKD Forms and Gi Grappling. Alfonso also added a silver in Olympic Sparring.
Christien Coleman, 10, Zack Zielinski, 13, Erik Fontano, 15, and Carlos Carasquillo, 14, all had multiple first place finishes as well.
WRESTLING: Mike Heagney, a former state placer for Springstead High, won his first collegiate tournament last week.
This is Heagney's first season competing for King College in Tennessee. The college freshman is a 2007 Springstead graduate. Competing in the Patriot Open at the University of Cumberland, he won his first attempt at a tournament in the 197-pound weight class.
After a bye in the first round, Heagney defeated Andrew Boley of Dana College in the quarterfinals, pinned Jacob Brady of the University of Cumberland in the semifinals, and won by injury default over Dave Balatine of King College in the final.
MORE WRESTLING: Spring Hill Wrestling Club will begin another session Dec. 2 and will run through March 2009. The meetings will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. for kindergarten to third grade, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. for fourth to eighth.
All meetings will be held at Springstead High Wrestling Room, and the registration fee is $80 per child. All checks can be made out to Springstead Wrestling.
For more information, contact Springstead wrestling coach Eric Swensen at (352) 797-7010 or visit www.springhillwrestling.com.
Submit upcoming events, registrations information to firstname.lastname@example.org.