Springstead entered the state hockey club playoffs hoping to record another state title. The club, which includes players from five different local high schools, went 4-0 in the postseason and won its fourth title in seven years.
The Eagles advanced to the state semifinals at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa as the top seed in the state. The semifinal contest pitted Springstead against Tampa/Pinellas.
Springstead led the Terrapins 4-3 going into the third period after scoring its fourth goal with only 26 seconds remaining in the second. Ryan Nelson scored two goals in the third and Justin Jimenez and Joey Puricelli added hat tricks for the 8-5 win. Goaltender Nick Serra had 24 saves.
The win took Springstead to state finals against Tarpon/Dunedin, which took out 2007 defending champion Gaither/Sickles in a previous round.
In a high scoring match, the Eagles led 7-5 after two periods. Puricelli scored twice and Jimenez once in the final period as each had four goals in the game. Penalty-killing was big for the Eagles as the defense shutout Tarpon/Dunedin in the third despite surrendering two power plays.
The 12-5 victory came behind stout goaltending from Serra (22 saves) again. The trophy now sits in the front office at Springstead High.
Judo: Tylor Hubbard, 14, competed in the Judo Yudashankai State Championship on March 22 in Orlando, coming in second in the Advanced 13-14 Division and third in the 14-16 Division. The medal he received in the older 14-16 Division was a surprise as Hubbard volunteered to compete at that level. The event included more than 150 fighters from as far north as Atlanta and as far south as Miami.
Hubbard studies judo with sensei Lee at the Modern Day Warrior School in Spring Hill and attends ninth grade at Wider Horizons School, also in Spring Hill.
Brooksville Bombers: The Bombers (16-10) had a double-header this past weekend with their nemesis, the Tampa Pirates. The Pirates are the second-ranked team in the state AAU rankings behind Brooksville.
In the first game, the Bombers picked up a 13-3 mercy rule victory, supported with stout offense and a top-notch pitching effort from starter Steven Beach. Beach tossed a complete game over five innings and allowed just four hits, a walk and struck out six.
The second game was closer, but clutch performances from talented role players gave Brooksville the 4-2 win. Late in the game, Mike Ebberup, batting ninth, slapped a two-out base hit that scored two Bombers. Reliever J.P. Gates came in to retire the Pirates for the save.
Over the twin bill, the first four hitters in the Brooksville lineup went a combined 14-for-22 with a home run, a triple, two doubles and 14 runs scored.
Sunday the Bombers travel to Tropicana Field to see the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles and then play a game of their own on the same field.
Pitch, Hit & Run: The Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Competition will be coming to Brooksville at 6 p.m. April 23 at the Jerome Brown Community Center Adult Fields.
The event is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball and is designed to provide local youths the opportunity to compete, free of charge, against their peers to recognize individual excellence. There will be four separate age divisions: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and
If they qualify, contestants will have the opportunity to advance through four different rounds of competition with the final two rounds taking place at MLB ballparks and the national finals at the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in New York.
All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and fill out a waiver/registration form prior to the start of the competition. For more information, contact local coordinator Lou Bermudez at (352) 544-5498.