HomeTeam Hot Shots
Kristin Werdine, Robinson
Werdine, a junior outside hitter, has been the Knights’ top offensive player this season. She has 188 kills and had 10 kills in a sweep of Sebring in last week’s Class 6A volleyball region semifinals.
While she has been a dangerous player since joining the team as a freshman, she barely made her first club team.
"I thought I was a pretty good player and the coach told me that I barely made the team," Werdine said. "That was surprising. It made me work harder because I wasn’t as good as I thought I was."
Werdine is a big reason the Knights are still playing volleyball this late in the season. They take on Tarpon Springs on Tuesday night for a chance to play in the state semifinals Saturday. They made the state semis last year under coach Stephanie Turner. Turner didn’t return this season and Ashley Johnson took over.
Werdine said it’s been a good ride so far.
"The thing I would say about this team is that it’s been fun," she said. "We know to be serious during games, but practices are a blast. We just have a lot of fun together."
Werdine chose Robinson because of its IB program. She plans to attend college somewhere in the Northeast.
"The academic part was very important to me," Werdine said. "And it’s nice that they have a good volleyball program also."
Jabari Ramsey, Land O’Lakes
By winning the 100-yard breaststroke at the Class 2A state meet, Ramsey made history.
The Land O’Lakes senior became the first boys swimmer from Pasco County and just the fifth from the area to win three straight titles in the same event.
He tied former Mitchell standout Devin McCaffrey for the most career individual titles by a North Suncoast swimmer with three.
Better still, Ramsey did it by setting a personal record with a time of 56.11 seconds.
"It was gratifying to know all the hard work paid off," he said.
The work starts before the sun rises. Ramsey drives nearly an hour for practice before school. Then he goes back for another practice after school.
"I want to hit that snooze button, but I knew I had to keep putting in the work to get better," Ramsey said.
Ramsey also won gold in the 200 medley relay, a state title he was able to share with teammates Patryk Pilkowski, Zachary Davis and Zuri Ramsey. The quartet won the school’s first state title in a relay and set a school record with a time of 1:35.97.
"I think that title means the most because I was able to do it with my teammates," Ramsey said. "The best we had ever finished before at states was seventh, so this is one people will definitely be talking about for a while."
This week, Ramsey has taken a break from twice-daily practices. But only for a week.
"It’s just enough time to get some rest and re-energize," he said.
After that, he will be busy emailing college coaches in hopes of landing at a Division I-A school.
His resume includes plenty of state titles — and records.