The Crystal River Sharks Pee Wee football team finished the first half of the season unbeaten after Saturday's 19-6 win at Gainesville, marking the first time in the program's 12-year history that a Sharks Pee Wee team has started 5-0.
The Sharks bested not only a tough Gainesville team, but a torrential downpour.
"The game was played in probably the worst football conditions I've ever seen," Sharks coach Dennis Treadway said. "There was free-standing water everywhere, mud everywhere."
All other North Suncoast Conference games scheduled for Saturday _ Inverness at Brooksville and West Hernando at Bushnell _ were canceled and will be made up at the end of the regular season.
The Sharks struck first when William Richardson scooped up a Gainesville fumble and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Midway through the third quarter, Fred Harvey broke a 6-6 tie on a 2-yard dive play. Tony Cooks added an insurance score in the fourth on an 11-yard sweep.
"I'm extremely proud of quarterback Ken Collins," Treadway said. "In conditions which were terrible _ the ball was extremely slippery and wet _ we only had one mishandled snap from center. It was on fourth-and-1, and a lesser quarterback would have just fallen on the ball. But he picked it up and went through the assigned hole where the play was supposed to go and got the first down."
Treadway also was pleased with the play of his defensive front.
"Going up there, we were concerned with their great outside speed," Treadway said. "But our defensive ends, William Richardson and Nathan Schwarer, along with our two cornerbacks, Joel Beck and Robert Williams, shut down their outside runs, which forced them to try to go up the middle. When they went up the middle, Leroy Hill, Mike Albury and Jeremie Eichhorn stopped the runs up the middle."
The Sharks' Flyweight team improved its record to 3-2 with a 6-0 win, and the Mighty Mites dropped to 2-3 with a 19-13 loss.
This week, Crystal River plays at Bushnell at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Inverness plays at West Hernando in Spring Hill at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Soccer jamborees: Citrus County youth soccer programs will begin recreational league play Saturday with jamborees on both sides of the county.
The East Citrus Soccer League will play at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness on athletic fields A and B starting at 9 a.m. Competitions in the under-6, under-8 and under-10 age divisions will be on field B; games in the under-12 and under-14 divisions on field A. The regular season begins Oct. 17.
The West Citrus Soccer Club will hold its recreational league jamboree at the Homosassa Area Recreation Park, with more than 200 youths participating in 18 matches throughout the day.