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Leopards stay at No. 5 in football

The Hernando High football team's first loss of the season didn't seem to hurt its Class 4A state ranking any. It speaks to the respect shown for second-ranked Crystal River, which defeated Hernando 28-17, that the Leopards remained ranked No. 5 in the poll this week.

Though Hernando lost its sole first-place vote, hung on to 73 votes, 10 better than Zephyrhills, which moved up to sixth. Perhaps the pollsters determined it would be unwise to drop Hernando beneath the Bulldogs they had beaten the previous week.

Crystal River, which won the 20th game of its past 22, retained the No. 2 spot with 131 points and one first-place vote.

Spangler is all-SEC for Alabama

Hernando graduate Jody Spangler continues to excel for the University of Alabama cross country team. Spangler, who will graduate in spring with a sports management degree, made the all-SEC team with a 14th-place finish in the championship meet at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., over the weekend. His place and time of 25 minutes, 15 seconds was the third-best on his team.

Leopards' Rasper an award finalist

Hernando High athlete Nola Rasper has been named as one of 10 female state finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award program. Rasper, one of the Leopards' top soccer players, placed among the top 510 female students in the nation to earn the honor. She is eligible for selection as a state winner, and if chosen can advance to the national finals.

Foot Locker races to be in Orlando

The Foot Locker National Championships are moving to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The 5,000-meter event (3.1 miles) has been in San Diego for all but two of the past 18 years. High school runners qualify for the meet through regional meets. The South Regional is Nov. 29 in Charlotte, with the national event Dec. 13.

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