Each week, our HomeTeam staffers will nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. These nominations span Saturday, Feb. 16 through Friday, Feb. 22. Winners get a free T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in the area. Read up on what made our nominees stand out, then look for our writers’ picks for overall winners in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times.
Tianah Alvarado, Lakewood basketball: The senior has been good all season, but is saving her best games for last. In Friday’s Class 5A semifinal she led the Spartans with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals in a 64-38 win over Tallahassee Rickards.
Rachel Dwyer, Chamberlain softball: The Chiefs' ace tossed a three-hitter, striking out 11 and walking two in Friday's 2-0 win at Wiregrass Ranch, giving coach Bob Diez his 500th career win. Twice, the senior ended an inning with runners in scoring position by throwing a curveball for a called third strike.
Makenzie Goluba, River Ridge softball: The sophomore ace threw a no-hitter (two walks, eight strikeouts) in a 12-0 win over Tarpon Springs. She hasn’t allowed a run in 24.1 innings this season.
Tatiana Manuel, Academy at the Lakes basketball: The 6-foot-2 senior scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-11 shooting while adding four blocks and four rebounds in a blowout Class 2A state semifinal victory. She led the Wildcats with 11 points in a loss to FAMU High in the title game.
Brittany McGee, Admiral Farragut track: The sophomore won all four of her individual events at the St. Petersburg Championship meet, taking first in the long jump (17-8), high jump (5-4), 100 hurdles (15.20) and 300 hurdles (46.44). Her time in the 300 hurdles set a personal record and is the fastest in the state according to flrunners.com.
Faith Woodard, Freedom basketball: The senior Georgetown commit scored a team-high 25 points and the go-ahead basket in a 74-73 win over Sebastian River in the Class 7A region finals. Then she led the Patriots with 26 points and 15 rebounds in a state semifinal loss to Gainesville Buchholz.
Keegan Maronpot, East Lake baseball: The senior came up big on Wednesday night against Seminole. Maronpot hit a first-inning grand slam off Warhawks ace Alex McGathey in an eventual 6-4 win. It was Maronpot’s first home run for East Lake.
Jacob Mathis, Berkeley Prep basketball: The freshman had a double double (18 points, 10 rebounds) and went 2-for-4 from 3-point range) in the Buccaneers’ 87-65 annihilation of Tampa Catholic in the Class 4A region semis.
Kevin Norstrem, Brandon wrestling: The senior pulled off one of the sport’s toughest feats, nabbing his fifth individual title at last weekend’s Class 3A state meet. The 138-pounder tied Brandon alums Rossi Bruno and Clark Glass for most state gold medals.
Jared Prince, Palm Harbor U. wrestling: The sophomore won the 120-pound class at the Class 3A state tournament, beating three-time state champion James Flint from Brandon in the finals. Prince is PHU's first state champion in wrestling and finished the season 62-1 (the second-most wins in the state).
Jordan Rivera, Springstead wrestling: The Eagles needed the 138-pounder to pull through in the final to have a shot at a third consecutive state title. His 12-3 decision secured his first individual championship and helped Springstead edge Olympic Heights for the 2A title.
Brandon Vovan, Nature Coast wrestling: The 160-pounder won the first state title in program history and helped the Sharks finish fifth overall in 2A.