1. Sports

Hernando County sports news

Published Jul. 19, 2013

Erin's Danceworks Dance Academy of Spring Hill had a successful weekend earlier this month at the 2013 DanceAmerica National Competition in Schaumburg, Ill.

The experience was gratifying for instructors Erin Messaris, Kelli Gill and Heather Carter, who guided a squad of 41 girls and two boys. After competing in two regional competitions where they won top awards, the team was prepared for the national event — the largest ever, with close to 950 entries. Erin's competition team performed 16 group dances and 21 solos.

Along with many first-place awards in individual categories, they took home honors for high scoring female solo, high scoring small group, high scoring large group, high scoring line and high scoring mega production in the primary/junior categories. The group also won high scoring male solo, high scoring female solo, high scoring duo/trio, high scoring small group, high scoring line and high scoring mega production, and On Broadway, the intermediate mega production was also awarded best technical execution in the intermediate/senior categories.

Jadah Carrera, Alexandra Chapman, Makayla Messaris, Makenna Messaris, Brooke Mooney, Gracie Santalucia and Erik-Lee Troche were all chosen to compete in the Top 13 dance-off in their respective Dancer of the Year levels. Makayla Messaris won the Petite Dancer of the Year title, and Troche won the Senior Male Dancer of the Year title. Carrera was second runner-up for Junior Dancer of the Year, while Mooney was first runner-up for Senior Dancer of the Year.

The highlight of the trip was winning the Jules Stone Overall High Scoring Award for the entire competition with a special dance. It is the second straight year that Erin's has taken home that award.

POWELL MIDDLE FOOTBALL CAMP: Powell Middle School will hold its Football Agility and Conditioning Camp from Monday through Thursday at the Powell football field.

The camp is open to all county middle school students and will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Headed up by Powell coach Ron Blackwell, the camp will help with heat tolerance and cardiovascular endurance. It will not be a skills camp.

Transportation will not be provided and participants should only drink water at home before camp starts every day. Water will be available to students at all times during camp.

The fee is $50 per player with a $25 discount for siblings. Florida High School Athletic Association paperwork, a copy of the birth certificate, an insurance card and a completed registration form must be turned in prior to taking part in the camp. Forms can be obtained at

For information, call Blackwell at (352) 797-7095, ext. 227, or email

RED MULE LABOR DAY 5K: The 32nd annual Red Mule Runners Labor Day 5K is at 8 a.m. Aug. 24 at McKethan Lake Park, north of Brooksville.

Awards will be given to overall male and female, masters male and female, grandmasters male and female, the top three finishers in each age division and top five for ages 14 to 19. Corporate sponsorship opportunities for race T-shirts are also available.

Race-day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. The entry fee is $20 or $25 on race day. Multicolored T-shirts will be guaranteed to all preregistered runners. Registration is available online at

For information, contact Ken Dent at (352) 382-4870, (352) 476-4736 or

SPRINGSTEAD BASKETBALL CAMP: Springstead High School will host one more youth basketball skills clinic at the school gymnasium in Spring Hill.

The final camp runs Monday through Thursday. Instruction will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with early drop-off available to parents at 8 a.m. for an additional fee.

Coaches will work with players on fundamental basketball skills such as dribbling, shooting and rebounding. The camp is open to boys and girls going into grades 2 through 7.

The registration fee is $80 per camper or $65 for the child of a Hernando County School Board employee; $20 will be discounted for each additional child in a family.

For information, contact Springstead boys basketball coach Tim Plumadore at (352) 238-7536 or

NATURE COAST BASKETBALL CAMP: Nature Coast Technical High School will host one more youth basketball skills camp at the school gymnasium in Brooksville.

The final camp is Monday through Thursday. Instruction will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily with early drop-off available to parents at 8 a.m.

Coaches, led by Nature Coast boys coach David Picarsik, will work with players on fundamental basketball drills such as ball handling, shooting, passing and defense. The camp is open to boys and girls from age 5 to those entering grade 7.

The registration fee is $75 per camper, which will include competitions with trophies and other awards.

For information, call Pisarcik at (727) 385-2194.

TENNIS CLINICS: Ace Performance Tennis is offering Quick Start Drills on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill.

The cost is $10 per class. Drills and games are designed for beginning players using U.S. Tennis Association-approved strategies for 60-foot court players. Participants will learn to play tennis quickly with age- and size-appropriate equipment and modified courts.

Ace Performance Tennis is also offering Ladies Night Out from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Monday at Delta Woods Park.

The cost is $10 per class. Women of beginning and intermediate skill levels will learn to play in a fun social setting.

For information, call John or Louise Downey at (352) 666-0658 or visit

FIREARMS CLASSES: The Hernando Sportsman's Club, on U.S. 19 north of Weeki Wachee, is offering firearms safety classes over the next few months.

The next class dates are Aug. 7, Aug. 17 and Sept. 4. A women-only class will be on Sept. 21. All classes are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The course covers lessons about the basics of firearm safety and the fundamentals of pistol shooting. The class includes practice time on the range.

Completion of the class provides the required documentation to apply for a Florida concealed carry permit.

Advance registration is required; the fee is $60.

National Rifle Association certification classes are also available during July and August.

Call (352) 597-9931 or visit

Contact Derek J. LaRiviere at or (352) 584-6337.