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HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Avery Damjanovic and Orien Adams

Say hello to a pair of prolific scorers, one in soccer and the other hoops.
Wiregrass Ranch's Avery Damjanovic scored a school-record seven goals recently against Pasco.
Published Dec. 4, 2018

Our high school players of the week:

Avery Damjanovic, Wiregrass Ranch

The junior striker had a record-breaking week for the Bulls. In a Monday match against Pasco, Damjanovic scored a school-record seven goals in the first half. She also scored a goal and had two assists in a 3-0 win over Plant on Wednesday.

"I think that's the most goals I've ever scored in a game," Damjanovic said of her performance against Pasco. "The players on my team were very good at passing me the ball and I was able to score."

Damjanovic transferred from Wharton this season. She played her first two seasons with the Wildcats. She has clearly fit right in with the Bulls. Through five games, she has 14 goals and four assists. They are 5-0 and have outscored opponents 33-2.

"From the very beginning of the season it has all clicked," Damjanovic said. "The chemistry is there. And coach (Edwin Costa) has been very good at explaining the tactical parts of the game."

While at Wharton, Damjanovic played more of an outside midfielder position. She wasn't the team's main scorer. This year as a striker her main objective is to score goals.

She also plays club soccer but is not as much of an offensive threat on that team. She likes her new role as well as her new team.

"Club is a different competitive level and I really play it to stay in shape," she said. "I really focus on the high school season. I love it. It's a lot of fun."

Nature Coast’s Orien Adams recently scored 40 points in the season opener.

Orien Adams, Nature Coast

Ducking through doorways, Adams was easy to spot as a freshman at Nature Coast two years ago.

It was not just students who gazed up at the 6-foot-5 newcomer.

So did Sharks coach Dave Pisarcik.

He encouraged Adams to try out for basketball.

After a year on junior varsity, Adams ended up as a starter on varsity last season. He played well, averaging nine points and 13 rebounds.

Still, Adams knew he could improve.

To get better, Adams had to get stronger. So the first time since he started basketball, Adams spent time in the weight room to use his newfound muscles in the paint.

His stats bulked up as much as his frame.

In the season opener, Adams had a career-high 40 points and 28 rebounds in a win over Mitchell.

That is not a misprint.

The eye-popping numbers even surprised Adams.

"I knew I had a lot of points and rebounds," he said. "I just didn't know it was that many."

Adams already has become a rebounding machine. Twice he recorded 21 rebounds in games last season. Now he is adding a shooting touch whenever he is around the basketball.

"It was definitely a good start," Adams said.

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