1. Sports
  2. /
  3. HomeTeam

Nature Coast’s Kennedy Weissman leaves state in her wake

The sophomore has a whopping 41 goals so far this season, easily tops of any player in Florida.
A little more than a month into the season, Nature Coast Tech sophomore Kennedy Weissman leads the state in scoring with 41 goals and 92 points, almost double the totals of the next closest player. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
A little more than a month into the season, Nature Coast Tech sophomore Kennedy Weissman leads the state in scoring with 41 goals and 92 points, almost double the totals of the next closest player. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Dec. 11, 2019

BROOKSVILLE — In the stands you can hear opposing goal keepers on the field: “Watch out for Kennedy! Watch out for Kennedy!”

But so far it hasn’t mattered how much the opposition has watched out for, stalked, shadowed or double teamed Nature Coast Tech sophomore forward Kennedy Weissman.

Inevitably, and quickly, Weissman scores and scores and scores.

Through the season’s first 11 games, Weissman racked up a state-leading 41 goals, twice scoring six in a game and three times scoring five. She also chipped in 10 assists, adding up to a state-best 92 points, or 42 ahead of the next closest player, Andrea Pelfrey of Baker County. Weissman’s 41 goals, by the way, lead the state’s next closest player, Suncoast High’s Guilianna Johnston, by 18.

Weissman, however, is quick to say, “The goals are not all about me.”

She says she is the by-product of a great group of teammates all over the field — including keepers Talia Nowlan and Kirsten Lavallee (who also plays in the field), midfielders MaKaylee Buratczuk, Alexandrea Florkowski and Riana McAdam and forwards Mia DeRonda and Del’Nikquwa Edwards and freshman Briana Seaman — who time and again set Weissman up to bury goals.

“None of this happens without all of them,” Weissman emphasizes. “I couldn’t dribble through everybody by myself and score all of those goals. That would be impossible.”

This is not to say Weissman isn’t exceptional, because so far she has been faster, stronger and has had better instincts than anyone in any game.

Can Nature Coast win it all this season? Kennedy Weissman and her coach don't rule out the possibility, but the postseason is still a long way off. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

It’s just that Weissman happens to be on a team that is hitting on all cylinders, hence Nature Coast’s 11-0 record (as of Tuesday) with 75 goals scored against only two allowed.

“Everything has come together this season and that is because of a total team effort,” said third-year coach Brandon Chitwood, who went 10-8-2 and 17-5-2 in his first two seasons. “If you come in here thinking if we stop Kennedy Weissman then we stop Nature Coast, then you’re going to have a bad night. If you focus on Kennedy then we’ll just get the ball to somebody else. We have that ability to adjust.”

Weissman is totally down with that sentiment.

“I don’t think about how many goals I’m going to score,” said Weissman, a straight-A student who also competes full-time on the weight-lifting team and for the track team in the spring. “I think about what we need to do to win the game. Helping the team win, that’s it.”

And, of course, having fun along the way, which is evident every time the Sharks ride home on the bus.

“We do sing pretty loud,” Weissman said of the 20-girl roster that features no starting seniors. “Many of us have known each other for years and now that we’re playing together for the high school team, we are really enjoying every moment.”

State title?

Weissman and Chitwood said they wouldn’t count anything out, but at the same time they think first things first, which means the next practice and the next game and so on.

“We still have a lot of games to play,” Chitwood said.

State record for goals scored in a season?

Also a long way to go.

According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Buddy Collings, who keeps track of such things, Satellite’s Andi Sellers set the state single-season scoring mark at 95 in the 1995-96 season. On the Tampa Bay area scene, Clearwater Central Catholic’s Robin Confer is believed to hold the record at 80 goals, a total accrued in the 1993-94 season.


  1. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle (13) makes a catch before a Dec. 29 game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  Associated Press]
    The high school coaches of Azeez Al-Shaair, Matt Breida and Byron Pringle know the adversity the trio faced in making it big.
  2. Junior Jayla Murray and defending state champion Tampa Bay Tech continue to get battle tested as playoffs loom. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The final week of the regular season finds little change at the top.
  3. Former USF quarterback Quinton Flowers is on the opening-day 52-man roster for the XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    Plant High’s Aaron Murray and Wharton High’s Chase Litton join USF’s career total yardage leader in the quarterback room.
  4. Tampa Catholic's Kobe Knox dunks for two  of his 12 points in a 68-64 victory over Berkeley Prep on Friday night. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Crusaders don’t lead until the fourth quarter, but edge the Bucs 68-64.
  5. With seniors like Parker Conitz, pictured at left here with fellow Clearwater Shootout Player of the Game Joshua Celiscar of Winter Haven and Clearwater High coach Kris Foote, Seminole believes it can claim another district banner for the gym. [CUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
    Classification and district realignment make the Warhawks’ path to a title not as daunting.
  6. Fivay girls basketball players, from left: Marielis Creque, Jania Jones and Savannah Shaffer. [RODNEY PAGE   |  Times]
    The Falcons are a postseason threat and there’s not a senior to be found on the roster.
  7. Junior Talon Bergantino is among Central's leading scorers this season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    After taking their lumps vs. their older siblings, Talon and Caden Bergantino have emerged as fierce competitors for the Bears.
  8. Karim Nohra pulls no punches in getting his Carrollwood Day team ready for another playoff push. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Patriot girls notch another lopsided basketball victory with a senior-dominated team.
  9. Kobe Knox, center, and Tampa Catholic regain the top spot in the rankings thanks to recent wins over Leesburg, Naples and Seffner Christian. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Tampa Catholic takes over the top spot again after an impressive showing last week.
  10. Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (10), center, challenges the Wesley Chapel defense during a December game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    Little change at the top as the regular season winds down.