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Student Athlete College Signings

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We begin with Hernando High School…

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Hernando High School’s Head Football Coach Rob Kazmier, known to all as Coach Kaz takes pride in the students at Hernando High School. He works hard to encourage, uplift, recruit and keep the students on track to achieve their dreams in life. Kaz stated he is proud and loves seeing Hernando’s amazing and sharp students make big moves toward their futures. Coach Kaz would also like to recognize and congratulate the Senior Students with Academic College Signings for 2019.  Will Healis signed with West Point, David Hale Bronson signed with UCF, Bronson Tafelski starts an internship with Immerse The Nations in South Africa.

When Tafelski returns he will attend SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary until his next trip. Ben Southall signed with PHSC/Air Force. Harrison Carter is attending Vancouver Community College. There are several other students who have accepted or are still deciding.  Recent sports college scholarships signees are Israel Fields (football) who signed with Kentucky State and Austin Galda (baseball/soccer) who signed with Community College of Baltimore County. On Wednesday May 15, 2019, Hernando High School celebrated three more sports scholarship college signings: Gabe Barker, Boston Tafelski and Madison Griffin.

Senior Madison Griffin signed with Warner University playing Soccer. Madison said, she chose Warner because it was the best choice to better her future and continue her soccer career. Madison is majoring in dentistry and plans to become an orthodontist. Madison’s advice to student athletes is that school grades are first then your sports. She played multiple sports: cheer, football, soccer just to name a few. Madison said, “I want to thank my parents for being so supportive and pushing me to be the best I can be.”

 Hernando High Senior Boston Tafelski signed with Geneva College playing football. Boston said when he stepped on campus it just felt comfortable walking around campus, it just felt like home and being himself. Boston also stated he will be majoring in civil engineering in hopes to one day own a construction business, if not at least somewhere in the building industry. The advice for students preparing to play in college, Boston said,  “Do it with all you have no matter if someone is watching you or not. Your integrity is most important attributes both as an athlete and person.” About his time as a Hernando Leopard he said, “I just want to thank Hernando for accepting me as one of your own and giving me a platform to showcase who I am not only as a player but as a person as well. Thank you coach Kaz for all the countless recruiting hours you put into my recruiting profile. The example you have set before us players is one worth imitating. Thank you coach Pritz for everything you’ve taught me as a wrestler and as an individual. You’ve taught me the work ethic and the discipline it takes to be the best I can possibly be.” 

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Hernando High Senior Gabe Barker signed with Lyon College for football. Gabe said he felt like it was the best fit and best option for him. Gabe will be studying Biology on the Pre-Med track. He wants to serve in the military as a physician for a number of years. When he retires from the military, Gabe would like to work with a sports team as their physician.

Giving advice to students coming up behind him. Gabe said, if you want to get recruited to play a sport in college  keep working hard, in the classroom, on your field of play.  If you could do more than one sport that makes you more valuable and harder to be overlooked. Colleges want to know that you could handle your sports schedule while taking your college level classes. Here is Gabe Barker’s shout out to those that helped him to this point in his life.  Words by Gabe: “Though I have only been a Leopard for a short while, from the moment I stepped on campus I felt welcome. Mrs. Sellers in the front office saying, ‘I think we’ll get along just fine,’ with a smile when she saw my gator gear. Coach Kaz getting all my info immediately following his introduction. There are so many people in my life I have to thank for where I am today. Dad, thank you so much for everything you sacrifice for me, for teaching me, guiding me, and picking me back up when I fall. Mom, thank you for always supporting me and loving on me after every win and every loss trying to stay positive. Coach “pants,” thank you so much for working with me at HCA since I was in middle school, you have taught me a lot and have always been close to me. Coach Raley, I will always have ‘you tater-muffin-biscuit head,’ engraved in my memory! To my teammates, we went to war together and there’s no bond quite like that, love y’all brothers. To my brother, sister and the rest of my huge family (including close friends and mentors), thank you for always loving me and being such a huge part of my childhood! I love you all so much!! And you have no idea how much you have impacted my life.” 

Springstead High School Seniors will leave the Sunshine State for colder weather,  but for good cause.

Nathan Sims and Jerome Langley received football scholarships after signing with The University of Mount Union located in Ohio and Christian Reynolds will also attend Mount Union with a Wrestling Scholarship. Springstead Senior Sincere Torain commits to Northland Community Tech College in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on a Basketball Scholarship.

Jerome Langley stated, 
“All around I feel like ‘it’s going to be a great experience to continue to play ball and further my education as well.” 

Nathan Sims’ advice on earning an athletic scholarship is,
“Get on the recruiting game, play your heart out, do what you got to do, and make sure you leave everything on the field.” 

Springstead football coach, Michael Garofano commented on Sims and Langley.  “They epitomized what we look for in student-athletes. Now they see the fruits of their labor with them going off to college to a major school that has won multiple titles,” he said.

With a basketball scholarship in hand, Sincere Torain advises, 
“Work out what you need to do, because getting here is not easy, working for a scholarship is really hard.” 

Springstead Head Basketball Coach Matthew McGarry remarked that Torain who came into the program as a sophomore, understood that he was becoming part of a very talented team. He knew he had to work hard to earn playing time and help the team win.  “And he was phenomenal at that. He ended up being a signature piece; it was a natural progression but predicated on the fact that he was a hard worker,” said McGarry.

Christian Reynolds feels fortunate to be able to take his skills to the next level.
“This makes me feel great that I can further my education and my wrestling career because I put so much time and effort into this sport. I didn’t want it to go to waste as soon as I graduated,” said Reynolds.

“Christian came to us his freshman year, and he never wrestled before. He put in a lot of hard work and trained pretty much year round to get to where he is today,” remarked Assistant Wrestling Coach Joe Gallo

Jerome Langley suggested that any student-athlete looking towards furthering their education by receiving a scholarship should get into the recruiting process early and suggested they learn more about the recruiting process.  

“It’s really important because now they [student/athletes] know the formula,” Michael Garofano said. “The incoming freshmen, sophomores, juniors they know the formula of what it takes to get to the next level and it’s not just football, it’s grades, it’s character.”

Another suggestion is to learn how to promote and communicate accomplishments in a credible and respectable manner. Here are a few tips:
– Keep in contact with your local newspaper ([email protected])
-Keep stats updated
-Keep media, such as photos and videos fresh
-Keep your social media accounts clean and respectful

Congratulations to all of the Hernando County student-athletes who have received scholarships.

*Related article: https://www.hernandosun.com/index.php/article/recruiting-college-coachs-perspective

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