There’s been plenty of stories all throughout the year for Hernando County prep teams and athletes and we here at the Hernando Sun wanted to recognize some of those feats. We start off with sports that started off in the fall and go all the way over to the spring sports. We take a closer look at high school sports for the 2021-2022 school year.
Nature Coast reached the second round of the playoffs in football: Some might say it was a down year in football throughout Hernando County, but Nature Coast was still able to win a playoff game and reach the region semifinals. After winning a tough game against Tampa Chamberlain, Nature Coast reached the second round and eventually lost to Clearwater. Despite the second round exit, the Sharks return a lot of key pieces and should be a district title contender in 2022.
Central boys basketball makes a deep playoff push: The Bears (25-5) might’ve been a surprise to some people, but not to themselves in the slightest. Central had one of the more memorable seasons when it comes to a Hernando County boys basketball team, as the Bears reached the region finals where they lost narrowly 59-55 to St. Petersburg Gibbs. Before the region final, Central knocked off perennial area power St. Petersburg Lakewood and Port Charlotte in the opening two rounds.
Weeki Wachee girls basketball bounced back with a 20-win season: If you slept on the Hornets last season in 2020-2021, you certainly did not when it came to this most recent campaign. Weeki Wachee went ahead and won 20 games in the 2021-2022 season and was the Class 4A, District 9 champions. The Hornets ended up bowing out in the opening round of the playoffs to St. Petersburg Lakewood, but it was still a tremendous bounce back season for Weeki Wachee.
Springstead Baseball Coach George Nessmith named FACA Class 5A, District 10 COTY: You might say that the Eagles didn’t make the postseason in baseball, but that was by mere percentage points when it came down to it. Nonetheless, Springstead was able to put on a strong season under manager George Nessmith and people definitely noticed. Nessmith was named FACA’s Class 5A, District 10 Coach of the Year. Nessmith guided the Eagles to a record of 18-10 and were on the cusp of reaching the postseason.
Freshman Jackson Hoyt commits to Florida: In early April, 2022, Nature Coast freshman pitcher Jackson Hoyt made his commitment to playing for the University of Florida. Yes, he’s got three seasons to go with the Sharks but has already made his college choice. Hoyt went 4-2 with a 4.16 earned run average and struck out 65 batters in 2022.
Hernando softball reaching state championship game: We are fresh off of the spring sports and Hernando Leopards made a run to the Class 3A state championship, in which they ended just short of winning it all. The Leopards ended up losing 7-4 to Clearwater Calvary Christian in the Class 3A state championship game. It was a magical season for Hernando nonetheless and the Leopards finished the campaign with a record of 25-5.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.