Sports

NCT's Robinson focused on future

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

As Nature Coast Technical spends this spring and summer preparing for the next football season, the spotlight figures to shine brighest on running back DeShawn Smith.

Yet the Sharks are not a one-man show. On the defensive side, middle linebacker Matthew Robinson has already shown that he merits some attention.

As a sophomore last year he recorded 113 tackles, second in the county only to the soon-to-graduate Conor Ross of Springstead.

Owens set to take center stage

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

The inevitable winds of change are blowing through Springstead High these days, as the Eagles spend this spring preparing for next football season.

Though they'll take the field in a spring classic May 21 hosting Anclote at 7 p.m., when the Eagles officially begin the 2015 campaign in the fall they'll do so with a considerably different core group than the one that delivered the best three-year run in team history.

Among those in line to take on a bigger role is starting free safety T.J. Owens.

Central's Rivera set to take reigns

PHOTOS BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

The role of starting quarterback has proved a tenuous position at Central High the past few years. Injuries have often prevented the Bears from achieving any kind of stability.

"Last year, we struggled offensively," said Central head coach Chris Sands, whose team went 2-8 last year, his first at the helm. "We couldn't find that guy under center who could throw and run."

Enter Sebastian Rivera this spring. Or more accurately, re-enter, as the team's new starting signal caller.

Local Athletic Superstar Mentors Young Athletes

Legendary local athlete John Capel has developed a program to help young up and coming athletes. His goal is to help prepare the next generation of athletes.

Capel’s athletic accomplishments are many. At the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, Capel won the 200-meter sprint with a time of 19.85 seconds. He then won the 200-meter gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in France. He was a favorite going into the 2004 Olympics.

NCT's Gentz Makes School History at States

CHRIS BERNHARDT JR.

No county girls track and field team has had as much success over the past few years as Nature Coast Technical.

Yet for all the recent county and district championships, as well as state qualifiers, the Lady Sharks have yet to have an individual collect a state crown.

On Friday at the Class 2A FHSAA Finals at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, junior Ashley Gentz came closer than anyone in school history, placing second in the 400-meter race.

Central Battles Hard, but falls to Dunedin, 2-0

PHOTOS BY ALICE MARY HERDEN

BROOKSVILLE - In winning its first baseball district championship since 2002, Central High dominated at the plate. The Bears scored a combined 26 runs across three games in last week's Class 5A, District 7 Tournament, yet that momentum failed to carry over Thursday night. Hosting a 5A-Region II quarterfinal against Dunedin, Central couldn't find a way to solve Falcons ace Colton Widdows, falling 2-0.

Girls Soccer: Land O' Lakes Defeats Springstead in Region Semifinals

Hernando Sun Staff

In the Class 3A, Region II girls soccer semifinal, Springstead's Samantha Betters spoiled a potential Land O' Lakes shut out scoring 2 goals in the last 6 minutes of play. Land O' Lakes Victoria Cannata scored 3 in the first half of the game (2 unassisted). A fourth goal was put away by Freshman Sydny Nasello. Hernandosport.com interviewed players after the game. Senior Erin Blackwell stated, “Land O’ Lakes is a quality side. I’d like to see them win it all. I thought we emptied the tanks. I’m very proud of the team. I have no regrets at all.”

Girls Soccer: Springstead moves on to Region Semifinal

Hernando Sun Staff

Springstead beat Pasco 4-0 to advance to the Class 3-A Region II Semifinals which will be played today, January 27th. Pasco held Springstead until later in the first half when Junior star forward Samantha Betters scored. Soon after, Erin Blackwell set up a goal for Kimberly Gibson. Betters scored twice more in the second half for the hat-trick. Erica Hiller assisted on Better's second goal.

Springstead Girls Win Soccer Class 3A District 7 Championship

Springstead beat out Hudson for the win in a mostly defensive game on January 16. Springstead had only 8 shots on goal while Hudson were able to take 21. However, Springstead took advantage of an opportunity in the first half when Junior Samantha Betters scored her 44th goal of the season with an assist by Erica Hiller. The next goal was a far shot 20 yards out from Hudson's Cassidy Rux in the second half. It was the Sophomore's 43rd goal of the season. This inspired Springstead's Samantha Betters to go on the offensive with three shots on goal.

Wrestling Wrap-Up

by Rocco Maglio

Wrestling season will soon be coming to an end. With the success that Hernando county had last year there are high expectations.

For the last six years Springstead High School has finished in the top five at state for the Class 2A field. In 2014, they finished third. Three of the four wrestlers they brought reached the finals with two winning state titles (Mike McDonald and Jordan Rivera).

Last year Hernando High School surprised with an eighth place finish with both of their wrestlers who made state reaching the finals. They won one state title (Jesse Gaudin).