Lynch misses Hall this year

John Lynch 2007 Pro Bowl, photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James E. Foehl. Cropped by User:Blueag9.

Former Buccaneers great John Lynch missed out on election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, the third year that has happened.

A leader of some of the best defenses in NFL history, Lynch played a key role as an enforcer from his position at safety. His no nonsense play style helped lead the Bucs to a victory in Super Bowl 37 in 2003, the team’s only Super Bowl win.

Rowdies to MLS?

Major League Soccer is seeking to expand their list of teams from 24 to 28 by 2020, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies have made it clear that they want to be one of those teams. With an aggressive bidding process, the Rowdies will be competing with nine other cities for a place in MLS.

Sports notebook: Gray tabbed as new headman for Hornets

Photo provided

Jacob Gray

For the first time in its history, the Weeki Wachee football program will have a new man at the helm and this week the school officially announced the hiring of Jacob Gray as head coach.
The 25-year-old Gray was plucked off the coaching staff of Jacksonville-Bolles, where he served as special teams coordinator for the Class 4A state runner-up Bulldogs.

Central stuns Sharks for district crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central celebrates with the district championship trophy on Friday night at Citrus High. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

INVERNESS – When Central won its boys basketball district semifinal over Citrus on Wednesday night, head coach Matt Zandecki guaranteed one thing for Friday night’s final: his Bears would not be intimidated.
At that moment, it may have sounded like blind optimism. But by the end of the Class 6A, District 7 championship game at Citrus High, those words proved prophetic.

Sports notebook: Lady Sharks repeat as state runners-up

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's girls weightlifting team celebrates with its district championship trophy and medals last month. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

On Friday, the Nature Coast girls weightlifting team traveled to Belleview for the Class 1A FHSAA Finals, and they didn’t return home empty-handed.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Sharks were the state runners-up, scoring 17 points to edge Lake Weir, the team that had defeated Nature Coast at regionals two weeks earlier, by one point. River Ridge was again state champion, scoring 29.

Season ends for Sharks at Sunlake

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Vinny Stulec (5) scored twice for the Sharks in Saturday's regional semifinal at Sunlake. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

LAND O’ LAKES – Over the past two weeks, Nature Coast’s boys soccer team has cleared several hurdles. But on Saturday night, the Sharks finally stumbled, and a successful season came to a close.
Traveling to Sunlake for a Class 3A, Region 2 semifinal, Nature Coast pushed the host Seahawks almost literally until the final whistle before succumbing in a 3-2 defeat.

Lady Lions revel in district repeat

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

HCA's girls basketball team celebrates after receiving the district championship trophy Friday night on its home court. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – This one felt different. A year ago, it was all new, collecting the first district championship in team history.
But on Friday night, Hernando Christian Academy’s girls basketball team still had plenty to celebrate. The Lady Lions took control in the second half and rolled to a repeat, downing Ocala-St. John Lutheran in the Class 2A, District 4 final on their own court, 41-32.