Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
With all the winter sports now officially concluded in Hernando County, we move into the spring season of athletics and it brings on baseball and softball. Along with baseball and softball is track and field and spring football. We take a brief look at all the prep baseball teams across Hernando County and what to look forward to this upcoming 2020 campaign.
Nature Coast: The 2019 season was somewhat an up and down campaign for the Sharks under manager Frank Vitale. Nature Coast was just coming off a season in which they were able to make a deep postseason run but then went 15-10 in 2019. The Sharks season ended fairly quickly into the district tournament last year, as Nature Coast fell 10-4 to Central. Can the Sharks bounce back in 2020?
Springstead: A 22-5 season for mostly any baseball program is a pretty successful campaign for anyone. Well except for Springstead, whose standards have been raised to new levels and a region quarterfinal ousting by Citra North Marion wasn’t exactly what they were clamoring for. Now the Eagles are back with another talented roster that could make a deep run in the postseason.
Hernando: The Leopards were ousted early in the district tournament last year surprisingly by Hudson Fivay in the opening round. Hernando always has one of the top teams in Hernando County and should be able to compete for a district championship this spring.
Central: The Bears made one of the most unprecedented playoff runs in recent memory, winning the district championship with a record of 5-21 and subsequently winning a postseason game before being shutout 10-0 against Orlando Bishop Moore. Now Central is coming off a 7-22 campaign, playoff appearance and the Bears are hoping to get into the postseason once again.
Weeki Wachee: The Hornets teetered back and forth between being one of the better teams in Hernando County and then seeing more regressed players throughout the season. Weeki Wachee was able to notch a record of 10-16, but were only 1-9 within district play. If the Hornets look to turn the corner, they’ll need to play better in the district this year.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.