Sports notebook: Brooks earns Hornets’ first regional crown

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

A week after the Weeki Wachee wrestling team brought home its first district title, it can now boast its initial individual regional champion. Senior Dean Brooks won all three of his matches across Friday and Saturday, pinning Javohn Maravolo of Titusville-Astronaut in 2:30 to capture the 285-pound final of the Class 1A, Region II Tournament at Eastern Florida State College in Titusville.

“Dean Brooks is a hard-worker, a super-smart kid,” Weeki Wachee head coach Joe Felice said. “He went to his back and ended up pinning the kid (in the final). It took a lot of heart to do that. I’m really proud of him.

“It sets the table for everybody else. It’s always a big thing in young programs to have new accomplishments every year. … This let’s everybody know that’s younger that it’s a possibility now.”

Brooks was one of five state qualifiers for the Hornets, a new team record. The team finished fourth overall, with 137 points. The top four placers in each weight class grabbed a berth in next weekend’s FHSAA Finals. For Weeki Wachee, Hunter Gibson was the runner-up at 132 and so was Nathaniel DeJesus at 160. Alex Gomez placed third at 152 and Donte Young earned the same spot at 170. “It’s nice to have five going to states, but we probably could have brought more,” Felice said. “All in all we finished fourth, about what we were expecting, and I’m happy to have five move on.”

Nature Coast senior Anthony Contegiacomo was the county’s other regional champ, going 4-0 with two pins at 220, taking a 3-2 decision over Orlando-Lake Highland Prep’s Ben Goldin in the final. Keegan Davis placed third at 138 for the Sharks, who came in 11th (55.5).

Hernando’s Harry Williams (170) and Abel Terkovich (195) both finished second. Teammate Dakota Ellerbee came in third at 132 and Codey Maniates took fourth at 145. The Leopards placed sixth with 115 points.

Springstead competed in the 2A-Region II Tournament at Brandon and finished seventh overall with 72 team points. Vinny D’Alessandro is headed to states after taking fourth place at 120. Travis Williams also came in fourth at 152, as did Brandon Burgess at 182.

In softball, Nature Coast defeated two county rivals, Hernando on Tuesday and Central on Friday, both times 10-0. But that sandwiched the Lady Sharks’ (10-1) first loss of the season on Wednesday at home to Land O’ Lakes, 7-3.

Nature Coast's Cerina Brooks looks back after scoring a run in Tuesday night's game against Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Meanwhile, Springstead (8-1) continued its fine early campaign with a pair of shutouts, 16-0 over Weeki Wachee on Tuesday and 4-0 at Dunnellon on Thursday.

Central and Nature Coast each went 2-0 on the week in baseball to improve to 6-1 on the season. The Bears defeated Gulf on Tuesday (11-5) and Fivay on Friday (2-1). The Sharks rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge Hernando on Tuesday, 6-5, before blowing out Gulf on Friday, 10-0.

Hernando (4-3) rebounded for a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Springstead on Thursday, but lost to Palatka on Saturday, 5-4. The Eagles (6-2) notched victories against Weeki Wachee on Tuesday (13-1) and Dunnellon on Friday (14-6) to improve to 5-0 in 6A-District 6.
Hernando's Andres Cabrera runs toward third base during Thursday night's game against Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast’s boys tennis team maintained its perfect season, moving to 9-0 behind a 7-0 blanking of Citrus on Thursday. Dakota Willey remains undefeated at No. 1 singles with an 8-0 mark, and is 6-0 in No. 1 doubles with Roger Sniffen. Charles Buckner and Sniffen are each 6-1 in singles action.

On Wednesday the Sharks defeated Central, 7-0, though Tuesday’s match against Zephyrhills was suspended after three matches due to rain.
As for the Lady Sharks, they stand at 5-3 following Thursday’s 4-3 triumph over Citrus. They’re paced by Nicole Remedio with a 7-1 mark at No. 4 singles. On Tuesday, Nature Coast swept Zephyrhills, 7-0.

Nature Coast’s boys and girls track and field squads captured first place at Friday’s Bulldog Invitational hosted by Tavares. The boys scored 94 points to finish ahead of Lake Minneola (86.5), while the Lady Sharks tallied 100 to upend Ocala-West Port (85). Ashley Gentz won the long jump with a 16-5 and the 100-meter dash running a 12.84. She finished second to teammate Kaitlyn Pierce in the 400, 1:01.63-1:02.32. Eboni Johnson, Pierce, Amanda Leyden and Gentz combined for the fastest 4x400 relay (4:24.12).

DeShawn Smith outraced the field in the boys 100 (11.55), and Willie Coffey earned the top spot in the shot put with a 46-5 toss. Brian Haygood won the 200, sprinting to a 23.60.
Weeki Wachee’s Thomas Tolbert took first in the discus (124-6). Hernando’s 4x800 of Tyler Pantley, Ross Stalcup, Ryan Bell and Trevor Foley crossed the finish line first in 8:51.98. Foley additionally won the 1,600 (4:36.12).'

Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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