Joe Carlino

Two-day district contest dooms Leopards with critical loss

On Friday night, the Crystal River Pirates travelled to Brooksville for a district contest with the Hernando Leopards. Both teams had a critical district loss last week and were looking to bounce back in a must-win game for either side. This game would be contested on two consecutive days, as inclement weather postponed the second half of the contest to Saturday with the Leopards leading 7-0.

Sharks impose their will on Bears in blowout victory

District play is arguably as important to high school athletes and coaches as divisional play in the NFL: you can have wins in the conference which can affect playoff seeding, but those wins against teams in your division is so much sweeter, because these teams see each other frequently, and as such are more familiar with schemes and play calling tactics.

Sharks running game powers team to victory

The expectations heading into this game was to see a display of two strong running attacks.  That is exactly what happened, but only one team managed to finish consistently.

After a quick three-and-out by the Sharks that saw the Eagles get the first lead of the game, Nature Coast’s defense tightened up. Their potent running game was able to get going and the Sharks clinched their fourth straight victory over the rival Eagles, 32-7.

Local travel team learns trust in teammates, nabs World Series victory

When first starting the game of baseball, most kids are groomed with one goal in mind should they choose to pursue a professional career: win enough games to be crowned the World Series champion. Now, while this is a great accomplishment only achieved by a select few individuals, the important thing to remember is it isn’t only one person who can win the title; it takes the collective skills of an entire team.

And for head coach Scott Emmerman, his team just exemplified this statement.

Ex-Bear McKenna gets opportunity to realize dream

For many baseball players, the goal is simple: play well enough to become part of the incredible fraternity known as the big leagues. Sometimes that dream flames out, but for those lucky few, they never forget that call from the organization who selected them.

And for former Central Bear ace Trevor McKenna, that call came on June 8th, 2018.

Following the customary first-year 40-round MLB entry draft, which came and went without being selected, McKenna finally received the greatest call in his life from Arizona Diamondbacks scout Hudson Belinsky.

In first baseball state semifinal, Sharks struggle against Bulldogs

This past week in Fort Myers, the Florida High School Athletic Association held their baseball state semifinals and finals between some of the premier teams in each classification. This year had added momentum for our county, because the Nature Coast Sharks were one of the teams fighting for the glory. Coming off their impressive win over Alachua-Santa Fe last week to capture their first Class 5A regional championship, the entire team knew the real battles were coming up.

Sadly, their first trip to the big dance would end in disappointment.

Sharks ride another Gates masterpiece to first region final

On Tuesday, May 15th, the Nature Coast Sharks and Bishop Moore Hornets were set to do battle in a FHSAA Class 5A, Region II semifinal matchup, with the winner advancing to the region final. Roughly an hour prior to first pitch, a small blip on the radar caused a 10-minute shower with enough rain to put first and third base underwater, forcing the teams to play on Wednesday night.

Seems as though this extra day proved beneficial to the home team, and they have their MVP to thank for it.

Gates fans 12, Sharks cruise to second round of playoffs

Over the last three seasons in Hernando County, high school baseball has begun a rejuvenation of sorts, and the constant in this equation is the Nature Coast Sharks. Whether it be their ability to hit the ball efficiently or play lockdown defense, the team has dominated their competition, which allowed them to host Taylor High School on Tuesday night in a FHSAA Class 5A, Region II quarterfinal.

This would be a point where someone would say it wasn’t enough and the Sharks lost, right? Wrong, and it involves one main benefactor: Sharks ace J.P. Gates.

Sharks survive brutal 3rd inning en route to another title

In the last three seasons of high school baseball in Hernando County, two teams have stood out: The Nature Coast Sharks and the Hernando High Leopards.

The two schools have managed to scratch and claw their way to meeting up in district play the last two seasons, facing off for the district championship.
And in meeting No. 3, the same result transpired.