Central

Sports notebook: Springstead rallies for district repeat

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead catcher Paige Pfent had the game-winning single in Thursday's 6A-6 final. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Suffice to say, Springstead’s softball team’s road to a repeat district championship hit a significant speed bump halfway through Thursday night’s Class 6A, District 6 final.
Host Crystal River had shown it could stand up to the once top-ranked Lady Eagles a few weeks earlier, holding on for a 2-1 win at Springstead’s home field on April 4.
This time around, the Lady Pirates built a 4-0 advantage through the top of the fourth, but couldn’t stave off the top seed, who rallied to tie it up twice and eventually pulled out a 7-6 victory in eight innings.

Sports notebook: Sharks double up on track district titles

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast senior Kaitlyn Pierce won the 400 meter (1:04.88), came in second in the triple jump (33-1) and placed third in the 200 (27.98) in Friday's district meet. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

District championships have become a tradition for the Nature Coast track and field team, and nothing changed on Friday at Anclote High.
Both the boys and girls defended their Class 2A, District 7 crowns, the Lady Sharks tallying 199 points to far outdistance second-place Weeki Wachee (108), while their male counterparts totaled 159, well ahead of Zephryhills with 116.

Sports notebook: Springstead softball ramps up competition

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead, led by pitcher Kama Woodall, took on two other ranked softball teams this past week. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

As a team with Final Four aspirations, Springstead softball can’t be accused by anyone of playing a soft schedule.
The Lady Eagles, ranked fourth in this week’s Miracle Sports state poll for Class 6A, took on the No. 1 team in 2A, Academy at the Lakes in Land O’ Lakes, on Monday and suffered a 4-0 loss.
After dusting 6A-District 6 foe Lecanto the next night, 12-2, behind home runs by Kayla Cruz, Paige Pfent and Kama Woodall, Springstead (19-3 overall, 8-2 6A-6) knocked off Belleview, which came into the week ranked fifth in 6A, 3-1 on Thursday night.

Sports notebook: Central lifter Walker earns state medal

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Dominique Walker placed fifth at states on Saturday, earning a medal at 199 pounds. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Two Hernando County lifters competed in Saturday’s Class 1A FHSAA Finals, and one left DeLand High with a medal in hand.
Central senior Dominique Walker placed fifth at 199 pounds, benching 325 pounds and putting up 265 in the clean-and-jerk for a 590 total. All were personal bests.
“It means a lot to get to states and then to place at states,” Walker said. “I put in the work at home with my dad and it showed today. It’s a blessing to go out in my high school career like this and now I can get ready for college football.”

Sports notebook: Springstead softball maintains top ranking

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's senior Kama Woodall has led the Lady Eagles at the plate and on the mound this season. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead’s softball has been holding down the top spot in the Miracle Sports state softball rankings for Class 6A, and the Lady Eagles looked the part in two shutout district wins this past week.
On Tuesday, Springstead (16-1 overall, 7-1 6A-District 6) defeated Citrus, 7-0. Delaney Woodall went 2-for-4 with a run and two runs batted in, while Kayla Cruz and Kama Woodall each were 2-for-4 with one RBI. Paige Pfent was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Kama Woodall, who also doubled, threw a 1-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Springstead tops Central for first Farm Bureau title

Springstead's Kevin Tomas pitches against Central in Friday night's Farm Bureau Classic final. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – When Kevin Tomas arrived at Central’s baseball field for Friday night’s Farm Bureau Classic final, the Springstead junior didn’t know he’d be tapped to take the start.
It was hard to tell considering the way he pitched against the host Bears, as he struck out 10 over five solid innings and protected an early lead, allowing the Eagles to win this annual tournament for the first time, 4-2.

Sports notebook: County baseball teams stay busy over break

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's Dominic Marrone gets ready for a pitch in Wednesday's game against Nature Coast. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

With Hernando County public schools out for spring break this week, the sports schedule was relatively lite outside of Friday and Saturday’s Leopard Slam softball tournament.
Yet the county’s baseball teams still kept busy, all playing multiple games throughout the week.

Sports notebook: Gates strikes out 15 in perfect game

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's J.P. Gates threw a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters against Central on Tuesday. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast junior J.P. Gates has literally been unhittable in three starts this season, but on Tuesday he took it to another level.
The hard-throwing southpaw, already committed to the University of Miami, threw a perfect game in a 10-0 win over Central that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Gates struck out 15. In other words, he fanned every single batter he faced.

Central lifters earn district hardware

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Dominique Walker finished second at 199 in Monday's district meet, with a 315-255--570. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Last week, the Central boys weightlifting team was on the outside looking in as Hernando and Springstead tied for first place in the county meet.
But this week, it was the Bears taking home a trophy, finishing as the runner-up in Monday’s Class 1A, District 11 Meet at Weeki Wachee. Though Citrus ran away with the team title at 91 points, Central edged Hernando, 29-28.

Springstead’s Rivera wins ‘amazing’ state title

Photography by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

Springstead 113-pounder Richie Rivera finishes off a takedown against Lleyton Taylor of Riverdale in their quarterfinal match Friday in Class 2A action. Rivera won 5-0. Photo by Matt Pfiffner/Citrus Chronicle

Capturing a wrestling state championship requires an incredible amount of mental fortitude all by itself.
But under the circumstances Springstead senior Richie Rivera faced during the Class 2A FHSAA Finals at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, his accomplishment of placing first at 113 pounds had his coach Bob Levija repeating one word over and over.
“It was amazing,” Levija said. “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced, that he could stay that focused and wrestled the way he did.
“He wrecked everybody. He was just really on.”