Weeki Wachee

Sports notebook: Central overcomes miscues

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie drops back to pass in Friday night's game against Hudson. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Led by star running back De’Vonta Smith, Central has perhaps its most talented roster in recent memory, with hopes of turning a corner and competing for a playoff spot.
But it has become apparent that the Bears must find a way to reduce their self-destructive tendencies. After battling severe penalty problems in the preseason and Week 1 losses to Clermont-East Ridge and Springstead, Central had reason to celebrate on Friday thanks to a 21-7 victory at Fivay.

Sports notebook: Hermine wreaks havoc

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Central running back De'Vonta Smith takes to the air while carrying the ball in Week 1 against Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

The official track of Hurricane Hermine will show that the storm made landfall in the Big Bend area, but it surely managed to leave its mark on Hernando County.
It washed out four days’ worth of prep athletic events and practices, including the entire Week 2 football schedule.
Four games, all non-district, were on the slate, most notably a meeting of county rivals Springstead and Hernando. Though the sun finally poked its head out as skies cleared in the county on Saturday, the prior deluge left fields at Ridgewood, Nature Coast and Hernando unplayable.

Weeki Wachee grinds out win over Springstead

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee senior Sarah Asbury sets up her teammates during Tuesday's match at Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Weeki Wachee’s volleyball team hardly got off to the type of start it would have liked when the season began last week.
In their opener on Aug. 23, the Lady Hornets blew a 2-0 lead and fell at Crystal River, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-10. The next day, they got swept at home by county-rival Hernando, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21.
Though they managed a 25-8, 25-6, 25-18 win over Citrus last Thursday, Tuesday’s matchup at Springstead brought more struggle in the early going.

Preseason football notebook: Central drops shootout

Photography by Alice Mary Herden and Cheryl Clanton

Central's Jonathan Allion gains yardage against East Ridge during Friday night's preseason game. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Based on the results of Friday night’s preseason classic, Central won’t have any problems putting points on the board. Whether it can outscore the opposition is another matter.
Hosting Clermont-East Ridge in an exhibition, the Bears were repeatedly burned by big plays, canceling out a spectacular performance by running back De’Vonta Smith in a 45-26 defeat.

Cromie still striving to improve under center

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Senior quarterback Alec Cromie leads Weeki Wachee into the 2016 season. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

At this point, Alec Cromie feels like a permanent fixture at the quarterback position for Weeki Wachee.
He has spent the past two seasons under center for the Hornets, providing head coach Mark Lee the type of classic signal caller required to properly execute his pass-heavy offense.
But this is high school football, where there’s a very finite amount of time to etch even the most enduring of legacies. For the senior Cromie, that small window will slam shut in the coming months.

Hornets hope to finally move forward

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It has become something of a rallying cry for Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee over the Hornets’ first four varsity seasons on the gridiron: moral victories just aren’t enough.
As Lee and his coaching staff have worked to build a football program from scratch, they have craved a corner-turning campaign in which the Hornets shed their fledgling ways and become a force on the North Suncoast.

Hornets hit hard in spring game

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie attempts a pass to teammate Diante Thomas in Friday night's spring game against Wesley Chapel. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

WEEKI WACHEE – Weeki Wachee went into Friday night’s spring game against visiting Wesley Chapel hoping to sure up its deficiencies in tackling and stopping the run.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, the exhibition went in a much different direction. The Wildcats gashed the hosts for 542 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, collecting a 54-20 victory.

Hornets hope to finally turn the corner

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee during a practice this past week. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

With its fifth varsity season looming in the fall, Weeki Wachee’s football team has spent the past few years frustratingly stuck in neutral.
The Hornets’ 4-6 mark in 2015 was their best showing to date and represented modest improvement, but was far from satisfying for a program aching for a breakthrough campaign.
“Last year we were close. We were in a lot of games and had a chance to win some games,” Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee said. “I think this year the kids are no longer happy just competing. They want to win.

Sharks stunned late as county teams falter

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Jayden Rivera rounds third on the way to scoring a run in Wednesday night's regional quarterfinal. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – It seemed like Wednesday would be a banner day for Hernando County prep baseball, as a record four local squads were set to compete in regional quarterfinals.
But it ended up being a rugged night for all those teams – Hernando, Nature Coast, Springstead and Weeki Wachee – as each saw their seasons come to a close in defeat.

Sports notebook: Eagles best Hornets in baseball district final

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Johnny Oliveira hit a solo home run in the first inning of the Eagles' 9-5 victory over Weeki Wachee in the 5A-7 title game Saturday afternoon. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – When heavy rain on Friday night saturated the Springstead infield, the Class 6A, District 6 baseball final had to hold off until Saturday afternoon.
For the host Eagles, it was worth the wait, as they rallied quickly from a 3-0 deficit and pulled out a 9-5 victory over surprising Weeki Wachee.
“Feels great. It’s the best feeling in the world,” said center fielder Johnny Oliveira said. “Now we’ve got to come out strong next week and the following weeks. Just got to keep rallying.