Trading Places: Vonada relocates to Weeki Wachee, Lee switches to Hernando

FOOTBALL Ex- Hornet Athletic Director Lee and Endeavor’s Ruiz to HHS, Vonada takes reins as WWHS AD By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com In an ever-changing world of professional and collegiate athletics, trades take place every day. Mostly lateral moves to new locales. Now, no one locally had ever heard of Springstead High School’s physical education instructor. Frank Vitale, maintaining his PE slot on the Mariner Boulevard campus while being hired as…

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Gates’ traits lead mates to new fates, third POY honor

BASEBALL Fourth-year Shark rewrites NCT record book behind 40 hits, 10 HRs, 48 RBI By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Cooperstown, N.Y. is recognized as the home for professional baseball’s best of the best. The Baseball Hall of Fame serves as a landmark site for fans of all ages of the American past time. If there was prep baseball Hall of Fame locally, instead of admiring Gehrig, Ruth or even Clemente as…

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2018 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY BASEBALL

BASEBALL By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Player of the Year – Jonathan “J.P.” Gates Nature Coast Technical – Senior COMMENTS: Rare four-year starter … Three-time All-Hernando County selection … Chosen Player of the Year for the third time … At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, he’s perhaps the best two-way player ever from Hernando County … Certainly a five-tool player … As a freshman, Gates batted .284 breaking in with 21 hits in 22…

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After weighing pros and cons, Weeki Wachee’s Pons inks with D-III Lynx

SOFTBALL Hornet hurler signs academic scholarship to Rhodes College By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Weeki Wachee’s school record holding pitcher, right-hander Abigail Jean Pons, is less than eight weeks away from relocating to her new digs. Pons, 18, a four-year letter winner with the Lady Hornets under Charlene Ross, signed an academic scholarship and will receive additional grants in aid to attend Division III Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. According to…

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It’s no ruse as team-first Cruz inks with D-I UNF Ospreys

SOFTBALL Four-time All-County selection hit a collective .395 average with 98 RBI By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The 29th Hernando County fast-pitch season yielded a bountiful harvest unseen in these parts. Three local players – Nature Coast Technical’s Chayse Skinner and Springstead’s Paige Pfent and Kayla Adrea Cruz all inked Division I national letter of intents. In county history, that’s never happened before. Skinner signed with University of Tennessee at Martin…

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Sorrentino: Newest Night Hawk ready to rock

BASEBALL After two seasons with Bishop State Wildcats, ex-Bear inks with Thomas U. By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The next rung on the baseball ladder for Spring Hill’s Thomas Cody Sorrentino is NAIA’s Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. The newest Night Hawk arrives in the Peach State fresh from two seasons of junior college activity with the Bishop State Community College Wildcats in Mobile, Alabama. The 6-foot, 210-pound southpaw pitcher and…

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It’s all the rage: Springstead’s Paige (Pfent) voted Player of the Year (again)

  SOFTBALL Senior catcher leaves a legacy by rewriting SHS, county record books By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com As the curtains came down on Year 39 of Hernando County fast-pitch softball, so ended the prep career of perhaps its best-ever player. Spring Hill’s Paige Pfent concluded her fourth prep season with several calling cards. The 5-foot-7, 180-pound receiver was a catalyst in leading the Lady Eagles to an outstanding 97-17 run…

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2018 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY SOFTBALL

SOFTBALL By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Player of the Year – Paige Pfent Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Four-year starter … Rare four-time All-Hernando County selection … Voted two-time Hernando County Player of the Year … Was a stellar student-athlete maintaining a 3.7 unweighted and a 4.3 weighted grade point average …As a freshman in 2015, Pfent turned heads on defense and at the plate … A natural field general behind the…

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Can’t dismiss Chris (Morales) as Hernando County’s mat king

2018 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR Springstead junior notched 50 wins, 33 pins, and placed in all eight IBTs in 2017-18 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Despite Hernando County not crowning its 48th state champion at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee this past mat season, the circuit’s finest grappler wasn’t hard to decipher. Springstead junior Christopher Ian Morales was the unanimous selection for Wrestler of the Year. Morales, 17, dominated the…

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2017-18 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY WRESTLING

WRESTLING By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Wrestler of the Year 138 – Chris Morales Springstead – Junior COMMENTS: Relocated from New Jersey back to Spring Hill… Repeat All-Hernando County selection … First-time Wrestler of the Year … Athletically gifted … Super quick on his feet … Is a takedown machine … Terrific rookie campaign in 2016-17, notching 35 wins across 44 matches (80 percent) … Finished runner-up at Springstead Invitational before…

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HERNANDO COUNTY SPORTS BRIEFS (thru 06-18)

PHSC hosts summer basketball camp June 18-20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco Hernando Community College will host a summer basketball camp from June 18-20 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the PHSC West Campus Physical Fitness Center, 10230 Ridge Road. Hernando High alumnus and PHSC Head Coach Mike Jones says the camp will consist of lectures, individual instruction and full-court games for boys and girls ages,…

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2018 FINAL HERNANDO COUNTY BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING HONOR ROLL

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING – Compiled by TONY CASTRO TOP 10 WGT NAME/SCHOOL BEN-CLN-TOT 119 Gilmore, Jordan (SPG) ^ 190-170—360 129 Solari, Bradley (SPG) 200-185—385 139 Weaver, Hunter (SPG) 225-200—425 154 Pasmore, Jake (WW) 265-200—465 169 Bronson, David Hale (HER) 280-250—530 183 Bronson, David Hale (HER) 270-245—515 199 Barry, Zayne (SPG) 305-225—530 219 Pagels, Colin (HER) ^ 290-290—580 238 Torres, Jesus (NCT) ^ 360-245—605 HWT Wellman, Logan (NCT) 325-280—605 ^ Denotes 2018…

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No uproar for Hernando County’s Lifter of the Year it’s Springstead’s Gilmore

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING Four-year letterman placed highest at state, won 12 career meets By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com For the first time in 16 seasons, Hernando County’s top male weightlifter hails from the lightest weight class: 119 pounds. Recent Springstead graduate Jordan Gilmore became the first 119-pounder to be chosen as Lifter of the Year since Central High’s Viet Lam achieved the feat in 2002. The diminutive, but stocky Lam departed the…

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2018 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Lifter of the Year 119 – Jordan Gilmore Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Fourth-year lifter, who also played cornerback in football … Two-time All-County weightlifting selection … First-time Lifter of the Year … Debuted in 2015 as a freshman competing in five meets at 119 pounds … In his first-ever varsity competition in a dual meet against Weeki Wachee, he returned home a winner ……

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Price not right: Undrafted NCT pitcher Gates heads to Coral Gables

BASEBALL Defending county POY bound for the University of Miami Hurricanes By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Imagine 1,214 baseball players were selected during the annual Major League Baseball draft last week, spanning three days and 40 rounds. But the major mystery locally is why Hernando County’s best player, recent Nature Coast Technical pitcher/first baseman, Jonathan “J.P.” Gates, wasn’t one of them. There are probably 1,175,000 million reasons – as in US…

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Ex-Bear hurler McKenna adheres to editor’s advice, ‘Go West, Young Man’ Go West!’

BASEBALL 22-year-old southpaw will board a flight Monday morning in Tampa headed for Scottsdale to pitch for the Arizona D-Backs By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com “Go West, Young Man, Go West” was an expression first used by John Babsone Lane Soule in the Terre Haute Express in 1851. It appealed to Horace Greeley, who rephrased it slightly in an editorial in the New York Tribune on July 13, 1865: “Go West,…

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Shark alumnus Kaz adds head coach to resume at HHS

FOOTBALL Former recruiting coordinator, linebacker mentor assumes controls By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Robert “Kaz” Kazmier was introduced this week as Hernando High’s 31st head football coach in 79 seasons. According to HHS’ athletic director Kevin Bittinger, the 31-year-old Kazmier was one of four applicants for the internally posted position. On what set Kaz apart, “He’s a great guy. He’s energetic and always carries a positive outlook. He’s built relationships within…

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