Gilbert Delgado

Versatile Delgado joins NAIA’s Webber International University Warriors

FOOTBALL NCT three-sport letter winner recruited as slot back receiver BY TONY CASTRO 2017 Nature Coast Technical graduate Gilbert Rafael Delgado, who earned nine athletic letters, including eight across three varsity venues – football, soccer and track and field – remains active each morning this summer rising up at 5 a.m. for his two-hour workout. Delgado, 19, who works out five days a week alternating between running and lifting…

Hernando High's Ross Stalcup was edged in the final straight of the 1600 meter final by John Jessup from Gulf High. Photo by JOE DICRISTOFALO

2017 Final Hernando County Boys Track and Field Recaps

BOYS TRACK & FIELD – Compiled by TONY CASTRO 2017 Central Bears Head Coach – Kevin Ballard (2nd Year) DATE EVENT SITE RESULT 02-15 Tarpon Springs-East Lake Early Bird Inv. Away 24th/24 teams 02-17 Holiday-Anclote Invitational Away 6th (T)/8 teams 03-03 New Port Richey-Mitchell Invitational Away 19th/19 teams 03-09 Dade City-Pasco Invitational Away 10th/10 teams 03-21 Inverness-Citrus High’s Doug Patton Memorial Away 12th/12 teams 04-06 Hernando/Citrus County Championship Away 9th/9…


Springstead’s Manuel nearly runs the table to earn AOY laurels

BOYS TRACK Eagles junior garners eight wins in 10 meets, county’s lone state medal BY TONY CASTRO Greatness isn’t always measured with one fortunate swing or toss, but rather over time. Stats, as they say, don’t lie, either. Neither does consistency and resolve. F.W. Springstead junior Kyle Thomas Manuel brought a determination, and ardent consistency to forge a tremendously successful 2017 track and field season in Hernando County. How…

Nature Coast Technical's Dontay Washington passes the baton to Anchor, Nickinson Sineus. The Sharks won the 4 x 100 in a time of 44.23. Taye Moodie and Len'kel Smith rounded out the squad. Photo by JOE DICRISTOFALO


BOYS TRACK & FIELD BY TONY CASTRO Athlete of the Year – Kyle Manuel Discus, Shot Put Springstead – Junior COMMENTS: Three-sport student/athlete at F.W. Springstead in football, weightlifting and track & field while maintaining a 3.75 unweighted and 4.1 weighted grade point average … Named All-Hernando County in track for a third season … Voted Boys Track Athlete of the Year for the first time … In the…

Standing, Grandfather Roddy Rodriquez. Seated, Mom, Stacy, Marcus and Gail Rodriguez. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Central southpaw Rodriguez chases dream by inking with John Wood Community College

  BASEBALL The three-year letterman dreams of returning to Florida to play at USF or UNF BY TONY CASTRO Another of Central High’s eight seniors from its 17-10 2017 varsity baseball team, Marcus Jelaelan Rodriguez, yearns to a be trivia answer one day. Specifically, the 18-year-old southpaw would like to be the first-ever player to play in the Major Leagues from his birthplace, the Republic of the Marshall Islands….

Standing, Grandparents Andrew and Susan, sister, Joey, stepmother, Cassi. Seated, Mom, Carmen, Kestler, Dad, Stephen and Sister Kaylee Harbuck. (all same last name) Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Central’s Harbuck signs with John Wood Community College Blazers in Quincy, Illinois

  BASEBALL Four-year varsity letterman fanned 95 in 109.2 innings pitched BY TONY CASTRO 2017 Central High graduate Kestler Fox Harbuck was one of two Bears to recently sign to play collegiate baseball at his new digs with the John Wood Community College Blazers in Quincy, Illinois. Harbuck will be joined with teammate Marcus Rodriguez at the next level some 1,118 miles and 17 hours away from the Ken…

Jordan Wright , Mom Kirstin, Webber International University. .Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Wright’s next step? Newest Warrior at NAIA’s Webber International University

FOOTBALL 2017 SHS graduate guided Eagles to 16-12 slate across three seasons BY TONY CASTRO As many local parents can attest, they often plead to their sons or daughters that there are two ways for student/athletes to successfully accomplish any task or mission: a right way or the wrong way. For one recent 2017 Springstead High graduate, there’s also the Wright way. Jordan Anthony Wright recently signed a letter…

Dominique Walker

Central’s Walker inks with D-I Florida A&M Rattlers

FOOTBALL All-County trackster, weightlifter signs as defensive back BY TONY CASTRO The career path of recent Central High graduate Dominique Marquis Walker has led him to Leon County. The gifted 6-foot-1, 195-pounder recently signed a letter of intent to play cornerback/safety for Tallahassee-based Division I Florida A&M University Rattlers. Walker 411 In terms of campuses, Walker is used to adapting to new situations. FAMU will be his fourth campus…

Dominique Walker


BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING – Compiled by TONY CASTRO TOP 10 WGT NAME/SCHOOL BEN-CLN-TOT 119 Solari, Bradley (SPG) 170-135—305 129 Gilmore, Jordan (SPG) 180-170—350 139 Tafelski, Boston (HER) 205-175—380 154 Segura, Andro (SPG) 265-200—465 169 Russell, Robert (CEN) 260-210—470 183 Maratea, Alec (SPG) 290-200—490 199 Walker, Dominique (CEN) $ 325-265—590 219 Pagels, Colin (HER) ^ 295-280—575 238 Carwell, Augustus (NCT) 290-255—545 HWT Loeffler, Thomas (HER) 325-225—550 $ Denotes 2017 state placer. ^…

Dominique Walker

Hernando County’s 2017 Lifter of the Year is no big talker, it’s Central’s Walker

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING Bears’ state medalist prefers to allow his efforts to speak for itself BY TONY CASTRO For the first time in 15 years, Hernando County’s top male weightlifter hails from Central High School. In 2002, three-time state placer and 2001 state champion Viet Lam was voted by the area coaches as county’s top lifter. That season he returned with a shiny silver medal to add to his collection…

Dominique Walker


BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING BY TONY CASTRO Lifter of the Year – Dominique Walker Central – Senior COMMENTS: The 6-foot-1 multi-skilled athlete in football, track and field and weightlifting … Played for three schools in four years … Transferred to Springstead after freshman year at NCT … Transferred to Central after a year and half at Springstead … Closed out his final year and a half with the Bears … Two-year…

Codey Maniates

Ex-Leopard Maniates on the move to Jacksonville, Illinois’ MacMurray College Highlanders

WRESTLING Two-time state wrestling qualifier joins D-III mat team BY TONY CASTRO The heart ’n soul of the best Hernando High wrestling team in 12 winters, 2017 graduate Codey Michael Maniates, has already relocated 15 hours and over 1,050 miles to begin the next phase of his life. Maniates, 18, was one of the senior captains on the 24-4 HHS mat program in 2016-17. Maniates along with fellow seniors…

Tom Daugherty , Winner. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Hernando County Sports Briefs (thru June 18)

Room still available for Spring Hill Lanes Kids’ Camp on Wed. or Thurs. SPRING HILL – It’s not too late to sign up for Spring Hill Lanes’ Kids’ Camp. Classes are starting for $10 per week. Two different camps are being offered: Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. or Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. The camps include a choice of bowling ball, bag or shoes, free on-lane instruction and a free…

Harry Williams

Newest Bacone College Warrior is ex-Leopard Harry Williams

WRESTLING How scary is Harry? Voted All-Hernando County in football, wrestling BY TONY CASTRO Since female athletes develop a lot sooner than most of their male counterparts, there seems to be more male late bloomers. One such local student/athlete is recent Hernando High graduate Harry Deshawn Williams. Williams, 18, is coming off his best-ever prep campaigns in both football and wrestling. How good? The 5-foot-10, 186-pounder was one of…

Richie Rivera

Springstead’s Richie Rivera is a reality king, rules local mats

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR With his father Richard laying in a hospital after a stroke, Rivera garners gold BY TONY CASTRO Some would say the world is saturated with fake news, just ask our 45th President Donald J. Trump. Everyone else, however, isn’t a billionaire, looking to secure his next deal. The rest of us live in a world brimming with reality like life and death and paying taxes….

Richie Rivera vs Dominic Cerilllo , Nice.Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO


WRESTLING BY TONY CASTRO Wrestler of the Year 113 – Richie Rivera Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Competed for three seasons … Only completed one full season due to academic issues … First-time All-Hernando County selection in 2016-17 … Unanimously voted Wrestler of the Year after returning home with Hernando County’s 47th state gold medal in 45 seasons … Broke in as a frosh in 2013-14 posting a 16-11 mark…

Samantha Traudt.


NCT’s two-time state champion: Samantha Traudt. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO   GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING – Compiled by TONY CASTRO TOP 10 WGT NAME/SCHOOL BEN-CLN-TOT 101 Kayla Rivera (NCT) 85-105—190 110 Jessica Osborne (NCT)^* 120-135—255 119 Victoria Davila (NCT)!* 135-125—260 129 Kaitlyn Pierce (NCT)^% 145-170—315 139 Samantha Traudt (NCT)$$ 170-180—350 154 Brooke Spaulding (WW)! 155-155—310 154 Kaitlyn Pierce (NCT) 140-170—310 169 Imani Powell (HER)!* 140-145—285 183 Janea Mobley (HER)!* 140-150—290 199 Janea…

Samantha Traudt

Traudt rises from fender bender to the top of the podium (again)

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING NCT’s Samantha Traudt closes prep career with record-tying 9 straight wins BY TONY CASTRO Ironically, in a local rush to success, Nature Coast Technical’s Samantha Rose Traudt was better known for her “slow and steady” approach in the weight room en route to winning her last nine weight lifting meets, including two FHSAA State Finals gold medals in 2016 and 2017. Her amazing run began innocently with…

Samantha Traudt at the 2017 FHSAA State Championship at Bellview High School. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO


GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING BY TONY CASTRO Lifter of the Year – Samantha Traudt Nature Coast Technical – Senior COMMENTS: Third-year varsity lifter … Three-time All-Hernando County weightlifting selection. … Voted 2016’s Hernando County Co-Lifter of the Year with NCT teammate Ashley Gentz … Unanimously voted Lifter of the Year in 2017 … As a sophomore, Traudt alternated between 139 and 154 pounds … Competed in six meets, claiming wins in…