Sharks “Give Up the Funk”; three-time all-star Funkhouser signs with Niceville community college

BASEBALL Career .390 hitter led the state in runs scored in 2018 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Before he climbed into the batter’s box for each of his home games in Brooksville, Zachary Ryan Funkhouser was serenaded. In his honor, his walkup song was a “funky” classic. “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” by Parliament was played over the public address system. It was released as a…

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Ex-NCT catcher Riera joining the Raiders

BASEBALL Four-year letterman inks with Northwest Florida State College By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Collegiate baseball signings have continued well after last pitch of the 2018 prep baseball season. Recent Nature Coast Technical graduate, Brandon Riera, a three-time All-Hernando County selection behind the plate, just inked with the Niceville-based junior college program at Northwest Florida State College. Riera 411 The journey to Okaloosa County began for Brandon in Dade County. He…

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Don’t snort, ex-Leopard Short, who can literally hold court in any sport, signs with the Coastal Alabama Warhawks

BASEBALL Former Ridge Manor Dixie League product was HHS’ ace in 2018 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The current urban dictionary describes the phrase one trick pony as, a friend, acquaintance or stranger, who has very few talents. The opposite might feature an illustration of Brooksville’s Jackson Taylor Short. You see the 18-year-old Short is a jack-of-all- trades. One of his best traits is he’s a fast learner. Maybe that’s why…

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Trying harder: Bears’ Johnson inks with JUCO Florida Gateway

BASKETBALL Two-time All-County shooting guard departs as Central’s No. 2 scorer By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Over 30 winters of varsity hoops, three-time All-Hernando County guard, Darryn Frazier, graduated in 2009 as the Bears’ all-time leading scorer with 1,787 points. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder played three varsity seasons under skipper Eric Hayes, compiling an overall 18-59 won-lost slate (23 percent). Frazier, who played in 77 games for the Bears, “averaged” a gaudy…

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No need to check; ex-Bear Eck is on deck to wreck havoc for the NAIA Florida College Falcons

BASKETBALL Four-letter varsity cager is coming off best season at 11.8 ppg By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com At 3, Brian Lawrence Eck could be spotted with a basketball at Hernando County Family YMCA in Spring Hill. Fifteen years later, Eck continues his passion for the hardwood courts at his next stop: NAIA’s Florida College Falcons’ campus in Temple Terrace. Eck 101 Brian was born the younger of two sons to Rick…

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Redemption worth the wait for Riverview‘s Daugherty

BOWLING After waiting 12 months, Daugherty halts Naumann’s bid at his first regional crown, 223-212 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com SPRING HILL – Redemption is worth the wait. Just ask Tampa-Riverview-based professional bowler Tom Daugherty. A year ago, the three-time Spring Hill Open champion was attempting to duplicate Tampa’s Darin Hays’ tourney record four individual wins at the Southern Regional held at Spring Hill Lanes. But a former Spring Hill native…

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Springstead’s pint-sized point guard Huden disproves size matters, repeats as POY

GIRLS BASKETBALL 5-foot-3 guard re-writes Eagle record book By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com In basketball, a game dominated by ultra-agile big people, there’s a refreshing new twist: a pint-sized point guard in Spring Hill’s Reagan Lynne Huden. You see, the Lord above didn’t bless the 18-year-old in stature at 5-foot-3. But the four-year Hernando County girls basketball fixture at F.W. Springstead, excelled on the court. The Pinellas County native could dribble,…

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2017-18 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM

GIRLS BASKETBALL By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Player of the Year – Reagan Huden Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Rare four-year starter … Four-time All-County selection … Tabbed Hernando County’s Player of the Year for the second straight winter … Forget her size – it’s 5-foot-3 in stilettos – she has finished first, third and first and third in the county scoring race the past four winters … As a freshman, she…

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Newest Bobcat? Ex-Leopard Urso signs with Bryant & Stratton College

BASEBALL Career .389 prep hitter heads to Virginia Beach junior college program By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com One of the county’s best hitters over the past two seasons – recent Hernando High graduate Anthony Valentino Urso – is heading to Virginia. Urso, a two-year starter for the Leopards, who filled in at several positions and hit a career .389 from 2016-18, signed with the out-of-state junior college program at Bryant &…

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Spring Hill Lanes, Crystal Automotive hosts 30th PBA Spring Hill Open this weekend

BOWLING SPRING HILL – The 30th Spring Hill Open, sponsored by Crystal Automotive, takes place this weekend at Spring Hill Lanes, 3447 Commercial Way (US 19), Spring Hill. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Spring Hill Southern Open is set for July 20-22. The defending tourney champion is Merritt Island’s Anthony Caso. Anyone is invited to roll with the pros in Friday, July 20 9-Pin, No Tap Handicap Tournament. It‘s open…

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Don’t fret over the next dual-sport collegiate threat, it‘s ex-Eagle Meyer

BASKETBALL/FOOTBALL Recent Springstead receiver, hoopster will play both for NAIA’s Webber University By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Dual-sport standouts like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are few and far between. It’s hard enough for most prep athletes to make the jump playing on one collegiate team at the next level, let alone two. So, it’s refreshing to meet ex-Springstead Eagle Zackary Edward Meyer. You see, the lanky 6-foot-4, 175-pounder, who played…

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Getting a (Austin) Legg up at NAIA’s Missouri Valley College

BASEBALL Multi-sport, Idaho native hit .287 with 32 RBI over the last 2 yrs. at HHS By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Life’s journey continues for multi-sport ex-Leopard catcher Austin Thomas Legg. Legg, a recent Hernando High graduate, will report in mid-August to his new digs at NAIA’s Missouri Valley College. The 5-foot, 11½-inch, 195-pounder, completed the last two seasons on the Bell Avenue campus as the Leopards’ two-year catcher and breaststroke…

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Ex-Eagle Tomas signs with East Georgia State Bobcats

BASEBALL Across three seasons, right-handed hurler finished 10-6, hit .295 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com For the second straight season, a Springstead graduate will trek to Swainsboro, Georgia to begin the next chapter of his life. In 2017, two-time All-Hernando County centerfielder Johnny “Johnny O” Oliveira departed for the Peach State junior college program after amassing 10 career homers and bountiful .361 career batting average. A year later, Oliveira is back…

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Cleaver ex-Bear Trevor (Adler) heads to next endeavor at NAIA’s Briar Cliff University

BASEBALL Central shortstop named All-Hernando County in baseball after hitting .354 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The next road trip on life’s journey will be significant for recent Central High graduate: Trevor Albert Adler. After concluding a splendid 2018 campaign, where Adler paced all the county defenders in assists for a second straight season at shortstop and batted .354, was named All-Hernando County for the fist time. Besides a terrific fourth…

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Ex-Bear Tyler Adler rides fine senior campaign into signing with NAIA’s Brescia Bearcats

BASEBALL After suffering through a bad shoulder, broken arm, centerfielder blossoms in ’18 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The next stop for recent Central High graduate, Tyler Robert Adler, won’t be easy. He will consume nearly 12½ hours behind the wheel of his black 2013 Honda Civic and cover nearly 811 miles from the Ken Austin Parkway campus to NAIA’s Brescia University in Owensboro, Kentucky. Adler, 18, is extremely thankful for…

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The latest crave? It’s Booker riding D-I Green Wave at New Orleans’ Tulane University

FOOTBALL 3-sport All-County all-star in football, basketball, track, adjusting to New Orleans By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com For the Fourth of July weekend, one of Brooksville’s favorite sons returned home for a brief respite. For recent Hernando High graduate Ygenio Cornelius (no relation to Soul Train’s Don Cornelius) Booker it was time for a bit of R&R. Booker, a Brooksville native, had never left his hometown of 7,999 residents (based on…

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Seeking a Royal experience, frosh Josh (Vonada) inks with NAIA’s Warner University

FOOTBALL Exercise science major aspires to become an engineer or future coach By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Until now, the greatest father-son coaching combo hailing from Hernando County are the Palmer’s. Willard or “Dub” Palmer guided the Hernando Leopard fortunes in its hey day. From 1979-82, the eldest Palmer reeled off a magnificent 36-7 run (84 percent) during one of his many coaching stops in Florida. Though he’s since passed on,…

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All guts and team-first Butts heads off to D-III Greenville University Panthers

FOOTBALL Leopards’ third-leading tackler last fall, collected 5 TBL and recovered 2 fumbles By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Every prep football program has chiefs and Indians aboard. Chiefs are similar to leading men in theatrical and cinematic roles. But the role players, aka the Indians, are just as vital, if not more. Last season, Hernando High tied F.W. Springstead for the county lead in gridiron district championships (4) behind several role…

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Here’s the kicker! Ex-Leopard D’Ambrosio signs with NAIA’s Webber International

FOOTBALL 2017 All-County PK drained 46 PATs, 4 FGs for 58 points By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com After a stellar 2017 football campaign, recent 2018 Hernando High School graduate Luke Michael D’Ambrosio heads to new digs on Aug. 1 at NAIA’s Webber International University in Babson Park. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound D’Ambrosio was named All-Hernando County after leading the county in extra point attempts (50), extra points (46) and converting a county-high…

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