Moving on up: NCT’s McAfee, tabbed county POY, headed to Marietta College

BASKETBALL Ex-Michigan wrestler transitions to standout Shark cager in 3 seasons By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Watching football players attempt to tackle swimming lessons could be comical. Offensive tackles trying to duplicate a breaststroke? Really? That would be akin prep wrestlers attempting to play basketball. Not much vertical there. One local exemption, however, resides at Nature Coast Technical. Recent NCT graduate, Robert Andrew McAfee, successfully navigated through the transition from the…

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2017-18 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM

BOYS BASKETBALL By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Player of the Year – Robert McAfee Nature Coast Technical – Senior COMMENTS: Three-year letterman for the Sharks … Second-year starter … Repeat All-County selection … As a sophomore, the 6-foot-1 McAfee played in 29 games, but didn’t score once in double figures … He averaged a quiet 2.2 points per game and 1.9 rebounds per game … A year later, McAfee quadrupled his…

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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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Gee, there’s no plea for Athlete of the Year, it’s Kylie (Kanaar)

GIRLS TRACK & FIELD Four-sport Lady Eagle becomes first freshman AOY since Blount in ’03 By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com 2003 was a banner year for ex-Hernando High thrower Valerie Blount. As a freshman, specializing in the shot put and discus, Blount was named Hernando County’s Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. It was the first of four All-Hernando County all-star nods. That same year, Brooksville’s Kylie Rose Kanaar…

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2018 ALL-COUNTY GIRLS TRACK & FIELD TEAM

GIRLS TRACK & FIELD By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Athlete of the Year – Kylie Kanaar Springstead – Freshman COMMENTS: Tremendous multi-sport student-athlete who lettered in golf, cross country, weightlifting and track and field in 2017-18 … Besides being Springstead’s top female linkster, she was named All-County in cross country, weightlifting and track … Was also feted as Hernando County’s Girls Track Athlete of the Year … Named All-County in the…

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Doubling the pleasure: Springstead’s Manuel repeats as Athlete of the Year

BOYS TRACK & FIELD 2018 Eagles’ graduate inks with NAIA’s Southeastern University after collecting two state medals By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com This year’s balloting for Hernando County’s Track Athlete of the Year whittled down to three extremely qualified choices. Each candidate – Central junior Tayvon Brown, Springstead junior JaCorey Hartman and Springstead’s Kyle Thomas Manuel – specialized in multiple events. Most importantly, each returned home with an FHSAA State Finals…

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2018 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY BOYS TRACK & FIELD

BOYS TRACK & FIELD By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Athlete of the Year – Kyle Manuel Discus, Shot Put Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Three-sport student-athlete at F.W. Springstead in football, weightlifting and track & field while maintaining a 3.8 unweighted and 4.1 weighted grade point average … Named All-County in football in 2017 … Tabbed All-Hernando County in track for a fourth straight season … Is the first four-time All-County trackster…

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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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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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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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Weeki Wachee’s LOY Hobbs: There’s a ring to it

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING Hornet senior graduates early with the school’s first state championship By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Webster’s dictionary defines pioneer as a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area. Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, who served on the bench from 1981 until 2006 – the court’s first female member – stands out as a pioneer. So does,…

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2017-18 ALL-COUNTY GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Lifter of the Year – Alexis Hobbs Weeki Wachee – Senior COMMENTS: Naturally strong … Third-year varsity lifter, who also competed in track & field … First-time All-Hernando County weightlifting selection. …Unanimous pick for Hernando County Lifter of the Year … As a sophomore in 2015-16, she started slowly competing in eight meets … In her third-ever meet she won at 129 pounds in…

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POY Thompson provides options during Lady Eagles’ ascent

ALL-COUNTY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL Spring stead’s three-sport jumping jack lands at Daytona State College BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com For most baby boomers the name David O’Neil Thompson is synonymous with achieving extra-ordinary feats on a basketball floor. The former North Carolina State standout played in the defunct ABA and NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound glider once dropped 73 points on an NBA opponent. The five-time…

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2017 ALL-HERNANDO COUNTY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL By TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Player of the Year – Alexis Thompson Springstead – Senior COMMENTS: Multi-sport athlete who also played tennis and participated in track and field … Plays year-round club volleyball … Third-year varsity letterman … Repeat All-Hernando County spiker selection … Selected as Player of the Year for the first time … Known as a human pogo stick … Has an exceptional vertical leap … Can…

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