Allan Leavitt

Pinellas County native Leavitt morphs only season at HHS into Hall of Fame nod

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Set placekicking records at University of Georgia before playing with the Bucs BY TONY CASTRO In the hotel and hospitality trade, it’s all about location, location, location. In many ways, the same can be said about life. How many seniors-to-be transfer prior to their final prep season? In 1972, a disenchanted Allan James Leavitt transferred from St. Petersburg-Lakewood High to what is now Weeki Wachee…

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Jam-packed calendar awaits bride-to-be Tara Allen

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Ex-Lady Leopard linkster and weightlifter will push back honeymoon for HOF nod BY TONY CASTRO For 2005 Hernando High School graduate Tara Allen, September, 2017 may be a month she’ll never forget. Allen, 30, will celebrate her 11th anniversary on Sept. 3 with another former Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad and golfer, Tom Miller. The petite 5-foot-2, 125-pounder will be celebrating in style by exchanging marriage…

Mike Hamilton

Hernando County’s first-ever wrestling state champ, HHS’ Hamilton enters Leopards’ HOF

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Three-sport athlete played football, wrestled, ran track from 1980-82 BY TONY CASTRO If Arnold Scharzenegger is still recognized as “The Terminator” – he may even give Jerry Brown another run for the governor’s seat in California – meet Hernando High’s “Originator”: Michael “Mike” Ross Hamilton. Hamilton, 53, was neither an actor nor the Governor of California. Instead, he is most noted for becoming the first…

Anthony Caso at the  29th annual Crystal Automotive Southern Open at Spring Hill Lane. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Former Spring Hill resident Anthony Caso enjoys homecoming by bagging first pro win

BOWLING Former Westside Elementary and Hernando County home schooler garners initial tour triumph BY TONY CASTRO SPRING HILL – It’s only been 14 months since former Hernando County resident and local professional bowler Anthony Caso relocated to Merritt Island. Though he currently resides in Brevard County, his parents and family still live here and he calls it his home. The southpaw Caso, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Saturday,…

Tom Daugherty Winner, George?. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Spring Hill Lanes’ PBA Pro-Am, Southern Regional set this weekend

BOWLING SPRING HILL – The 2017 Pro Bowlers Association (PBA) ProAm set for Friday, July 21 at Spring Hill Lanes, 3447 Commercial Way (US 19), Spring Hill. Don’t miss you chance to bowl with the pros! Spring Hill Lanes is also hosting the 29th annual Professional Bowlers Association Southern Regional on July 22-23. Some of the finest bowlers in the Southern United States will converge on to Hernando County facility….

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…


Hurricane Matthew wipes out Thursday and Friday’s complete athletic schedules

SPORTS CALENDAR The dangerous Category 4 system is expected to make Florida landfall tonight BY TONY CASTRO Due the affects of potentially catastrophic Category 4 Hurricane Matthew landing on Florida east coast late Thursday night, there will be no school athletic events including after-school practices either Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday, Marion County had opted to cancel the Hernando High at Ocala-Forest football game. Shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday,…

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Ex-Buccaneers cheerleader Torres returns to alma mater as cheer coach

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? At Hernando High, brunette cheered, participated in track BY TONY CASTRO The phrase coming full circle is most often associated to student/athletes through a series of developments that lead back to the original source, position, or situation or to a complete reversal of the original position. That couldn’t be truer of Hernando High’s current first-year varsity cheerleading mentor Crystale Meagan Torres. Torres graduated in 2011…


After 37 years at SHS, Levija leaves mark, long-lasting Hernando County legacy

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Wrestling Hall of Famer spent his final 16 years serving as Eagles’ AD BY TONY CASTRO When school officially began Wednesday at F.W. Springstead’s campus, there was a notable exception prior to the initial attendance bell, the absence of Robert “Bob” Levija. At the conclusion of 2015-16, the 65-year-old Levija retired from the Hernando County School District. The Chicago, Illinois product is a graduate of…

HERNANDO BROOKSVILLE, FL. 9/26/06--FIT30 3--Hernando High School cross-country coach, Ernie Chatman has run in all 50-states in the Nation. He recently brought home number 50, from our 50th state.

Chatman viewing, service, open to the public, to held Friday at HHS gymnasium

SOFTBALL BY TONY CASTRO BROOKSVILLE – In a fitting manner, the current Hernando High School gymnasium named after a slain Leopard educator, Michael A. Imhoff, will commemorate the passing of one of Hernando County’s finest educators, Ernie Chatman, on Friday. Chatman, 66, passed away Sunday evening from an apparent heart attack. The general public is invited to the Chatman viewing at HHS from 4-to-6 p.m. Friday. The funeral service will…

Ernie Chatman

‘It’s a sad day for Hernando County’ as HHS’ Chatman passes away

SOFTBALL FACA Hall of Fame skipper Ernie Chatman, 66, dies of apparent heart attack BY TONY CASTRO BROOKSVILLE – Hernando County was shaken to its core Sunday night with the passing of local sports icon William Ernest “Ernie” Chatman, 66. Fresh from his daily jog, the avid distance runner was found unresponsive in the upstairs bathroom by his wife, Linda. Chatman was apparently preparing to take a shower when…

Chris Daley during his baseball playing days under Tim Sims.

Striking the ‘Daley’ double; celebrating birthday and entering HOF on same day

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former three-sport Leopard Chris Daley, started for 2½ seasons with USF Bulls BY TONY CASTRO Imagine the elation of celebrating your birthday on the same day you’ll be introduced publicly at Tom Fisher Memorial Stadium to the Hernando High Athletic Hall of Fame. If so, welcome to Christopher “Chris” Cornelius Daley’s 35th birthday on Friday. Chris, who was born a the youngest of three children…

Brooksville's Rodney Byrd was named all-conference honorable mention as a junior and all-conference as senior as a defensive back and punt returner for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

Team-first Byrd takes flight, swoops into HOF

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Do-everything Leopard played football, basketball, ran track and coached BY TONY CASTRO Somewhere in the heavens, Hattie Byrd is beaming. You see, her son got the memo. She and husband Booker’s second youngest of six children, Rodney Byrd, enters this week’s sixth Hernando High School Athletic Hall of Fame class. For years, Hattie, who worked at Lykes Memorial Hospital and retired from Brooksville Regional before…

Raymond Pearson

100 years later, Leopard track and field pioneer Raymond Pearson garners HOF nod

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Pearson earned four gold medals in 1915 state meet in Gainesville, 3 more in 1917 BY TONY CASTRO Not many Hernando County residents from 100 years ago in 1915, can recall the events of the day. Here’s a snap shot of spring events: February 8 – The controversial film The Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith premieres (Los Angeles, California). * February 12 –…

Vicki Saltsman FSC 1990

Spike this! Top-shelf volleyball player Vicki Saltsman Balogh enters hall

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 2013 Florida Southern College Hall of Famer played in 4 sports at HHS BY TONY CASTRO There aren’t many athletes who make the quantum leap from taking care of horse and no sports to two Hall of Fames, but Ridge Manor’s Vicki Lyn Saltsman Balogh is quite special. A week from Friday, Balogh, 45, will be introduced at halftime of the Central High game as…

Elizabeth City Vikings' Hall of Famer Alfred Holmes of Brooksville will also be inducted into HHS' HOF in two weeks.

Ex-Moton, Hernando standout Holmes comes full circle

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Surviving the depths of racial tension, integration, Alfred Holmes garners HHS HOF nod BY TONY CASTRO Hernando County resident Alfred Holmes remembers the tumultuous period in American history when Moton’s students integrated to Hernando High School. As an HHS freshman in 1967, Holmes witnessed how the country’s racial tensions and unrest penetrated as deep as Brooksville, Florida. Holmes’ resolve, however shaken by the events of…


Ex-Philadelphia Eagle Bunch heads back to Brooksville

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former Small College All-American at Albany St., is one of 8 inductees of 2015 HOF BY TONY CASTRO When 1974 Hernando High graduate Curtis Jerome Bunch is introduced during the sixth installment of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony on Oct. 23 during halftime of the Central game at Tom Fisher Memorial Stadium, there will be more emotions bubbling under the surface than meets…

Jason Sterner. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Sterner steps on the gas early, rolls to second straight regional title

  BOWLING Covington, Ga. native opened the championship round with seven strikes to ease past Koehler, 255-204 BY TONY CASTRO SPRING HILL – In real time, final TV-style championship round between the last two of 64 entries in the 27th annual Crystal Automotive Southern Open at Spring Hill Lanes lasted 19 minutes. But in reality, top-seeded Jason Sterner of Covington, Georgia literally stepped on gas pedal within the first…

Spring Hill Lanes Pro-Am Brochure 2015

27th annual PBA Southern Regional returns to Spring Hill Lanes

BOWLING SPRING HILL – Spring Hill Lanes is hosting the 27th annual Professional Bowlers Association Southern Regional sponsored by Crystal Automotive Group on Aug. 14-16. Some of the finest bowlers in the Southern United States will converge on to Hernando County facility, 3447 Commercial Way (US 19), to battle for the estimated top prize of $2,500. There are plenty of events scheduled for that weekend. * Friday Aug. 14 *…