Weeki Wachee High goal keeper, Erika Herzek launches a goal kick in the 3A-7 district tournament at Weeki Wachee High School. Photo by JOE DICRISTOFALO

Another piece in Falcon puzzle takes shape as WWHS’ Herzek inks

GIRLS SOCCER Four-year Hornet starter played goalkeeper last winter for the US-19 crew BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com NAIA’s Florida College landed yet another piece to its puzzle for the 2017-18 women’s soccer season by recently signing 2017 Weeki Wachee graduate Erika Rose Herzek. Herzek, 18, also earned four letters in track and field and two in cross country along the US-19 campus. Herzek 101 Erika was born the middle of…

Rogina Sameri

If playing defense is the game, ex-Bear Sameri is the aim

  GIRLS SOCCER Defending three-time All-County defender inks with Florida College BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com The unprecedented mining of women’s soccer talent from Hernando County by NAIA’s Florida College Falcons continues. The Temple Terrace program pried away perhaps the county’s finest man-marking defender in 2017 Central High graduate Rogina Sameri to its Hillsborough County campus. Sameri 101 Rogina was born in Tallahassee as the youngest of three children to Sam…

Sarah Asbury

Ex-Hornet setter Asbury heads for Pasco-Hernando State College

VOLLEYBALL Two-time All-Hernando County setter led WWHS to a pair of regional finals BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Home grown spiker Sarah Elizabeth Asbury will remain local for the next two years. The talented 2017 Weeki Wachee High School graduate, who served as the team’s starting setter for the past four seasons, will begin competing at the next level with Pasco-Hernando State College Conquistadors in New Port Richey. Asbury 101 Sarah…

Sasha Garcia, Mom Anna, Dad Edward, Florida College Coach David Castille.Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Wheeling, dealing is at the heart of center midfielder Sasha Garcia’s game

GIRLS SOCCER Sixth-best assist total allows SHS graduate to sign with NAIA Florida College BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com So what do U.S. President Donald Trump and legendary TV game show host Monty Hall have in common? They’re best known for “Let’s Make Deal”. Now what does recent 2017 F.W. Springstead center midfielder Sasha Monique Garcia have in common with Trump and 2007 American Game Show Host Hall of Famer Hall…

Kimberly Gibson, Mom Maria Leon, Dad Chris Leon, Florida College Coach David Castille.Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Ex-Eagle standout Gibson is another reason to ‘Fear the Falcon’

  GIRLS SOCCER All-County performer inks with NAIA’s Florida College Falcons in Temple Terrace BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Another local product, 2017 F.W. Springstead graduate Kimberly Andrea Gibson, has signed with NAIA’s Florida College Falcons soccer squad based in Temple Terrace. Under skipper David Castillo, the Falcons have mined the Hernando County turf and signed NCT’s Santina Paonessa, Central’s Regina Sameri and Springstead’s Sasha Garcia and Gibson. Gibson 411 Kim…

2017 Jessica Osborne 2

‘Almost like a dream come true’ says ex-Shark Osborne signing with NAIA’s Warner University Royals

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING Two-time district champion lifter, won districts in 2017 PV BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com 2017 Nature Coast Technical graduate Jessica Marie Osborne believes she’s living proof that dreams do come true. Despite a diminutive stature., the pint-size pistol of an athlete at 5-foot-2 and 115 pounds soaking wet, earned seven varsity letters: four in track and field and three in weightlifting. Osborne, 18, reached the FHSAA’s elite meet twice…

Josh Rivera

Ex-Bear Rivera lands at linebacker for D-II Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

FOOTBALL Two-time All-County gridder, district champ lifter is newest Lion BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com On Aug. 7, Spring Hill’s Joshua “Josh” Anthony Rivera begins the next chapter of his life. In reality, he’s he been prepping for this moment for as long as he has walked this earth. Rivera, 17, signed a letter of intent to play D-II football beginning next month for Lincoln University, which lies about 40 minutes…

Santina Paonessa

Ex-NCT Homecoming Queen Paonessa inks as defender with NAIA’s Florida College Falcons

GIRLS SOCCER Three-year Shark letterman reports to Temple Terrace campus BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com One of the most perplexing local trivia questions is when is any football player crowned Homecoming Queen? It’s never happened in a century of prep football, right? Wrong. The exception is when the gridder in question is a female football player, dba as placekicker. Prior to last season, third-year NCT football mentor Justin Worden was in…

Jayna Tyler

Rare air: NCT’s Tyler inks with D-I University of South Carolina Upstate Spartans

GIRLS SOCCER Three-year Sharks‘ starter tallied 42 goals, added 17 assists BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Despite one of the worst seasons of female soccer in 27 winters – where all five Hernando County programs failed to have one team reach .500 – for the second straight time a local player has signed to play at the NCAA’s elite Division-I level. 2017 Nature Coast Technical striker Jayna Morgan Tyler signed with…

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 HernandoSport.com 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…

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 HernandoSport.com 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 HernandoSport.com 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 HernandoSport.com 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 HernandoSport.com 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…

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 HernandoSport.com 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…

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 HernandoSport.com 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…

Will Roberts

Meet D-III Methodist University’s newest Monarch, ex-HCA standout Roberts

BASEBALL Six-foot-4, 182-pound right-hander finished second in the county in Ks BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com Acronyms surround our daily life. Just try to read any teenager’s next text message. LOL. Athletically-speaking, baseball has its own language. Meet recent Hernando Christian Academy graduate Will Stephen Roberts. Roberts was a P.O., or pitcher only, for the Lions. The 6-foot-four, 182-pounder, who hit .353 and drove in team-best 26 runs, served as the…

Courtney Reiser

New team yields another fresh start for Springstead’s Reiser

GIRLS BASKETBALL Lady Eagles cager inks with Trinity College of Florida in New Port Richey BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com It’s a common misconception that all prep basketball players have to average doubles figures in scoring or rebounding or possess a 32-inch vertical leap to play at the next level. So meet the 7-Up or the Uncola of local girls basketball: F.W. Springstead’s Courtney Lauren Reiser. The recent Lady Eagles graduate…

Brad Ellis

Royal occasion as Hernando’s Ellis inks with Warner University

FOOTBALL 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker heads to NAIA campus BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com If high school sports were in Technicolor, recent Hernando High graduate Brad Raymond Ellis could be sketched in black and white. Ellis, 19, has grown up around two past times – football and baseball. After earning seven letters playing both sports on the Bell Avenue campus in Brooksville, Ellis recently inked a letter of intent to play collegiate…

Joey DelGatto, PHSC Coach Steve Winterling, Mom Amy, Dad Steve. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Taking the next step, DelGatto signs with Pasco-Hernando State College Conquistadors

BASEBALL 3-year SHS letterman enjoyed best-ever year in 2017 hitting .321 BY TONY CASTRO HernandoSport.com In a magical 2017 prep baseball campaign where eight different Springstead Eagles pieced together their best-ever seasons, Joseph “Joey” Crane DelGatto’s value could not be understated. Under the guidance of third-year SHS skipper Shawn Laferty, the current 5-foot-11, 180-pound DelGatto sparkled. DelGatto, who averaged .264 along his first two seasons on the Mariner Boulevard campus,…