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WOMEN”S FOOTBALL Not just for Men!

OWEN LEKEBUSCH National Championship in Sarasota

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2019 Results

Windermere Prep Swimming Camp

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LACROSSE Lake Highland & Bishop Moore


Owen Lekebusch will compete in the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championship in Sarasota

A member of OARS in Windermere, Owen Lekebusch has developed a knack for finding success out on the water as a rower. The Windermere High junior will be taking part in the upcoming 2019 U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota after finishing in third at the organization’s Southeast Youth Championships. How did you first get into rowing? It was the summer after fifth grade and my mom recommended that I do a Learn to Row camp over the summer. I went in and I didn’t know anything about the sport, but I went and I tried it and I instantly fell in love with it — I found it as a super cool, dynamic sport that is very unique in its own ways. What has been the motivation for you to keep you in the sport? A lot of it is the teammates and the coaches. The teammates are lifelong friends, they’re absolutely amazing, and the coaches are super supportive as well — they always have my back and always motivate me to do my best. What has been your favorite part about rowing? I love the competitive atmosphere. Me, myself, I’m a pretty competitive person — I like to challenge people and I also like to be challenged. Going to the races and just feeling the absolute rush of going down the course and eventually crossing the finish line — it’s just overall very competitive and very respectful. Is there a highlight moment for you in your rowing? A couple of weeks ago I raced in the US Rowing Southeast Championships over in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and it’s an event to qualify for the national championships in Sarasota. You need to get first, second or third to qualify, and I got third and I got myself a bid to nationals, which is a very big event. I honestly can’t wait for it. How are you feeling about that appearance in nationals that’s coming up? I still feel the competitive motivation — it’s always been there — but I’m probably a bit more nervous for this, because it’s a much bigger event. Everybody in the nation will be watching and see us go down the course. Is rowing something that you’d like to eventually do at the competitive level? Oh yeah, for sure. I definitely want to row competitive in college. It’ll help me keep that competitive rush that I like to feel, but also keep me in excellent shape through college. I know a lot of people do sports in high school and when they finally get to college they don’t really do anything. I feel like if I continue to row in college not only will I make a lot of friends — as I did here — I’ll also stay in shape and keep that competitive feeling.

Florida Sporting News A Hagerty and Bishop Moore lead the way with four FSN All-Area selections. The Huskies are one of three teams with two players named to the first team, including centerfielder Riley Greene, who was chosen No. 5 overall in the draft by the Detroit Tigers on Monday. Greene, a second-team FSN All-Area player as a freshman and sophomore and first-teamer in 2018, agreed to contract terms and was formally introduced by the Tigers at a press conference Friday afternoon. In all, 26 programs from throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and southwest Volusia counties have at least one player on all-area lists that include first, second and third teams plus honorable mentions. Player of the Year Matt Allan, Seminole, Sr. Pitched a perfect game with 17 strikeouts in district semifinals to help send eventual Class 9A state champion Seminole to region tournament for first time since 2001. Allan then hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of a region final before striking out eight batters in a state semifinal win over Wellington’s Palm Beach Central. FSN First Team Alex Britton, Olympia, Jr.- Led region finalists with .430 batting average while delivering 17 RBI, 35 runs scored and 8 stolen bases. Dylan Crews, Lake Mary, Jr.- Stole 15 bases and batted .389 (28-for- 72) with 12 extra-base hits, 17 RBI and 28 runs scored. Riley Greene, Hagerty, Sr.- National Gatorade player of year finalist scored 38 runs and batted .422 (35-for83) with 27 RBI and 8 home runs. Vaughn Grissom, Hagerty, Sr.- Hit .389 with 12 extra-base hits and 37 runs scored while tallying 3-0 pitching record, four saves and 0.82 ERA. Bryce Hubbard, Windermere High, Sr.- Finished with 9-0 record and 0.73 earned run average while striking out 96 batters in 57.2 innings. Kyle Mock, Bishop Moore, Sr.- Led Hornets in hits (33), runs (27) and home runs (5) while adding 21 RBI and 7 stolen bases. Carson Montgomery, Windermere High, Jr.- Two-way player batted over .330 and went 7-0 with a 0.60 ERA

and 75 strikeouts in 46.1 innings. Isaac Nunez, Lake Brantley, Sr.- Defensive standout batted .355 on 29 hits with 23 walks, 22 RBI, 4 home runs and 26 runs scored. Will Sullivan, Dr. Phillips, Sr.- Led area in home runs (11) while batting .541 (40-for-74) with 36 RBI, 35 runs, 13 doubles and 15 stolen bases. Jeslyn Whitehead, Olympia, Sr.- Batted .409 with 18 RBI and pitched 7 complete games for second year in row for 9-2 record and 1.24 ERA. Parker Wood, Timber Creek, Sr.- Helped Wolves reach state final four for third year in row while batting .379 (36-for-95) with 17 RBI and 26 runs. Second Team Denton Coquyt, Timber Creek, Soph.; Carson Crossley, Windermere High, Sr.; McGwire Holbrook, Bishop Moore, Jr.; Logan Keller, Lake Brantley, Sr.; Brett Kelly, The First Academy, Jr.; Blake Loubier, Oviedo, Sr.; Tucker Marrillia, Winter Park, Sr.; Josh Morse, Orangewood Christian, Sr.; Cooper Omans, Oviedo, Sr.; Robbie Post, Hagerty, Sr.; Jorge Rivera, Osceola, Sr.; Dale Thomas, Bishop Moore, Sr. Third Team Trent Caples, Hagerty, Soph.; Jose Class, Apopka, Jr.; Brandon Fields, Dr. Phillips, Jr.; Hunter French, Lake Minneola, Soph.; Naphis Llanos, Lake Howell, Sr.; Adrian Lucre, Winter Park, Sr.; Sean McArdle, Seminole, Sr.; Charlie McDaniel, Seminole, Jr.; Troy McPeak, Orangewood Christian, Sr.; Raymond Negron-Valero, Dr. Phillips, Sr.; Ian Thornton, Clermont Real Life, Jr.; Najer Victor, Clermont East Ridge, Jr. Honorable Mention Kayden Anderson, Deltona Pine Ridge, Jr.; Zach Arnold, Lake Minneola, Jr.; Colton Bruns, Mount Dora, Sr.; Thomas Furry, Lake Highland Prep, Sr.; Braden Holcomb, Foundation Academy, 8th; Zach Holcomb, Trinity Prep, Sr.; Korbin Kurtz, Clermont Real Life, Sr.; Dwayne Maduro, Clermont East Ridge, Jr.; Jack McRae, Bishop Moore, Sr.; Justin Melton, Lake Highland Prep, Sr.; A.J. Shaver, Groveland South Lake, Jr.; Dylan Van Note, Mount Dora Christian, Jr. Individual results (winners and locals in top 4): 3200: 1. Christopher Wilhelm (TP) 10:09.30; 4. Jai Phillips (LHP) 10:16.62. 4x800 relay: 1. Tavares (Drennan, Myers, Drennan,

All-Area Baseball Picks Brown) 8:09.44; 2. Lake Highland Prep 8:13.62; 3. Bishop Moore 8:22.78. 800: 1. Dalton Brown (TAV) 1:55.67; 3. Isaac Jacob (LHP) 1:58.75; 4. Armani Grimaud (MVA) 2:01.53. 110 hurdles: 1. Tysen Coates (TAV) 15.31; 2. Jacob Grabill (TAV) 15.38; 4. William Lay (LHP) 16.00. 100: 1. Jaylan Sessions (PAL) 10.85; 2. Caleb Blake (BM) 10.93. 4x100 relay: 1. Bishop Moore (Crankfield, Galvan-Santos, Morrison, Blake) 42.88. 400: 1. Trayvon Williams (PAL) 48.81; 2. Weston Baptiste (MVA) 49.03. 300 hurdles: 1. Laquavian Nevins (NM) 38.88; 2. Samuel Miller (LHP) 40.61. 200: 1. Jaylan Sessions (PAL) 21.86. 1600: 1. Alex Guy (KEY) 4:31.56; 3. Isaac Jacobs (LHP) 4:32.95; 4. Jai Phillips (LHP) 4:34.23.

4x400 relay: 1. Atlantic 3:25.89; 2. Tavares 3:28.68; 4. Lake Highland Prep 3:29.35. High jump: 1. Wesley Roberts (PAL) 6-3.50; 3. Glen Register (UMA) 6-1.50. Pole vault: 1. Conrad Prisby (VIL) 13-9.25; 2. Henry Johnson (UMA) 12-9.50; 3. Zach Hancock (BM) 123.50; 4. Justin Kern (BM) 12-3.50. Long jump: 1. Cartrell Strong (ZEP) 23-0; 2. Marc Morrison (BM) 22-10. Triple jump: 1. Adontae Balfour (BRA) 45-5. Shot put: 1. Conrad Wilson (TP) 55-3.50; 4. Luke Barrett (TP) 49-3.50. Discus: 1. Tylen Campbell (CIT) 171-1; 2. Luke Barrett (TP) 169-10; 3. Kenneth Hatley (UMA) 158-10. m

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West Orange High Air Force Junior ROTC achieves the Highest Merit Award The Air Force Junior ROTC instructors and cadets of West Orange High School in Winter Garden earned an overall unit assessment score of “Exceeds Standards,” the highest rating attainable, during their evaluation on April 19, 2019 and have been designated a Distinguished Unit with Merit. Maj. Matthew C. Medlock, Lt. Col. Brian J. Noe, Senior Master Sgt. Shonda L. Spencer, created a dynamic and supportive learning environment coupled with an excellent community outreach, accumulating over 1,800 hours of community service this year. The instructors provided outstanding leadership in administering the cadet centered citizenship program. The West Orange High School cadets performed exceptionally well and took great pride in leading and accomplishing their unit goals. The West Orange High School Air Force ROTC citizenship program is making a positive impact on the cadets, the school and the community. As a proud father, whose son is in the program, I want to congratulate the West Orange High staff and students for exceeding their expectations. This is a wonderful and important program. I’ve seen these young men and women grow into great leaders in our community. cousin of former DP quarterback Nick Patti. And Rodney Jr. is listed as DP’s No. 3 running back on the depth chart. “He played very well, surprisingly,” Wells said of his son. Wells also was impressed by Patti, who came on in relief of starter Brenden Cyr and threw a nifty 73-yard TD strike to Taylor in the fourth quarter. Cyr threw a TD pass to Noah Scholfield in the second quarter. “The game was a little fast for him at first,” Wells said. “But then he settled down and he made some good throws, made some really good runs, good

reads.” Now summer weightlifting awaits and the preparation for the fall. “We’ve got to get bigger, stronger and faster,” Wells said. “All the pieces are there. Again, we have a really good mix of old and young talent. We have good chemistry. Those guys love each other already. We’re much ahead of where we were last year.”

Football is not There’s an unfortunate reality in the world of sports, where different sports lead to stereotypes. As a former NFL player, we are raised to be gladiators that performed on the highest level. We were raised to understand that this was a man’s sport. How times have changed! I have had the honor to work with the first female NFL coach, Jen Welter. Jen also played in the professional female football league that started and folded a few years back. Football, for instance, is known as a manly sport — defined by its brute strength, unfathomable speed and of course, the fact that it’s played by men. But what about the girls and women — who make up nearly 50% of the NFL’s viewing audience — in the country who have a passion for the sport? Where do they turn? Luckily for the girls of high-school age, the game of flag football has taken ahold here in the southeast and it’s growing faster than just about any sport out there. The sport’s rapid growth is something that Michael Stringer — the girl’s flag football coach at Windermere High — is more than happy to see. “The girls are very competitive — you’ll be shocked to see how (hard) a girl in our program takes a loss, and how much it leaves a sour taste in their mouth,” Stringer said. “Just to see that competitive edge in flag — translating over from the boy’s side in regular football — is kind of what got me into it. It’s sometimes higher than what the boys are doing.” Stringer had been serving as the assistant coach for the team since it started up two seasons ago, but officially took over as

the head coach after the end of this previous season following Russell Williams being named the school’s new athletic director. Having been with the program since the beginning, Stringer has seen the girl’s flag football team develop into something to be proud of. But like any fledgling program, the Wolverines’ first season was — for lack of better words — not great. The growing pains were there, and most of the girls who showed up to participate in the first year had never played before. “We probably only had — on our varsity — four girls who played flag football when they were at West Orange,” Stringer said. “So for the most part, this was a brand-new sport for a lot of our girls.” Two of those four girls — Brinley Griffitts and Felicity Kaley — are rising seniors. Both Kaley and Griffitts were introduced to the sport when they were at West Orange High — though they did it for different reasons. For Kaley, who used to play soccer, it was all about trying something new and exciting, while for Griffitts it was something that she was naturally drawn to — thanks to growing up with two older brothers who played football. “I loved it so much, because it was a fun sport and (there) was nothing too serious about it at West Orange,” said Griffitts, who plays both wide receiver and linebacker. “But then when we moved to Windermere it just got more fun and competitive too — I’m a very competitive person.”

t only for Men! When she first arrived at Windermere High, Griffitts said there was also a big change to how she was used to practicing. At West Orange High the girls on the team were familiar with the sport and therefore they could practice at a bit of a faster tempo. It was a process that required patience, but was totally worth it, she said. And being one of the few players with experience changed up her own role on the team, as well. “It made me become more of a leader than I had been, and I just loved teaching the girls and looking at their progress,” Griffitts said. “Just being a leader to them and seeing how well our team went from zero to 100 (was great).” Among the girls new to the sport included fellow rising senior Julia Neves, who picked up flag football when she was in her sophomore year at Windermere High. “It was a new sport, and all my friends were doing it, so I thought, ‘Why not?,’” said Neves, who plays linebacker. “I’ve met some of my best friends doing it, and I’ve improved so much since I started.” In their second season, the Wolverines would start the season off 0-6, but would turn a total 180 — going 5-1 to finish off the regular season. That turnaround alone, and the growth that comes with starting a new culture, is something that tells Stringer and his players that something is starting to click. A culture shift is difficult, and it’s not something that just happens without hard work and gritty players like Griffitts, Neves and Kaley. And it’s because of players like them that they see

their sport grow bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. But the question remains — why is this sport growing so fast? If you ask the players, they’ll give you the real answer.

Florida Sporting News Top Pe FSN- Girls Athlete of the Year Kaley Mudge, Winter Springs, Sr. Mudge combined quickness, power and competitiveness to be one of the best multi-sport athletes in area history.She was the area softball player of the year for a Winter Springs state championship team that finished 31-0. That wrapped up her three-sport senior year in which she was a volleyball standout for the Bears in the fall and then placed sixth at state in girls weightlifting in the winter. Mudge shined brightest on the softball field and she is headed to FSU to play college softball. She batted .535 and led off the state semifinal with a home run. She was also a stellar outfielder who handled 33 putouts without an error – including the last out of the state final. FSN- Boys Athlete of the Year Riley Greene, Hagerty, Sr. Regarded as the top high school baseball player in the state out of Hagerty High School, Greene was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 5th overall pick in last week’s Major League Baseball Draft and signed a multi-million dollar pro contract last week. He was the second high schooler selected. Greene was a four-year starter in centerfield who has been praised as the nation’s best pure hitter in the Class of 2019. He batted .422 and had 38 runs scored, 8 home runs and 27 RBI as a senior. Greene was named Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and is one of three finalists for the national player of year award. FSN- Girls Team of the Year Winter Springs softball Winter Springs capped an unbeaten 31-0 season by winning the Class 8A state championship with a 3-0 win over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. That victory came after the Bears rallied for a walk-off win against Orange Park Oakleaf in a state semifinal.That was one of 10 games Winter Springs won by two runs or less in its dream season. One of the returners will be Aynslie Furbush, who hit 12 home runs and was 16-0 as a pitcher. She had plenty of support on a squad that collectively batted .366. FSN- Boys Team of the Year Oviedo boy’s swimming In a performance that surprised even its 25-year

coach, Charlie Rose, Oviedo became the first area school to win a state swimming championship in 20 years. It was a true team effort. Oviedo had zero first place finishes in events but got a clutch performances from senior Carlos Cartagena-Diaz and others. The Lions parlayed a deep pool of point scorers to the first place finish ahead of county rivals Seminole and Lake Brantley. It was only the second time in state meet history that three Central Florida teams finished 1-2-3 in the boys standings. The Oviedo girl’s team, also coached by Rose, placed second. FSN- Girls Breakout Athlete of the Year Karoline Tuttle, Lake Mary, Fr., golf Tuttle arrived at Lake Mary as an accomplished youth standout and quickly made her mark as a ninth grade golf sensation. She was the leading player for Lake Mary’s Class 3A girls golf state championship team. At the state tournament Tuttle shot back-to-back rounds of 3-under-par 69 to win the individual state championship and lead the Rams to a 26-shot margin of victory. In the regular season Tuttle tied teammate Izzy Pellot, another freshman, for medalist honors to lead the Rams to victory at the Antigua National Girls Golf Championship in Arizona. FSN- Boys Breakout Athlete of the year Dawson Joyce, Seminole, Fr., swimming Joyce’s reputation as an elite swimmer preceded his arrival to high school swimming and he more than lived up to the hype. The 15-year-old won all four of his events, including two relays, in an epic state meet performance. His individual wins were in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 free – both with personal-best times. Joyce set multiple state age group before he hit high school and is now Florida’s No. 1 ranked swimming in three events in the 15-16 age bracket. He is regarded as a top college prospect with Olympic potential. FSN- Girls Coach of the Year Tommie Butts, Wekiva, girl’s basketball and flag football Butts rallied his girls’ basketball team from a lopsided loss to rival West Orange in the district final to a comeback that culminated with the Class 9A state championship. It was the second state title in a stellar six-year run by the Mustangs under Butts.

erformers of the Year Awards His teams have reached the state tournament four times and averaged 24 wins per season in that span. The Mustangs won 15 of their final 16 games and topped favored Miami High 45-41 in double-overtime for the championship. Butts continued his winning ways as coach of Wekiva’s girl’s flag football team, which has evolved from 0-11 three years ago to become one of the area’s best. FSN- Boys Coach of the Year Kenne Brown, Seminole, baseball Brown, a veteran, returned to high school coaching to take the Seminole job and led the ‘Noles to the Class 9A state championship in his first year back. He was a young assistant for Seminole 27 years ago when the school last made a state baseball final four and won a 1992 championship. Brown revived the pride in a program that had not reached region play in 18 years and led the Seminoles to a second title in dramatic fashion. His team won its district semifinal on a perfect game pitching performance by Matt Allan, and then rebounded from a district final loss to advance to state. The ‘Noles won the state final 1-0 over Miami Coral Reef on a solo home run by Mason Mazarredo and a gutsy pitching performance by junior Charlie McDaniel in Fort Myers.

The Spirit Award Bailey Trinder of Foundation Academy was severely injured in a car accident in September and his parents were told he had only a 3-percent chance of surviving. The junior fought for his life through two rounds of CPR and then spent 46 days at Orlando Region Medical Center. He did survive the horrific one-car crash and his will to win is now an inspiration to his football and baseball teammates and many others from his school and church. Trinder was left paralyzed from the waist down and is in a wheelchair. But he returned to school and rejoined both of the Foundation Academy teams he played for as a student assistant coach this spring.


Windermere Prep Host Swimming Camp There’s a lot that goes into becoming a dominant force in your sport, and that includes sacrificing precious free time. While many of their fellow friends and schoolmates take to the beaches and theme parks this summer, there’s a trio of swimmers who will take lap after lap in the pool at Windermere Prep. Hayley Clark, Addison Reese and Isabella Lojewski are members of the Windermere Lakers Aquatics swim club. “We just had practice from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. this morning, then we had weights from 8 to 9 a.m., and then practice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” said Reese, 13, who will be starting eighth grade in the fall at Bridgewater. “We just accomplished one of our goals — we got put in an elite group, and there’s not many kids at all, so that’s why we have extra practices on Mondays and Fridays.” “We have 10 practices every week — including Sunday — and our only day off is Wednesday,” said Lojewski, 14, a homeschool student who also swims for Windermere High. While that kind of intense workload may be overwhelming to most, for the Lakers trio it’s just the same old, same old. The constant practice and dedication to their sport — both in and out of the water — has also brought with it fruits of labor, as all three girls were named to the USA Swimming 2019 Southern Zone Select Camp held on the campus of the University of Louisville. The four-day camp — which took place from Thursday, May 30, to Sunday, June 2 — brought the top 56 swimmers (28 boys and 28 girls) throughout the southeast to Louisville, Kentucky, where they would dive head first into training. The Windermere trio of swimmers was selected based on simple math: They were the best in their events. Lojewski holds the fastest time in the 400m free in the southeast, while Clark holds the fastest time in the 200m breaststroke. Meanwhile, Reese was invited thanks to her outstanding IMX (based on overall swim times). “I was definitely nervous, because we were racing the top kids in the country,” Lojewski. “But when we all got there, we all told each other that, ‘We deserved to be here, and don’t ever feel like you don’t deserve to be here.’” Going into the camp the trio knew a bit what it would be like, as they had friends who had previously gone to the camp. Despite having a general feel for the camp, there were still some surprises along the way — including the routine of it all. “I definitely expected much harder training sessions,” said Clark, 15, who will be a freshman at Windermere High in the fall. “They really focused on technique, which is really good, and they taught us about nutrition, recovery, sleep and goal setting.” And the girls weren’t alone in their journey to Louisville, as Lakers head coach Alexander Dehner joined the staff during the camp. Getting the opportunity to be a part of that experience is something that Dehner never got to do as a swimmer himself, but having the chance to take in the camp with his athletes was incredible. “It’s really special — the camp that they went to is actually the first stage of USA Swimming’s Olympic progression,” Dehner said. “It’s the first time I get to wear USA Swimming’s colors and be a part of the USA Swimming staff. For me this is truly an

amazing experience, and I couldn’t have done it without them swimming the way that they do.” With this recent pinnacle of success, Clark, Reese and Lojewski have been able to accomplish a lot through their young careers, but there’s one thing that has been around since they first started racing competitively: Make the Olympics. In the case of Lojewski, it’s something that came about following her original stint in synchronized swimming. “I was always in the water — I did swim lessons as a kid — but when I turned 8 I started doing synchronized swimming for four years, and when I turned 12 I realized it’s not what I want,” Lojewski said. “I (made the cut) really quickly for championship meets, so I decided that my goal is to make the Olympics. I’ve been working hard ever since.” On the other hand, Clark and Reese knew pretty immediately once they started swimming in the beginning that making it to international competition was the ultimate prize. “I’ve always kind of loved the feel of water and I’ve always loved being in it and racing and splashing around,” Clark said. “I think when I was around 9 years old was when I really got into competitive swimming and set goals for myself — like making the Olympics.” “These past few years I’ve just always wanted to make the Olympics,” Reese said. “It’s my dream — I have it written all over my room.” over Brooksville Central (7-22) in five innings on Saturday in the Region 2 semifinal. Blake D’Arville and Tommy Groom combined for the shutout, with D’Arville striking out five and giving up no hits or walks. Dom Scavone went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI while Kyle Mock and Dale Thomas each had solo home runs. Keller Eberly and McGwire Holbrook each went 2-for-3 with a double. The Hornets (21-7) will face the winner of the other semifinal between The Villages and Newberry on May 22. Elsewhere, The First Academy (20-8) played at Clearwater Calvary Christian (23-4) in a 4A region final on Saturday night.

Lake Highland, Bishop Moore stars

lead All-Area Lacrosse

Lake Highland Prep’s ascension to girl’s state championship status highlighted the 2019 lacrosse season in Greater Orlando. The Highlanders, under the direction of new coach Chris Robinson, avenged an early-season loss to 2018 state champion and state No. 1-ranked American Heritage of Delray Beach with a 10-6 victory in a state semifinal. They wrapped up the first state title in program history with an 11-6 win over Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin in the FHSAA final. Senior Ainsley Thurston led the way for Lake Highland and is the Florida Sporting News Area Player of the Year. But she was surrounded by underclassmen on a young team that will vie for another state championship and national recognition in 2020. That group includes three more all-area players along with sophomore standouts Ashley Thurston and Sarah Pokorny. The Boys Player of the Year is Bishop Moore senior Jake Kiefer, a two-sport standout. He was a near-unanimous choice by area coaches as the area’s best lacrosse player and was also one of the Hornets’ most valuable football players over the past four years as a punishing blocking back, rusher and receiver. Here are the 2019 FSN All-Area Teams: Girls Player of the year Ainsley Thurston, Lake Highland Prep, Sr.- Thurston scored 67 goals and added 19 assists and 39 faceoff wins to lead Lake Highland to the state championship. Like Kiefer, she was a repeat All-Area pick. The U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armor All-American player is headed to Duke to play college l acrosse. First-teamers Olivia Adamson, Lake Highland Prep, Soph. Regan Alexander, Lake Highland Prep, Jr. Cami Donadio, Bishop Moore, Jr. Zariah Durham, Dr. Phillips, Sr. Isabella Garganese, Trinity Prep, Sr. Jackie Norsworthy, Lake Highland Prep, Jr. Kate Piscopo, Bishop Moore, Jr. Ashley Rassel, Hagerty, Sr. Isabel Sedwick, Winter Park, Jr. Katie Williams, Hagerty, Sr. FSN Team rankings 1. Lake Highand Prep (23-2) 2. Bishop Moore (21-2) 3. Hagerty (16-7) 4. Lake Brantley (14-4) 5. Trinity Prep (11-4) 6. Winter Park (10-5) Boy’s Player of the year Jake Kiefer, Bishop Moore, Sr.- The Utah signee racked up 73 goals and 19 assists this season for a final-four team. He ranks No. 2 on the Hornets’ all-time list for career points with 296

(231 goals, 65 assists). Kiefer was a two-time member of the U.S. Lacrosse All-America list for Central Florida. First-teamers Hudson Bohn, Lake Highland Prep, Jr. Jackson Canfield, Bishop Moore, Sr. Kyle Croteau, Hagerty, Sr. Derek Farwell, Lake Highland Prep, Sr. Parker Junod, Winter Park, Sr. Travis Lesko, Lake Brantley, Jr. Ryan Paquette, Lake Mary, Sr. Tanner Pohl, The First Academy, Sr. Chase Strait, Lake Mary, Jr. Justin Williams, Montverde Academy, Sr. FSN Team rankings 1 Bishop Moore (17-6) 2. Lake Highland Prep (14-8) 3. Winter Park (14-5 4. Hagerty (13-6) 5. Lake Mary (11-8) 6. Lake Brantley (14-5)

Windermere Little League

is ready to PLAY BALL!

Despite the days of wet weather that passed over the state in the recent week, nothing — not even storms — are souring the excitement around Windermere Little League. That’s because this month kicks off the start of the League’s All-Star baseball and softball seasons, which rev up this Saturday over at the Dr. Phillips Little League ballfields. There, WLL will take on Winter Garden, Dr. Phillips and South Lake in the “Tournament of Champions” — the 8/9 year olds team — which will run simultaneously with the district tourney for the 9/10 All-Star teams. The other three baseball teams — 10/11, Majors (10-12) and juniors (13/14) — will play the following week. “Usually our baseball teams that win districts do OK in sectionals,” said Patryk Ozim, an assistant on the 11s softball team and scheduler for the League. “Last year we had a big success when one of our teams actually went to the state tournament. “The girls, on the flip, are powerhouses in softball — they’ve won the state the last two years in a row at the 10-year-old level, and they were runners-up last year at the 11-and-12 year-old level,” he said. “It’s expected that the 12s are going to just absolutely win the state, win the southeast regionals and move on to — possibly — the Little League World Series in Portland.” Unlike the baseball teams, Windermere’s softball teams skip district tournaments and go straight through to the sectional tournament. The reason for the jump is due to a lack of teams in the surrounding area. While Ozim said there was a lot to look forward to with all of the teams — including the 11s — there’s an added air of interest in the Majors softball team. And that excitement comes with good reason, as the Majors team has a history of excellence, which includes making it all the way to the Little League World Series back in 2012. There in Portland, Oregon, Windermere finished runner-up after falling to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the finals. “That’s certainly the goal — to be playing in Oregon in August,” said head coach Rex Smith. “Right now we are just getting together — this is just the first

week we’ve been practicing — so I think there is just a ton of excitement right now, and they know that we have a talented group, and so I think they’re all excited to be on it and playing with each other. “Maybe some of them are nervous, because they’re with with new girls, so (we’re) just getting through all of that so we can build up confidence and start getting them comfortable around each other,” he said. While there are some new faces on the team who are eager to get going and find their own success, there also are numerous girls who have played alongside each other over the last few years. Two years ago several of the girls on this year’s team won states and got to go on to the southeast regional, and then last year those same girls finished runner-up in their division. So while members of the team have tasted success, there’s still the need to bring the entire squad together — including the familiar and unfamiliar faces. Luckily for Smith, he’ll be heading into sectionals — and hopefully more — with a stacked roster filled with some of the best softball players from the area. “We’ve got a very talented team — all the girls on the team have been playing at a pretty competitive level of softball for a while,” Smith said. “They’ve dedicated a lot of time to softball, and it’s a really well-rounded team. There really isn’t any weakness when you look at the roster across all the girls that are here. “Anybody can step up in any game that we get into and have a big moment,” he said. “We have good pitching, we have good catchers and we have strong players at every position on the field. I’m feeling really good about the talent we have on the team.”

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Florida Sporting News - Issue 80 - June 15, 2019  

Florida Sporting News - Issue 80 - June 15, 2019