High School Blitz
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:21 p.m.
Four things of note in area sports
* Lafayette's Lindsay O'Steen, The Sun's 2012 small school female athlete of the year, has verbally committed to play softball at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, according to Lafayette coach Derek Garland. O'Steen, a two-sport star, was recently named the Florida Dairy Farmer's Class 1A volleyball player of the year after leading the Hornets to their second straight state championship. Last spring on the diamond, she was 11-2 with a 2.59 ERA and hit .388 with 14 doubles, seven homers and 46 RBIs as Lafayette claimed the Class 1A state crown.
* Former Eastside boys basketball standout Devonta Mosley, now at Mitchell College (New London, Conn.), was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week on Monday. A second-team all-area selection a year ago, the 6-foot-3 forward had 11 points, four rebounds and an assist as the Mariners posted their first win over Coast Guard (88-71) on Nov. 20.
* Paulina Zaveckaite, a former first-team all-area girls basketball player who helped The Rock win the 2010 FHSAA Class 1A state title, is now at Santa Fe College. She was named the NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA player of the week on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2 Zaveckaite, who played at USC Upstate last year, averaged 17 points and 17 rebounds in two games for SFC last week.
* Lafayette High, in conjunction with Basketball Brothers, Inc., is hosting the first Andy Hart Memorial Invitational Dec. 7-8. The two-day girls basketball event is named after the late Andy Hart, who was the public address announcer for Hornets football, basketball, softball, track, and other sporting events for nearly 30 years. Admission is $5 per day. The schedule: Dec. 7- Oak Hall vs. Cottondale, 4:30 p.m; Ponce de Leon vs. Tallahassee Rickards, 6 p.m.; Lafayette vs. Baker, 7:30 p.m.; Tallahassee Florida High vs. vs. Jasper Hamilton County, 9 p.m.; Dec. 8- Cottondale vs. Wildwood, 12 p.m.; Hamilton County vs. Baker, 3 p.m.; Oak Hall vs. Ponce de Leon, 4:30 p.m.; Newberry vs. Lafayette, 6 p.m.
— Cliff Olsen
State playoff capsules
All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated.
Admission: $8 for regional finals; $9 for state semifinals
CLASS 6A, REGION 2 FINAL
SEFFNER ARMWOOD (9-3) AT NO. 1 GAINESVILLE (12-0)
Where: Citizens Field
Radio/online: 104.9 FM/theprepzone.com (video and audio), pregame at 7 p.m.
Headliners: Armwood — QB Alvin Bailey (UF commit, 350 yds. rush, 226 yds. pass, 3 TDs, 2 Ints.), RB Caylan Holloway (474 yds., 4 TDs), WR Darryl Richardson (5, 82 yds., 2 TDs), LB Jordan Griffin (120 tackles, 4 sacks), DL Zeric Coleman (6 sacks), DL Hyraim Fredrick (6 sacks), S Leon McQuay III (5 ints.); Gainesville — QB Mark Cato (1,842 yds., 26 TDs, 9 Ints.), RB Ralph Webb (1,475 yds., 20 TDs), WR Case Harrison (46 catches, 713 yds., 7 TDs), WR Chris Thompson (UF commit, 19 catches, 350 yds., 5 TDs); LB Keith Kelsey (151 tackles, 5.5 sacks), LB Alex Gonzales (128 tackles, 8 sacks), LB Matt Solt (133 tackles, 2.5 sacks), LB Keon Jenkins (111 tackles, 8 sacks)
Scouting report: This is a rematch of last year's controversial Region 2 final in Seffner in which Armwood, unbeaten and ranked No. 2 nationally by ESPN, rallied for a 17-14 win. The Hawks benefited from a fumble at the Gainesville 16-yard line with 4:39 left in the game, in which the initial official ruling was that QB Mark Cato was down, but was later overturned by the head official. Three plays later, Armwood QB Alvin Bailey tossed a TD pass and the Hawks led for the first time and held on. Armwood went on to win the state 6A title, which was stripped by the FHSAA six months later for use of ineligible players. The Hurricanes have been No. 1 most of the season with their toughest games being Columbia (17-14) in Week 2 and at Madison County (14-9) in Week 9. The Hawks opened the season No. 1, but dropped after a 36-28 home loss to Delray Beach American Heritage in Week 2. Also had back-to-back close road losses at Hillsborough (3-0) and Tampa Plant (20-19). McQuay is one of the nation's top safety recruits.
How they got here: Gainesville def. Brooksville Hernando 60-3 in the regional quarterfinals; def. Ocala Vanguard 21-10 in the regional semifinals; Armwood def. Largo 10-6 in the regional quarterfinals; def. Hillsborough 9-7 in the regional semifinals
Up next: If Gainesville wins, will travel to Columbia or Navarre in state semifinals on Dec. 7; if Armwood wins, will travel to either team
Coach speak: “The seniors have been waiting for this all year. The kids are pumped. I have a mature team. With games like this, after two or three plays things get back to normal.” — GHS coach James Thomson
“We've got our hands full. They have a lot of athleticism and speed. They are a really polished group. They can throw the ball, run the ball, and they do a lot of shifting. There is a reason why they are No. 1. They are good.” — Armwood coach Sean Callahan
LS: GHS; CO: ARMWOOD; PK: GHS; LB: GHS
CLASS 6A, REGION 2 FINAL
NO. 5 COLUMBIA (11-1) AT NO. 10 NAVARRE (11-1)
When: 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. CST)
Headliners: Columbia — LT Laremy Tunsil (No. 4 overall recruit, ESPN), RB Ronald Timmons (1,546 yds., 20 TDs), QB Jayce Barber (1,363 yds., 15 TDs, 2 Ints.), WR Nathan Ayers (24 catches, 380 yds., 5 TDs), LB Terry Calloway (121 tackles, 2 sacks), LB Felix Woods (85 tackles, 5 sacks), LB Drew Clark (7 sacks), CB Rakeem Battle (4 Ints.): Navarre — RB Jay Warren (1,721 yds., 19 TDs), QB Andrew Rieves (1,312 yds., 12 TDs, 6 Ints.), WR Jordan Leggett (50 catches, 854 yds., 7 TDs), CB Nick Benton (51 tackles, 5 Ints., 16 PBUs).
Scouting report: The visiting Tigers, who have won 10 straight, are in their first regional final since 2003. Their lone loss was a 17-14 setback at No. 1 Gainesville, the first of four straight road games that Columbia took on early in the season. Timmons set a school record for rushing in a season after last week's 216-yard effort in a 34-8 convincing win over No. 3 St. Augustine. The Tigers defense has given up just 25 points in the last six games, and has posted four shutouts on the season. The Raiders, who have also won 10 straight, are in their second regional final in the last three years. Two years ago, they lost to Tallahassee Lincoln 34-33 in triple overtime. Lincoln beat Gainesville the following week, then upset Armwood for the 4A state title. Jay Walls is in his first year as coach at Navarre. Walls coached at Suwannee for eight years (1996-2003) and went 2-6 against Columbia. He led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A state final in 1999 (37-22 loss to Glades Central).
How they got here: Columbia def. St. Johns Bartram Trail, 35-14, in the regional quarterfinals; def. No. 3 St. Augustine 34-8 in the regional semifinals; Navarre def. Pace 30-10 in the regional quarterfinals; def. Milton 20-12 in the regional semifinals.
Up next: If Columbia wins, will host Gainesville or Armwood in state semifinals on Dec. 7; if Navarre wins, will host either team
Coach speak: “It is a road game, and we were on the road a lot early during the season. We had four straight road games, and I think we benefited from that for situations like this. I'm excited about the opportunity to travel and showcase this group.” — Columbia coach Brian Allen
“When you get into the third round of the playoffs, I hope the homefield advantage helps, but you never know. The bottom line is you have to go out and play good no matter what. Our defense has played physical and will need to on Friday.”— Navarre coach Jay Walls
LS: COLUMBIA; CO: COLUMBIA; PK: COLUMBIA; LB: COLUMBIA
CLASS 1A STATE SEMIFINALS
NO. 1 TRENTON (12-0) AT NO. 5 NEWBERRY (9-3)
Headliners: Trenton — RB Cedric Stokes (1,671 yds., 24 TDs), QB Stephen Smith (Rush: 1,124 yds., 14 TDs, Pass: 732 yds., 13 TDs, 4 Ints.), RB Melvin Adams (732 yds., 10 TDs), WR Hamp Cheevers (10 catches, 341 yds., 5 TDs), LB Hunter Parrish (93 tackles, 15 sacks), DT Breon Sims (76 tackles, 3 sacks); Newberry — RB Ra'kheem Hoyt (1,199 yds., 21 TDs), RB Travyaun Presley (645 yds., 2 TDs), RB Tamarcus Faulkner (617 yds., 6 TDs), QB Brandon Herbert (474 yds., 6 TDs, 3 Ints.), LB Les Jordan (96 tackles, 4 sacks), WR/DB Monte Seabrook (12 catches, 223 yds, 1 TD; 4 Ints.)
Scouting report: Only 13 miles apart, these two county neighbors (Trenton in Gilchrist; Newberry in Alachua) will decide one half of the Class 1A state final next Friday at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The host Tigers, No. 1 for half of the season, have never reached the state final while the visiting Panthers were the last local team to play for a state championship, losing to Pahokee in the 2B final (53-14) in 2007. Newberry coach Chris Baker was Trenton's coach from 2008-2010 while Tigers coach Andrew Thomas was a Chiefland assistant during an 0-10 year in 2010. In his second season as coach at Trenton, Thomas has led the Tigers to a 23-1 record. On the season, Trenton is averaging 387 rushing yards and 46.7 points per game. The Panthers, who had losses of 1 point (28-27 in OT) to 7A Ocala West Port and 3 points at Union County (10-7), were just 2-8 last year. Tommy Keeler was the coach and Baker the defensive coordinator the last time Newberry reached the state final five years ago.
How they got here: Trenton def. Jefferson County 24-14 in the regional semifinals; def. No. 3 Lafayette 42-26 in the regional finals; Newberry def. Wildwood 16-10 in the regional semifinals; def. No. 2 Union County 18-13 in the regional finals.
Up next: Winner will play No. 4 Bratt Northview-Bristol Liberty County winner for 1A state title at Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7
Coach speak: “We want to keep them from breaking long runs if we can. They are No. 1 and they are a big favorite. If we can keep it close at the end, we'll have a shot.” — Newberry coach Chris Baker
“Ra'kheem (Hoyt), he is their workhorse. He is their playmaker, so we have got to tackle him well and we have to get to him.” — Trenton coach Andrew Thomas
LS: TRENTON; CO: NEWBERRY; PK: TRENTON; LB: TRENTON
Week 13: Paul 5-1; Laura 5-1; Cliff 5-1; Larry 4-2
Season: 1. Paul Kardasz 168-27; T-2. Laura Bernheim 164-31; T-2. Cliff Olsen 164-31; 4. Larry Savage 154-41
Friday's playoff games
All games at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated
Region 1: Apopka (10-2) at Neptune Beach Fletcher (11-1)
Region 2: Tarpon Springs East Lake (11-1) at Orlando Dr. Phillips (12-0)
Region 3: Weston Cypress Bay (10-2) at Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge (9-2)
Region 4: Miami Christopher Columbus Catholic (8-4) at Miami Killian (10-1)
Region 1: Tallahassee Lincoln (10-1) at Oviedo (11-1)
Region 2: Lithia Newsome (8-4) at Kissimmee Osceola (12-0)
Region 3: Bradenton Manatee (12-0) at Fort Pierce Central (11-0)
Region 4: Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson (9-3) at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (10-2)
Region 1: Columbia (11-1) at Navarre (11-1), 8:30 p.m.
Region 2: Seffner Armwood (9-3) at Gainesville (12-0)
Region 3: Daytona Beach Mainland (9-3) at Naples (11-0)
Region 4: Miami Central (9-2) at Palm Bay (8-4)
Region 1: Tallahassee Godby (11-1) at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny (9-3)
Region 2: Dade City Pasco (12-0) at Tampa Robinson (11-1)
Region 3: Lake Wales (8-4) at Immokalee (9-3)
Region 4: Miami Jackson (7-4) at Belle Glade Glades Central (8-4)
Jacksonville Bolles (11-1) at Yulee (9-3)
Miami Booker T. Washington (11-1) at Cocoa (10-2)
Orlando First Academy (12-0) at Madison County (11-1)
Fort Lauderdale University School (10-0) at Clearwater Central Catholic (11-1)
Jacksonville University Christian (10-1) at South Daytona Warner Christian (11-1)
Naples First Baptist (12-0) at Miami Dade Christian (12-0)
Bratt Northview (9-3) at Bristol Liberty County (10-2)
Trenton (12-0) at Newberry (9-3)
All-area ballots for the fall sports (football, volleyball, cross country, swimming and golf) were e-mailed to every area school's athletic director earlier this week. If you have not received a ballot, please contact Cliff Olsen, email@example.com to request another one be sent. The deadline to fill out and return the ballots via e-mail is Friday, Dec. 14.
Boys basketball, girls basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls weightlifting and wrestling coaches, please call in your box scores to 352-374-5050 each night by 10:30. You can also email in your box scores to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email prep editor Larry Savage for the correct template needed before emailing in your results.
Athlete of the week nominations are made via phone call on Sundays between 4-7 p.m. Call 352-374-5050.