HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

Experienced Blaser helps Eagles soar


Published: Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:36 p.m.

John Dickinson has been Oak Hall's boys tennis coach for 25 years and can't remember a time his Eagles had swept Gainesville in two matches.

Last week, Oak Hall did just that, led by junior Logan Blaser's come-from-behind win in No. 2 singles.

Blaser won his match 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 in a tie-breaker to clinch the match as the Eagles improved to 8-2 on the season, Oak Hall's two losses have been to Eastside. Blaser also won both singles and doubles in sweeping P.K. Yonge last week.

“Logan is our captain and an experienced player,” Dickinson said. “He is a fighter and a great tennis player. He represents his team and school very well. He went to state last year as a singles and doubles champion from our district.”

A cloud has been over the team all season dealing with the health of teammate Harrison Thibault, who has suffered from a collapsed lung and is in Shands. He had been released from North Florida Hospital a few weeks ago, only to have a relapse.

“He and Logan are good friends, and Logan has visited him,” Dickinson said. “They are good buddies from way back and used to be doubles partners.”

District tournaments are just around the corner on April 1, with Oak Hall hosting the nine-school District 4-1A.

“We will likely be the favorites at districts and hopefully can make a run in regionals against the Jacksonville schools,” Dickinson said. “We are having a very good season.”

Baseball

Alex Wilkins, Newberry: The senior outfielder/pitcher went 5 for 10 for the week with four runs scored, one double, a home run and eight RBIs. Against Dixie County, he went 4 for 6 with a grand slam and seven RBIs and picked up the win on the mound, giving up two earned runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts.

Softball

Haley Ellefson, Lafayette: The eighth grader went 3-0 on the week, striking out 23 in 14 innings pitched, giving up six hits and two earned runs. She also went 7 for 11 at the plate with three doubles, one triple, six runs scored, three stolen bases and 12 RBIs.

Girls lacrosse

Rachel Kyes, Eastside: The junior scored five goals, had one interception, three ground balls and nine draw controls last week for the Rams.

Boys track and field

Kenric Young, Gainesville: The senior sprinter won both the 100 and 200 meters, and was the anchor on the winning 4x400 relay as the Hurricanes won their second straight boys title at the Alachua County Track and Field Championships. The Utah football signee topped his own school record in the 200 (21.30) in winning Saturday's elite race at the Bob Haynes Invitational in Jacksonville.

Girls track and field

Payton Ashe, Gainesville: The senior was named the most valuable girls athlete at the Alachua County Track and Field Championships, winning the 400 meters, long jump and placing second in high jump as the Hurricanes finished second at the meet.

HONORABLE MENTION

Baseball

Thomas Lundy, Eastside: The junior, after only two weeks of baseball practice following playing in the state semifinals in basketball, went 4 for 9 at the plate in three games with two doubles, three runs, stole home base and played solid in center field and first base.

Wyatt Jackson, Suwannee: The junior outfielder in three games had seven hits in nine at-bats, with four doubles, scored four runs and had five RBIs for the 7-4 Bulldogs.

Ryan Burgin, Newberry: The senior infielder went 6 for 8 for the week with five runs scored, four RBIs, two triples and one double to help the Panthers to win district games against Chiefland and Dixie County.

Softball

Ashtin Strickland, Santa Fe: The junior pitcher tossed a three-hit shutout against Fort White with 13 strikeouts, and went 6 for 11 at the plate with a double, home run, four RBIs and scored twice.

Shelbee Blackburn, Santa Fe: The junior third baseman/catcher went 6 for 10 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and scored four runs as the Raiders went 2-1 last week.

Katie Chronister, Gainesville: In three games, the sophomore went 6 for 10 at the plate with four doubles, two triples, five RBIs and three runs scored. The UF commit was 1-1 on the mound with one earned run in 11 innings with 15 strikeouts.

Tiffany Donovan, Gainesville: The junior hit .444 last week with two doubles, three runs scored, three RBIs and made outstanding catches in center field and threw out a runner at home plate.

Nikkia Robinson, P.K. Yonge: The sophomore right fielder went 6 for 10 with three stolen bases, four RBIs in 10-0 and 8-0 wins over Fort White and a 6-4 victory over Santa Fe. She also made a spectacular game-saving catch to secure the victory over the Raiders.

Kassidy Kennard, P.K. Yonge: The senior shortstop went 5 for 10 at the plate last week with two doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored.

Sydney Shows, Lafayette: The junior went 7 for 10 with two doubles, seven stolen bases and eight RBIs

Vickie Ryan, Bell: The senior second baseman went 10 for 12 with six runs, four stolen bases for the Bulldogs, who went 3-1 for the week.

Shelbie Hutto, Bell: The junior pitcher went 2-1 on the mound and went 11 for 12 batting, with one home run and four doubles.

Ashlyn Curtis, Eastside: The junior outfielder, who is batting .622 on the season, went 7 for 8 at the plate with seven runs and three RBIs for the Rams.

Nicole Gibbons, Eastside: The freshman catcher went 6 for 10 with the bat last week with two doubles, four runs and seven RBIs.

Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Monday to (352) 374-5050 between 12-4 p.m.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top