The Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH) spring sports program had a big day last week, when the boys and girls tennis and track teams all took home Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) championships.
The boys tennis team, coached by Dave Wilson, has long been the class of Pasco County, and their SAC title was the seventh straight for the Bulls. In fact, the team hasn’t lost a match to a Pasco County school in that span, going 83-0.
The Bulls have been led this season by senior Noah Makarome, who won the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA)’s Boys 14 Singles National Clay Court Championship in 2013 but has never played high school tennis, and Destiny Okungbowa.
The girls tennis team won the conference title by beating Pasco 4-3.
In track, the host Bulls swept the boys and girls team titles at the SAC East meet for the second straight year.
The girls outscored Sunlake 143-134, pulling past the Seahawks with their dominance in the 800 meters.
The Bulls trailed Sunlake by 24 points heading into the 800. However, Kerry Reilly, Brenna Moran and Kate Moore finished 1-2-3, and Abbie Dodge came in fifth, as the Bulls picked up 26 points and surged to the lead.
Kyra Swain won the next race, the 200 meters, to give WRH some cushion, and then Reis Ehman (fourth), Julia Blankenbaker (fifth) and Lauren Payne (sixth) scored seven points in the 3,200 meters to help offset Land O’Lakes’ 18 points in the race, thanks to a 1-2 finish.
The WRH boys built a big lead in the field events, thanks to long jump champ Rashaun Wiliams and discus winner Dillion Teets, but the Bulls put the meet away with their work in the hurdles races, scoring 36 points.
In the 110m hurdles, Dylan Ridolph and Josia Gadeen finished 1-2, and in the 330m hurdles, Ridolph, Gadeen and T.J. Ridgel finished 2-3-4. The Bulls boys literally ran away with the title with 166 points, followed by Land O’Lakes (80) and Wesley Chapel (79).
WILDCATS SPRINTERS SHINE IN SAC, TOO: Wesley Chapel High (WCH) speedster Isaiah Bolden won the 100- and 200- meter races at the SAC meet, and also teamed up with Dexter Leverett, Nick Merilan and Deion Watkins to capture the 4×100 relay to lead the third-place Wildcats.
Dominic Moreno also was a triple winner, capturing titles in the 800m, 1,600m and 4x400m relay (with Cameron Boger, Raymund Reddick and Leverett).
For the WCH girls, who finished fourth with 77 points, Sydney Parker was a winner in the 100m, and Faith Mercer took the title in the 400. Cache Simmons added a third first-place finish to the Wildcats’ haul in the triple jump.
FOOTBALL COMMITMENT: Evan Hogan, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound offensive lineman and long snapper for Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH), orally committed to Keiser University in West Palm Beach.
As a long snapper, Hogan has been ranked among the top 50 in the nation by the Kornblue Kicking/Snapping Academy.
The son of Florida International University sports information director Mike Hogan, Evan will get a unique opportunity at Keiser, which is starting football in the fall of 2018.
Keiser competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) and plays in the Sun Conference against three colleges in Polk County and one near Naples.
Hogan will play for head coach Doug Socha, who was an offensive assistant for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills last season.