Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week – Rico Mirti (Eastside)
*Mirti scored a pair of goals as the top-seeded Rams defeated North Marion (Citra), 4-3, in the Class 3A-District 5 tournament to clinch a spot in the state playoffs. Two days later, the senior forward had a hat trick with three goals in a 7-1 win against Belleview as Eastside (16-2-3) captured the district title.
Previous 2015-16 winners:
January 11 – Kim Melton (Santa Fe girls’ soccer)
The junior forward helped lead the Lady Raiders to the Class 2A-District 5 title by scoring six goals in a 7-2 win over P.K. Yonge in the district championship on Friday night. Melton, The Gainesville Sun’s 2015 Girls Soccer Player of the Year, scored six goals in Santa Fe’s 8-0 district semifinal win over Newberry on Wednesday. She added a goal in an 8-0 win over Crescent City in the quarterfinals on Monday.
January 4 – Nadiria Evans (Oak Hall girls’ basketball)
The junior point guard helped lead the Lady Eagles to a 2-1 week. Against district rival St. Francis Catholic, Evans scored a game-high 32 points, dished out seven assists, grabbed nine rebounds and added six steals as head coach Eric Ringdahl won his 400th career game with a 75-28 win against the Wolves. The following night against SJCD, Evans scored a game-high 30 points in a 60-42 win.
December 7 – Wesley Turcheon (Newberry Christian football)
The senior helped lead the Warriors to the 6-man football state title. Wesley had 7 solo tackles and 4 assisted tackles and two tackles for loss. He also saved a potential game winning touchdown on an interception return at the end of the first half, running a Cornerstone player down as the clock expired. A year ago, in their first season of competition, Newberry Christian went 0-9, but this season they finished 8-1.
November 30 – Michael Smith (Trenton football)
Smith accounted for three touchdowns in Trenton’s 56-21 win against Port St. Joe in the Class 1A state championship game. He completed TD passes of 44 and 39 yards, and returned an interception 62 yards for a score. The junior also punted twice for an average of 40.5 yards, tied for the team lead with six tackles, and led the team with three tackles for a loss.
November 23 – Davin Schuck (Columbia football)
The junior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns to help lead the Tigers (12-1) to the Class 7A state semifinals with 51-14 win over Bartram Trail (St. Johns) in the regional finals. Schuck completed 17-of-25 for 312 yards and 4 TDs, and he also carried the ball seven times for 22 yards and a score.
November 16 – Caelan Christian (Gainesville football)
The senior accounted for three TDs as the Hurricanes defeated Vanguard (Ocala), 35-28, to advance to their fifth regional final in the past six years. Christian completed 18-of-28 for 279 yards with scoring tosses of 67 and 5 yards, which tied the game at 21-21 with 1:09 left in the third quarter. He scored the game-winning TD on a one-yard keeper with 1:21 to play.
^November 9 – Alena Krause (Gainesville girls’ swimming)
Krause led Gainesville to its first girls’ state swimming title in school history. The sophomore won individual state titles in the 200 freestyle and the 100 free. It was the second year in a row she won the 200 freestyle state title. Krause was also a part of two team state titles (200 & 400 freestyle relays) and was a perfect 4-for-4 on the evening.
^November 9 – Talia Bates (Buchholz girls’ swimming)
Bates helped lead the Buchholz girls to their first state swim title since 2009 and sixth overall. She won an individual state title and was a part of two team state titles. The freshman won state in the 50 freestyle and helped the Lady ‘Cats set an FHSAA state record in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.88, breaking the mark set by Bolles (Jacksonville) in 2009.
^co-winners (no award for the week of Nov. 2 so that we could present co-winners the following week to two state champions)
October 26 – Blake Lowery (Gainesville boys’ cross country)
Lowery helped lead the Hurricanes to the Class 3A-Region 2 team title. The senior ran a Gainesville High and Florida Horse Park course record time of 15:42.80 to win an individual title. He lowered the record by 19 seconds. The Hurricanes, picked to finish second, upset seventh-ranked Ocala Vanguard to win the title by three points and advance to the state meet.
October 19 – Ray Trimble (Keystone Heights football)
Trimble set the school record by rushing for 401 yards on 45 carries. He scored three touchdowns in a 28-14 win over district rival Interlachen. The senior also scored on a two-point conversion, kicked two extra points and played on every down defensively, intercepting a pass. Trimble, who had a long run of 56 yards against the Rams, leads the area in rushing with 1,418 yards.
October 12 – Hamp Cheevers (Trenton football)
Cheevers rushed for 218 yards on only seven carries and scored four TDs as the Tigers defeated Newberry, 54-6, to take over sole possession of first place in District 7-1A. The Gainesville Sun Super 11 selection had a 64-yard scoring run on the game’s first play from scrimmage and added a 68 yard TD run on his third carry of the game. The senior also returned a kick 32 yards, intercepted a pass and had three pass breakups.
October 5 – Kaitlyn Cronin (Buchholz girls’ swimming)
Cronin helped lead the Buchholz girls’ team to the Rob Ramirez City Swimming and Diving Championship. She won two individual titles and was a part of two winning relay teams in leading the Lady Bobcats to the city title. Cronin won the 50-yard freestyle (23.97) and the 100-yard butterfly (57.92). She was also a part of the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that finished first. It was the first time since 2005 that both the Buchholz girls and boys each won the city title.
September 28 – Jac’cara Walker (P.K. Yonge volleyball)
Walker had 17 kills and 18 digs as nationally-ranked P.K. Yonge defeated Winter Springs in four sets in a match-up of two of the top six teams in the country. The senior outside hitter also led the Blue Wave to a runner-up finish at the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Arizona, which included two wins against teams ranked in the top 11 of the country. For the week, she finished with 91 kills, 35 service points, four aces, 76 digs and four blocks. She is currently on the MaxPreps National Volleyball Player of the Year Watch List
September 21 – Kaylee Herring (Santa Fe volleyball)
Herring helped lead Santa Fe to a 2-1 week with road wins against Alachua County schools Eastside and Oak Hall. The senior had eight kills, four services points and two aces in the win against the Rams on Tuesday, followed by 10 kills and eight digs against the Eagles on Thursday. In the loss at Trinity Catholic (Ocala) on Wednesday, Herring had one of her better outings for the week with one assist, 11 kills, nine digs, two blocks, two aces and 11 service points.
September 14 – Hoss Marino (St. Francis Catholic football)
Marino ran for 189 yards on 33 carries and scored two TDs, including the game-winner with 1:24 left, as St. Francis Catholic defeated St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) on the road. The senior quarterback/linebacker also tossed a scoring pass and had three tackles on defense.
September 7 – Tyrus Cook (Union County football)
Cook completed 24-of-34 passes and threw for a school record 411 yards as Union County stayed unbeaten with a 39-13 win against previously unbeaten Newberry. The junior accounted for all six scores as he threw four TD passes and ran for two more. Cook had TD passes of 16, 8, 26, & 19 yards while adding a 14-yard TD run and a 19-yard scoring run.
August 31 – Matt Armstrong (Oak Hall football)
Armstrong accounted for all four TD’s as Oak Hall (Gainesville) defeated Aucilla Christian (Monticello), 28-7, to pick up its first win of the season, and just its second victory in the past year. With the Eagles trailing 7-0, the sophomore quarterback completed a 70-yard TD pass to Spencer Marino to tie the game, followed by a 70-yard scoring run for the game-winning score. He added two 3-yard touchdown runs.
The Trophy Shop Athlete-of-the-Week is presented by State Farm Agent Mark McGriff of Gainesville. For more information on auto, life and health insurance, call Mark at 352-372-8406. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.