Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week – Christian Ellis (P.K. Yonge)
*Ellis won an FHSAA Class 1A-Region 2 title in the triple jump and qualified for the state meet. The senior took first place with a jump of 14.45 meters.
Previous 2015-16 winners:
April 18 – Deven Ross (Newberry baseball)
Ross helped lead the Panthers to their first district title in 11 years by going 8-for-11 with four doubles, six runs scored and two runs driven in against Fort White, Williston and Union County. Against two-time defending 1A state champion Williston in the 1A-District 6 semifinals, the senior went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI in a 4-2 upset win against the Red Devils.
April 11 – Elijah Brown (Bradford boys’ weightlifting)
Brown took second in the 154-pound class at the FHSAA Weightlifting Finals at The Kissimmee Civic Center, helping lead the Tornadoes’ to a Class 1A state runner-up finish. Brown totaled 580 pounds in his two lifts. He finished with a 320-pound bench press, which was tops in the state for his division, and a 260-pound clean and jerk.
April 4 – Mason Yonge (Oak Hall girls’ lacrosse)
The sophomore helped lead the Eagles to their fifth consecutive district title and 27th straight district win, as well as a spot in the FHSAA first-round play-in game. Yonge accounted for 12 goals (10 goals & two assists) as Oak Hall defeated rival Buchholz, 17-4, in the District 2 championship game. In the semifinals, she had five first-half goals to help top-seeded Oak Hall cruise to a 19-4 win over Eastside (Gainesville).
March 28 – Selin Yaylali (Gainesville girls’ tennis)
Yaylali won a Class 3A-District 5 title at No. 1 singles. She also teamed with Sara Michal to place first for the No. 1 doubles team.
March 21 – Aiden Henderson (Santa Fe weightlifting)
Henderson won a Class 1A-District 5 title in the unlimited weight class for the Raiders. He advanced to the Class 1A-Region 3 tournament at Bradford (Starke).
March 14 – Robert Anhalt (Buchholz boys’ lacrosse)
The senior scored four goals, three in the second half — including the game-winner with 5:57 to play — as the visiting Bobcats upset No. 9 Oak Hall, 7-6, on Thursday in front of a capacity crowd. It was just the Bobcats’ second win against the Eagles in school history. Two days later, Anhalt helped Buchholz finish unbeaten in district play (6-0) with a 15-0 win against Trinity Catholic (Ocala). Anhalt had four goals on 11 shots with two ground balls and one caused turnover.
March 7 – Katie Grace Olinger (Oak Hall softball)
Olinger helped lead the Eagles’ softball team to a 3-0 week. She went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run and drove in four runs as the Eagles defeated defending 1A state semifinalist Bell, 10-3, on Monday. In the circle, the junior struck out 15 in a complete-game win. In a 13-0 win at St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine), Olinger did her damage at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a two-run home run, four RBIs and two runs scored.
February 29 – Chace Curtis (Columbia wrestling)
The sophomore won a Class 2A state wrestling title. Curtis (50-5) defeated Venice senior Brent Smallwood in a 6-3 decision to win at 120 pounds. According to the Gainesville Sun, it marked only the second time that a Tiger wrestler has won an individual state wrestling title (Amos Smith won the 167-pound title in 1975).
February 22 – Trae-Von O’Neal (Gainesville wrestling)
The senior won a regional wrestling championship in the 113-pound weight class to advance to the FHSAA Wrestling Finals. In his fourth straight state meet, O’Neal went 4-0, including a win against Lake Gibson (Lakeland) junior Diamonte Perry, pinning him at the 2:19 mark of the first period for the 113-pound title. According to the Gainesville Sun, it marked the eighth time in FHSAA history a Hurricane wrestler has won a state title, with the last in 2010 by Kyle Brooks (140).
February 15 – Rudy Bibb-Boyd (Gainesville boys’ basketball)
The senior guard scored the game-winner with 5.2 seconds remaining to defeat Vanguard (Ocala) in overtime, 85-83, in the Class 6A regional semifinals. Bibb-Boyd finished with 27 second-half points and scored all eight of the ‘Canes’ points in the extra period as GHS (25-4) advanced to its second straight regional final. Despite a 45-39 loss at Pensacola in the next round, he shot 75% from the floor and led the ‘Canes with 15 points.
February 8 – Bryn Thomas (Trenton girls’ basketball)
The freshman scored a game-high 28 points as top-ranked Trenton defeated Wildwood, 62-45, in the Class 1A Regional Finals. It was a season-high in points for Thomas, who helped lead the Tigers to their first state semifinal in 35 years.
February 1 – Brandy McCoy (Union County girls’ weightlifting)
The freshman won a Class 1A state title in the 199-pound division with an FHSAA state record total weight of 440 pounds. McCoy had a clean and jerk of 195 pounds and set a new FHSAA state record with a 245-pound bench press. She helped lead Union County to a third place finish overall at the Class 1A girls’ weightlifting championships in Kissimmee.
January 25 – Emmarrie Carmen (Trenton girls’ basketball)
Carmen helped lead the Lady Tigers to a district title and an unbeaten season heading into the FHSAA state playoffs. The senior guard led everyone with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in Trenton’s 62-11 rout of Bell in the Class 1A-District 7 semifinals. In the district championship game, Carmen again led all scorers with 15 points, adding five assists and five steals as Trenton defeated Chiefland, 56-24. Trenton won the title with an undefeated 26-0 season.
January 18 – Rico Mirti (Eastside boys’ soccer)
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.
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 wee, k. 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.