The Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week – Naomi Peng (Eastside)
*The senior won the Class 2A state diving title, leading to a top 10 finish overall for the Lady Rams at the FHSAA Swimming & Diving state championships in Stuart. According to the Gainesville Sun, Peng’s state title marked the Rams’ first girls individual state title since Allison Wagner won a pair of them in 1994. Peng helped lead the Eastside girls’ swimming & diving team to a sixth place finish overall.
Previous 2016-17 winners:
October 31 – Grace Blair (Oak Hall girls’ cross country)
Blair won Oak Hall’s first individual cross country state title in school history while leading the Lady Eagles to the Class 1A state championship – their second title overall. The junior finished with a personal best time of 18:22.85.
October 24 – Mindy Herrick (Buchholz girls’ golf)
The University of North Florida commit helped lead the Lady ‘Cats to a third place finish at the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament. The Bobcats finished with a two-day total of 638, behind only West Orange (625) and state champion Lake Mary (614). Herrick finished second individually with a 1-over par 145 in two rounds.
October 17 – Logan Locascio (Gainesville boys’ cross country)
The senior helped lead the Hurricanes to the Class 3A-District 5 cross country championship. Locascio finished second in a time of 16 minutes and 21.20 seconds to take top area honors.
October 10 – Luke Whittemore (Buchholz football)
Whittemore caught nine passes for 220 yards and a TD as the Bobcats (4-2, 2-0) stayed unbeaten in 7A-District 3 with a 17-10 win at Bartram Trail (St. Johns). The senior, who is a Troy commit, hauled in an 86-yard scoring pass. He also had five carries for 29 yards and a 25-yard kick return.
October 3 – Tyler Winkel (Gainesville football)
The senior was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points, including the game-winner in double-overtime, and he also added a 31-yard FG, as the Class 6A ‘Canes edged rival Buchholz, 31-30, to snap a two-game losing streak against the Class 7A state-ranked ‘Cats.
September 26 – Blake Sanders (Keystone Heights football)
The junior running back had a career night with 277 yards on 47 carries to go along with four touchdowns as the visiting Indians defeated P.K. Yonge, 25-19 in double-overtime, in a 4A-District 3 game. Sanders had the game-winning 10-yard score on the Indians’ first play in the second OT. Keystone ran 54 plays on offense, and Sanders touched the ball on 49 of them (47 handoffs, two receptions).
September 19 – Jenna Wiggs (The Rock volleyball)
Wiggs helped lead The Rock to a first-place finish at the Gator Town Classic at Buchholz. The senior finished the tournament with 31 service points, 85 digs and seven aces, including one to end the match. In that third set, she scored the last four points, and point 25 was an ace. She served at 99 percent. The Rock (16-4) had wins over Citrus (25-7, 25-11), Okeechobee (25-11, 25-15), Santa Fe (25-10, 25-17), and Ocala Forest (25-27, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22) in the semifinals.
September 12 – Andre Hampton (Union County football)
The senior linebacker had 29 total tackles with six for a loss in the Tigers’ 43-8 win over Hilliard in the District 6-1A opener for both teams. The 29 tackles for one game is the most recorded by a Union County player in the modern era.
September 5 – Jakhai Mitchem (Newberry football)
Mitchem carried the ball 13 times for 187 yards and four TDs as Newberry upset Class 1A No. 5 Union County (Lake Butler), 40-22, for its first win against the Tigers in four years. The sophomore had scoring runs of 20, 28, 15 and 14 yards as the Panthers (3-0) remained undefeated.
August 29 – Jack Holloway (Gainesville boys’ golf)
The senior claimed low medalist honors in Gainesville’s quad match victories over Buchholz, Eastside & Newberry at Ironwood Golf Course. Holloway parred holes two through seven and birdied number eight en route to a 37 total. He helped the Hurricanes (4-0) stay unbeaten.
August 22 – Jacquez Jernigan (Newberry football)
Jernigan, who plays fullback, scored three rushing TDs to help lead the Class 1A Panthers to a 22-6 win at 4A Santa Fe (Alachua). The senior overcame two early fumbles and finished with 129 yards on 24 carries. He had TD runs of 6, 1 and 11 yards.
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.