The Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week – Natiya James (Eastside)
*The sophomore helped the Lady Rams capture the Class 2A-District 5 track & field championship. James won three district titles. She finished first in the triple jump, the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles.
Nominate an Athlete of the Week each week no later than Sunday at 6 p.m. Email your nominations to mike@ThePrepZone.com
Previous 2017-18 winners:
April 2 – Bryn Thomas (Trenton softball)
Thomas helped lead the Class 1A No. 1-ranked Tigers to a 3-0 week. She began the week with a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored in an 8-1 win against Dunnellon, which is ranked 8th in the state in Class 6A. The junior had the game-winning RBI double in a 2-1 win against 1A honorable mention Lafayette (Mayo). She saved the best for last, going 4-for-4 with three runs batted in against current 1A No. 8 Chiefland in a 10-0 win in six innings.
March 26 – Tamari Davis (Gainesville girls’ track & field)
The freshman won the 100 meters at the 74th annual Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track in Gainesville with a time of 11.34. Davis tied the Florida Relays record in the event Thursday in the preliminaries, running a personal-best time of 11.29, eclipsing her previous mark of 11.34 set at last year’s FLYRA Middle School State Championship.
March 19 – Cade Monk (Buchholz boys’ track & field)
Monk helped lead the Bobcats to their third Alachua County boys’ title in four years. The junior won three events at the Alachua County Track and Field Championships. He won the 3200 by three minutes (9:57.37), the 1600 with a time of 4:35.52, and the 800 with a time of 2:00.09.
March 12 – Jaxson Lamb (Oak Hall boys’ lacrosse)
The High Point commit helped lead the Eagles to a 3-0 week, including a 17-0 win against Gainesville to start the week and the inaugural Sunshine State Athletic Conference title on Saturday. The senior midfielder saved the best for last. Lamb had eight goals in a 14-2 win against host All Saints Academy (Winter Haven) in the second game of a doubleheader at the inaugural Sunshine State Athletic Conference lacrosse tournament. The eight goals tied a school record for goals in a single-game.
March 5 – Ethan Brunson (P.K. Yonge baseball)
The senior helped lead the Blue Wave to a 3-0 week. In a 6-4 win against Fort White to start the week, Brunson had a single, double, and two runs batted in, plus he collected his second save by tossing two innings. His best performance came next when he went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double, triple and two singles with three RBIs in a 13-4 District 5-5A win against Santa Fe. He finished off the week with a 2-for-3 performance, including his 5th RBI of the week, in a 5-2 win against Oak Hall as the Blue Wave (9-0) stayed unbeaten.
Feb. 26 – Trey McCray (The Rock boys’ basketball)
McCray, who transferred in from Santa Fe High School this season, led The Rock (28-10) to the SIAA state title by scoring 21 points in the championship game as the Lions defeated Victory Rock, 73-59. The junior scored 14 in the semifinals, a 76-61 win against West Oaks, and 13 in the quarterfinals, an 86-46 win against Calusa Prep. He was named the tournament’s MVP.
Feb. 19 – Adebola Adeyeye (The Rock girls’ basketball)
The senior forward helped lead the Lady Lions to their second consecutive NACA National Championship for Division II. The University of Buffalo signee scored 32 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as The Rock defeated Comenius (Fort Mill, SC), 61-50, in the title game. Adeyeye scored 73 points and grabbed 72 rebounds during the tournament. She also had five blocks in the four games.
Feb. 12 – Nick Baskin Jr. (St. Francis Catholic Academy boys’ basketball)
Baskin had 20 points and went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line down the stretch to lead Saint Francis Catholic Academy to its first district title in basketball since 2013 in a 61-57 home win over Trinity Christian Academy (Deltona) in the Class 3A-District 2 title game. The senior tied for game-high honors with 15 points in the district semifinals as the Wolves defeated Christ Church Academy (Jacksonville), 87-43, to clinch an FHSAA state playoff berth.
Feb. 5 – Lele Young (Gainesville girls’ basketball)
The senior guard helped lead GHS (21-7) to its eighth consecutive district title. Young scored a game-high 22 points, grabbed five rebounds and added four steals in a 72-58 win against Columbia (Lake City) in the Class 7A-District 4 semifinals. She was also 7-of-8 from the free throw line. It marked the 15th game this season that Young had scored 21 or more points in a game. In the championship game, she scored 18 points, pulled down seven rebounds and added three steals in a 55-40 win against Forest (Ocala).
Jan. 29 – Kursten Bakken (Union County girls’ weightlifting)
Bakken set a new Florida record as the Tigers won their first-ever FHSAA championship in girls weightlifting. The senior was one of four individual state champions for Union County. She bettered her fifth-place showing at state last year as a junior by setting a new state record in the bench press in the unlimited class at 300 pounds. She lifted a combined 525 pounds in the bench press and clean-and-jerk, breaking a Florida high school record that had stood since 2009.
Jan. 22 – Devin King-Porter (Buchholz girls’ soccer)
The sophomore midfielder helped lead the Lady Bobcats to the Class 5A-District 1 title. King-Porter led all scorers with three goals in an 8-0 win against Sandalwood (Jacksonville) in the district semifinals. She followed that up with a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win against Forest (Ocala) in the district championship.
Jan. 15 – Zack Martin (Santa Fe boys’ soccer)
Martin had eight goals during the week to help lead Santa Fe to a 3-0 record, with all three wins coming in Class 2A-District 5 competition. He began the week with a hat trick in an 8-0 win at Interlachen. Two days later, the senior forward scored two goals for Santa Fe in a 3-0 win against second-place Crescent City, which gave the Raiders the No. 1 seed in the upcoming district tournament. Martin finished the week with a hat trick in an 8-0 win at P.K. Yonge (Gainesville).
Jan. 8 – Ayanna Rollins (Oak Hall girls’ basketball)
The senior forward helped lead Oak Hall to a couple of wins during the week. Rollins led the Eagles with 30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in a 65-33 win against Florida School for the Deaf (St. Augustine). She followed that up with a monster effort two nights later in a 39-31 win at Eastside (Gainesville). Rollins scored 24 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and had six steals.
Jan. 1 – No award due to holiday and cancelled school
Dec. 25 – Jimmy Johnson (Eastside boys’ basketball)
Johnson helped lead the Rams to a third-place finish at the Hitchcock’s Challenge in Alachua. The senior guard scored in double figures in every game as Eastside went 3-1 in the tournament. He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-3 behind the arc, in a 70-36 win against Columbia (Lake City) in the 3rd-place game.
Dec. 18 – Christian Miller-Cardwell (Gainesville boys’ basketball)
Miller-Cardwell led Gainesville to the Kiwanis Christmas Tournament title at Bradford High School (Starke), Dec. 21-23, by scoring 70 points in three games. The tournament MVP led the Hurricanes (8-2) with 22 points in a 75-55 win against host Bradford in the championship game. He scored a game-high 26 points in a 69-58 win against 8A No. 2 Creekside (St. Johns). The senior also scored a game-high 22 points in a 62-44 win against Madison County.
Dec. 11 – Sierra Millinor (Eastside girls’ soccer)
Millinor helped lead the Lady Rams to a pair of Class 3A-District 5 wins. The junior forward scored five goals in a 7-3 win against Crystal River. Two days later against Vanguard (Ocala), she scored three goals and assisted on another in a 5-1 win.
Dec. 4 – Lee Ducharme (P.K. Yonge girls’ soccer)
The senior forward scored seven goals, giving her 300 on her career, as the Blue Wave remained undefeated with a dominating 8-1 win at Santa Fe (Alachua). The win snapped a 5-game losing streak to the Lady Raiders. Two days later, the West Florida commit scored five goals in an 8-0 win against Interlachen. The 12 goals gave Ducharme 32 goals in eight games.
Nov. 27 – Anthony Allen (Newberry boys’ soccer)
Allen helped the Panthers bounce back from its first defeat of the season, a 6-0 loss at Crescent City on Monday, by scoring five goals in their next two games to lead Newberry to a 2-1 week. The senior scored both of his team’s goals in a 2-0 win at Interlachen on Thursday, followed by the first hat trick of his career in a 5-0 win at Oak Hall on Friday. He also added an assist in the win against the Eagles.
Nov. 20 – No award due to Thanksgiving holiday
Nov. 13 – Zion Barber (Bradford football)
The senior helped lead the Tornadoes to their first state semifinal appearance since 2004 with a 24-14 win against Dunnellon in the Class 4A Region 2 Final. Barber had a rushing touchdown on a 4th-and-goal, threw two TD passes, kicked three extra points and made a 20-yard field goal as Bradford (10-1) won its 10th straight game.
Nov. 6 – Isabel Ivey (Buchholz girls’ swimming)
Ivey helped lead Buchholz to its third straight state title. She set a state record in the 100 breast stroke (1:00.99), and she beat Stanford commit Morgan Tankersley of Plant (Tampa) to win the 200 freestyle (1:44.68), in winning two individual state titles. The junior was also a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team which set a school record, and a state record, with a time of 1:31.66, less than a second from the national mark, and she helped lead the Lady Bobcats to a state record in the 400-freestyle relay.
Oct. 30 – Austin Montini (Oak Hall boys’ cross country)
The freshman helped lead the Eagles to a third-place finish at the high school cross country regional championships. Montini finished third with a time of 16:48.86 to lead the Eagles to a third-place finish. The Oak Hall boys were ranked sixth but finished third.
Oct. 23 – Brandis Smith (St. Francis Catholic Academy volleyball)
Smith helped lead the Wolves (8-9) to an upset of previously unbeaten North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) in the FHSAA Class 3A Regional Semifinals. The senior had 50 kills, 7 blocks, and 12 digs for the defending state champions. St. Francis Catholic Academy d. North Florida Christian 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-14.
Oct. 16 – Heather Pedrick (Santa Fe volleyball)
The junior setter helped lead the top-seeded Lady Raiders to the Class 6A-District 6 title. Pedrick had 14 kills, eight digs, 14 assists and six service points to lead the Raiders to a sweep of North Marion (Citra) in the district semifinals. In the championship against No. 2 seed Belleview, she led the way with 17 kills, 20 digs and five blocks as Santa Fe swept the Rattlers.
Oct. 9 – Amelia Williams (Buchholz girls’ golf)
Williams helped the Lady Bobcats capture their fifth straight Jill Darr Invitational title. The sophomore was the low medalist with a 3-under 69. She had a bogey-free round. The Jill Darr Invitational, named after the late Jill Darr Rowell, represents the Alachua County championship.
Oct. 2 – Charles Strong (Union County football)
The FSU commit rushed for 262 yards and scored three touchdowns as Union County (6-1) defeated previously unbeaten Hawthorne, 31-25, in overtime. Strong, who has 1,139 yards and 13 TDs on the season, scored the game-winner from 10 yards out in OT. He also had a 23-yard scoring run and a 12-yard TD run.
Sept. 25 – Demari Turner (St. Francis Catholic Academy football)
Turner came up with the big plays, catching four passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, to help lead the Wolves to a 36-0 win against rival Oak Hall and snap the Eagles’ two-game win streak in the series. The senior wide receiver had scoring catches of 63 and 89 yards as St. Francis Catholic knocked off the previously-unbeaten Eagles and snapped their overall winning streak at 13 games. He also had a 2-point conversion and helped the defense pitch its first shutout of the season.
Sept. 18 – Anthony Richardson (Eastside football)
The sophomore quarterback led the Rams to a 2-0 week, which is twice as many wins as Eastside had (1) all season in 2016. Richardson had 646 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing and passing. In the Rams’ 33-28 home win over Newberry on Monday, he accounted for all five of their touchdowns, finishing with 348 yards and two scores through the air and 65 yards and three scores on the ground. On Friday, at Lake Weir (Ocala), Richardson ran for 102 yards on 11 carries with two TDs, and 131 yards passing with three scores.
Sept. 11 – No award due to Hurricane Irma
Sept. 4 – Gerard Williams III (Williston football)
Williams set a school record with 307 yards on 27 carries, with three touchdowns, in the Red Devils’ 28-14 win at Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto). During Williston’s first five possessions, the senior had 13 carries for 115 yards. However, on Williston’s final three drives, he had 192 yards on 14 carries, with 2 TDs.