ThePrepZone.com Sports Report with Mike Ridaught on “The Tailgate” (WRUF Gainesville)

Mike RidaughtMike Ridaught joined Zach Alboverdi on The Tailgate (WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM) on Thursday, April 4, for ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union. Here is a recap of the interview:

Tonight, it’s a small school showdown in high school baseball between Trenton & Williston.

Let me give a brief history of these two baseball programs. Trenton won the most recent state title between the two just two years ago. Trenton also won the 2013 championship, while Williston won back-to-back state titles in 2014 and 2015 with Austin Langworthy, who is now at Florida. Those two championship teams with Langworthy were pretty good. The 2014 team finished 25-4 and had the 1-2 punch of Langworthy and Trenton Johnson on the mound. Johnson was 10-2 with a 0.52 ERA and Langworthy was 7-0 that year with astonishing 0.00 ERA. That was Langworthy’s sophomore year. Johnson graduated but Langworthy went 11-1 with a 0.36 ERA his junior year and the Red Devils went 28-2 to win the title again.

But those two Trenton teams that won the title were really good too. In 2013, Trenton batted .370 as a team and had a 1.13 ERA. They finished 27-1. That team was coached by Todd Bryant, who is now the head coach for the softball team, which is ranked No. 1 in the state. The thing that was even more memorable about 2013 was that was the same year the Trenton football team won a state title – which is the only time in recent memory that an area team has won a state football title and a state baseball title in the same school year. The 2017 Trenton team went 27-1, finished with a 20-game winning streak, batted .344 and had a team ERA of 1.64.

Now, fast forward to tonight. The head coach of Trenton is Scott Hall, who was the head coach at Williston when they won back-to-back state titles. Trenton is 10-3 and ranked 9th in the state in Class 1A. Williston, which is coached by Jim Smith, is 8-4 and ranked 10th in 1A. Trenton is led by junior Wyatt Langford, who is batting .433. He is a Florida commit. They also have another Wyatt who will be playing D-I baseball. Junior Wyatt Duthu is a Florida Gulf Coast commit. Williston has four losses but they’re all to bigger classification schools, so I expect a good one tonight over in Levy County.

Spring break for Alachua County and several area teams are on the road – including one Gainesville team which is playing in the Big Easy.

We’ll start with Gainesville softball, which is actually playing right now. The Hurricanes, who are ranked 6th in the state in Class 7A, are in central Florida for the Kissimmee Classic. The first pitch was scheduled for 4 p.m. against Class 8A Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. Although Aquinas isn’t ranked, they aren’t that far outside of the top 10. Either way, it’s a good test to start the tournament and the further you go the tougher the competition. It’s the fourth year in a row that Gainesville has played in this prestigious tournament, which includes some of the top teams in the state.

The Buchholz baseball team is playing three games in Volusia County this week. The Bobcats lost at New Smyrna Beach, 7-3, on Tuesday, and then were shutout at Port Orange Spruce Creek yesterday, 3-0. They’ll play New Smyrna Beach again today – also at 4 p.m. It would be nice to see the ‘Cats get a win because after an 8-1 start, they’ve lost five in a row.Sunstate Logo

The Gainesville baseball team ended its 2-game spring break tour in memorable fashion yesterday. They were down 2-0 in the first inning with the bases loaded & nobody out at Palm Coast Matanzas, but the Hurricanes executed a triple play to get out of the inning. That sparked nine unanswered runs for the Hurricanes en route to a 10-4 come from behind win. Gainesville won at St. Augustine Menendez, 9-1, on Tuesday, to go 2-0 over in Flagler & St. Johns County. Buchholz and Gainesville are heading in opposite directions. The ‘Canes have now won four in a row and will now have a week off before returning to district play at Ocala Vanguard next Wednesday.

But probably the coolest spring break trip belongs to P.K. Yonge. They are on their way back today from their New Orleans spring break trip. They got to do stuff like visit the national World War II museum, Jackson Square, which is a National Historic Landmark in the center of the French Quarter, some nice restaurants in the New Orleans area so I’m sure they ate well, and they travelled in style in a luxury motor coach.
But all of these trips are great bonding opportunities for the kids.

Spring sports seasons are winding down, including state championships taking place as early as next weekend.

Arnold High School in Panama City Beach will host the boys weightlifting state championships next weekend. One guy to keep an ear out for is Agelu Nunu. He’s Samoan. He’ll be a senior next year for the Union County football team. He’s a 6’2, 285 pound DT/DE. He’s been receiving interest from Georgia, Tennessee, USC. Earlier this spring, he set a state record with a 520-pound bench press. He did 225 pounds a total of 44 times! He finished 2nd in the state last year in the Class 1A unlimited weight division to Jacob Alvarez of Starke Bradford. But it’s not only the best bench press. The judging also includes the best clean and jerk too and he missed a state title by five pounds so I’m interested in seeing how he does, especially since he’s improved his bench by about 30 points. He benched 480 at state last year.

In two weeks, the postseason for lacrosse will begin. I think the Oak Hall boys can make a run. You know, the interesting thing about lacrosse vs. other sports. In sports like baseball, where you have nine state champions in Classes 1A-9A, everyone in lacrosse is in the same classification so it’s so hard to win an all-classification state title in lacrosse. But Oak Hall got to the regional final last year and fell just one game shy of the Final Four. The Oak Hall girls also got to the region final last year. The Oak Hall boys are a little better than the Lady Eagles but both are having a really nice year.

The tennis district tournaments are in a couple of weeks, with the state championships later this month, then we’ll wrap up with track & field, softball and baseball, but this is the final month of the regular season for softball. The baseball regular season ends the first week of May, and also mark your calendar for Saturday, April the 27th – the First Allowable Day of Football Spring practice (contact).

**Tune in to our weekly radio interviews talking high school sports on ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union on WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM in Gainesville every Thursday at 4 p.m. on “The Tailgate” with Jeff Cardozo & Zach Abolverdi.**

If you live in the Tri-County area (Gilchrist, Levy & Dixie County), tune in to ThePrepZone.com Nature Coast Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union on Country Legends Radio. The 2-minute high school sports vignette is produced by Ridaught and airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:28 a.m. and repeating at 5:28 p.m. on 93.1 FM & 940 AM in Chiefland/Trenton & 96.3 FM & 1240 AM in Cross City.