The Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week – Claire Talham (Eastside)
*The senior helped lead the Lady Rams to the Class 4A-District 9 title by scoring six goals in two matches. Talham scored four goals in the district semifinals as Eastside cruised to a 6-0 win against Tavares. She added two goals in the district championship game in a 6-1 win against Leesburg. It was the second straight district title and fourth league championship in five years for the Eastside girls.
Nominate an Athlete of the Week each week no later than Sunday at 6 p.m. Email your nominations to mike@ThePrepZone.com
Previous 2019-20 winners:
January 27 – Jaleen Council (Vanguard girls soccer team)
The senior helped lead the Knights to the Class 5A-District 4 title. Council scored four goals in the district semifinals as Vanguard defeated Mainland (Daytona Beach), 5-1. She added the first two goals in the district championship match as the Knights (17-1) topped Seabreeze (Daytona Beach), 4-2, for the title.
January 20 – Katie Tagliaferro (St. John Lutheran girls basketball)
Tagliaferro had two triple-doubles and one double-double in leading the Saints to a 3-0 week. The sophomore posted her first triple-double of the season (30 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals) to lead the Saints to a 56-39 victory at Ocala Christian. The following night, she scored 31 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had 11 steals in a 51-32 win against Dunnellon. Tagliaferro finished the week with by shooting 48-of-59 (81.4%) from the free throw line.
January 13 – Nasia Powell (Vanguard girls basketball)
The junior helped lead the Knights to a 2-0 week. Powell single-handily outscored city rival Forest (Ocala) in a 69-16 win on the road. She finished with 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out seven assists and had five steals, with only one turnover. Three nights later, Powell scored a game-high 22 points, with nine rebounds and five steals, in a 53-33 win against county rival North Marion (Citra).
January 6 – Jake Charske (Forest boys basketball)
The senior led the Wildcats to a 2-0 week and became the school’s all-time leader in career 3-pointers with 140 in a 67-46 win against rival Vanguard, 67-46. Charske entered the game against the Knights tied for first on FHS’s record list and then sank 6-of-8 from behind the arc en route to a career-high 29 points. Earlier in the week, he scored a game-high 22 points as Forest upset The Villages, 72-62.
December 23 & 30 – No award (Winter break)
December 16 – Kelli Cunningham (Countryside Christian School girls basketball)
In four games, Cunningham had a combined 87 points as the Minutemen went 3-1 during the week. She scored a game-high 18 points as CCS knocked off previously undefeated Oak Hall (Gainesville) by a score of 48-36. Cunningham started the week off with a game-high 27 points in a 53-17 win at Dixie County (Cross City). The junior had just joined the 1,000-point scoring club by scoring 29 points vs. Branford High school on Friday, December 13th.
December 9 – K’mari Williams (Dunnellon girls basketball)
Williams helped lead the Lady Tigers to a 2-1 week, including their first win of the season. The freshman led Dunnellon (1-5) to a 51-22 win at Cedar Key by scoring a game-high 30 points. She shot 46% from the floor and added six steals. She also scored a game-high 17 points and five steals in a loss to unbeaten Lake Weir (Ocala) and finished the week with a game-high 27 points in a 51-45 win at Santa Fe (Alachua).
December 2 – Dean Hogg (Keystone Heights boys soccer)
The junior forward helped lead the Indians to a 3-0 week by scoring 10 goals. Hogg started the week by single handedly outscoring St. Francis Catholic (Gainesville). He had a first-half hat trick and finished with five goals and two assists as the Indians broke open a 3-3 tie to win 8-3. The following night, he had the game-winning goal, finishing with two goals scored, in a 3-0 win against Crescent City. He ended the week with a hat trick and dishing out two assists in a 9-1 win against Interlachen.
November 25 – No award (Thanksgiving holiday)
November 18 – Sydney James (West Port girls basketball)
James helped lead the Wolf Pack to a 2-0 week. The senior scored 37 points in a season opening 65-48 win over The Rock (Gainesville). She added 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double, as well as six steals and two blocks. The Furman signee followed that up with 22 points, eight rebounds, five steals, and four assists in a 67-15 rout of Dunnellon.
November 11 – Wesley Hyde (West Port boys swimming)
Hyde ended his high school career with a gold medal. The senior swam an All-American time of 4:28.90, almost six seconds faster than his time in the prelims, to bring home the Class 4A state title in the 500 freestyle at the FHSAA Swimming & Diving Finals at Sailfish Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart. He also swam a 1:54.54 to finish seventh in the 200 IM.
November 4 – Lain Shahboz (P.K. Yonge girls swimming)
The University of Florida signee won a second consecutive state title in the 100-backstroke and helped lead the Lady Blue Wave to a third-place finish, their highest finish in school history. She was the lead off for the Medley Relay team which finished fourth and the anchor for the 400 Free Relay, which finished third. She also placed 3rd in the 500 Free for the 2nd year.
October 28 – Austin Montini (Oak Hall boys cross country)
The junior won his second regional title with a time of 16:24.77. He helped lead the No. 3 Oak Hall boys to the team title, beating No. 5 ranked and defending state champion Mount Dora Christian Academy.
October 21 – Alexa Schmidt (Vanguard volleyball)
After missing 20 matches with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise, the Star-Banner’s 2018 co-player-of-the-year helped lead the defending Class 7A state champion Knights to a sweep of visiting Gateway (Kissimmee) in the FHSAA Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinals. The senior outside hitter made her presence known with 15 kills and seven aces as Vanguard advanced to the regional semifinals.
October 14 – Cole Gonzales (Oak Hall football)
Gonzales helped lead the Eagles to a 49-14 win on Homecoming against visiting Niceville Rocky Bayou Christian (Niceville). The sophomore quarterback threw for 218 yards, rushed for 103, and accounted for five touchdowns – including a pick-6.
October 7 – Elise Bauer (Forest girls swimming)
Bauer won two events to help Forest win the Mid-Florida Conference meet out of 17 teams. The University of Florida commit won the 200 free (1:57.24) and the 500 free (5:01.73).
September 30 – Taria Liles (Bell volleyball)
The junior helped lead the Class 1A No. 1-ranked Bulldogs to a 3-0 week with wins against Taylor (Pierson), Branford, and Union County. Liles finished the week with 55 kills, 59 digs, and five aces, as Bell improved to 21-1 overall.
September 23 – Trevor McGovern (P.K. Yonge boys swimming)
McGovern won two events at the Rob Ramirez City Championships in Gainesville to help lead the boys’ team to its first city title since 2007. The senior won the 50 free with a time of 21.79. He also won the 100 back with a time of 50.83.
September 16 – Jamarian Samuel (Trinity Catholic football)
Samuel had a monster game as the Celtics crushed defending 2A state champion North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), 42-13. The junior tailback started slow, with just 12 yards on his first five carries. However, by halftime, Samuel would finish with 17 carries for 262 yards and four touchdowns. It was his fourth straight game over 100 yards, which also put him over 1,000 yards at the halfway point of the season (1,078 yards) for the Celtics (5-0).
September 9 – Deiontae Simpkins (Lake Weir football)
Simpkins completed 10-of-14 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns as the Hurricanes blew past Belleview, 48-0, in the annual War for the Oar to win their first game of the season. The senior quarterback led his team to a TD on its opening drive thanks to three straight quarterback runs, finishing the night with 127 yards rushing and a score on only 12 carries.
September 2 – No award (Hurricane Dorian)
August 26 – Trevor Holtzendorf (Union County football)
The sophomore played a big role in Union County’s come-from-behind 15-12 win at Williston. Holtzendorf recorded 14 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Union County (2-0) didn’t allow a score in the second half.
August 19 – Quan Smith (Buchholz football)
Smith helped lead the Bobcats to a 21-20 win against Eastside by rushing for 190 yards. The junior had 108 yards in the first half. However, it was his late fourth quarter 46-yard run, right after Eastside’s TD but blocked extra point, that helped seal the win. Smith had a 44-yard TD run in the first half and had Buchholz’s only score of the second half on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Jack Hevesy.