Senior Spotlights

Our hearts go out to the seniors who had their high school careers end prematurely.

Special thanks to SunState Federal Credit Union for giving us a platform to honor our athletes from the Class of 2020 with our Senior Spotlights.

Click on each athlete’s name to hear their Senior Spotlight (schools are in alphabetical order):

Name: Jillian Cassube
School: Bell High School
Sports played: Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball
Achievements: 2019 Gainesville Sun Small School Player of the year for Volleyball, two time first team all area for volleyball, second team all area for basketball, broke and currently hold school record for single season kills for volleyball, Meldon Law Scholar athlete of the week
Favorite senior moment: The time Mel and I played snap ball for a week straight at practice
Favorite Quote: “Be phenomenal or be forgotten” – Eric Thomas
Plans after high school: to attend Valdosta State and play volleyball while obtaining my bachelors degree in heath science, then moving to chiropractic college and working for my DC

Name: Aubrey Brown
School: Bell High School
Sports played: Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, & Cross Country
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): She had also been a part of FFA, FCA, HOSA, Beta, and 4-H. Aubrey has also received a Softball Scholarship to play Webber International University in the fall.
Favorite high school sports moment: Senior night last year when the Lady Bulldogs were down by two and she hit one over the fence. She had a total of 6 RBI in that game alone.
Plans after high school: Aubrey’s future plans are to attend Webber International University on a Softball Scholarship in the fall. She will be working towards getting her BSN.
Softball head coach Krystal Holley: “I’m excited Aubrey has received the opportunity to play at the next level. It’s a chance not all high school athletes get to take. She will do great things at Webber. We are proud of her and all her high school accomplishments.”

Name: Presley Paulling
School: Bell High School
Sports played: Softball, Cheerleading, Volleyball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic):
Presley is this year’s 2020 Senior Class Valedictorian!
She participated in the Beta, Hosa, FCA, served 3 years as class officer, Student Ambassador, and Yearbook Club. She also successful completed the Health Academy Program and will Graduate with her CNA license later this month.
Presley was voted “Mostly likely to Succeed” by her classmates!
Plans after high school:  Presley’s future plans are to attend the University of Florida in the fall. She will be working towards majoring in Biology or Microbiology and then pursue a job in Health Research.
Softball coach Krystal Holley: “Presley you are such an inspiration to others! Thank you for your hard work, and leadership you have shown throughout our season! I’m so proud of you! Kick the door wide open and enjoy every minute of being a Florida Gator!”

Name: Gabby Leffler
School: Bell High School
Sports played: Softball, Basketball & Weightlifting
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): She was in the criminal justice program and was FCA; Gabby was voted “Most likely to stay in Bell” by her classmates.
Plans after high school: Her future plans are to attend Santa Fe College & her goal is to become a special education teacher.

Name: Hailey Pope
School: Bell High School
Sports played: Softball, Volleyball, and Soccer
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): She participated in the Beta, Criminal Justice Program and she successfully completed the Health Academy Program at BHS. Hailey received her CNA License earlier this year from the program; Outside of school in her spare time Hailey loves to barrel race.
Favorite high school sports moment: My favorite high school sports moment was in our softball game when the ball was hit to me (at shortstop) I chased a girl down to home and tossed the ball to Michelle Heilig (catcher) and she tagged her out. Then a second later we threw a girl out at second and it closed out the inning!
Plans after high school: Hailey’s future plans are to attend Santa Fe Community College in the fall. She plans to become a Radiology Technician

Name: Briana Robinson
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball and Swimming
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): Top 10 in my class/top offensive player 2 years in a row; recently selected 4A FACA District 7 player of year and All Star team member; she sits Top-10 in nearly every batting category in Rattlers’ school history
Favorite high school sports moment: Hearing that our team was number one in the state before Corona canceled our season.
Favorite quote: “Win the day.” – Kerri Ryskamp
Plans after high school: Attend Stetson University on a softball scholarship to earn a bachelors in health science before becoming a PA or an Oncologist

Name: Autumn Oglesby
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 4-year varsity player; Ocala Star-Banner pitcher of the year for two years in a row.
Favorite high school sports moment: my favorite high school sports moment was the van rides to panama.
Favorite quote: I cannot pick just one but every time my coaches believed in me to get the job done.
Plans after high school: My plans are to go to Rasmussen College and earn my radiology degree.

Name: PJ Clemons
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Getting a scholarship to Seminole State College
Favorite high school sports moment: hitting a walk-off homer in my junior year
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying: “Don’t suck.” –  Coach Adams
Plans after high school: To continue my softball career and education in college

Name: Lailah Eary
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Career .400 plus hitter. 2nd team all area
Favorite high school sports moment: The circle conversations with my teammates before an inning and joking around with my coaches
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying (include coach’s name if a coach said it): “Where there’s a will there’s a way”
Plans after high school: go to CF for agricultural management

Name: Hannah Hogan
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): 4-year varsity softball player; signed letter of intent to play at Pasco Hernando State College.
Favorite high school sports moment: Dog piling on Coach Kerri after we won districts
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying: “We over me.” – head coach Gary Greer
Plans after high school: Attend Pasco Hernando State College to get my AA degree to be a physical therapy assistant and continue my softball career

Name: Jenna Hoth
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Softball
Favorite high school sports moment: I really enjoyed going to the volleyball games with my friends and being in the student section cheering them on.
Favorite quote – “Practice like you’ve never won. Play like you’ve never lost.” – Michael Jordan
Plans after high school: Attend St. Petersburg College on softball scholarship and earn a degree in Nursing

Name: Allisson Odom
School: Belleview High School
Sports played: Slow-pitch and fast pitch softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Agricultural education services and technology certification, Ag mechanics certification, Ag associates certification; working on CMAA and CNA certifications.
Favorite high school sports moment: Having a team dinner in left field after practice and throwing cupcakes at each other.
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying (include coach’s name if a coach said it): Softball coach Gary Greer always calling us “Knuckleheads” during every practice.
Plans after high school: To become a CNA after passing my test and eventually become an RN

Name: Brock Lewis
School: Branford High School
Sports played: Football & Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Brock Graduated with honors and a 3.5 GPA; In football he played linebacker and finished 3rd on the team in total tackles despite missing several games due to injury and received the coveted Buccaneer award; In baseball Brock was the ace of the Bucs pitching staff and ended the shortened season with 42 strikeouts in only three starts on the mound. This was good for first in the area and 3rd in the State. He was on pace to break the school record for strikeouts in a season. In his second to last game he pitched a complete game shutout with 15 strikeouts and added a homerun at the plate in a 1-0 win over Bell.
Plans after high school: He will be attending South Georgia State College to play baseball and major in Biology.

Name: Gregory Knox
School: Buchholz High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements: Scholar Athlete Award
Favorite high school sports moment: Beating Gainesville HS in 8 innings in 2019
Favorite quote: Coach Norman saying, “Don’t get hurt!”
Plans after high school: Gregory will attend Santa Fe College

Name: Corbin Grantham
School: Buchholz High School (Gainesville)
Sports Played: Football and Baseball
Achievements: 3 time 1st team All-Area football and baseball, 2nd team All-State football
Favorite High Schools Sports Moment: Winning State Championship freshman year at Trinity High School ( Louisville, KY)
Favorite quote: “It’s a great day to be a Bobcat!” – Head Coach Ron Brooks
Plans after high school: Will play baseball at Mississippi State

Name: Bailey Tucker
School: Buchholz High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Cross Country & Track
Stats: 1:58 in 800 meter; 4:33 in 1600 meter
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): National Merit Scholar
Various stem and running awards
Favorite high school sports moment: Buchholz coming in 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the 800 meter at Flagler and realizing that our 4×8 team might have something special this year.
Favorite quote: “You got a string hanging from your shirt?” *looks down* “Oh wait, that’s just your arm.” – Head Coach Michael Lehning
Plans after high school: Attending The University of Chicago

Name: Glenna Li
School: Buchholz High School
Sports played: Cross Country and Track
Stats: 5k – 19:35, 3200 – 12:03, 1600 – 5:26, 800 – 2:27
Achievements: Meldon Law Scholar-Athlete Award; District, Regional, and State Meet Qualifier
Favorite high school sports moment: Qualifying to the FHSAA Cross Country State Meet senior year as a team
Favorite quote: “Either run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
Plans after high school: attending the University of Florida

Name: Max Fairchild
School: Buchholz High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Cross Country & Track
Stats: 800m (2:14.18) & 1600 Meter Run (5:29.31)
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): lettering in track
Favorite high school sports moment: making new memories with my teammates since I transferred to Buchholz my junior year, and camp last summer was pretty fun (Brevard distance runners camp)
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying (include coach’s name if a coach said it): “Don’t train hard, train smart.” – Coach Michael Lehning
Plans after high school: I’m committed to run cross country and track at Brevard College so that’s my plan for after high school. Once college is done I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.

Name: James Graetz (Evan)
School: Buchholz High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Tennis
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Made it to 4A state tournament junior year; district runner-up freshman and sophomore years; junior year won districts; National Honor Society, top 15% in class; Captain Tennis Team 2019
Favorite high school sports moment: Winning regionals to go to states junior year!
Favorite Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Plans after high school: Civil Engineering at UCF

Name: Kaiden Baker
School: Chiefland High School
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 100% Bright Futures, .400 Batting Average (senior season), BETA member, Rotary Club scholarship, AMVET scholarship, Republican scholarship, number 7 in class, accepted to UCF and FSU, attending UCF
Favorite high school sports moment(s): Going to state (Junior year – state runners-up)
Favorite quote: “March like a soldier.” – Head Coach Chad Brock
Plans after high school: Attend UCF to obtain a masters degree in Electrical Engineering

Name: Jacob Pitts
School: Chiefland High School
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Sports): FHSAA Class 1A State Runner-up (2019)
Favorite moments: My favorite moment was (in the Region Final) when we dog piled after we had clinched our ticket to the final four.
Favorite quote: “Hard work…dedication.” – Coach Rod Smith
Plans after high school: My plans aren’t college. My plans are to become a game warden for Levy County.

Name: Luke Reidy
School: Chiefland High School
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Sum Cum Laude, 11th in the class, A/B Honor roll
Favorite high school sports moment(s): Beating Dixie County to go to state junior year and the whole state experience
Favorite quote: “Somebody with a glove.” – Coach Parnell
Plans after high school: Attend the College of Central Florida to get my AA degree, the transfer to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to earn my bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management

Name: Reagan Hudson
School: Chiefland High School
Sports Played: Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Track & Field
Achievements: Class of 2020 Valedictorian, Levy County Female Track MVP 2018 & 2019, Varsity Volleyball Ms. Congeniality 2018, Varsity Volleyball Most Digs 2019
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Beating Branford in the 2018 Volleyball district tournament and going on to be Runner-Ups at Regionals.
Favorite Coach Quote: “Do better than your best.” – Harry Hutson
Plans After High School: Attend the University of Florida in the fall and major in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in American Government. I have plans to become a Physician’s Assistant and work in Pediatrics. I also hope to serve in the Air Force Reserves as an officer.

Name: Braden Firestine
School: Chiefland High School
Sports played: Football, Track & Field
Stats: 120’1 ft PR for discus
Achievements: First team All-area, All-district, 2nd team All-State, Outstanding offensive lineman award, 30+ offers (football), broke the discus record for chiefland, top 25 in the state, top 5 in my region (track)
Favorite quote: “Success breeds complacency, complacency breeds failure, only the paranoid survive.” – Assistant football coach Adam Gore
Plans after college: Attend college and pursue a career in criminal justice

Name: Jarrett Jerrels
School: Chiefland High School
Sports played: Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track
Stats: 15.2 PR for 110 hurdles (Track)
Achievements: 2nd Team All-State, Defensive MVP, committed to FAU (football); qualified for Class 1A state track meet in the 110 hurdles
Favorite quote: “Failure doesn’t define you, how you react does.”
Plans after high school: Play college football while getting a business degree

Name: Lance Minson
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Baseball and Golf
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic):
-4 time MVP for golf (Also birdie leader)
-Made regionals first 3 years and finished 15th at state my senior year (96 golfers in total)
-Scoring average of 39.2 freshmen year improved every season to 36.2 senior year
-Lake City Reporter’s Golfer of the Year 2016, 17, 19 (All area 2018)
-Gainesville Suns’s First Team All-Area 2017, 18, 19
-Lettered 4 years in baseball
-Junior year won offensive MVP with a .340 average and near .700 slugging
-Gainesville Sun’s first team All-Area Baseball Team 2019 (big school)
-Graduating with my AA through dual-enrollment
-100% Bright Futures with a 29 ACT and 3.7 GPA
Favorite high school sports moment (Golf): Shooting a 32 on senior night at my last home match then turning around the next day and shooting 33 at Haile Plantation
Favorite high school sports moment (Baseball): Either hitting a homerun against our rival school Suwannee or winning the district in 2019 after blowing out Middleburg and finishing off Gainesville for our 5th district championship in a row
Favorite quote:  “See ya bye” – Head Coach Brian Thomas (Probably telling us to take off running)
Plans after high school: Continue my baseball career with Embry-Riddle University and majoring in Aerospace Physiology, eventually transferring to a Physical Therapy school and pursuing a career in PT

Name: Coyle Giebeig
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): National Honors Society and CHS 2019 pitcher of the year award
Favorite high school sports moment: Winning 5 district championships in a row
Favorite quote: “Never take anything for granted.”
Plans after school: Continue education at Santa Fe College

Name: Hunter Thomas
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): 5 peat district champion, 3.0 student
Favorite high school sports moment: My favorite high school sports memory would he when we dog piled after winning our 5th district championship.
Favorite quote: “Play like it’s your last.” – Head Coach Brian Thomas (Hunter’s dad)
Plans after school: I will attend Glenville State college after high school to further my academic and athletic career.

Name: Tyler Yaxley
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Baseball and Golf
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): maintained a 4.0, national honors society, winning districts on the golf team, going to state for golf, being apart of a 5 peat district championship series with baseball.
Favorite high school sports moment: rushing the field after the district championship during the 2019 season
Favorite quote: Everytime seeing coach baker and him yelling, “YAAX!”
Plans after high school: I’m going to attend Florida Gateway College and graduate with my AA degree, then transfer to the University of Florida to pursue physical therapy

Name: Lucy Giebeig
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Softball
Achievements: Gainesville Sun All-Area selection; 3-year varsity player
Most Memorable Softball Moment: “My most memorable high school softball moment was stepping on the field this past season for my home game (opener) against Lafayette High School (Mayo). We ended up defeating Lafayette, 6-5. Playing at home in front of our community brings so much energy to the team, especially to the seniors. Knowing this was my last season as a Tiger, I was trying to take in every moment. But no matter how much you lived in the moment nothing could have prepared you for the way our season ended.”
Favorite Quote: “Nothing in life worth having comes easy.”
Plans after high school: After graduating from high school I plan to get my real estate license during the summer, before I move to college. I am continuing my softball career at Flagler College, while planning to major in Business Administration.

Name: Morgan Hoyle
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Softball & Girls Weightlifting
Achievements: 2019 Gainesville Sun First Team All-Area Softball & Girls Weightlifting (129-pound weight class); District 2-2A weightlifting champion, 5th at Region 1
Favorite high school sports moment: My freshmen year, when we came back and beat GHS in the regional semifinals.
Favorite Quote: “The harder you work the luckier you get.”
What you will miss most about playing at CHS: The three things I’ll miss most about playing at CHS are my teammates, my coaches, and the Columbia High School community cheering us on at home games. The love I have for this team this year is irreplaceable. It’s disappointing that our season got cut short, because this was one of my favorite teams. We all got along so well. I’m going to miss playing with my senior girls so much. I’m going to miss Coach Trudy (Andrews), Coach Wayne, and Coach Megan too. My four years of playing we’re all with the same head coaches, so the bond is something I’m going to really miss when I leave. Coach Trudy loved us as her own. I’m going to miss her a lot. I’m also going to miss the home game atmosphere. Caroline and I always used to joke around with each other about how we’re not supposed to have the home game jitters as seniors! But we did anyways. Playing in front of packed bleachers while everyone cheers after a big hit or a diving play is what I’m going to miss the most. Throughout my four years the whole community was behind us as a team, and that’s something a lot of high schools don’t have the privilege of experiencing.
Plans after high school: I plan to attend the University of Central Florida (undecided major)

Name: Caroline Lewis
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Softball
Stats: Career .359 hitter with 60 hits, 49 runs scored, and 37 runs driven in 77 games played
Most Memorable Softball Moment: “My most memorable softball moment was my junior year during a home game against West Nassau (Callahan). West Nassau was always one of our biggest competitors. Wins against them were always viewed as one of our biggest wins, which is what made this memory so special. It was the last inning and they had runners on second and third, with the winning run on second. Two outs, and the atmosphere was tense. The ball was pitched and shot out to center field. I dove, catching it in the air. When I looked up to prove I had it in my glove, the fans were all on their feet and the team was running towards me. The feeling was indescribable.”
Favorite Quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Plans after high school: After graduating, I will further my education at the University of Florida and major in Business Management.

Name: Cadence Mirra
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Softball
Most memorable softball moment: My most memorable softball moment was our last home game being seniors. The thing I remember most is before every at bat I was able to look in the stands and see my family and friends all together supporting me. No matter how I did that game I knew when I left I was going to feel love, and they are who I play for. I didn’t know that it would be the last time I would step on the field with my girls but knowing I had my backbones there to support me made that last game the best one yet.
Special Thanks: I would like to give a special thanks to my dad. My dad was my coach growing up and softball was our way to bond. He introduced me to the game, and was always my number one fan in the stands. I also want to give a thanks to Mrs. Highland. She always gave me encouraging words before a game. She gave me encouraging words every day and it really impacted my life. My last thanks goes to my travel ball coaches, Timmy Taylor and Butch Hartman. They stuck with me through one of the toughest seasons I’ve had, and still believed in me which made me believe in myself even more.
Favorite Quote: There is POWER in the tongue. When prayers go up, blessings come down.
Plans after high school: I will be furthering my education at Saint Leo University, and after completing my education I will be going into the academy for Florida Highway Patrol. I planned to compete at the next level, but God took me down another path. I am very grateful for the offers on the table, but my future is beyond softball.

Name: Whitney Lee
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports played: Softball, volleyball, and girls weightlifting
Achievements: Gainesville Sun 1st team All-Area selection in softball (2018 & 2019) & 2nd team All-Area in weightlifting (2020)
Most memorable high school sports moment: My senior year preseason, I was playing 2nd base and we had a first and third play going on so I go for a cut off and had the runner in a run down in between third and home, but I ended up falling and having to be carried off the field in pain and thinking to myself nothing is wrong. However, later I find out that I had a complete tear of my ACL and would be out for the rest of the season. This was a very hard time for me but I was glad I still could watch all my girls play even though our season got cut short.
Favorite Quote: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.”
Plans after high school: Attend college (undecided) and pursuing my dreams, no matter what they may be.

Name: Asherah Collins
School: Columbia High School (Lake City)
Sports Played: Volleyball and Track & Field
Stats: Track- 100m 12.01; Triple jump 41 ft 3 inches; ran last leg on the 4×1 team and 3rd leg on the 4×4 team
Achievements: Class 3A state champion in the triple jump (junior year); Gainesville Sun Co-Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Favorite High School Sports moments: “In both track and volleyball, my favorite moments were just being at practice and having fun, while working and getting better on my craft.”
Favorite quote from coach Bruce Johnson: “Arms breathe, pick up them knees.”
Plans after high school: “I was blessed to receive a full ride to the University of Central Florida (track) and I plan on making it to the Olympics with a back-up of dentistry.”

Name: Alexander Dang
School: Eastside High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): National AP Scholar, National Merit Finalist, Co- Valedictorian, Sunshine State Scholar, Team Captain
Favorite high school sports moment: starting pitching and beating GHS at home in 2019 for the first time since 2002
Favorite quote: “Throw him a chair!”
Plans after high school: Major in Molecular Biology and Minor in Economics at Harvard, and pursue an M.D./M.B.A. degree

Name: Joe Ukeiley
School: Eastside High School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 2nd team all-area sophomore year, National Honor Society
Favorite high school sports moment: Junior year closing out the wins against GHS (first against the Hurricanes since 2002) and Leesburg
Favorite quote: “Your fault, my bad.” – Head Coach Sean Dobbs
Plans after high school: study mechanical engineering at Purdue University

Name: Lauren Shaw
School: Eastside High School (Gainesville)
Sports Played: Cross Country & Track
Statistics: 800m 3:07.46; 1600m 6:49.09; 3200m 14:38.93; 5000m 24:19.00
Achievements: Cross Country Team Captain, National Merit Finalist, Co-Valedictorian
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Qualifying for regionals as a team for Cross Country my senior year
Favorite Quote: “Have no fear and leave it all on the line” – Coach Kecia Johnson
Plans after High School: To study mechanical engineering in the University of Florida’s Honors Program

Name: Alissa Humphrey
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic):
-3 time MaxPreps Underclass All American
-3 time First Team 7A All-State
-2 time 7A State Pitcher of the Year
-3 time Gainesville Sun First Team Big School All-Area
-2 time Gainesville Sun Big School Softball Player of the Year
-2018 Florida Dairy Farmers 7A State Player of the Year
-972 Career Strikeouts, 0.89 Career ERA
-Cambridge/AICE Graduate
Favorite high school sports moment: 14 inning battle where I had 26 strikeouts against Lakewood Ranch, who was ranked 1st in the country at the time
Favorite quote: “No Keto, Get Fat” -THE Jason Nowling
Plans after high school: Play Softball/Kinesiology Honors at Jacksonville

Name: Bridget Filer
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): Player of the Week, MVP; A/B honor roll, Student of the Week, Leadership Award, and Citizenship Award
Favorite high school sports moment:  1.) Playing in the Kissimmee Klassic tournament and 2.) winning the District Championship in 2019
Favorite quote: “The stronger people aren’t always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.”
Plans after school:  My plans are to go to Santa Fe College and get my degree in Neuroscience Behavior and become a Pediatrician

Name: Katherine Gray
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Gainesville Sun first team All-Area in the 2019 season; Getting accepted to the University of Florida
Favorite high school sports moment: Last year’s (2019) district championship versus Middleburg. It was a close game that went into the 8th inning and I was up to bat when senior Natasha Fox scored on a past-ball. Alissa (Humphrey) had been pitching extremely well and I remember watching Tasha score and gaining that feeling of “Wow, back-to-back district champs, all the hard work has paid off!”
Favorite quote: My favorite quote would have to be “You are only as strong as your weakest link.” I don’t know who said it, but it factors into every aspect of my life, and is especially important and relatable when it comes to softball because it truly highlights the importance of teamwork.
Plans after high school: I will be attending the University of Florida to double major in Economics and Statistics, but after that who knows. While still in Gainesville, I plan on going to Cafes with freshman Cheyenne Boggs every Sunday, and will definitely be going to many games next season to watch this team do what we were cut short of doing, winning a state title. I will also be traveling to Jacksonville, very often, to watch my best friend, Alissa Humphrey, play at JU!

Name: Robbie Collins
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 3-Year Letterman; 2020 Team Captain; 2019 Defensive POY; Gainesville High Foundation Scholarship Winner; Mu Alpha Theta National Scholarship Awardee; National Merit Commended Scholar; Lombardi Scholarship GHS Nominee; Mu Alpha Theta President; 8th and 10th Individual Awards National Math Competition (Summer 2019); SGA Student Body Treasurer (2019/2020); SGA Sophomore VP (2018); SGA Freshman VP (2017); GPA 4.8 & 1540 SAT
Plans after high school: Attending Duke University

Name: Olivia Bryant
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Tennis
Favorite Memories: Falling asleep in my Chick-Fil-A lunch bag after the finals of the state competition in 2018; falling asleep in the van on a road trip with my head slumped forward and Lauren McCain asleep on my shoulder and Payton Bumgarner asleep on my other side; Payton asleep at our tournament in March in the cafeteria at the USTA national center; and making tik-toks with my teammates!
Stats: 4-year varsity player; State Team Finalist 2018; State Competitor for Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years; 3-time regional champion; 3-time district champion (in singles and doubles); undefeated in singles in 2018 season.
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Signed with Florida Southern College to play Division 2 tennis; Recipient of the Craig Oransky Memorial Scholarship; TV20 Athlete of the Week (Feb 2020); A-B Honor Roll.
Favorite high school sports moment: Getting to the finals of the 2018 State 3A tennis tournament
Favorite quote: My favorite slogan for every match is “Woosh Baby” and my favorite quote is “Free your mind and the rest will follow” by Coach Tracey Bryant (my mom!)
Plans after high school: Attend Florida Southern College with a major in Communications; play college tennis

Name: Payton Bumgarner
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Tennis (natural right hander who plays left-handed due to significant wrist injury).
Favorite Memories: Our coach telling us to put a song in our head; going to Cracker Barrel as a team; and Liv’s (Olivia Bryant) constant singing!
Stats: Four Year Varsity player; State Team Finalist 2018; District Runner-up 2017.
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Top 18 of 2020 GHS high school graduates; Member of National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society; Regional Officer for HOSA.
Favorite high school sports moment: Winning our regional match in 2018 to get into the state tournament.
Favorite quote or favorite coach saying: “Better Together” from Coach Bryant for our 2018 season; I also like “One cannot be brave who has no fear!”
Plans after high school: Attend the University of Florida

Name: Nohely Sanchez
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Tennis
Stats (if available): Two-year varsity player.
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): District runner-up in 2019
Favorite high school sports moment: Getting into the state team tournament 2019; making tik-toks with my teammates!
Plans after high school: Attend Santa Fe College

Name: Lars Hammersmark
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Lars had 106 saves in the 2020 season.
Achievements: Lars is a USA Water Polo Academic All-American. He played in the 2018 USA water polo Junior Olympics in Riverside, CA. Lars is in the National Honor Society. He is on the A/B Honor roll in the Cambridge program. He was on the 2019 GHS boys swim team that won the district tournament. He is a captain & goalie on the 2020 boys’ water polo team.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Lars’ favorite high school sports moment is winning the swim district championships in 2019.
Favorite Quote:  “Dos metros!” which means two meters in Spanish – Head Coach David Huelsman
Plans After High School: He will attend the University of Florida’s Civil Engineering program

Name: Lucas Avery
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Lucas had the best steals-to-turnover ratio on the 2020 team (2:1). He scored 20 goals and had 18 assists this past season.
Achievements: A/B Honor Roll student in the Cambridge program at GHS. He was named the Spanish 3 Student of the Year.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: “This past year when we beat Lake Brantley. We were all-excited and ready to win districts and go further on.“
Favorite Quote or Favorite Coach Saying: Lucas’ favorite quote comes from GHS water polo coach David Huelsman. He said, “Rule Number one is don’t die.” Lucas said that’s Coach Huelsman’s only rule.
Plans After High School: Lucas will attend the University of Florida and plans on studying environmental science.

Name: Zoe Blaskowski
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Zoe had 85 blocks, 20 steals and one assist in the 2020 season as a goalie for the inaugural girls water polo team
Achievements (Academic & Athletic): Zoe went to the state swim meet as a freshman in Duval County for the 50 backstroke and the 200 medley. She was named Duval County All Conference High School Swimmer as a freshman. She also won the Duval County Silver Scholastic Art Award. At GHS, Zoe was an honor roll student in the Cambridge program. She also won the AP Human Geography Award.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Zoe said, “During one of our last games, we were dancing on the side waiting for the other team to set up ad we had a mini, improvised dance party. It was great.”
Favorite Quote or Favorite Coach Saying: Zoe’s favorite quote is from her 7th grade swim coach on the Great Wolf Swim Club in Minnesota. He said, “This is all done because we care. We’re passionate about what we do. Sometimes it can be confused but we persevere.”
Water Polo head coach David Huelsman: “Zoe is a very strong female athlete who has always done her best to succeed in and out of the pool.”
Plans After High School: Zoe will also attend the University of Florida and plans on studying Astrophysics or Biology.

Name: Nick Bishop
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Nick was a four-year letter winner for the ‘Canes. He had six steals in the 2020 season.
Achievements: Nick was an A/B Honor roll student in the Cambridge program at GHS. He is an Eagle Scout. He is in the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Nick enjoyed the team trips. “I had a fun time hanging out with everybody,” he said.
Favorite Quote or Favorite Coach Saying: “If you can touch it, you can catch it,” from GHS Water Polo head coach David Huelsman.
Water Polo head coach David Huelsman: “Nick is a fun, bright student and has always been a great addition to the team.”
Plans After High School: Nick will attend the University of Florida and plans on studying political science or finance.

Name: Will Horvath
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Will had 10 goals and 7 steals in the 2020 season
Achievements: Will was in the National Honor Society at GHS.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Will said making the district tournament in 2019 with the GHS swim team and ultimately winning the tournament. For water polo he said, “I always had fun traveling with the team and beating Lake Brantley was also great.”
Favorite Quote or Favorite Coach Saying: Will said Coach Huelsman always screamed, “Mr. Horvath.” And he doesn’t have a favorite quote from GHS swim Coach Rob Ramirez but just remembers how he was always very positive. “Coach Ramirez was great at always encouraging me when I lacked confidence. He always reminded me that I was a great swimmer and was capable of great things.”
Water Polo head coach David Huelsman: “Will is a fun-loving athlete and a bright spot on the team. He has greatly improved his abilities over the years.”
Plans After High School: Will is planning on attending the automotive program at Santa Fe College. He says he will get a job and work through college.

Name: Danny Ramirez
School: Gainesville High School
Sports Played: Water Polo & Swimming
Stats: Danny is a four-year starter and leads the team in career goals. He had 35 goals and 48 steals in the 2020 season. He is the GHS all-time leading scorer with 113 goals.
Achievements: Danny was recognized as an A to Z athlete by the Gainesville Sun. He is on the A/B Honor Roll at GHS. He is the recipient of the English 3 Honors Award. Danny was on a team that placed first in the 2020 International Water Polo Tournament in South Florida.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Danny’s favorite sports moment is beating Lake Brantley high school this season.
Favorite Quote or Favorite Coach Saying: Coach David Huelsman screaming in Spanish.
Water Polo head coach David Huelsman: “Danny is a phenomenal athlete. His water polo abilities have increased with each year. He scored a good amount of goals this year and a great amount of steals for the team.”
Plans After High School: Danny has offers from Salem College, Iona College and West Coast University in California. He is planning to attend Santa Fe College this fall since he has been unable to visit these school due to coronavirus.

Name: Job Winkel
School: Gainesville High School
Sports played: Water polo & Swimming
Stats: 14 goals and 12 steals in the 2020 water polo season; led the team in draw exclusions
Achievements: Job competed in the national math competition and finished ninth. He was a member of the 2019 district championship swimming team. He has been on the A/B honor roll all four years at GHS. He was dual enrolled at the University of Florida. Job is on a club sailing team and placed fourth in the sailing Junior Olympics (two different times); three-year starter for the Hurricanes’ water polo team
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Job’s favorite moment was winning the swim district championship this past fall. His favorite water polo moment was during the Ian Supra Tournament when the GHS team lost to Dr. Phillips by just one point.
Favorite Quote: Water polo coach David Huelsman often says, “You can sleep when you’re dead.”
Coach Huelsman: “Job is quite a talker. We love having him around because there’s never a dull moment with Job. Years ago, on our way back from LA, Job kept us all awake on the tarmac talking about nuclear fision at 1:00 in the morning.”
Plans After High School: Job will attend Hamburg University Technology in Hamburg, Germany, and will work for the North Drive System in Hamburg, Germany.

Name: Rocky DiBernardo
School: Oak Hall School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Football, Basketball, & Baseball
Achievements (Academic/Athletic)
Athletic:
Varsity Baseball (8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Varsity Basketball (8, 9, 10, 11)
Varsity Football (8, 9, 10, 11)
Gainesville Sun Baseball 2nd Team All-Area (10, 11)
North Florida Basketball Conference Player of the Week (11)
North Florida Basketball Conference Champions (11)
Oak Hall School Basketball Sharp Shooter Award (10)
North Florida Football Conference 1st Team All-Conference (10)
North Florida Football Conference 1st Team All Division (10)
Two-time North Florida Football Conference Player of the Week Nominee (10)
Gainesville Sun Football Team All-Area (10)
Sonic Player of the Game (10)
Oak Hall School Football Team MVP Award (10)
WCJB TV20 High School Football Play of the Week Nominee (10)
North Florida Football Conference Champions (9)
Oak Hall School Football 1st undefeated season in school history (9)
Academic:
Key Club Community Service (11,12)
Honor Roll (11, 12)
Academic Merit Award (11)
High Honor Roll (10)
Favorite high school sports moment: When Coach DiBernardo broke the white board at halftime in his first regular season game because he was so excited we were playing well.
Favorite quote: Coach Monte Towe: “Rocky, Heads or Tails?”
Plans after school: Will attend Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, PA) hoping to major in Engineering and will be playing baseball for the Colonels

Name: Zhai Smith
School: Oak Hall School (Gainesville)
Sports played: Football and Track & Field
Achievements (Academic/Athletic): Football Team Captain, 2nd team Class 2A All-State, 1st team All-Area, North FL All Star, Track All-Area & All-District,
Favorite high school sports moment: Football – 2nd round of the state playoffs; Track – State finals placed 2nd 4×100 & broke the school record
Favorite quote: “We are always going to compete with the intentions to win.” – Coach Al Rawls
Plans after school: Attending FIU we’re I’ll be running track as a sprinter

Name: Dave Mitchum
School: Santa Fe High School (Alachua)
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): District champions (2018); Gainesville Sun 2nd team All-Area (2019)
Favorite high school sports moment: Coming back from a 4-1 deficit in the last inning against Tavares in the second round of the state playoffs and moving on to the Elite 8 (sophomore season)
Favorite quote: “Your biggest enemy is the man in the mirror.”
Plans after high school: Attend Tallahassee Community College for baseball and academics

Name: Hallie Bryant
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Softball & Basketball
Achievements: Gainesville sun small school player of the year (2018), Miracle Sports Class 1A offensive player of the year (2018), Miracle Sports 1A offensive player of the year (2019)
Favorite high school sports moment: Beating Sneads for the state championship in 2019
Favorite quote: “Don’t miss the bus.” – Head Coach Todd Bryant
Plans after high school: attend USF (University of South Florida) on a softball scholarship where I will study something health related

Name: Emily Barras
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Softball and Basketball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 1st Team All State (softball) Player of the week (softball) Scholar Athlete of the week (basketball)
Favorite high school sports moment: Dance Battle against Bell during districts
Favorite quote: When Coach Todd sings the Ballad of Curtis Lowe
Plans after high school: Attending Mercer University undecided to play

Name: Zoey Maksimov
School: Trenton High School
Sports Played: Softball
Achievements: 2019 Class 1A state champion (softball), 2019 Gainesville small school 2nd team all area, Miracle Sports Class 1A Honorable Mention All-State
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Winning state
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
Plans after high school:  I plan on attending Santa Fe College to study dental hygiene.

Name: Wyatt Duthu
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Baseball & Basketball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): Wyatt earned a 4.34 grade point average and was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Florida Gateway College. Wyatt was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA club and the JROTC; Wyatt played baseball and basketball and earned All-Area honors in both sports; he was named to the Perfect Game baseball All-Tournament, All-Region, Top Prospect and All-American teams. During his senior year, Wyatt was selected as a High School Heisman recipient.
Favorite High School Sports Moment: Every time Brandon Wallen drained a three pointer and how the crowd went wild!
Favorite Quote: “Never give up” – Naruto
Plans after high school: Wyatt received and accepted an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy Scholars Program. He will attend Prep School at Marion Military Institute in Alabama next year and will complete his education and training at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Wyatt plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Systems and will be commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard upon graduating. In addition, Wyatt will be playing collegiate baseball at the Coast Guard Academy.

Name: Wyatt Langford
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Football, Basketball, & Baseball
Achievements: 6-year varsity baseball starter (2017 state champion), five-time Gainesville Sun All-area team, six-time Perfect Game All Tournament team and Perfect Game All-American; Football (2015 State Champion), member of FCA
Coach Scott Hall: “Wyatt is one of a kind. The first baseball player from Trenton to play for UF. His passion, commitment, dedication, and hard work for the game he loves is unparalleled. Keep up the hard work, always strive for the best, and may every line drive in baseball and life be a hit. I am thankful that God allowed me to be a small part of his journey. God Bless and Go Gators!”
Plans after high school: Wyatt will continue his academic and baseball career at the University of Florida

Name: Trent Becker
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Football, Basketball, & Baseball
Achievements: 3-year Varsity starter & Gainesville Sun first team All-Area; Perfect Game All tournament team; Perfect Game Regional Team; Other THS activities – Football, Basketball, FCA, BETA
Coach Scott Hall: “Trent is an excellent student, a great athlete, and even better citizen. One of the things that I like about Trent, he is always trying different activities, whether it’s golf, football, basketball, fishing, or teaching Sunday school, he is willing to step out there in faith. In baseball and life, stay ahead, throw strikes, and keep changing it up until you find the purpose and the plan God has for you. Trent has been a joy and pleasure to Coach. May God continue to bless him in the next chapter of life.”
Plans after high school: Trent is headed to Santa Fe College to continue his academic and baseball career

Name: Jason DeMartino
School: Trenton High School
Sports played: Baseball & Basketball
Achievements: 4-year Varsity starter & 3X Gainesville Sun All-Area selection; Perfect Game All Tournament team- 6x; other THS Activities: Basketball, BETA, FCA
Coach Scott Hall: Jason has a great personality and gets along with everyone. He has a great demeanor and is always respectful and polite. I love his attitude on the mound, you know he is going to give you all he’s got each and every time. Congratulations on getting to play college baseball, keep throwing strikes, believe in yourself, because you are a winner! Good Luck and may God Bless you always.
Plans after high school: Jason will continue his academic and baseball career at Edward Waters College

Name: DJ Murry
School: West Port High School (Ocala)
Sports played: Basketball
Achievements:
—2018-19 Winter Academic Team
—Dual enrollment student 3.6 GPA
—College of Central Florida’s Dean’s List
—1st Team All County 2x
—MVP- 11th grade
—Offensive POY- 12th grade
—FACA All-Star
—North FL All-Star
—4th all-time scorer in school history with 945 points; 3rd all-time with 473 points his senior season
Favorite high school sports moment: Beating University (Orange City) to make it out the 1st round of districts for the first time in my HS career
Favorite quote: “Have a Next Play Mentality.” – Coach John Bauman
Plans after school: Play college Basketball (Stetson University) & major in Law to become a Criminal Defense Attorney

Name: Miranda Geiger
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): member of FFA, National Honor Society, and the WMHS 2019 Homecoming Queen; 4-year varsity member who has played SS/3B/P/1B.
Favorite high school softball memory: My favorite softball memory would definitely have to be when me and my little sister both hit OTF home runs in the same game.
Coach Lavar Williams: “My fondest memory of MJ is her checking my knees and elbows before every game for lotion. Her words to me, ‘No, Coach, you can’t look like that –we are about to ball!’ I also will always remember that, giving me the heart emoji, and smiling on base. MJ is an amazing student-athlete. She is very positive and always smiling! She will play any position to help her team. I can not wait to watch her play at the next level for UNF.”
Plans after high school: I am attending the University of North Florida on a softball scholarship while getting my degree in the Dentistry field.

Name: Madison Reynolds
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Softball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): FFA; She was a 4-year varsity starter who played multiple positions, was All-State three times, and a Gainesville Sun All-Area team member.
Favorite high school sports memory: “I have a bunch of memories I will forever cherish but I would have to say my favorite is the jam outs before a game in the locker room.”
Coach Lavar Williams: “My fondest memory is watching her round bases so fast. I will always treasure our signature handshake. Maddie is an excellent leader always working hard and putting the team before herself.”
Plans after high school: My future plans are attending Jacksonville University on a softball scholarship and I am currently undecided on my major.

Name: Michael Reynolds
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Football & Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): FFA; 2019 baseball state champion
Favorite baseball memory: pitching 3.1 no hit innings and hitting a no doubter HR in the same game this spring in front of the home crowd. His most memorable school experience was bringing the championship trophy back from state and putting it in the trophy case.
Baseball Coach Jim Smith: “Mikey is a fierce competitor. He refuses to quit or lose. Incredible toughness, and a great teammate.”
Plans after high school: Signed to play football at Warner University

Name: Weston Smith
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): 2019 state champion; 4-year varsity player & 2-year starter
Favorite high school sports moment: Winning the 2019 state title in Ft. Myers
Coach Jim Smith (Weston’s dad): “Weston has a good knowledge of the game. He is unselfish, a great teammate, and a hard worker.”
Plans after high school: He looks to continue his academic and athletic career in college and has baseball workouts scheduled with some colleges in the region.

Name: Cade Welborn
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Baseball & Football
Achievements (Academic and/or Athletic): FFA and National Honor Society; played every position but catcher over his 4-year WMHS career, 2019 state champion.
Favorite high school sports moment(s): Being the winning pitcher of record in the 2019 state championship game.
Baseball Coach Jim Smith’s thoughts: “Cade is a versatile ballplayer with the ability to play any position. He is a fierce competitor on the mound. His performance in the 2019 state championship game was very clutch for us.”
Plans after high school: Cade will be attending trade school and has a career goal in mind.

Name: Dalton Vonderstrasse
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Football & Baseball
Achievements/Other WMHS Activities – Fishing club, homecoming court; four years with WMHS baseball & three years with WMHS football; 2019 state baseball champion; Gainesville Sun 1st team All-Area selection as a junior
Favorite baseball memory: All of it. Dalton wanted underclassmen to know that every diving catch, every stolen base and every at bat that mattered to him. He just enjoyed playing baseball with his teammates. He wants the underclassmen to make sure they keep grinding, they push forward, and they never lose the drive to win.
Baseball Coach Jim Smith: “Dalton is very likable and talented. He is a great top of the order batter for us, and we can always depend on him to disrupt the other team’s plans.”
Plans after high school: He has a career goal in the law enforcement field in mind.

Name: Sherard Joseph
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Baseball & Football
Favorite baseball memory: Scoring one of the go ahead runs to clinch the second SMAC win in Lake Butler, and being part of the teams that secured the back to back SMAC titles.
Baseball Coach Jim Smith: “Sherard is a good leader and very well-liked by his team. He’s quiet about mistakes from others, and quick to praise their success. A great teammate, and incredibly athletic.”
Plans after high school: He is going to further his athletic and academic career at Missouri Valley College, where he will play football and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Administration.

Name: Zach Tolodoxi
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Baseball & Football
Achievements/Other WMHS Activities: 4 years with WMHS baseball, played OF, 2019 state champion; member of the National Honor Society
Favorite baseball memory: Winning the 2019 state championship in Ft Myers.
Baseball Coach Jim Smith: “Zach is a perfect teammate and a fantastic person. He is dedicated and works hard each day to be the best he can be. He stands out as a great defensive player. He is an excellent young man and we wish him the best.”

Name: Grady Bullock
School: Williston High School
Sports played: Baseball
Achievements/Other WMHS Activities – FFA; played 3B for 2020 Red Devils
Favorite baseball memory: The walk-off victory at home against Newberry.
Coach Jim Smith: “Grady is an unselfish player and teammate, with good baseball knowledge. He is like a coach in a uniform.”
Plans after high school: Grady is planning on attending college in the fall.