Local Sports

  • Francois-McCullough flourishes in new role

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.


    In the long run, basketball may not be the number one sport for Xavier Francois-McCullough. The Crystal River junior sees football as his path to competing in college.

    But for now, he’s certainly leaving his mark on the basketball court. In his second year on the varsity level, he has made the most of an expanded role this early in the season.

  • Youthful Warriors take a lot away from 4-3 loss to Saint Francis

    LECANTO — Despite ending up on the short end of a 4-3 score Thursday night at Warrior Park, Seven Rivers girls soccer coach Robert McDougal saw plenty of positives from his young squad against a talented Saint Francis Catholic club out of Gainesville.

  • Seven Rivers rolls past Lakeside 8-1

    David Pieklik


    LECANTO — The question of whether Seven Rivers is ready for the possibility of entering district play for boys soccer next season got a big answer Thursday in an 8-1 win over Lakeside Christian.

  • Alabama cleans up on AP All-SEC

    ATLANTA — No. 1 Alabama swept the awards on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team announced Thursday.

    Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts was picked as the offensive player of the year, as well as the newcomer of the year. Jonathan Allen took the honor for the top defensive player. Nick Saban was the choice for coach of the year after guiding the Crimson Tide (13-0) to a 54-16 victory over Florida for the SEC title and its third straight appearance in the College Football Playoff.

  • Canucks put Lightning on ice

    TAMPA — Jayson Megna and Jack Skille both had two goals, Ryan Miller made 38 saves before leaving with six minutes left in the third period and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Thursday night.

    Erik Gudbranson also scored for the Canucks, who are 1-1 on a five-game road.

    Miller skated to the bench and then went to the locker room. There was no immediate word on why he departed.

  • Oregon hires Taggart as new head coach

    Willie Taggart has become known for rebuilding programs at Western Kentucky and South Florida. His next endeavor will be much more high profile, trying to turn around the struggling Oregon Ducks.

    Oregon announced Wednesday that it had hired Taggart to take over following a disappointing 4-8 season and the dismissal of coach Mark Helfrich.

  • CR lifters improve, Lecanto just too strong

    At Crystal River High School on Wednesday, Pirates coach Randy Owens continued to show why his girls weightlifting team could be coming away with more than 17 points at the county championship on Dec. 14. Meanwhile, Lecanto coach Bob LeCours and his Panthers continued to show why they’re the defending champs to begin with. 

  • Pirates prevail over ’Canes

    David Pieklik


    INVERNESS — Emily Hooper rattled home the game-winning goal with less than 10 minutes left in the game, as Crystal River beat Citrus 2-1 in soccer district play Wednesday night.

  • Too deep of a hole

    INVERNESS — It’s no coincidence that the final margin of victory was 24 points in Wednesday night’s dual meet between county rivals Crystal River and Citrus.

  • Time to believe in the Bucs

    TAMPA — There are no more lingering questions about whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are relevant again.

    The team’s four-game winning streak not only has catapulted Jameis Winston and his supporting cast into playoff contention, but the Bucs (7-5) also are tied for first place in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons.