Local Sports

  • Same old story

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For a while Sunday, it seemed as though picking up a first down — let alone scoring a touchdown — was a monumental chore for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Such has been the case this season for Lovie Smith's team.

    The Bucs failed to break the 17-point barrier for the 11th time this season, Josh McCown had three turnovers and the Bucs lost for the ninth time in the past 10 games 19-17 to Carolina.

  • Pirates get pins

    Tony Castro: Correspondent

    BROOKSVILLE — In a stunning upset, defending Class 1A, District 6 champion Dade City-Pasco fended off the largest Brooksville Kiwanis Invitational Wrestling field at the Michael A. Imhoff Gymnasium Saturday night.

  • Mariota takes home the Heisman

    NEW YORK — Marcus Mariota, the prototypical 21st-century quarterback, took an old-fashioned approach to become Oregon’s first Heisman Trophy winner.

    The Ducks’ understated star won the Heisman on Saturday night, capping a three-year climb to college football’s most prestigious individual award.

  • Gators top Tigers in second-straight win

    GAINESVILLE — Devin Robinson scored a career-high 15 points, Chris Walker added 12 and Florida beat Texas Southern 75-50 on Friday night.

    The Gators (5-4) never trailed, scoring the first nine points of the game, leading by 17 at halftime and extending that to a 25-point advantage late in the second half.

    Robinson’s performance was the only real surprise.

  • All in the family

    Tony Castro


    Over the past 18 months, Crystal River senior Dante Perry Ayala has uniquely transformed himself from a Pirate cheerleader to ‘King of the Mats’.

    Ayala, 18, resides with his stepfather Mario and his mother Michelle in Crystal River.

    The Campbellsville, Kentucky-born Ayala wasn’t always 6-foot-2 and weighing 195 pounds. He considered himself pudgy and overweight as he entered CRHS.

  • Franklin frenzy not enough for ’Canes

    INVERNESS —A Herculean effort by Citrus senior Sam Franklin and a 20-point swing in the middle of the game in favor of the Hurricanes weren’t enough to prevent Dunnellon from exacting some revenge for its district championship loss to CHS and taking over sole possession of first place in District 5A-6 on Friday. 

  • ’Canes sit alone on top of 5A-6

    C.J. Risak


    INVERNESS — Message delivered.

    Anyone believing the weak link in the 5A-6 district was Dunnellon knows by now that just isn’t the case. The Tigers took host Citrus right down to the wire Friday, with the Hurricanes only emerging thanks to a 9-3 closing run in the last 3:03 that gave them a 40-37 victory.

  • Pirates pull away late from Panthers

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.


    CRYSTAL RIVER — Two Citrus County girls hoops squads met Friday night, each looking to erase a goose egg in their respective Class 5A, District 6 win column.

    Host Crystal River got in front early and stayed there throughout, pulling away behind some hot outside shooting in the fourth quarter for a 40-28 victory over Lecanto.

  • Attack mode

    Jon-Michael Soracchi


    CRYSTAL RIVER — The Lecanto boys basketball team repeatedly attacked the rim Friday night at Crystal River and the strategy paid dividends for the visiting Panthers.

  • Pirates embark on largest-ever Kiwanis Invite

    Tony Castro: Correspondent

    Two of prep wrestling’s premier Class 2A teams — F.W. Springstead and Lakeland-Lake Gibson — collide during this weekend’s largest-ever tournament field in Hernando County.