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Local Sports

  • Making history despite offense

    GAINESVILLE — Florida’s Jim McElwain made Southeastern Conference history by becoming the first coach to reach the league’s championship game in his first two seasons.

    He’s 13-3 in SEC play, has swept rival Georgia and pushed the Gators to start making strides to improve their football facilities.

    It is hardly enough, at least not in Gainesville.

  • Roll out the mats

    A pair of county wrestling programs appear primed for big things this winter, while the third welcomes in a new coach looking to build off the late successes of last season.

    Citrus and Crystal River both host their respective district tournaments in February and each team should be in position to battle for the championship trophy on their home mats. Several wrestlers from both squads have valuable past postseason experience and some promising newcomers will help fill out solid lineups.

  • Columbus trips up Lightning

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Josh Anderson had a goal and two assists, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Tuesday night.

    Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist, and William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg and Sam Gagner also scored as Columbus beat Tampa Bay for the second time in five days. The Blue Jackets are 8-1-1 in their last 10 home games.

  • Local sports briefs

    FHSAA announces football assignments

    The Florida High School Athletic Association on Tuesday released the football assignments for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

    There is a big change starting next year, as Class 1A-4A teams will be in regions and not districts. Schools in Class 5A-8A will remain in districts.

  • Citrus surges past Lecanto

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    LECANTO — For a brief moment, it appeared visiting Citrus might be in a little bit of trouble on Tuesday night.

    The Hurricanes’ best player, Nick Bryant, had just gone to the bench in foul trouble and their small second-quarter lead had evaporated as host Lecanto made a 7-0 run. 

  • Citrus surges past Lecanto

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    LECANTO — For a brief moment, it appeared visiting Citrus might be in a little bit of trouble on Tuesday night.

    The Hurricanes’ best player, Nick Bryant, had just gone to the bench in foul trouble and their small second-quarter lead had evaporated as host Lecanto made a 7-0 run. 

  • Hurricanes hold on

    C.J. Risak

    Correspondent

    INVERNESS — A fourth-quarter comeback that saw Lecanto’s girls basketball team trim a nine-point deficit to two with 1:56 left was finally repelled by Citrus, which held on to collect its third-straight win, 47-41 on Tuesday.

    The Hurricanes are now 3-2 overall, 2-0 in District 6A-7. Lecanto slipped to 1-5 overall, 0-3 in 6A-7.

  • Old face, new place as Citrus hires Varnadore

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    Citrus High conducted an extensive national search to fill its football coaching vacancy. But in the end, it didn’t venture far to find its choice.

    On Tuesday, the school introduced Nate Varnadore as its new head coach, just over a year after he resigned from the same post at Crystal River after three seasons.

  • Hill scores 16, Florida beats Miami

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Kasey Hill scored 16 points and Keith Stone had 15 off the bench as Florida beat Miami 65-56 in Sunday's third-place game at the AdvoCare Invitational.

    Stone had a layup during a 12-4 run that gave Florida a 55-47 lead with 5 minutes to go. The redshirt freshman forward had a combined six points through Florida's first six games this season.

  • USF Bulls among six new teams in Top 25

    South Florida and Pittsburgh were among six teams to enter The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, matching a record for the Top 25 era.

    USF and Pitt are tied for No. 24. No. 17 Stanford, No. 19 Virginia Tech, No. 20 Navy and No. 22 Iowa also entered the rankings in the second-to-last regular-season poll.

    This is the fourth time six teams entered the rankings in one week since 1989, when the AP poll expanded to include 25 teams.