It was a busy week in sports for Osceola County schools, including an impressive showing by both the St. Cloud boys and girls golf teams. Looking around the county:
After dropping its first two games of the season, Tohopekaliga (2-2) evened its record by beating previously undefeated small-school power Orlando Chrisitian (5-1), 34-22.
St. Cloud dropped to 2-2 on the season with a 30-13 loss to Lake Nona. Patrick Forsyth and Anthony Gonzalez scored touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Michael Tovine’s touchdown pass kept Poinciana (1-3) close at halftime before George Jenkins (2-2) pulled away with a 21-6 win.
Liberty (1-3) had a tough game against state power Bartow (5-0), dropping a 62-6 decision. John Smith had 200 passing yards for the Chargers.
Celebration (0-2) was forced to cancel its game with Lake Nona because of Covid-tracing and will return to action this week against Cypress Creek.
And under-manned Gateway team (0-4) had a rough outing against state-ranked Lake Gibson (5-1), losing 62-6.
Finally, the Harmony Longhorns (1-3) came up with its first victory of the season, recording a big 56-16 win over Cypress Creek. Offensively, sophomore running back Tyler Emans carried the ball just eight times for 188 yards and two touchdowns; while quarterback Ayden Parks completed both is passing attempts for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
For the first time in school history, both the boys and girls teams from St. Cloud high school will be advancing to regional competition. Led by junior Morgan Beaulieu’s two-over par 74, the Lady Bulldogs shot a team score of 367 to finish third behind Lake Nona (305) and Viera (338). In addition to Beaulieu’s fourth place finish, the Lady Bulldogs placed four golfers in the top 25, including Jenna Barnett (14th-86), Tess Sheive (19th-97) and Lana Fellows (25th-110) to edge out Vero Beach (370) by three shots to claim the third and final team spot that advanced to this week’s regional play. Though advancing to the state championships as a team may be a long-shot, Beaulieu will be a favorite to claim one of the at-large spots in the state tournament. The transfer from Tohopekaliga, placed 25th in the state championships last year as an at-large qualifier. Head Coach Jim Endicott has no seniors in his starting five.
On the boys side, junior Austin Price tied for fifth with a three-over par 75 as St. Cloud’s team score of 320 edged Viera (325) for the third and final regional qualifying spot. Vero Beach won the district crown with a 298, two shots better than second place Lake Nona (300). Senior Bryan Hernandez (16th – 80), Chad Knollinger (18th-82) and OBC Champion Eric Hernandez (T20th-83) all posted counting scores for St. Cloud.
“Our guys did not shoot as well as I thought we would but I still have confidence that we have five guys with the ability to break 80,” Endicott added. “It is a great honor to get both teams advancing to regionals.”
Osceola (14-6) got 25 combined kills from Kaitlyn Taylor and Yarelis Lopez to defeat Celebration, 25-8, 25-11 and 25-23 to claim the Class 7A-District 11 championship. The Lady Kowboys advanced to regional play, where they hosted Wharton (14-6) on Wednesday night.
Celebration (5-6) will travel to Newsome (17-2) for regional play as District runner-up.
Ettie Singleton’s Lady Bulldogs(12-2) lost a heart-breaking five-set match to Viera (22-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 17-15) in Class 6-A, District 15 playoffs to be eliminated from the state tournament. St. Cloud has four regular season matches remaining.
Toho (5-2) finished second in Class 7A, District 10 and played Windermere (8-2) in regional play on Wednesday.
Gateway (2-4) defeated Jones in three games to advance to the district championship where they lost in a three-set match to Merritt Island. The Lady Panthers advanced to regionals where they faced Heritage (8-4) in regional play as the Class 5A, district 13 runner-ups.
Harmony (6-6) was eliminated from state playoff competition in a five-set match with Winter Haven and will conclude its season with several matches in the next two weeks. Liberty (4-8) and Poinciana (1-4) have several regular season matches left.
District swimming and diving championships got under way this past week.