Here’s a look at high school sports around Osceola County.
FHSAA state playoff action enters week two Friday night, with three Osceola County teams scheduled to see action. In Class 8A regional quarterfinal action, Osceola (5-2) will travel to Palm Harbor University High (4- 4); while Tohopekaliga (5- 3) travels to Wekiva (6-3). In Class 7A, St. Cloud (5-2) faces a tough challenge with a contest against Edgewater (5-2), whose only losses this season came to number one nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton) and Jones (8-0), the top ranked team in Central Florida.
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, every high school team who declared themselves eligible for the state tournament series automatically qualified for the playoffs this year. Of the eight Osceola County teams, the Kowboys, Bulldogs and Tigers opted in.
The post-season began last week, with Osceola and St. Cloud drawing computer-generated byes, and Tohopekaliga started the playoffs on the road with a 28-0 win over Winter Springs. In that game, quarterback Wesley Tyler ran for three touchdowns and Stevenson Sinophat rushed for 150 yards and a score to lead Toho to its first post-season playoff win in the school’s three-year history.
Defensively, Edmundo Maldonado and Sir Giles had standout games. Maldonaldo had a quarterback sack and a pair of tackles for loss; while Giles had an interception and apparent “pick six” that was called back by a late flag for a block in the back. “We’ve had a pretty good
“We’ve had a pretty good season and I have been real pleased with our efforts,” second-year head coach Marc Deas said. “I thought we did a great job at being physical last week and it’s a style that we are definitely going to have to play against Wekiva. They are solid up on the defensive front and have improved offensively as the season has gone on. It certainly will be a great challenge for our young team.”
Osceola will be looking to bounce back from a somewhat surprising 34-7 road loss to Vero Beach two weeks ago. When he learned his team had drawn a first round bye in the playoffs in October, Kowboys Coach Doug Nichols said he tried to schedule an additional game for last weekend but was unable to find a suitable opponent.
St. Cloud had scheduled a game with Liberty after drawing a playoff bye, but that game was cancelled due to Covid concerns in the Liberty camp.
“We were really looking forward to playing them, but having an extra week to get healthy certainly isn’t a bad thing either,” St. Cloud Head Coach Bryan Smart said. “Obviously we are playing a great team this week in Edgewater and we are going to have our hands full.”
Osceola was a common opponent for both teams. The Kowboys defeated St. Cloud 35-13 on Oct. 9 and dropped a thrilling 31-24 decision to Edgewater a week later.
In other games involving county teams, Gateway received a school-record six touchdowns (five running, one receiving) from Jakovi Bryant as the Panthers (2- 4) rolled past Haines City, 53-16.
Bryant rushed for 237 yards in the game and has now scored nine touchdowns in the last two weeks since returning from a dislocated shoulder suffered in a week 1 game against St. Cloud. “He’s obviously a huge
“He’s obviously a huge difference maker for us,” Roberts added.
Gateway will look for their third consecutive win Friday when they host Celebration. Harmony is idle this week and returns to action Dec. 4 against Celebration.
The FHSAA held its Class 4A and Class 3A state crosscountry championships last Thursday in Tallahassee. Harmony sent its girls team to the Class 3A meet; while the Celebration boys qualified for the 4A championship. The Lady Longhorns had
The Lady Longhorns had an outstanding showing, placing ninth in the state led by a third place finish by junior Alaine Rivera (18:24.6) and a seventh place finish by senior Brook Mullin (18:49.1). Celebration junior
Celebration junior Jared Falchook ran 16:23.8 over the 5K distance to finish 17th in the 4A team meet. The Storm finished 13th, with sophomore Cooper James (50th), senior Sebastian Edwards (68th) and senior Michael Eiken(89th) all joining Falchook to finish in the top 100 in the team competition. Harmony’s Julian Pomalus finished in 30th place overall as an at-large qualifier.
The winter sports of basketball, wrestling, soccer and weightlifting are beginning their seasons. Updates to follow.