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W - ARU - Team IMG 8745

ALACHUA - Last Saturday the Santa Fe Pop Warner Junior Varsity Raiders defeated the Valrico Rams 18 - 12 for the North vs South 2016 Southeast Regional Division 3 Championship at Hickory Tree Community Park, St. Cloud, Florida. Congratulations to Head Coach Bill Lang, assistant coaches Naron Curtis, Chuck Jenkins, Bronson Lang and Pearson Hilton for their commitment and dedication toward local youth athletes.

Santa Fe Pop Warner Football and Cheer is a volunteer based organization, so we would like to take this time to thank all the coaches, team mom's parent/volunteers, and of course, the participants for another successful season.

Santa Fe Youth Basketball sign-ups for the 2017 Season are available at the City of Alachua Hal Brady Recreation Complex Lobby area. Deadline is Saturday, Dec. 3. If you are interested in coaching or need additional information please contact Sam Markowitz or Charles Wakeley at 386-462-1610.  

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W - ARU - Team image4 1

The Santa Fe Pop Warner Peewee team shows their enthusiasm after defeating the Palatka Pirates to take the conference championship. Players are joined by coaches, Back Row L-R: Assistant coach Casperson, assistant coach McCormick, coach Kade, assistant coach Lewis and assistant coach Massias. (Photo special to Alachua County Today  

ALACHUA – Last Saturday Santa Fe Pop Warner hosted its final home games at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex. Coach Rob Kade and his Pee Wee team won its Conference Championship defeating the Palatka Pirates 25-0.

This coming Saturday, Nov. 5, the Alachua Youth Soccer League will host games at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex with over 50 teams competing. The following weekend, Nov. 12, they will host the 2016 Fall Season Tournament.

Santa Fe Youth Basketball is now accepting registrations for the 2016 – 2017 Season. The deadline is Dec 1. For more information please call the recreation center at 386-462-1610.

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Q - 8U Santa Fe All Star Photo 2016


RAINA BARNETT/Special to Alachua County Today


TheSanta Fe Babe Ruth Softball Girls 8 and Under team has qualified to play in the World Series in Jensen Beach on Aug. 8 - 11. Now they are raising money and looking for funding ot make their dream a reality.


ALACHUA – The Santa Fe Babe Ruth Softballs girls 8 and under team has qualified to play in the World Series in Jensen Beach on Aug. 8-11.

The only problem is finding the funding to get there.

Between jerseys, helmets, and other expenses linked to traveling, food, and team equipment, the team has to find creative ways to support themselves.

The cost for the 11 girls and their families to travel and stay for six nights at a hotel in Jensen Beach is $3,500.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising the last two months,” said head coach Brian Mallard.

Mallard said money for the team comes from helmet drives, raffles, and sponsorships from places like Wal-Mart and local construction companies.

Local Babe Ruth President Bubba Burnham, who has been involved with coaching, said the coaches and parents often volunteer their own time and effort for the sake of the kids.

“The majority of this effort is run by volunteers, parents, and we even have volunteers show up who don’t have kids playing that just love the sport and want to help,” Burnham said.

The World Series takes superb effort from a united team and support system.

“We won districts, state, and then there’s the World Series,” said Mallard. “We won a world series qualifier about six weeks ago.”

The regular season runs from the last week of February to the first week of May.

Burnham explained what the World Series signifies.

“I don’t micro-manage, I just make sure everything goes as planned for the season, but getting all the way to World Series signifies you have competed with teams all over the country, like Washington State, North Carolina, even California.”

The farthest the team has travelled is Jacksonville for World Series Qualifiers.

If you want to find out more information about the team and how to help fundraise or donate, please contact Brian Mallard at 352-425-2902.

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Q - Community Roundup Ball ParkHIGH SPRINGS – It was a busy weekend in High Springs with spectators peaking at over 1,000.

This weekend the City of High Springs hosted the ACTFOR (Alachua County Task Force For Recreation) soccer games which included teams from High Springs, Alachua, Newberry, Williston, Bronson and Hawthorne.

Games were held all day at the High Springs Sports Complex as well as the High Springs Civic Center Park. The New Civic Center playground also experienced heavy use as the siblings of many players as well as local residents chose to utilize the new playground facility.

The Soccer season runs in the fall and spring and provides an opportunity for boys and girls aged 4-14 an opportunity to participate in this organized recreation program.

Meanwhile, at Memorial Park in High Springs, Santa Fe Babe Ruth hosted its opening day for fall ball. Games were held from morning to late afternoon for individuals of all ages.

Between Baseball, soccer, playgrounds, open recreation, and some newly renovated basketball and tennis courts; it’s safe to say the City of High Springs was immensely active on such a beautiful weekend.

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Kirby Snead

KIRBY SNEAD/Special to Alachua County Today

GAINESVILLE – Kirby Snead, a UF baseball player and former Santa Fe High School standout, has been drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB) and will be headed to play with the team – most likely a minor league affiliate – in a few weeks.

Snead, a pitcher in his third year at UF, said he had meetings with scouts from various teams, but the Blue Jays selected him in the 10th round of the MLB Draft.

He said a scout he spoke to praised his pitching style.

“Well, my position is left-handed pitch,” he said. “There’s not many of those that come around, so I think I’m very unique in the way I pitch - I’m very good at coming into close games and keeping it close.

“I’m pretty excited for it. It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. I’m just ready to get started.”

Snead said he started playing baseball when he was about 5 years old, and fell in love with the game. He said he tried football and basketball growing up, but didn’t enjoy either of them.

He also said he wouldn’t consider baseball a family sport – his father ran track in college and also played football for a time.

There’s a difference between the mindset of playing during high school versus college, he said.

As a baseball player in high school, he said he was only aware of what team he was playing against, while college baseball taught him that it’s important to fully understand the opponent in order to have an advantage.

“Coming to UF is probably the best baseball program in the nation,” he said. “[It] just kind of got me to realize how different aspects of the game work – more from a mental standpoint than the physical – just understanding the game more and learning more about how the game’s played.”

Some advice he would impart to any young players who are interested in pursuing baseball is simply to persevere.

“There [were] definitely days where I thought baseball wasn’t for me,” he said. “But I just stuck with it and it really got me to where I am now.

“Baseball is a game of failure – you’re going to fail more times than you succeed. I guess I would say stick with it. No matter how many times – you’ve just gotta stick with it.”

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