Photos by Delia Lander special to Alachua County Today / In a special ceremony on Sept. 11, the Santa Fe High School Volleyball team continued in its tradition of remembering and honoring veterans. Before the varsity volleyball game Tuesday evening, Raiders rose their feet to pay homage to veterans who have served, those who continue to serve and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Each veteran in attendance or their representative was brought forward to show appreciation for their service. Following a rousing rendition of God Bless America sung by local favorite Antoinette Hunt, the veterans were treated to a private reception and invited to watch enjoy the volleyball game. Special this year was a moment of silence to remember victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.Add a comment
NEWBERRY – The Newberry High School (NHS) cheerleaders once again represented their school and community with class and talent while attending UCA summer cheer camp. Thirty-seven athletes, making up both the JV and Varsity squads, made the annual trip to Orlando on July 26. The squads spent four days learning new cheer and dance material, perfecting the skills necessary to perform safe and exciting stunts, and competing against other schools from around the state. Over 600 students from the Panhandle to South Florida participated in this camp.
At the end of the camp, the NHS cheerleaders came home with several awards, both team and individual. The NHS cheerleaders once again placed first in the home dance competition. Selected NHS cheerleaders performed a dance choreographed by former NHS cheerleader Jordanne Stark and prepared and perfected at home.
In the Camp Champs competition, the JV squad placed 3rd in cheer and 2nd in the extreme routine competitions. Individually on JV, Sierra Crosswhite received a Pin It Forward Award for having the qualities that make up a great cheerleader, and Sarah Ellinger was named a 2012 UCA All American.
In the Camp Champs competition, the Varsity squad placed first in both the cheer and extreme routine competitions. They received the Spirit Banana on the second night of camp, were recognized as one of the top five teams at camp with a Superior Award, and received the Traditions Award, selected by UCA staff and awarded to the squad that has the best cheer program of all the teams at camp.
Individually, Taylor Burgin, Jolee Holder and Natalie Plumley received Pin It Forward Awards. Clayton Boettcher, Keeler Hobson, Jolee Holder, Natalie Plumley, Scotty Reece and Taylor Styles were all named 2012 UCA All Americans, and Clayton Boettcher, Jolee Holder and Taylor Styles were given invitations to try out for UCA Staff next year.
Members of the JV squad include Kristina Bukas-Johnson, Thea Clayton, Sierra Crosswhite, Taylor Dobbins, Tiffany Dobbins, Kiana Hicks (captain), Danielle Hunt, Sarah Ellinger (captain), Kaitlin Medero, Sydney Mitchell, Paige Reece (captain), Armani Scott, Rebecca Sykes, Meriel Walcott and Keely Whitmer.
Members of the Varsity squad include Kendall Addison, Shelby Blackwell, Taylor Burgin, Clayton Boettcher, Lauren Davis, Brittany DeVivo, Alisha Grubel, Keeler Hobson, Jolee Holder (captain), Demi Hunt (captain), Megan Marcotte, Donta Miles, Natalie Plumley, Scotty Reece, Keiyonna Robinson, Kayla Selm, Rynebow Sheppard, Victoria Stoner, Taylor Styles (captain), Ashley Vargas, Brittany Walton and Leona Whilby.
All NHS squads are coached by TiAnn Stark, in her ninth year as head coach at NHS, and Sara Lillard, in her first year as assistant coach. Volunteer coaches for the program include Rachel Burgin, Courtney Harvey, Shannon Lowder, Cory Stark and Jordanne Stark.
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Bill Wiles starts two months before season opener
ALACHUA – If Bill Wiles seems calm, it’s not for a lack of pressure.
Wiles, the recently hired head football coach at Santa Fe High School, is preparing for a football season that starts in less than two months. He met his players for the first time on Thursday.
Yet Wiles, a seasoned coach who has headed the football programs at South Walton, Branford and Graceville High Schools, is confident that his new group will come together quickly.
“Timing-wise, were going to take a lemon and make lemonade,” Wiles said. “This is a great group of kids, and we’re going to work through this challenge and try to make the best out of it.”
Wiles, who won a state championship with Graceville High School in 1993, must finish moving from South Walton before preparing his team for its first practice Aug. 6 and its season opener Aug. 24 at Columbia High School.
Though Wiles is a former offensive coordinator, he said he will not bring one particular focus to Santa Fe’s strategy.
“As far as what we’re going to do this season, I’m going to play to the strengths of the kids and go from there,” Wiles said.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Wiles has lived half of his adult life in and around Alachua, a fact which played into his decision to coach at Santa Fe.
“I wouldn’t have just done it at any school,” Wiles said. “Santa Fe offers a great tradition, and I believe we can be a very good, top-of-the-line football program.”
The team will attend the FCA Football Camp on July 18-20, and in the meantime is working on strength and conditioning Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-10a.m.
Wiles understands that he and his new team are under a bit of pressure, but he feels that his experience and the work ethic of his players will work through the situation.
“This team has already gone through spring practice, and most of the teams we’ll be playing against have been building a team since January,” Wiles said. “We know we don’t have that luxury. But we’re not going to make that a negative; we’re going to try to turn it into a positive.”
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Newberry JOAD Ohio Team at JOAD Nationals, Hamilton, Ohio. Back L-R: Cade Pogue, Joe Arthur, Amye Francis, TJ Rodriguez (Geneva FL Archery), Chris Francis, Gan Gryffin, Wyatt Pogue, Dustin Clark and Julia Francis. Middle L-R: Rebel Gryffin, Josh Arthur, Bayleigh Bivens, Bailey Gregory, Ryan Oliver, Remie Bivens, Taylor Gray, Olivia Huffer, Aubrey Webster and Hunter Brant. Front L-R: Wesley Francis, Sullivan Kemper, Joe Francis and Tristan Hyde
On June 26-30, 22 archers from the Newberry Junior Olympic Archery Development Club competed at the Easton Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Nationals in Hamilton, Ohio. For the majority of the archers, this was their first experience at a national outdoor event. The archers, ranging in age from 9 – 18, shot approximately 150 arrows for the first two days of the event at distances ranging from 25 to 70 meters. The remaining two days, archers shot close to 50 arrows each day at their respective distances. Daily actual temperatures were in the triple digits, and the heat index was over 110 degrees. On day three of the event, the afternoon team’s competition was cancelled at mid-point due to a heat index of over 125 degrees.
Despite the extreme heat, the archers competing with 350 other youth archers from across the country shot personal bests, many making it into the final rounds of eliminations. Coached by Easton Newberry Sports Complex Head Coach Robert Turner and Assistant Coach Joey Todd, the team gained valuable experience shooting alongside some of the top archers in the country, including members of the Junior Olympic Archery Dream Team. Many of the Newberry JOAD team members were in contention for medals in the team rounds before the event was cancelled due to the extreme heat. Compound archers Tristan Hyde, Taylor Gray and Cade Pogue finished in the top eight overall.
Eleven-year-old Olivia Huffer earned a bronze national title in the Olympic Recurve division for the12 and under age group. She also received second place in the Grand Champion competition, which combined scores from the National Title Ranking Round, Team Competition and Match Play.
Ryan Oliver, last year’s national outdoor champion, redeemed his title by winning the gold medal in the Olympic Recurve Bow division for the 13 and 14 year olds. Oliver also earned a silver medal in the Match Play Competition and second place in the Grand Champion competition.
Training for the event started in March – the beginning of outdoor archery season. Most archers practiced at least three times a week, shooting as many as 100 arrows per day. To further prepare the competitors, the Easton Newberry Sports Complex hosted a three day nationals preparation camp, two weeks prior to the team’s departure.
The Newberry JOAD Club began fundraising in April and raised over $16,000. The mission of the Newberry JOAD Club is to promote the sport of archery, while encouraging sportsmanship and volunteerism.
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