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W_-_Aaron_Herring_photo_copySeated L-R: Patti Herring, Aaron Herring, Dennis Herring, SFHS football coach Tommy Keeler, SFHS Principal Bill Herschleb.

ALACHUA – Santa Fe High School (SFHS) senior Aaron Herring has received an athletic scholarship, and he made it official on Thursday, April 26 as he signed his letter of intent to play football for Division 1 Troy University. Herring, an offensive lineman as well as a defensive tackle for SFHS, will trade in his red and gray Raider jersey to play for the Trojan Warriors in Troy, Ala.

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W_-_SFHS_Logan__Embry_Riddle_SigningSeated L-R: Leann Malphurs (mother), Logan Malphurs, ERAU head coach Randy Stegall. Standing L-R: Carl Malphurs (father), ERAU coach Dave Therneau, Gatorball coach Stephen Barton

ALACHUA – Santa Fe High School (SFHS) senior third baseman, Logan Malphurs, made it official on Thursday as he signed his letter of intent to play baseball for Embry-Riddle University (ERAU).  Malphurs finalized his decision to attend ERAU with a signing ceremony at Santa Fe High School where he was surrounded by coaches, family, friends, teammates, and faculty.

Santa Fe head baseball coach Todd Brooks addressed the gathering and summed up his feelings about Malphurs with three Cs—consistency, character, and confidence.  Brooks said Malphurs, who is an ideal student athlete with a 4.7 weighted grade point average, leads by example on and off the baseball field.  Brooks said he was sure that Malphurs would continue to succeed throughout life because of the strong work ethic he displays every day.

The group was also addressed by Stephen Barton, head coach and owner of Gatorball Baseball Academy, whom Malphurs has played for since 2006.  About Malphurs, Barton said, “He shows that having a dream and working hard pays off.”

Logan Malphurs thanked the large gathering, paying special attention to the many coaches who have helped him along the way.  Malphurs, who also had an offer from Jacksonville University, said he decided on Embry-Riddle because “The campus is beautiful, and they have a winning program.  I really liked the coaches, and I really feel like they are going to take care of me.”  Malphurs added, “I was just so happy that all of my hard work has paid off.  I am just so happy that the dreams I have had since I was little have come true.”

Last season, Malphurs finished with a .368 batting average and was awarded SFHS Defensive Player of the Year award.  Currently, he is hitting .310 as the Raiders enter district play this week.

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Members of the Newberry JOAD Club with Dr. Richard Farley and Nanoptics President Dr. Young Noh, along with Newberry JOAD Club Coach Robert Turner at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex. Photo by Alex Salom/Special to Alachua County Today

NEWBERRY – Nanoptics, Inc., a Gainesville based company that specializes in the manufacturing of fluorescent fiberoptics for archery sights and sight equipment, recently made a $2,000 donation to the Newberry Junior Olympic Archery Development Club.

Nanoptics President, Dr. Young Noh and Dr. Richard Farley attended the Club’s bi-monthly tournament, held at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex to make the check presentation. Archers demonstrated their skills at the event, breaking range records and many received awards from a previously held state championship. Dr. Farley, lead research engineer, shared with the Newberry archers that Nanoptics is excited to support this local archery team in its efforts to compete on a national level.

The donation will be used to sponsor archers to compete at the Easton Foundation’s Outdoor National Tournament in Hamilton, Ohio June 26-June 30. The club is sending 20 of its top archers to compete with hundreds of other archers from across the nation. The club hopes to bring home another national title, as one of its archers is the current Outdoor National Champion in his age division. Recently, the club attended the U.S. Indoor Regionals and Nationals Tournament in Conyers, Ga., and brought home 14 medals, a male national indoor championship title and a second place in the national female division.

The mission of the Newberry Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Club is to promote the sport of archery, while encouraging sportsmanship and volunteerism. The club, which is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization, has 70 members ranging in age from eight to eighteen. The archers train at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex, under the direction of Head Coach Robert Turner and Assistant Coaches David Anthony, Eric Blalock, and Joey Todd.

Anyone wishing to join Nanoptics in their efforts to help the Newberry JOAD Club compete in Hamilton, Ohio this summer, visit the club web site at newberryjoad.org and make a tax-deductible Paypal donation.

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NEWBERRY – Though many of the sports seasons have ended, the accolades for Newberry High School’s athletics program continue.

The Florida Association of Basketball Coaches recognized Coach Ray Parrish as the Girls Coach of the Year for Division 1A and player Lasharrah Nattiel as the Girls Player of the Year for Division 1A. The recipients were selected from a statewide ballot of Florida Association of Basketball Coaches members.

Parrish has been coaching at the school for four years, and this year the season proved especially remarkable. The school made it to the FSHAA state finals, the first time in over a decade. Parrish said that the team’s success was four years in the making.

“This isn’t something that just happened overnight,” Parrish said in February as the team left for the state semifinals in Lakeland, Fla.

Though the Lady Panthers lost to Ponce de Leon High School 52-55, their wins in both the regional finals and the state semifinals left a lasting impression on the community.

The Newberry City Commission recognized the team at a meeting on March 12. At the meeting, Parrish commended the girls on their success but urged the city and commission to remember the local teams as the city’s sports tourism programs begin to take off.

“You can’t leave these kids and the community,” he said at the meeting.

Nattiel scored 19 points in the final game. She also had 15 rebounds and two assists in that game.

Newberry High School Principal Shane Andrew said the team was the first state championship for any sport at the school since 2007.

“Overall, their success certainly brought back pride to our girls basketball team,” Andrew said. “We’re extremely excited.”

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W-FortWhiteALACHUA – The Girls Babe Ruth Florida Softball 1st World Series Qualifier was held this past weekend, March 24 and 24 at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua.

Ft. White Babe Ruth Softball will be going to the World Series Aug. 9 – 14 in Wilson, NC 16 under Babe Ruth Tournament after defeating Keystone Heights 14 – 1.The winning pitcher for Ft. White was B. Selgas.  Offensive top players for Ft. White were S. Chesne with 3 runs, C. Bruce with 3 runs, B. Selgas with 2 runs, K. Redwine, 1 – 2, 2 runs and S. Pelhan, 1 – 2, 1 run. Kala Casas of Keystone Heights, hit the only solo homerun of the game.

Gainesville Babe Ruth Softball will be going to the World Series in Alachua 12 under Babe Ruth Tournament. Gainesville defeated Orange Park 7-2 in the finals on Sunday afternoon.  This will be the Gainesville Association’s first World Series, and the team is the first to qualify for the 12 under World Series, which will have 20 Championship 12 under World Series Teams from all over the United States.  The World Series will be held Aug. 2 – 8 in Alachua at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.

Gainesville scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, 2 runs in the 4th inning and an insurance run in the 5th inning. Orange Park scored 2 runs in the 1st inning and was shut out the rest of the way.

The winning pitcher for Gainesville was Madison Hultman who pitched 5 innings.  Kaelynn Ayala got the save with 1 inning. Offensive Top Players for Gainesville include Kaelynn Ayala, 3 – 4, scored once; Megan Willis, double, scored once; Jordan Bevington, 1 – 2, scored once; Callen DeLucas, 1 – 2, scored twice; and Morgan Johnson scored once.

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