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Model athletes

Published March 18, 2007


YEAR: Senior.

WHY WE PICKED HER: Because she's strong. Really strong. And in her sport, that makes her really good.

In the brief history of girls weightlifting in Pasco County, it's safe to say Seltman is the Babe Ruth of the sport. She won her third straight Sunshine Athletic Conference this season while leading her team to the championship, was never beaten by a county competitor and went on to set a state record at the state meet at River Ridge.

With a lift of 365 pounds, Seltman tied two others for the state record.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Lifting two kids for the photo on this page. Seriously. It took like six takes. Okay, so really Seltman's most impressive accomplishment is merely her sheer dominance. She was a lock at every meet she competed in, then wrapped up her career by setting a state record. Not to mention her 185-pound bench press at state was 10 pounds more than anyone else in the 169-pound weight class.

DID YOU KNOW?: Seltman was 20th at state as a sophomore, seventh as a junior (the top six get medals) before breaking through in 2007.


First team

Meghan Seltman, Ridgewood Was tops, regardless of weight class.

Brianna Hooker, River Ridge Two-time SAC champ; 4th at state at 110.

Carmen Figuero, Gulf SAC crown was her first; 5th at state at 129.

Michelle Miller, River Ridge SAC champ at 199; 10th at state

Sandra Garcia, Pasco 17th at state; 106-pounder lifted 215.

Amanda Perez, Ridgewood Ninth at state with lift of 255.

Ashley Haggard, Ridgewood 19th at state in 119-pound class.

Natalie Marenghi, River Ridge SAC champ and state qualifier at 101.

Breanne Monaco, Ridgewood 139-pound champ at SAC; 12th at state.

Honorable mention:

Hudson Heather Paone

Ridgewood Jessica Hunt, Katie Gaglioti

River Ridge Danielle Dimarte, Jessica Diaz, Jami Glowatsky

Wesley Chapel Kelly Daugherty, Brittany Phipps

Zephyrhills Ashley Anderton, Heather Franks, Jessica Davis, Brooke Sanders, Danielle Elliott

Coach of the year

Brian Wachtel, Ridgewood

YEAR: Senior.

WHY WE PICKED HER: Seriously? You're really asking?

This year Thomas became Pasco County's all-time leading scorer on her way to more than 2,000 career points.

The 5-foot-9 guard scored 49 against defending state runnerup St. Petersburg Catholic, willing her team to an overtime win. She scored 40 against Florida A&M High. And in the region semifinals, Thomas scored 30 points, which prompted Lake Gibson to crow about "stopping" her.

But mostly, Thomas was a highly skilled but unselfish player who tried to get her teammates involved and even led the Wildcats in assists.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: She single-handily put Wesley Chapel girls basketball on the map, winning two district titles and 25 games this season. She joined a team that never won and made sure they almost always did.

DID YOU KNOW?: Thomas scored 30 points or more in 14 games this season, and scored nearly 50 percent of Wesley Chapel's points.


First team

Sthefany Thomas, F, Wesley Chapel Led county with 29.3 ppg, nearly scoring 1,000 points this season.

Kayli Keough, F, Land O'Lakes FSU-bound scorer poured in 21 ppg before sidelined down stretch.

Kristi Hopper, G, Mitchell 3-point ace score 17.2 ppg and led Mustangs to the SAC title.

Joanna Bussa, G, Mitchell Fiery wrecking ball averaged 10 ppg and 3.0 assists as offense's pilot.

Krystal Jenkins, G, Pasco Led Pirates in scoring and was the glue to county's surprise team.

Second team

Latoya Hillmon, Mitchell Lauren Bullock, Gulf Jordan Schulman, Gulf Taylor Lunin, Mitchell Ashley Carey, Wesley Chapel

Honorable mention

Gulf: Sam Ovind Hudson: Sara Hampshire Land O'Lakes: Brittany Knipp Pasco: Lucy Schneider Ridgewood: Jen Daun, Brittany Brosam Wesley Chapel: Desiree Vizcaino, Jeani Ducos Wiregrass Ranch: Julie Gould, Regan Knapik Zephyrhills: Kristen Beville.

Coach of the year John Edwards, Pasco

YEAR: Junior.

WHY WE PICKED HER: Everyone knew Rossi was the premier returning goal scorer in the county, but that didn't mean they knew how to stop her. A year after scoring 27 goals and playing up front with a freshman, Rossi scored 29 goals and assisted on 15 others.

With speed to burn and a nifty first touch that often left defenders in the lurch, Rossi helped guide the Royal Knights to an unbeaten regular season as one of the season veterans on a team with no senior starters. "When she has the ball at her feet, she'll stare you in the eyes and then juke you," said Skip Glover, the SAC coach of the year.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Rossi could have had 30 goals or more this season, but on senior night she got together with the rest of the juniors and sophomores and hatched a plan to make sure every senior scored. And sure enough, every senior scored.

DID YOU KNOW?: Rossi had four hat tricks this season, with a high of five goals in one game. But she also had two or more assists in four other games as well.


First team

Laura Seletos, GK, Mitchell First-team all-SAC pick; 0.93 GAA, seven shutouts.

Brittany Hahn, GK, River Ridge 0.42 GAA and 12 shutouts

Deana Rossi, River Ridge 29 goals, 15 assists

Savannah Gorman, F, Land O'Lakes Led Gators with 23 goals, 11 assists.

Marisa Russo, Mitchell Striker struck often - 22 goals

Ashley Schuering, F, Hudson County-best 34 goals spurred Cobras.

Amanda Goble, MF, Land O'Lakes Scored 11 times, assisted on 10.

Kaleigh Patri, MF, River Ridge Defensive and offensive minded.

Alyssa Goodwin, MF, Gulf 23 points (7 goals, 9 assists)

Melissa Wysong, MF, Hudson Converted forward paced Cobras.

Rebekah Stockowski, D, Mitchell SAC Player of the Year.

Sarah Hughes, D, Land O'Lakes Headed up stingy unit.

Nicole Whittle, D, River Ridge Led a unit that allowed only 10 goals.

Chelsea Alicea, D, Ridgewood Captain for upstart Rams.

Courtney Cohen, Gulf Opponents only scored 19 times on Bucs.

Honorable mention

Gulf: Amanda Gardner, Katie Schulman, Jessica Santoli, Devin Fellman

Hudson: Lindsey Zullo, Stacey Swezey, Jessi Imbimbo

Land O'Lakes: Sarah Saavedra, Danig Casellas

Mitchell: Leslie Wahrendorf, Megan Coleman, Stephanie Hudson, Shelby Wright

Pasco: Cassandra Hill, Rebecca Hiatt, Bridget Eugenides, Amber Young

Ridgewood: Amy Lord, Alicia Roddenberg, Brittany Martin

River Ridge: Shelby Holley, Kristen Rodelli, Mikaela Morolla

Wesley Chapel: Janessa Gunn

Wiregrass: Caitlyn Morehouse

Zephyrhills: Kristen Vollmer, Laurren McLeod, Stephanie Bahr, Desiree Vieves

Coach of the Year

Skip Glover, River Ridge

YEAR: Senior.

WHY WE PICKED HIM: Simply the most dominant wrestler in his weight class as he proved by claiming the Class A state title in his final try. He finished the season 17-3.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Winning the state title, of course. At 130 pounds, Calafiore defeated Miami Monsignor Pace star Wilson Monsignor 7-0 for the title. He also won the Class A region title after following his state runnerup finish from a year ago.

DID YOU KNOW? Calafiore began wrestling in eighth grade because he tried out - and was cut - from the soccer and track teams.


First team

Vidal Jimenez, Pasco, 103 Reached quarterfinals in first state berth; region runnerup.

Eddie Ortiz, Wesley Chapel, 112 Earned sixth-place finish at state tournament.

Tyler Fleming, Ridgewood, 119 Earned state tournament berth; SAC champion.

Jordan Holding, Gulf, 125 District champion; earned state berth; SAC champion.

Javier Benitez, Pasco, 130 Two-time state qualifier.

Mike Calafiore, Gulf, 135 Class A state champion.

Brian Rushing, Land O' Lakes, 140 Advanced to second round at state meet.

Chance Finlay, Pasco, 145 Earned state tournament berth; SAC title.

Alex Turner, Wesley Chapel, 152 Earned sixth-place finish at state tournament.

Anthony Germano, Hudson, 160 Won SAC title.

Tim Longnecker, Gulf, 171 Finished fifth at state.

Reyes Perez, Pasco, 189 Earned consecutive trips to state tournament; region runnerup.

Eric Stroud, Pasco, 215 Earned state tournament berth, SAC champion.

Travis Tindell, Hudson, 285 Earned fifth-place finish at state tournament.

Honorable Mention

Gulf Cody Johnson, Brandon Muetzel, John Palasky, Devin Purviance, Matt Oliver, Josh Przybysz

Hudson William Bentley, Devin Brown, Doug Dodd, Pat McArdle

Land O'Lakes Josh Kweller, Bryce O'Grady, Brian Scalise

Mitchell Jerad Hayes, Jesse Lorentsen, John Sacco

Pasco Jarrod Carmody, Vidal Jimenez, Jesse McClendon

Ridgewood Andrew DeSantis, Clay Hovenga, Dean Stupar, Westley Thornton, Allyn Williamson

River Ridge Anthony Biondo, Dave Sowers

Zephyrhills William Hand, Robbie Kunkle, John Ruebens.

Coach of the year

Travis DeWalt, Gulf

YEAR: Senior.

WHY WE PICKED HIM: He wasn't Pasco's leading scorer and he wasn't second in line, either. But someone had to pass the ball to the Pirates' pair of 30-plus goal scorers, and someone had to control the midfield. No one in Pasco County did that better than Cervantes, a slick, talented, highly-skilled ball-handler with no peers.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Cervantes showed his versatility, booting a shot from 30 yards out into a strong headwind to net the winner in a 2-1 victory at Land O'Lakes to secure the Pirates' undefeated regular season and Sunshine Athletic Conference title.

DID YOU KNOW? Cervantes often wears an Argentina jersey during practice in support of his favorite soccer team.


First team

Jose Hernandez, GK, Pasco "King Louie" was a four-year starter and heart of the defense.

Alex Spock, GK, Land O'Lakes He can kick field goals and make saves.

Jose Montelongo, F, Pasco Most dominant forward in the county with a killer leg.

Daniel Valdez, F, Wesley Chapel Quietly considered among Pasco County's best.

Ramon Rodriguez, F, Pasco Led Pirates in scoring in first and only season.

Louis Falcon, F, Land O'Lakes Speedy scorer with great control.

Brad Chapman, F, Mitchell Gritty gamer that plays bigger than his size.

Roberto Cervantes, MF, Pasco Wonderful talent in the midfield.

Jon Koshko, MF, Mitchell Confident leader and goal scorer.

Dominic Cutrofello, MF, Land O'Lakes The future of Gators soccer, if Sunlake doesn't swallow him up.

Vince Lopez, MF, Wesley Chapel A tenacious midfielder with power.

Matt O'Shaughnessy, D, Mitchell Tall, speedy and dominant defender.

Luis Ortiz, D, Pasco Key defensive piece to Pirates' backfield.

Mina Tawfik, D, Wesley Chapel Talented defender with great feet.

Derek Hill, D, Gulf Helped the Bucs get out of tough defensive situations.

Taylor Watson, D, River Ridge Great gamer in the back.


Honorable Mention

Bishop McLaughlin Matt Gronau, Andrew Houseman

Gulf John Munoz

Hudson Greg Bopp, Scotty Combs

Land O'Lakes Frank Villar, Alex Zimmerman

Mitchell Max Rockwell, Robert Wallace

Pasco Ryan Lowery, James Sumner

River Ridge Joey Balsamo, Eric Karcinski

Wesley Chapel Matt Coldntonio, Jean Carlo Valdez

Wiregrass Ranch Steven Esoff

Zephyrhills P.J. Campbell, Chris Fergoso, Davin Hill


Coach of the year

Barry Grayling, Pasco

YEAR: Junior.

WHY WE PICKED HIM: Lawrence was the most versatile point guard in Pasco County. When Ridgewood needed his scoring more in December, he delivered. And once teammates proved capable of scoring, Lawrence was happy to pass the ball. He finished averaging 13.2 points, 7.9 assists and 2.1 steals.

He never hesitates to drive the ball through the lane and cut toward the basket in search for points. And he still has one season left.

MOST IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Lawrence was a key element to helping Ridgewood reach the region semifinal for the first time since 2004. He scored 13 points and had 10 assists in a 62-41 region quarterfinal win over Bloomingdale.

DID YOU KNOW? Lawrence might come off as quiet in the classroom, but he admits around close friends and family he is a jokester and likes to fool around.


First team

Mike Lawrence, Ridgewood Great floor leader averaged 7.9 assists.

Lukas Poderis, Ridgewood Dominating post player got 9.6 rebounds per game.

Dontarrius Thomas, LOL Athletic force averaged 14.5 points.

Greg Jenkins, Wesley Chapel Developed into a solid point guard.

Demetrious Larry, Pasco One of the most athletic and likeable players in the county.

Second team

P.J. Potts, Land O'Lakes Jeremy Killinger, Ridgewood Jarrod Branco, Hudson Geoff Balkcom, Ridgewood James Swanson, River Ridge

Honorable Mention Bishop McLaughlin: Coleman Hengesbach Gulf: Anthony Jackson, Kyle Scianna Land O'Lakes: Mike Espinoza, Jerome Harrison Pasco: Jeremy Davidson Ridgewood: Derrick Zio River Ridge: Jeremy Bilancione Wesley Chapel: Ladarius Manora.

Coach of the year Gary Anders, Ridgewood

This year's Pasco all-county Times players of the year are athletes kids can look up to, so we posed them with some Pasco County primary students. There aren't many better roles models than our choices and any of these kids would do well to emulate the standards on and off the court that our best athletes set this past winter. During Tuesday's photo shoot, I had written the story in my head: Meghan Seltman, girls weightlifter of the year, will miss the rest of the track season after pulling every muscle in her arms and shoulder during a setup for the St. Petersburg Times. But luckily for me (and Meghan), she survived. I thank her profusely, for it took seven takes of lifting two kids until we got it right, and by the end she looked, um, wobbly. Special thanks to the kiddies from Calusa Elementary who helped us out: Kaitlynn Gillchrest (8), Sierra O'Donnel (8), Gillian Duckworth (6), Zach Heap (5), Josh Vail (6), Anthony Siccola (8), Richard Littel (6), Logan Littel (8), Laney Testa (5), Bailey Connover (6), Bianca Chico (6), Brian Harvey (7). Thank you, coach Dave Poll, for chasing down equipment for us. Thank you, Calusa, for letting us use your campus. And thanks to Deana Rossi (the first to arrive and the last to leave, smiling the whole time), Mike Lawrence (another early arrival), Sthefany Thomas (who drove across the county though she had a senior presentation later that day), Roberto Cervantes (who showed up in spite of some shoddy directions by someone we will not name) and Mike Calafiore, who showed up on crutches. Crutches! We hope you enjoy.


[Last modified March 17, 2007, 19:45:09]

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