Hernando: News and notes

Published November 13, 2007

On the Web: final rankings

The football regular season is done, and so are the Times' Top 50 rankings. Agree with your team's finish? Think John C. Cotey needs his head checked? Visit highschool.tampabay.com and weigh in one last time.

FHSAA looks into altercation

The Florida High School Athletic Association is investigating the postgame altercation between Nature Coast and Central after the Bears' 17-13 win over the Sharks on Friday night. FHSAA officials will review videotape of the incident and conduct interviews before deciding what, if any, action to take.

The incident occurred moments after the game ended. Central celebrated on the Sharks' logo at midfield, and several Nature Coast players objected. There was a lot of pushing and yelling, but Sharks coach Jamie Joyner said a tape of the incident shows no punches were thrown. Joyner said he doesn't think any of his players deserve suspensions.

"I'm not concerned about that," said Joyner, whose team plays at North Marion in a playoff game Friday.

An attempt to reach Central coach Cliff Lohrey was unsuccessful.

FHSAA spokesman Robert Hernberger said the investigation could conclude as early as Thursday.

The FHSAA has issued suspensions and fines for fights this season. In September, it punished players and coaches from Tampa Bay Tech and Freedom for an incident during a game. Five Freedom players, five TBT players and a TBT assistant were suspended six weeks for "gross unsporting conduct." Both athletic programs were fined, as well.

Earlier this month, 24 players from Haines City and Lakeland Kathleen were suspended for their roles in a brawl.

Football playoffs

Friday at 7:30 p.m.

3A quarterfinals

Nature Coast Tech 7-3 at Citra North Marion (9-1)

PHCC women's cross country team'gave it their best shot'

The Pasco-Hernando Community College women's cross country team is a little older and now has postseason experience to boot. The Conquistadors, ranked No.17 in the NJCAA, finished 22nd out of 33 teams at the 2007 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship in Ina, Ill., on Saturday to earn their best season in their third year.

"I was very happy with our result," coach Jacki Wachtel said Monday. "We felt very blessed to have this opportunity to go (to nationals). This season and going to nationals was definitely something special for me, especially to watch this team grow into something that's really competitive.

"I thought they gave it their best shot, and that's all I ask."

PHCC was led by Jennifer Watts, who finished in a school-record time of 20 minutes, 13 seconds. Danielle Coopman came in at 20:16, followed by Alexis Heymann (20:36), Danielle Florey (20:36), Ashley Haggard (20:56), Sarah Robinson (21:28) and Kimberly Horace (22:22).

Times correspondent Mike Camunas contributed to this report.