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Hernando: News and Notes

By DAVID MURPHY AND IZZY GOULD
Published January 9, 2008


Bears streaking

Central boys soccer coach Hank Deslaurier is optimistic midfielder Nick Hernandez will play in tonight's Class 5A, District 7 match against River Ridge.

The junior, who scored both of the Bears' goals in a 2-2 tie against the Royal Knights this season, has missed two games with an ankle injury sustained in a 2-1 win against Ocala Forest on Dec. 21.

Central has won seven consecutive games, but its performance against River Ridge could determine whether it is capable of ending its five-year playoff drought. If the Bears win, they'll lock up the No. 2 seed in the district tournament, which begins in two weeks. If they lose, River Ridge will grab the No. 2 seed. Either way, the teams are guaranteed to meet again in the district semifinals with a playoff berth on the line.

 

Nature Coast could be sleeper

Nature Coast will host the Class 4A, District 8 girls soccer tournament next week as the No. 6 seed, but don't overlook the Sharks as a spoiler with perhaps a shot at the postseason. Nature Coast (11-6-3) has gone 3-1-3 since Dec. 7, with perhaps the two most notable games being ties against Springstead and Zephyrhills. Nature Coast doesn't boast a powerful offense or solid defense, outscoring opponents 51-22, but with homefield advantage and Taylor Agricola (17 goals, 2 assists), the Sharks should give No. 3 seed Gulf all it can handle.

 

Set your DVR

Central at River Ridge, boys soccer, 8 p.m.

Central has won seven in a row, but River Ridge played the Bears to a 2-2 tie when the teams met in November. Whoever wins gets the No. 2 seed in the Class 5A, District 7 tournament in two weeks; the loser gets the No. 3 seed.

 

Bowman nabs win No. 300

Pasco-Hernando Community College athletic director and men's basketball coach Bobby Bowmanpicked up his 300th career win Jan. 2 in the Conquistadors' 77-75 win against St. John's Community College. Bowman started the PHCC athletic program 17 years ago.

"PHCC was an interesting journey when we first started the program," said Bowman, whose 300-225 career record is second among active Florida Community College Activities Association coaches.

"Being able to start a program from scratch and see it move to respectability, not only in our conference but in the state and nation ... it's been nice, particularly with one school."

Bowman goes for win No. 301 tonight when the Conquistadors host Hillsborough CC at 7.