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County fares well in GCAC voting

Five players of the year lead the list of winter honorees.

By GREG AUMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 7, 2001


Fifty-three county athletes were among those recognized as the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference honors for the winter season were unveiled after a coaches meeting Monday night.

Five were named as players of the year in their sports: Springstead's Stephen Bates won in soccer and four others shared honors after earning state titles -- Springstead's Matt Booker and Gerard DeCristofaro in wrestling and Central's Alaya Smiley and Heather Krasniewski in weightlifting.

The county's only conference crowns were in wrestling (Springstead) and girls weightlifting (Central). The Bears went on to a state title, while Springstead finished third.

By conference policy, Central's Sharon Elliott and Springstead's Bob Levija were honored as coach of the year for leading their teams to GCAC titles.

Twenty-two Springstead athletes received all-conference honors, including a GCAC-high 10 wrestlers and nine soccer players.

Central was just behind with 21 honorees, led by eight weightlifters. Hernando led the county with four basketball players selected, but had just 11 total athletes receiving honors.

Hernando, which had been tied for the conference all-points standings lead after the fall season, finished last in the winter scoring, with girls basketball as the only team to rank higher than fourth. The Leopards are fifth out of seven teams in the point standings, though they are tied with Central for second in the girls rankings.

The Bears had the county's most well-rounded winter. Out of six teams, boys basketball was the only Central squad to finish lower than fourth. Central rose to third in the overall standings, one half-point behind Lecanto.

Springstead remains in last place in the standings. But buoyed by a first-place showing in wrestling and runner-up honors in boys soccer, the Eagles ranked second in points during the winter season.

Different sports arrive at their all-conference honors by different criteria. In basketball and wrestling, players are nominated by coaches, who then vote on the final team. Wrestling has two athletes for each weight class. Basketball does not limit its selections by position. Sseven of the 10 girls honored are guards, as are six of the 10 boys.

The weightlifting team is comprised of the top two lifters in each weight class in the conference meet. In soccer, schools are allotted a number of slots on the team based on their position in the league standings. GCAC champions had seven players on the team, and the last-place squad had just one player honored.

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference winter honors

All-sports standings

(Fall and winter)

OVERALL: 1. Citrus 54, 2. Lecanto 52.5, 3. Central 52, 4. Crystal River 47, 5. Hernando 43, 6. South Sumter 38, 7. Springstead 35.5.

BOYS: 1. Crystal River 35, 2. (tie) Central, Springstead 25, 4. Lecanto 24, 5. Citrus 23, 6. Hernando 21, 7. South Sumter 16.

GIRLS: 1. Citrus 31, 2. Lecanto 28.5, 3. Central 27, 4. (tie) Hernando, South Sumter 22, 6. Crystal River 12, 7. Springstead 10.5.

Boys basketball

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Lecanto.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: A.J. Bryant, South Sumter.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Nichols, Lecanto.

STANDINGS: 1. Lecanto (10-2); 2. South Sumter (9-3); 3. Citrus (7-5); 4. Hernando (5-7); 5. Springstead (5-7); 6. Central (4-8); 7. Crystal River (0-12).

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Willie Winslett Jr., Jr., C. Citrus -- Chris Vihrachoff, Jr., G; Jamual Galloway, Fr., G. Crystal River -- Ryan Ludwick, So., G. Hernando -- Jerrell Graham, Jr., G. Lecanto -- Chris Jackson, Sr., C; R.J. McIntyre, Sr., G. South Sumter -- A.J. Bryant, Sr., G; Cedric Neal, Jr., F. Springstead -- Steve Ferguson, Sr., G.

Girls basketball

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: South Sumter.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ezria Parsons, South Sumter.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Gary Russo, South Sumter.

STANDINGS: 1. South Sumter (12-0); 2. Hernando (10-2); 3. (tie) Central, Citrus (6-6); 5. (tie) Springstead, Lecanto (4-8); 7. Crystal River (0-12).

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Kerry Donegan, Sr., C. Citrus -- Kristin Berger, Sr., G. Crystal River -- Cassandra Vega, So., G. Hernando -- Bernice Mosby, Jr., F; Carmen Byrd, Sr., G; Stephanie Freeman, Sr., C. Lecanto -- Erin Bailey, Sr., G. South Sumter -- Ezria Parsons, Sr., G; Ebony McMullen, Sr., G. Springstead -- Roe Finlayson, Jr., F.

Boys soccer

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Crystal River.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Stephen Bates, Springstead.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Soluri, Crystal River.

STANDINGS: 1. Crystal River (9-0-1), 2. Springstead (6-2-2), 3. Central (5-2-3), 4. Lecanto (4-4-2), 5. Citrus (2-6-2), 6. Hernando 0-10.

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Dave Bernard, Sr., F; Matt Berger, Sr., GK; Nick Ressel, Sr., D; Sean O'Sullivan, Jr., M. Citrus -- Alex Posta, Jr., F; Alex Metcalfe, Sr., D. Crystal River -- Donny Caldwell, Sr., F; Peter Manzoli, Sr., M; Dalan Eye, Sr., D; Drew Austin, Fr., F; Kyle Nayfield, Jr., M; Kyle Griffin, Jr., D; Josh Caldwell, So., M. Hernando -- Chase Copeland, Sr., M. Lecanto -- Greg Schell, Jr., F; Nick Rowthorn, Jr., GK; Mike Sorel, Sr., D. Springstead -- Stephen Bates, Sr., M; Ricky Bennett, Sr., M; Bobby Colon, Jr., M; Greg Emmerman, So., M; Mike Sullivan, Jr., D.

Girls soccer

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Citrus.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amber Presnick, Citrus.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Brady Bogart, Citrus.

STANDINGS: 1. Citrus (9-1-0), 2. Lecanto (6-2-2), 3. Springstead (6-3-1), 4. Central (3-5-2), 5. Hernando (1-6-3), 6. Crystal River (0-8-2).

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Kelly Lubosco, Jr., M; Christy Bates, Fr., M; Amber Hutchinson, Fr., D. Citrus -- Amy Bowen, Sr., F; Danialle Coates, Jr., D; Whitney Gelin, So., D; Courtenay Gelin, Sr., D; Amber Presnick, So., M; Tabitha Schrufer, Sr., D. Crystal River -- Stephanie Bernabe, So., F. Hernando -- Raquel Lao, Sr., D; Kim Bowers, Sr., M. Lecanto -- Michelle Chase, Sr., D; Trisha Chenoweth, Jr., GK; Amber Gidden, So., F; Heather Vantine, Jr., M; Jenny Wheeler, So., D. Springstead -- Chrissi Tapia, Sr., F; Amie Farrell, Sr., M; Christina Magid, Sr., F; Cyndee Cason, So., B.

Girls weightlifting

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Central.

LIFTERS OF THE YEAR: Alaya Smiley and Heather Krasniewski, Central.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Sharon Elliott, Central.

STANDINGS: 1. Central; 2. South Sumter; 3. Citrus; 4. Lecanto; 5. Crystal River; 6. Springstead; 7. Hernando.

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Leiko Munford, 101; Elena Morales, 110; Tiffany Mobley, 110; Shanna Jager, 129; Alaya Smiley, 139; Heather Krasniewski, 183; Christine Roe, 199; Amy Royce, unlimited. Citrus -- Julie Shott, 101; Melissa Thomas, 119; Jessica Baum, 154; Kathryn Dambrosio, unlimited. Crystal River -- Melissa Coburn, 183. Lecanto -- Tiffany Boyd, 199. South Sumter -- Sally Ingram, 119; Kellie Picanso, 139; Kari McCullough, 154; Elizabeth Everett, 169; Ezria Parsons, 169. Springstead -- Jackie Artura, 129.

Wrestling

CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Springstead.

WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR: Matt Booker and Gerard DeCristofaro, Springstead.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Bob Levija, Springstead.

STANDINGS: 1. Springstead (10-0); 2. Crystal River (7-3); 3. (tie) Central, Lecanto (6-4); 5. Hernando (2-8); 6. Citrus (0-10).

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Central -- Bucky Solomon, So., 103; Bryan Parrott, Jr., 140; Bobby Vasquez, Sr., 189; Ryan Troester, Jr., 275. Crystal River -- A.J. Davis, Sr., 125; Brady Pratt, So., 135; Nate Stone, Sr., 145; Josh Stone, Jr., 152; Chauncy Minor, Jr., 215; Matt Hinman, Jr., 275. Hernando -- Chris Malvesti, So., 112; Billy Combs, So., 125; Billy Woods, Jr., 130; Drew Innes, Sr., 160. Lecanto -- Jimmy Rodriguez, Sr., 119; Harold Skidmore, Sr., 130; Terrence Hollis, Jr., 171; Ishmael Brown, Sr., 189. Springstead -- Tommy Walker, Fr., 103; Fabian Lewars, So., 112; Jason Faucher, Sr., 119; Matt Booker, Jr., 135; Gerard DeCristofaro, Sr., 140; Louis Kachiroubas, Sr., 145; Reggie Pena, Sr., 152; Tim Cook, Sr., 160; Steve Garofano, Jr., 171; Jose Flores, Sr., 215.

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