https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sports/rss.xml en Indians offer sneak peek of more mature, confident squa https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/indians-offer-sneak-peek-more-mature-confident-squa <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_5474.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> The Chiefland football team was short on experience and long on promising young talent last season.</p> <p> The roster was bursting with first-year varsity players &ndash; even first-year football players &ndash; and was acclimating to a new system under first-year head man Adam Gore and his staff.</p> <p> The Indian team that took C. Doyle McCall Field May 18 for its spring game against Wildwood looked a year more mature &ndash; and confident.</p> <p> Behind three touchdowns and a pair of picks by junior-to-be Jalen Rutledge, Chiefland owned the first and fourth quarters to snatch a 31-16 win.</p> <p> The game felt more intense than your typical exhibition matchup. Wildwood was coming off a 9-0 regular season, looking to avenge a lopsided 2017 spring loss to Chiefland. The Indians, meanwhile, might enter the late summer and fall with their best playoff odds since last advancing in 2004.</p> Extra effort https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/extra-effort <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_4355_0.jpg" alt="Kelby Osteen" title="Kelby Osteen" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Two evenly-matched teams battled for nine innings in Fort Meade in the baseball regional semifinals March 9.</p> <p> Chiefland lost a lead it maintained throughout the game in the bottom of the seventh on a squeeze bunt, but survived by the skin of its teeth to take things to extra innings.</p> <p> In the end, it was the Miners who flinched first, as the Indians took advantage of a couple of costly errors in the ninth to prevail 5-3.</p> <p> CMHS (12-11), which traveled three hours to play Fort Meade (15-14), advanced to the regional final to face Trenton on May 15.</p> <p> Juniors Kelby Osteen and Wyatt Hammond boarded on walks to put two on with one out for Chiefland in the top of the ninth with the scored knotted at 2-2. After senior Josh Webber moved the pair over to second and third on a ground ball, sophomore newcomer Luke Reidy bounced a grounder up the middle, which was mishandled in front of second base, allowing Osteen&rsquo;s run to score for a 3-2 lead.</p> Raising the bar https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/raising-bar <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/ff94260f-4292-485f-a87c-6ad3a90e176f.jpeg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" />Courtney Hayes proved the stage wasn’t too big in her first trip to the track and field state championships. The Chiefland junior overcame some nervousness and set a new personal record – 1.62 meters – in the girls’ high jump at the state meet in Jacksonville May 4 to collect a third-place medal in Class 1A. Hayes placed higher at state than any Chiefland Indian since 2005, when Lequenda Ward won the state title in the girls’ 400 meter and took third in the 100 and 200. The Chiefland boys’ 4x100 relay team of Jamaal Riley, Cornelius Dexter, Jonas Randolph and Alonzo Guyton also collected a state championship in 2005. Cody Coley, who finished eighth in the shot put finals in 2016, was the most recent state medalist from Chiefland, and, along with Hayes, was the only one since Ward double-medaled in 2006. Hayes was the lone district champion from CMHS this season. Chiefland Rotarians hear issues facing prep football https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/chiefland-rotarians-hear-issues-facing-prep-football <p> Steven Crews introduced the guest speaker and brother, Shelton Crews, at the April 18 Chiefland Rotary meeting who spoke on safety, coach education and parenting in high school athletics.</p> <p> Shelton is the executive director of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, a group of coaches who provide fellowship and &ldquo;professional development for coaches.&rdquo; Through four clinics a year and 10 all-star games in football, volleyball, cross country, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, girl&rsquo;s flag football, softball and baseball.</p> <p> Crews left his native Chiefland for Tallahassee in 1981. That is where he met his wife and started a family. With his office, family and now twin granddaughters in Tallahassee, Crews says he&rsquo;s &ldquo;deeply rooted there and will probably stay.&rdquo;</p> <p> Crews spent 25 years teaching and 29 years coaching, mainly football, before becoming executive director of the association eight years ago.</p> CMHS softball survives pitcher’s duel on senior night https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/cmhs-softball-survives-pitcher%E2%80%99s-duel-senior-night <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_9329_filtered.jpg" alt="Macie Thomas celebrates her record-tying double April 20 against Newberry." title="Macie Thomas celebrates her record-tying double April 20 against Newberry." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> The Chiefland varsity softball team capped its regular season with a pair of contrasting wins, helping to garner back the momentum it lost in back-to-back shutout losses to Crystal River.</p> <p> On senior night, April 20, in a 2-0 win over Newberry, it was a pair of juniors that made the biggest impression, as first baseman Macie Thomas tied the single-season doubles record, held by Megan Snyder (Weatherford), with her 16th of the season. Ace pitcher Kensley Durrance, who broke Snyder&rsquo;s single-season strikeout record (184) during the doubleheader with Crystal River, added to her tally with 13 punch-outs. Durrance allowed just one hit in the seven innings.</p> Young JV Lady Indians finish season 17-3 https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/young-jv-lady-indians-finish-season-17-3 <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_9339_0.jpg" alt="Eighth-grader Nikki Fuller takes a cut for Chiefland after moving up to varsity." title="Eighth-grader Nikki Fuller takes a cut for Chiefland after moving up to varsity." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Chiefland junior varsity softball coach Chris Wilson is emulating the blueprint that garnered the Lady Indians three straight state championships and four finals appearances.</p> <p> A talented collection of young players &ndash; mostly middle schoolers &ndash; have the future of the program looking bright, as their JV team finished 17-3 on the season.</p> <p> &ldquo;The group that won three titles, we&rsquo;ve tried to copy them,&rdquo; Wilson said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve been playing travel ball together since they were 9- and 10-years-old. That&rsquo;s what (CMHS coach) Jimmy (Anderson) did with those other girls, he took them and played and played and played. And that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;re trying to do.&rdquo;</p> <p> The young Lady Indians were led by a ferocious lineup of hitters who complemented solid pitching and defense. They even had to share a couple of their top pitchers &ndash; Kalie Osteen and Emma Wilson &ndash; with the middle school team.</p> London commits to UCF https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/london-commits-ucf <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8830.jpg" alt="Takiya London after one of her team-leading home runs at CF this season." title="Takiya London after one of her team-leading home runs at CF this season." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Former Chiefland All-American and current College of Central Florida freshman Takiya London has her commitment to continue her softball career at the University of Central Florida.</p> <p> London, a freshman shortstop, revealed her decision on social media on April 17.</p> <p> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m glad to announce that I have committed to the University of Central Florida to further my education and softball career for the next three years,&rdquo; she wrote. &ldquo;I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and for giving me the ability to play the game I love.</p> <p> &ldquo;I also want to thank all of my friends, family, and coaches who have been supporting me on this journey,&rdquo; London continued. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m blessed beyond measures and can&rsquo;t wait to become a Knight.&rdquo;</p> <p> London&rsquo;s team-leading 18 home runs entering the week of April 16 is sixth in the nation in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). She&rsquo;s boasting a .402 batting average and an .833 slugging percentage. London is second in runs (75) and in the top 10 in RBI (65) in NJCAA Division I.</p> Lady Indians dealt No. 3 seed in district https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/lady-indians-dealt-no-3-seed-district <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8683_0.jpg" alt="Kensley Durrance set a new single-season record for strikeouts at Chiefland against Crystal River. The previous record was 164, set by former Florida Player of the Year Megan Weatherford in 2009. Durrance finished the doubleheader with 166 (and counting) on the season." title="Kensley Durrance set a new single-season record for strikeouts at Chiefland against Crystal River. The previous record was 164, set by former Florida Player of the Year Megan Weatherford in 2009. Durrance finished the doubleheader with 166 (and counting) on the season." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Chiefland lost a coin flip to Bell to decide the No. 2 seed in the District 1A-7 tournament, so the Lady Indians won&rsquo;t get the benefit of a bye in the opening round.</p> <p> The Bell-hosted tournament starts April 23, with No. 4 Branford taking on No. 4 Branford facing No. 5 Dixie County at 5 p.m. Chiefland then plays No. 6 Bronson at 7 p.m.</p> <p> The winner of that first game advances to face top-seeded Trenton April 24 at 5 p.m., while the other winner takes on Bell at 7 p.m. on April 24.</p> <p> Chiefland finished 7-3 in district play after defeating Branford 8-2 on April 12. Macie Thomas delivered her fourth home run of the season, as the junior slugger was 2 for 3 with a couple of RBI. Thomas, Tristen Drummond and Erika Gilliam (3 for 4) each collected multiple hits and a walk, and up-and-comer Nikki Fuller (2 RBI) also had a pair of hits. Kensley Durrance fanned seven in seven innings pitched and allowed just three hits. Chiefland tallied 10 hits and one error.</p>