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Today's Sports

  • Extra effort

    Two evenly-matched teams battled for nine innings in Fort Meade in the baseball regional semifinals March 9.

    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.

    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.

    CMHS (12-11), which traveled three hours to play Fort Meade (15-14), advanced to the regional final to face Trenton on May 15.

    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’s run to score for a 3-2 lead.

  • Raising the bar

    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...

    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.

    Shelton is the executive director of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, a group of coaches who provide fellowship and “professional development for coaches.” Through four clinics a year and 10 all-star games in football, volleyball, cross country, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, girl’s flag football, softball and baseball.

    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’s “deeply rooted there and will probably stay.”

    Crews spent 25 years teaching and 29 years coaching, mainly football, before becoming executive director of the association eight years ago.

  • CMHS softball survives pitcher’s...

    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.

    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’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.

  • Young JV Lady Indians finish...

    Chiefland junior varsity softball coach Chris Wilson is emulating the blueprint that garnered the Lady Indians three straight state championships and four finals appearances.

    A talented collection of young players – mostly middle schoolers – have the future of the program looking bright, as their JV team finished 17-3 on the season.

    “The group that won three titles, we’ve tried to copy them,” Wilson said. “They’ve been playing travel ball together since they were 9- and 10-years-old. That’s what (CMHS coach) Jimmy (Anderson) did with those other girls, he took them and played and played and played. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

    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 – Kalie Osteen and Emma Wilson – with the middle school team.

  • London commits to UCF

    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.

    London, a freshman shortstop, revealed her decision on social media on April 17.

    “I’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,” she wrote. “I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and for giving me the ability to play the game I love.

    “I also want to thank all of my friends, family, and coaches who have been supporting me on this journey,” London continued. “I’m blessed beyond measures and can’t wait to become a Knight.”

    London’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’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.

  • Lady Indians dealt No. 3 seed in...

    Chiefland lost a coin flip to Bell to decide the No. 2 seed in the District 1A-7 tournament, so the Lady Indians won’t get the benefit of a bye in the opening round.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • No. 3 seed on the line in...

    The Chiefland baseball team evened its record and kept itself in the driver’s seat for a No. 3 seed in the upcoming district tournament.

    The Indians, behind a masterful performance on the mound by Keegan McLelland, and a four-run rally in the four inning, topped Bell 5-1 April 12. The Indians beat Bronson 21-3 in three innings April 16.

    The win improved Chiefland to 7-7 overall and 5-3 in District 1A-7 play, potentially setting up a showdown for the third seed with Dixie County in Chiefland on April 20. The Indians stood in third place in the standings entering their April 17 game at Trenton, where they lost 10-4. The Bears were 3-5, entering the week, but picked up a forfeit win over Bronson to pull themselves to 4-5. CMHS could clinch the third seed with a win versus the Bears, but a coin flip would likely decide the seed if Dixie County prevails Friday.

    The No. 3 seed will face Bronson in the opening round of tournament play, while the No. 4 figures to get fifth-seeded Bell. The other difference between the third and the fourth seeds is the latter, upon advancing, would have to face top-seeded Trenton in the semifinals.

  • High benchmarks

    A lot of superlatives fit Austin Collins.

    The Bronson senior is a natural leader, a team player, a loyal Bronson Eagle, and is matured well beyond his 18 years.

    He’s also a Renaissance Man, as he juggles varying areas of pursuit – brewer, trainer, builder, musician – with potential career stakes in any of them.

    But the label he wears the best – and proudest – is his newest: state champion.

    On April 6, at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach, Collins became just the third Bronson Eagle on record to win an individual state title in any sport, as he prevailed in the 238-pound weight division to claim a Class 1A boys weightlifting crown.

    It was his third straight trip to the state finals, and he could feel this one was his for the taking.

    “I knew going in this year that I was at least in the top 3,” the senior said.

    Collins posted a bench press of 385 and a clean and jerk of 295, giving him a combined tally of 680 pounds.

    It wasn’t even a personal record for Collins – his best bench press is 395. But it was enough.

  • Running with the Bulls

    When the name Brian Norris, Jr. rang out of the PA speakers at Corbett Stadium on the University of South Florida campus, you could hear a distinct cheer from one section of the crowd.

    The Chiefland faithful – family and friends and former coaches and teammates of Norris – were on hand to see the USF early-enrollee in his first spring football game as a Bull.

    Norris, a 6-foot-2, 228-pound freshman running back who will graduate with his class at Chiefland next month, made the most of his opportunities, gaining 16 yards, including a tackle-breaking first down run, on three carries. He also blocked on a play-action pass play.

    The Bulls pit their offense players versus their defensive players in the spring game, with the team defense earning points for plays such as tackles for a loss and interceptions. Norris’ offensive group came from behind to prevail 46-45.

    After the game, second-year Bulls head coach Charlie Strong complimented the performance of all the runnings backs, which include former Gator Jordan Cronkrite.