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Today's Sports

  • 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.

  • Local track and field standouts...

    At the district championship meet Wednesday, April 11, at Oak Hall School, the following Chiefland athletes qualified in one or more events for the regional championship meet April 25 in Wesley Chapel: Courtney Hayes; Reagan Hudson; Lauren Jones; Jaycie Anderson; Aubrey Hudson; Banner Hodge; Tramaine Brown; L.J. Jenkins; Jalen Rutledge and Lane Studstill.

    Hayes is the district champion in the girls high jump, while Reagan Hudson and Lauren Jones were district runner-ups in multiple events (see detailed list of finishes below).

    The top four individual finishers or relay teams from each event earned a bid to regionals, and the top eight earned medals.

    The Chiefland girls 4x100-meter relay team of Chamirra McQueen, Aubreigh Brown, Sierra Norris and Courtney Hayes was a near shoe-in to qualify, as the talented quartet has been winning meets in style all season, including the Levy County Championship. But they were ruled out for a false start before the race even began.

    Bronson qualifiers included: Yelena Thomas; Mahki Bostic; Jasmine Glover; Deziah King and Keyera Hutto.

  • Zidonik, Cunningham fire top...

    The Chiefland Women’s Golf Association hosted their annual Invitational Tournament at Chiefland Country Club and Golf Course April 11.

    The annual event brings ladies from throughout northern Florida, including Gainesville and Lake City. Fifty-six lady golfers participated in this year’s tournament.

    The two-person teams played alternating shots on the first nine holes and a scramble on the back nine.

    The duo of Tara Zidonik and Robin Cunningham finished with low gross for the tournament, while Terri Harris and Terry Biede captured low net.

    In the second flight, Patty Sullivan and Yvonne Currie netted low gross, and Shirley Meggs and Deanna Kreuter posted the low net.

    The third flight low gross went to Glenda Rewis and Leanne Philpot; Denise Boyle and Betty Beck collected the low net in the flight.

  • Lady Indians excelling in...

    Former Chiefland Lady Indian softball players continue to make their mark in the college ranks.

    College of Central Florida freshman Takiya London is a slugging machine for the Lady Patriots out of Ocala, with team highs in home runs (15), doubles (12), slugging (.797) RBI (57) and stolen bases (13). The first-year shortstop has boasted a five-game home run streak this season as well as a 12-game hitting streak, and currently carries a .412 batting average.

    CF (40-8) is ranked No. 8 in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I, and is on top of the Mid-Florida Conference behind a 13-1 mark in conference play. London is second in runs, 10th in home runs and seventh in total bases in NJCAA Division I.

  • CMHS track past, future on...

    The exceptional collection of rising talent in Chiefland track and field suggests a bright future (and present) for the sport at the school.

    At the first ever C. Doyle McCall and Wendell Corbin Honorary Invitational Track and Field Meet April 5 in Chiefland, the pioneering figures of the program’s past were honored.

    McCall, the program’s founding coach, as well as a legendary coach on the football field, and Corbin, his longtime successor at CHS, were presented plaques before the meet for their service to Chiefland track and field. McCall’s health prevented him from attending, so a former Indian athlete from one of McCall’s first teams, Jolyn Corbin, accepted the plaque on his former coach’s behalf.

    Harry Hutson, a volunteer coach for Chiefland track and field, announced the honors while head coach Lee Bell presented the plaques. Hutson was on McCall’s first track team, in 1953, along with Greg Jenkins, Leo Cason and the late Jeff Sheffield. Cason waved to the fans on hand as he was introduced by Hutson.