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Gaither junior linebacker Josh Scarberry is
the 2010 All-Laker/All-Lutz News
Defensive Player of the Year.
ALL-LAKER
ALL-LUTZ NEWS
TEAMS
PAGES 20, 21
Who made the list of the inaugural
All-Laker/All-Lutz News teams? The
best athletes and coaches from the
2010 fall high school athletic seasons
are honored for their achievements
this year.


IbI





Welcome to our year-end special edition - a reflective
look back at 2010. Inside you will find inspiring, funny,
newsworthy stories that we reported on throughout the
year, as well as a light-hearted look at the staff that made
it all happen. Look for the 2010 Again logo to find updates
on what's happened since the story was first published.
We hope you enjoy reading our highlights of 2010 as
much as we enjoyed putting them together for you.
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About


this Issue

Think of"2010Again" as your time cap-
sule for the year in our community.
Our team of reporters and photogra-
phers documented hundreds of stories in
Lutz, Land O' Lakes, Wesley Chapel,
Zephyrhills and Dade City this year, and this
guide offers a cross section of those reports.
We've included some of the more important
news of the year, including a look back on
significant developments in medicine (a
new hospital) and transportation (the long-
awaited, life-changing extension to SR 56).
We selected some stories because they're
touching - a community rallying to help
keep an injured Marine in his home, a look
at a cancer survivor who now drives race-
cars. Others earned a spot because they
made us laugh - the story of a blue heron
that visits the same man every day, or made
us cry -the memorial for aWesley Chapel
family killed in a plane crash this summer.
We also offer a special look at some local en-
trepreneurs making their mark with cake
pops, hot sauce, cookbooks and more.
We have a few other items of interest in
this issue, including a chance for you to meet
the people who bring you the The
Laker/Lutz News every week, a look back on
some of our favorite "pets of the week" and
Sports Editor Kyle LoJacono's inaugural"All-
Laker/All-Lutz News" teams for fall sports.
I'm proud of the work this community
newspaper presents each week.We thank
you for reading and look forward to contin-
uing to present compelling stories and
photos about our little slice of Florida in the
year ahead.

Joe Humphrey
Associate Editor
jhumphrey@cnewspubs.com


Coping with the loss of a father


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Sept. 22

At 12-years-old Nate McCoole's life
changed forever when his father, Michael,
died from cancer.The loss was difficult,
but with the help of his family and sports
he has become star on the Seahawks foot-
ball team.
"I remember he was the best dad,"
Nate, 16, said."He was really involved in
everything me and my sister did. It was
very hard to see him so bad."
Michael came home from work one day
in 2002 with what he and his family thought
was the flu.They never expected the diag-
nosis to be terminal cancer in his abdomen.
"He was wonderful," said Michael's
wife, Laura McCoole. "He was very in-
volved in our children's lives.They waited
for him at the door to get home from
working at Gaither every day."
Michael worked at Gaither High School
as a science teacher for 17 years.When he
became sick Laura, who was a stay-at-
home mother, went back to school for her
master's degree in reading education from
Saint Leo University. She has been a third-
grade teacher for the last five years at
Maniscalco Elementary in Lutz.
While Laura was going back to school,
her children, Nate and Micah, had to take
care of Michael until he died in 2006.
Laura said she would set out the things for
dinner and Nate would make it for his fa-
ther and sister when he got home.
Laura said the family's faith in God and
closeness helped them get through losing
Michael. Additionally, Nate, a junior, has
found a sanctuary on the football field as
the starting right tackle on the Sunlake
High football team.
"I most like the camaraderie with my
friends on the line, but I also like driving
people into the dirt," Nate said.


The McCooles in their last family photo
before Michael died in 2006. (Photo cour-
tesy of Laura McCoole)

Also on the line this year with Nate are
right guard Matt Sanders, center Josh
Nobles, left guard Randy Silverwood and
left tackle Canon Clark.
"He's a very hard worker," said Sunlake
coach Bill Browning."He leads by example
in the weight room and is probably the
strongest guy we have. I can't say enough
about him because he's a great example of
a young man."
Clark said off the field Nate is one of
the most mellow guys he knows, but
when he straps on his helmet he switches
into another mode.
Laura, meanwhile, is the Sunlake team
mom and supports the team however she
can.
"Almost every weekend we all go to


Nate's house and hang out and his mom
makes us food," Clark said."His mom is re-
ally amazing and she's like my second
mom."
Those meals do not come cheap.
"Those are big shopping bills when
they come over," Laura said jokingly."They
can really eat and I make sure to get them
only the best steak to keep them strong."
Nate's work ethic and by Laura's
choice of meat has helped him on the
Seahawks weightlifting team as well.
His best lift in the bench press is 425
pounds and can also put up 445 in the
squat and 540 in the powerlift, also called
deadlift.
Sunlake weightlifting coach Matt
Smith, also the offensive line coach, went
with Nate to the national weightlifting
event, and Nate called the coach the
biggest male influence on his life since his
father died.
Nate is not just about athletics. His par-
ents made it clear how important
education is and he has responded with a
3.83 weighted grade point average. He is
also not far from his Eagle Scout award
from Boy Scout Troop 212 in Lutz.
Nate also volunteers at his church's va-
cation Bible school, at Maniscalco and at
the Relay for Life event at the Lutz Train
Depot.
"I do the relay each year," Nate said."It's
a good way to remember my father and
help other people with cancer."


With Nate McCoole holding down
the right tackle spot this season, the Sunlake
High football team went 8-2. It is the first
winning year in program history and just
short of sending the Seahawks to their first
playoff game.


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Friends honor the life of Alexa Rae Ulrich and her family during a vigil this summer at Wiregrass Ranch High School.


Ulrich family remembered at Wiregrass vigil


Students say, 'Save a

spot for me in Heaven'

By Sarah Whitman
Originally published June 23

Alexa Rae Ulrich will not be forgotten.
More than 600 people gathered Friday
night atWiregrass Ranch High School for a
vigil remembering Alexa, 15, her little sister
Carlie, 5, and their parents,Jeff and Ronni.
The family was killed last week when
their single-engine plane inexplicably
crashed into anArizona high school.They
were headed to the Grand Canyon for vaca-
tion. Instead, the week ended with a
funeral service at Congregation KolAmi in
Tampa.
Alexa, known to her friends as Lexi, was
an honor-roll student, a cheerleader and a
cross country athlete. She was well known
for her upbeat attitude and infectious smile.
Classmates dlc, ribc, I her as happy,kind and
full of energy.
"She was the most amazing girl I've ever
met," said David Villarreal, one of the stu-


dents who helped organize
Friday's vigil."It's only fitting
we do something to honor her
and her family.They meant so
much to all of us."
Villarreal, who wore a shirt
reading 'Save me a spot in
Heaven,' was one of several
people to speak at the flash-
light vigil.Wiregrass principal
Raymond Bonti, teachers and


Alexa Rae U


friends stood one by one at a
podium looking out at the football field.
They spoke about the family and what they
meant to the community.They spoke about
Alexa and what she meant to the Wiregrass
alma mater.
Alexa's friend and Wiregrass graduate
Nicole Phillips, struggled to speak through
her tears.
"We were best friends," Phillips said."Her
family was like my second family...Before
Lexi left she was making a scrapbook with
pictures of us and she said she would finish
it would she got back. It was going to be
filled with pictures of us from summer.
Now it will be filled with pictures from
tonight."


Principal Bonti remembered
S Lexi's school spirit and passion
for cross country.
"In a school with more than
2,000 students, everyone knew
Lexi for all the right reasons,' he
said. "She loved life, school,
cross country and cheerleading.
Most of all she loved her friends
Jlrich and her family. Her ever shining
light will live in all of us forev-
er."
Teacher Frank Shearrow also shared his
memories of Lexi.
"Lexi lived it to its fullest," he said."Her
smile was untamed by the troubles of this
world.When she left school for the summer,
the last thing I said to her was'I'll see you
later' Lexi knew I didn't like goodbyes. So
tonight I won't say goodbye, I'll say'I'll see
you later'."
Class of 2010 graduate Jack Whidden,
who co-organized the vigil, remembered
Lexi by talking about the good times.
"Thank you Lexi for always making my
day brighter," he said."Thank you for being
an amazing friend that will never be re-
placed."


Students
atWiregrass
Ranch High
have not for-
gotten Alexa
"Lexi" Rae
Ulrich.The
Class of 2012 dedicated its powder
puff game at this year's
Homecoming events to Lexi and
wore the Ulrich name on the back
of their shirts. Key Club assisted
with the Ulrich Scholarship garage
sale. A boys' basketball tournament
will raise money for the scholarship
fund. The football team wore an
Ulrich Family memorial sticker on
their helmets and had a moment of
silence before the first home game.
The cross country team's T-shirt
has a dedication to Lexi and her
family on the back and runners
hung Lexi's jersey in the team camp
before each competition."She real-
ly is still running with all of us," said
coach Don Howard.


On the field, mourners held pink bal-
loons given out before the ceremony.The
balloons were released into the sky at sun-
set.As they drifted away into the clouds, the
people below looked up.
"We'll see each other again Lexi,"
Villarreal said at the podium."We just have
to wait. One day, we'll all get back in touch.
Rest in paradise."
Under a clear night sky, the flashlights
were turned on and shined as bright as
Alexa's smile.
At Round Valley High School inArizona,
where there were no injuries due to the
crash, the school has started a scholarship
fund inAlexa's honor.


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Supporters want earlier drinking hours


They will ask City Council to lift laws that
limit alcohol sales on Sunday mornings

By B.C. Manion
Originally published July 21

In a place perhaps best known for its
bottled spring water, the Zephyrhills
Chamber of Commerce and some local busi-
ness owners want to let liquor flow a bit
earlier on Sundays.
They want the Zephyrhills City Council
to allow alcohol to be served and sold be-
ginning at 11 a.m. on Sundays, two hours
earlier than currently allowed.
It's not a matter of preferential treatment,
it's an issue of equal treatment, Mikkelsen said.
"It's just making a fair playing field for
the businesses," agreed Mike Mira, president
of the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce,
and owner of Maine-ly New England, a
restaurant at 5039 First St.
"For me, it's not going to make or break me
- selling alcohol two hours earlier,"Mira said.
But changing the start time for alcohol
sales would make a huge difference for
Kenny Patel, who owns Time Saver Food &
General Store at 37853 SR 54 and Time
Saver Liquors,right next door.
"Previously everyone was to sell their
beer and alcohol at 1 o'clock," Patel said.
That was fine, when everyone played by the
same rules, he said.
But Pasco County changed the rules in
2004, allowing alcohol sales to begin in the
county at 11 a.m. on Sundays.The law did
not impact Zephyrhills, which sets the law


within the city limits.
New Port Richey, Port Richey and Dade
City also follow the 11 o'clock rule and San
Antonio is even less restrictive, allowing al-
cohol sales to begin at 8 a.m.
Patel said the county's change caused
sales to drop off at his convenience store
because people who wanted eggs, bread,
milk and a six-pack of beer began bypassing
his store to get everything they wanted in a
single shopping trip.
"I lose business on liquor, beer and my
groceries," said Patel, whose stores are less
than a block from the city limits.
Just on the other side of the boundary,
where alcohol can be sold at 11 a.m. on
Sunday, there's a competing lounge and
package store within three blocks and a
Quick Mart, which sells beer and groceries,
within a mile.
Cheryl and Bob Maxon, owners of John's
Steak & Seafood Restaurant, 38361 CR 54,
have similar complaints.
"You can go to Saddlebrook and get any-
thing you want, and here we sit with our
hands tied," Cheryl Maxon said.
"It's not like somebody is trying to come
in and get loaded at 11 o'clock in the morn-
ing," Bob Maxon said.
However, when people go out to eat -
especially on holidays, anniversaries, birth-
days and other special occasions - they
often want a glass of wine, a mimosa, a
Bloody Mary, or a beer to go with their
meal, the couple said.
"I don't want anything (to drink) at 11
o'clock, but there are people who do, and I
want to offer it," Bob Maxon said.


Finally 56!

Walk/run celebrates opening
of SR 56 extension

By Maggie Schiller
Originally published Aug. 4

To celebrate the long-awaited opening of
the SR 56 extension,Wiregrass Ranch and
the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of
Commerce held a celebratoryWalk/Run on
Saturday,July 31.
Despite the sweltering heat, nearly 400
community members, along with several
local businesses came out to support the
cause.
"This is the day that many people
thought would never come," said David
West, executive director of the Wesley
Chapel Chamber of Commerce."Many peo-
ple built their houses expecting this road to
come through and make it convenient to
get to their home. It has been delayed quite
awhile, but I am glad so many people came
out to witness and actually see the barri-
cades removed and the road actually
opened for traffic."
The walk/run was a four-mile loop, with
an optional two and one mile loop, begin-
ning at the intersection of Mansfield
Boulevard and the new extension of SR 56.
Kurt Stone, 8, who ran alongside his
brother, Evan Stone, 10, said the run was a
lot of fun.
"It was hot and sweaty," he said."But I
made it."
Wiregrass Ranch developer J.D. Porter


said that the completion of the project is
godsend for anybody living in the Wesley
Chapel area.
"Basically the way we are looking at it is
that it is a gateway that has opened up a lot
more business opportunities, a lot more
traction opportunities and a lot more things
the community has been screaming for," he
said.
"A lot more things that Wesley Chapel
people have been wanting we are going to
provide off of a major highway. It kind of
opens up everything that has been back here
for so long," added Porter, who helped turn a
simple ribbon cutting into something more.
Alexandra Williamson, from Meadow
Pointe, ran in the event with her husband
and said she thinks SR 56 will do many posi-
tive things for the community.
"For one it alleviates all the traffic, espe-
cially with all the construction that is going
on at Bruce B. Downs, so this is going to be
a big plus just with the shortcut going
through Meadow Pointe," she said.
"Plus all the nice walkways that they
have along the road brings people out on
long walks, more bike riding.Just for that as-
pect of it I love it."
The road will alleviate traffic along con-
struction-heavy SR 54 and cut miles off the
drive from locations such as deep inside
Meadow Pointe.
"I drive to work downtown and I cur-
rently live on the northeast side of Meadow
Pointe, so I take 54 which is currently under
construction and sometimes it takes about
15 to 20 minutes just to get to the inter-
state," said Michael Ruiz."I can take this road
which cuts in through Meadow Pointe over
to the interstate 75 and it should cut my
time back a lot."


The Zephyrhills City Council voted to allow alcohol sales earlier on Sunday
morning after the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and local business owners
complained they were at a competitive disadvantage. Kenny Patel,a convenience
and liquor store owner, said the change has made a positive difference."That was a
good thing that they passed it', he said."lt gives me peace of mind that at least we
are on an equal playing ground with all of the other stores in Pasco County."


Now that SR 56 it is open more people can move across Pasco
County.Also, county school buses going to and from Wiregrass Ranch
High and Dr.John Long Middle have a shorter route to drop off stu-
dents who live in Meadow Pointe and the surrounding
neighborhoods. Pasco County plans to eventually take SR 56 all the
way to US 301 in south Zephyrhills.


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813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com


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4 1 December 29,2010 1






Florida Hospital parent,


UCH complete merger


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Sept. 8

University Community
Health (UCH) and the Adventist
Health System (AHS) have com-
pleted the merger that started
months ago when the two
signed a letter of intent to com-
bine the two healthcare
systems.
The merger will create one
organization with 43 hospitals,
combining the 37 fromAHS in-
cluding Florida Hospital
Zephyrhills, UCH's five and the
future Wesley Chapel Medical
Center that was to be jointly
owned by the two.
"AHS and UCH are commit-
ted to enhancing the
accessibility and quality of med-
ical care to the Tampa Bay area,"
AHS president and CEO Don
Jernigan said.
"After working so closely to-
gether on the joint venture for


the past three years, we have de-
cided to explore opportunities
that allow (us) to deliver height-
ened healthcare services to our
expanding patient population,"
Stein said previously. "It helps
that we already are working to-
gether and have like-minded
missions that stress patient-cen-
tered services"'
The first act of the new
board was to appoint current
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills
president and CEO John
Harding to the same position for
the Tampa Bay region. He was
replaced in Zephyrhills by Doug
Duffield, previously the hospi-
tal's chief operating officer.
AHS is affiliated with the
Seventh-dayAdventist Church. It
already had the most hospitals of
any nonprofit protestant health
care company in the United
States, but Florida Hospital
Zephyrhills was the only facility
in the Tampa Bay area.


I I



Since the merger of University
Community Health and the
Adventist Health System, the new
company has broken ground on the
Wesley Chapel Medical Center.

Since first published, the Wesley
Chapel Medical Center has cleared
both the Pasco County Planning
Commission and Board of County
Commissioners and broke ground
Dec. 14. It will take about two years
to complete and will bring about
450 jobs to the area.

St.Joseph's Hospital-North
opened its doors in February.The
first baby was born at the facility on
Sept. 15 - Michael Boria III. He was
born at 7:57 a.m. to Land O' Lakes
residents Jill and Michael Boria II.


Wesley Chapel Medical

Center to take 18 months


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published May 5

Wesley Chapel doesn't have
its own hospital - yet - but
plans are in the works to
change that.
The Wesley Chapel Medical
Center is about two years from
completion, but the plan for its
construction is starting to take
shape.
The facility, which will be lo-
cated one half-mile north of SR
56 and the Shops atWiregrass
on the east side of Bruce B.
Downs Boulevard, will be run
by Adventist Health System
(AHS).
The hospital had not an-
nounced a groundbreaking as
ofAugust 2010.
"We are still waiting for the
permits to be accepted before
we can set the date to break
ground," Jan Baskin, Florida
Hospital Zephyrhills assistant
vice president of marketing,


said in summer 2010. "From
that point it will take 18
months for the whole facility."
The Agency for Health Care
Administration is the governing
body that will give final ap-
proval before the Wesley
Chapel facility is built.
Agency spokeswoman
Shelisha Durden said the pre-
liminary approval for the facility
came in December 2009, but
final plans cannot be finalized
until the local government ap-
proves the permits.
The original plans were for
the facility to cost $121 million,
but that number could change
based on the final plans.
Once completed, the facility
will have 80 beds and offer ob-
stetrics, pediatrics, women's
and men's services, general sur-
gery, an emergency department
with helicopter pad, a compre-
hensive medical fitness
program, orthopedics and
sports medicine.


St. Joseph's Hospital-North opens up green


New facility will help patients
and the environment

By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Jan. 13

It is not every decade that a new hospital
opens in Hillsborough County.
In fact, when St.Joseph's Hospital-North,
4211Van Dyke Road in Lutz, opens on Feb.
1,it will be the first new full-service hospital
in the county in 30 years. That distinction
would be enough to make the hospital
unique, but the new facility will not just be
giving a boost to the health of north
Hillsborough and south Pasco county resi-
dents.
"Buildings are one of the largest con-
sumers of resources and energy in the
country," said Paula McGuiness, chief operat-
ing officer of the hospital. "St. Joseph's
Hospitals and Bay Care Health System be-
lieve in being leaders of environmental
stewardship, innovation and corporate re-
sponsibility."
The 350,000-sqaure-foot, $225 million
hospital was designed to both treat patients


while reducing its effect on the environ-
ment.
"The environmentally friendly building is
made of materials that support energy con-
servation and clean air with low chemical
emissions and recycled content," said hospi-
tal spokeswoman Jacqueline Farruggio.
Besides using more environmentally
friendly building materials, the hospital has:
-Installed lighting and heating systems
that use about 12 percent less energy than
standard ones.
-Selected refrigerants that minimize the
impact on ozone layer depletion.
-Installed water fixtures that use 20
percent less water than standard ones.
-Uses only reclaimed water from reten-
tions ponds to maintain its landscaping.
-Used only building materials produced
within 500 miles of the hospital to reduce
transportation.
-Will offer preferred parking to low-
emission and fuel-efficient vehicles.
"It's the new direction of healthcare fa-
cilities because of how the industry can
impact nature, Farruggio said."St.Joseph's
Hospital-North will be a leader in both pa-
tient care and helping the environment."


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


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Guess Whos From Where
Guess the hometown of The Laker / Lutz News employees



We're the folks who work together every week to put Sarasota, FL Kenosha, WI
out your community paper. We want to tell you a bit -
about ourselves and invite you to guess our hometowns. KY I-
Enter our contest and you'll have a chance to win two movie passes to the Grove 16 Cobb Lexington, KBuffalo, NY
Theatre in Wesley Chapel. Entries with seven or more correct hometowns will be added
to our movie ticket raffle. Tickets will be mailed to winners in January. Efingham. IL Climbng Hill, IA

Take the letter from the box under the staff member and place it
in the box of the City & State where you think he/she was born... 7 Omaha, NE 7 Albion, M

Then mail to: Who's From Where Contest
The Laker! Lutz News PA Worcester, MA
1930 Land O' Lakes Blvd, Suite 14 Lutz, FL 33549 Reading, PAWorcester, MA
(MUST BE POSTMARKED BY JAN 10, 2011)
Answers will run in the January 19th edition of The Laker / Lutz News Flint, MI Temple Terrace, FL

Name: _
OAe: rlando, FL Ocala, FL
Address:

City: State: Zip: St. Paul, MN Columbus, OH
Phone:
- - - --.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Customer Service Rep
Employee since September 2004
Best kept secret: Was 1st runner up in the Miss Florida
sweetheart pageant in 1978.
What she loves best about her job: "I love working with the
big accounts. When we got Publix in the paper this year, it
was so exciting."
If she could do anything: "I'd take all my kids to Mexico to
tour the Mayan ruins"


Carolyn
Bennett


Classified Manager and Customer Service
Employee since March 2005
Best kept secret: Sharp and quick wit makes her the Tina Fey
of the office.
What she loves best about her job: "I love the people I
work with and the relationships I've developed with clients."
If she could do anything: "I'd take my 15-year-old son, who
is a Civil Air Cadet, to Hawaii to tour Pearl Harbor."


Gena
Crowder


A..... '-mltint ' Manager
Employee since December 2004
Best kept secret: Likes to enter contests and wins a couple
every year.
What she loves best about her job: "I majored in advertis-
ing in college and I am so happy to have a job in my field."
If she could do anything: "I would travel more."


Mary
Eberhard


Graphic D. ,...i,.
Employee since June 2008
Best kept secret: Was a star soccer player in high school.
What she loves best about her job: "The satisfaction of
being able to create beautiful ads from the 'scribbles' that
sales reps often turn in."
If she could do anything: "I'd hire a crew and travel the
world by sea on a massive sailboat. The kind that looks like a
pirate ship."

Stefanie
Burlingame


Automotive and Zephyrhills Account Manager
" Employee since April 2005
Best kept secret: Newspaperman all his life, starting out as a
paperboy when he was 10.
What he loves best about his job: "I can make a difference
by connecting people who can support one another and get-
ting their stories in the paper."
--w.z If he could do anything: 1cill_ a car guy I'd buy a
'57 T-Bird and travel Route 66 across the country."


Chris
Drews


Associate Editor
Employee since June 2010
Best kept secret: Fan of Glee, Fox TV's hit series about the
interactions of a high school show choir.
What he loves best about his job: l clim part of an amazing
team that strives to tell interesting and important stories about
what is happening in our community each week."
If he could do anything: "Lots of traveling. I would take my
son on a tour of all the great baseball and college football sta-
diums of America and my wife to see the Pacific Northwest
and Broadway shows."


Joe re
Humphrey


Senior Account Manager, Land O' Lakes
Employee since October 2002
Best kept secret: Wanted to attend Julliard School in NYC to
study classical ballet and piano.
What she loves best about her job: "Knowing so many peo-
ple for so many years because of The Laker."
If she could do anything: "Sail the San Juan Islands in Puget
Sound with my brother."


Publisher
Since June 2009
Best kept secret: She is a Trekkie - favorite character is
T'pol.
What she loves about her job: Seeing employees learn and
grow personally and professionally,
If she could do anything: "I'd buy a cabin on a lake in
northern Minnesota and listen to the loons all summer long."


Diane
Kortus


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


Shelley
Ketchum


6 1 December 29,2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com






Sports Editor
Employee since October 2009
Best kept secret: Member of Cub Scout Pack 12 and Boy
Scout Troop 12 in Lutz from grades 1 through 12. He is an
Eagle Scout.
What he loves about his job: "I've always been passionate
about sports and never tire of writing about sports."
If he could do anything: "Take my mother to all 30 baseball
stadiums in the country. We're big baseball fans and so far
we've visited 17."


Community Editor
Employee since A,,.,a ,i 2010
Best kept secret: Had a greeting card verse she wrote pub-
lished by Blue Mountain Arts.
What she loves about her job: "The gratification I get when
I know that a story I wrote made a difference in someone's
life, informed our readers or helped improve the community."
If she could do anything: "I'd like to own my own greeting
card company so I can control the quality of the design, the
paper that's used and the message that's sent."


BC
Manion


College Intern
Employee since June 2010
Best kept secret: Plotting to take Zeke, her yellow lab, back
to Stetson University.
What she loves about her job: "People appreciate what I do,
because no one else wants to do it."
If she could do anything: "Time travel, definitely time travel."


Art Director
Employee since A,,n ,,ai 2005
Best kept secret: Has played the drums for almost 10 years.
What he loves about his job: "The satisfaction of producing
something every week that is read by thousands of people."
If he could do anything: "I'd like to take a double-decker
bus to every major music festival in the country."


Matthew
Mistretta


Park News Editor and Editorial Assistant
Employee since December 2002
Best kept secret: Wrote a children's alphabet book 15 years
ago and collects Santa Clauses (she has a couple hundred).
What she loves most about her job: "I'm a perfectionist and
I love proofreading, so I feel a little joy in catching mistakes."
If she could do anything: "I'd make sure my sister is set for
life and vacation in Greece and visit Poland to see where my
ancestors came from."


Staff Writer
Employee since A,,. *,,,I 2010
Best kept secret: Has driven tractors of every size and
purpose.
What she loves most about her job: "Meeting all the people
with interesting stories to write about."
If she could do anything: "I'd motorcycle across the country
following US Hwy 20, from Boston to the West Coast."


Mary
Rathman


Editorial Assistant and Receptionist
Employee since June 2007
Best kept secret: Has more than 75 teddy bears - the soft
and fluffy kind - and names every one.
What she loves most about her job: "I love the people here.
It's a great group to know each other well and get along."
If she could do anything: "I'd host a family reunion for
everyone in my family - probably about 100 people - to a
resort, someplace warm."


Kathy
Welton


Terri
Williamson


Major Account Manager, Lutz and Wesley Chapel
Employee since November 2003
Best kept secret: Wanted a career in broadcast; Barbara
Walters was her role model.
What she loves most about her job: "Building relationships
with all the business owners in our community. We have a lot
of wonderful people here that I feel privileged to know."
If she could do anything: "I would like to be a philanthropist
and support research to find a cure for Spinal Muscle Atrophy,
a disease my nephew suffers from."


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CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


I December 29, 2010 1 7




. .......
'F.'





7a/aC/


Zephyrhills man helps


save Clearwater couple


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Hero's wife thinks his police
training and instincts kicked in

By B.C. Manion
Originally published Sept. 15

Carolyn and Joe Sentelik of Zephyrhills
had just bought a boat and were scouting
out a marina where they could use it.
They decided they would spend part of
their Sunday just watching boaters at a mari-
na and then grab a bite to eat.
They had intended to go to Clearwater,
but while en route decided instead to go to
Dunedin.
"There's some sort of divine intervention
as to why it happened the way it did,"Joe
said.
"I think things happen for a reason,"
Carolyn agreed.
The couple had spent some time on the
morning of Aug. 29 looking at boats and
watching people launch them, before head-
ing to Bon Appetit Restaurant for lunch,
Carolyn said.
They had just ordered their drinks when
they heard a terrible noise, she said.
"We heard a screech and a thump. It was
a very odd sound," she said. It was the kind
of sound that signals "something very, very
horrible had happened."
"We heard a woman scream,"Someone
call 911."
Joe, a former police officer, didn't hesi-
tate. He took off running toward the sound,
and when he got there,he saw a 1995 white
Mercury Marquis had plunged over the sea-
wall into the water.
The driver was 89-year-old Joseph
Schlesselman, who was accompanied by his
86-year-old wife, Ruth.
As the car began to sink, Joe Sentelik
dove into the water to attempt a rescue.
Another man also jumped in,
and as both men attempted
to get into the sinking car,
a third man with a boat
came along and hurled a
fire extinguisher through
the rear window - creat-
ing a hole the size of a
dinner plate, Carolyn said.
"I could see a person in
the car, in the front,"
Carolyn said. "I thought I Besides h
was going to see a man die sheer pleasu
right in front of me. It ing he helpe
made me feel sick lives of two
lives of two
After the fire extin-
guisher broke through the Sentelik also
window,Joe used his hand some public
and his fist to break away for his quick
enough glass to get his action from
body through, Carolyn City Commi
said.
Once he got in,he tried was honor
unlocking the backseat ing in Septer
doors, but was only able to he heard wo
get the backseat door on praise and r
the passenger seat un- certificate of
locked.
locked. ^ signed by Du
"It was chaotic and signed by D
crazy and traumatic," Mayor Dave
Carolyn said.
"He went down three
times," she said, tugging at the driver - but
couldn't get him loose.
"I was screaming for him to get out. I
was afraid he was going to be killed,"
Carolyn said. She was especially worried be-
cause Joe suffered a heart attack in May and
because he's on blood thinners, he was
bleeding profusely from cuts that he got
from the glass.
Joe said everything happened so quickly
he's not sure exactly who did what.
He knows another rescuer was able to
get in and to cut the driver and his wife free
from their seatbelts.
That man also helped to push the driver
out of the car, and Joe pulled the driver out
the rest of the way - loading him onto a
nearby boat.


a
Ur
d
P
r
dr



t
s
j
n

Mr
ec
f
ur
e


Joe Sentelik sits on his 22-foot angler hold-
ing a letter he received after helping to res-
cue a Clearwater couple. (Photo by Glenn
Gefers of www.photosby3g.com)

Someone else pulled the woman to safe-
ty.
The elderly woman was so small, Carolyn
didn't even realize there was anyone else in
the car.
Once the couple was safe, Joe used a
rope to pull himself out of the water. He cut
his feet on the barnacles as he climbed the
marina wall.
There was blood gushing everywhere,
Carolyn said."It was kind of gory."
After the rescue, the driver told deputies
he had pulled into a handicapped parking
space and his foot slipped from the brake
pedal onto the gas, causing the car to
plunge into the water, according to a
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report.
The report also identified
the other rescuers. They
were Eric Corum, 42, of
Tarpon Springs and
Courtney Douthit, 32, of
Dunedin.
Once they were out of
the water, the couple was
transported to Mease
Dunedin Hospital, where
they were treated and re-
ving the leased.
'e of know- Joe was taken to the
to save the same hospital, where emer-
ieopleJoe agency room personnel
scrubbed out the tiny
received pieces of glass that were
recognition embedded in his skin, and
and selfless used tweezers to take out
he Dunedin the larger pieces.
sion. He Besides hospital bills the
couple expects to receive,
at a meet- Joe's cell phone was ruined
iber, where - and his contact list was
'ds of destroyed.
ceived a Carolyn said they re-
recognition ceived a thank you note
nedin from the couple's son.
The Aug. 31 letter, from
Eggers. James J. Schlesselman, of
Pittsburgh, Pa., expressed
deep appreciation from him-
self and his brother. In part, it notes that
without the rescuers' intervention, "Our
mom and dad would have undergone a ter-
rifying death, drowning while trapped in
their car under water."
The son also volunteered to cover any of
the Senteliks' expenses, but the couple de-
clined the offer.
"I'm just glad they're all right,"Joe said.
"For the last 10 seconds their heads were
under water."
Carolyn, executive director of the Florida
Hospital Zephyrhills Foundation, said she is
tremendously proud of her husband.
She said she told him:"You are a much
better person than I could ever hope to be
because I'm not sure I could do what you
did."


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


8 1 December 29,2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com






What happens when a cupcake


meets a lollipop? Cake pops


By B.C. Manion
Originally published Sept 8

Melissa Ramacco didn't set out to be-
come a cake pop queen.
It just happened.
Now, the Land O' Lakes woman who
drives a van with a "Got Cake" license tag
keeps busy creating her clever confections
for customers of all ages.
When Ramacco, the owner of Island Girl
Cakes, began her business she specialized in
custom-designed and decorated cakes.
She got her start in the cake world be-
fore shows like Cake Boss, theAce of Cakes
and DC Cupcakes became the rage.
Her foray into the field, however, was not
part of any grand design. She began simply with
a cake expressing a NewYorkYankees' theme
that she made for her dad for Father's Day.
The response was so positive, she decid-
ed to begin taking orders to make cakes for
family and friends.
As her business evolved, she became
more and more immersed in all things cake -
reading blogs, scouring the Internet for infor-
mation and perfecting all sorts of techniques
by following directions in how-to articles.
For awhile, her elaborate cakes were
fetching anywhere from $100 to $250 each
on a regular basis, and even up to $500 for a
really big job.
But as the economy slowed, so did her
orders.
Patrons loved the cakes, but either could-
n't or wouldn't pay for them, she said.
So, she shifted to smaller cakes and
matching cupcake tiers. That gave kids a
chance to blow out candles and to hand out
the coordinating cupcakes.
Then she read about cake pops.
She loved the idea.They looked fun and
she wasn't aware of anyone else in the area
that was making them.
So, she focused her efforts making and
marketing cake pops. She is totally sold on
the value of social media, such as Twitter
and Facebook, and relies heavily on word-of-
mouth marketing.
The cake pops took off and she's not
looking back.
"Cakes are really labor intensive. I don't


Melissa Ramacco shows off some of her
handiwork. (Photo by B.C. Manion)
think people realize how much labor goes
into those cakes," said Ramacco, noting she
has no plans to return to custom cakes.
Making cake pops offers plenty of op-
portunities for creativity, she said.
They can be dipped and left to dry up-
right, like a traditional candy apple or can be
air-dried by poking their stick into a plastic
foam form.
The upright technique produces a pop
with a flattened bottom; the air-drying ap-
proach produces a perfectly rounded pop.
The pops typically are wrapped individu-
ally, and can be presented on a tray, in a bud
vase or as a bouquet.
They also can be put on longer sticks
with a name card attached.These can serve
double duty at weddings and other events:
They're a party favor and they let people
know where to sit.
To learn more about the business go to
www.IslandGirlCakes.com or call (813) 699-
9866.


Melissa Ramacco's Island
Girl Cakes has branched out, offer-
ing her cake pops at a
location in Pinellas
County. She also has
received mail orders
from as far away as
Seattle.


Iris and Michae
sharing the joy of
appear soon at a
Atlanta and as gu


grew up in a house-
hold that cooked. I fell
in love with it."
When he was just 4, Michael said, Iris
caught him standing on a chair near the
stove frying bacon.
"I came downstairs and I smelled bacon,"
Iris said. When she went to see what was
going on, she saw that Michael had the task
well under control.
"Most boys like playing with cars and
trucks, but my love was cooking" Michael
writes in the cookbook."My toys were an
Easy Bake Oven, play stove and pots and
pans."
While the mother and son said they have
always loved to cook, decorate and enter-
tain, neither expected to turn their passion
for making delicious foods into a larger pur-
suit.
The family used to live in South Tampa,
Iris said.They decided to move out to Lutz
several years ago after suffering some per-
sonal losses.
Michael's big brother, Scott, who had
epilepsy, died suddenly while he was sleep-
ing.That happened in July 1997.
"I almost had a nervous breakdown,' Iris
said.
Three years later, Iris' husband,Jack, suf-
fered a stroke that left him disabled.
The family decided to move to Lutz to
begin making new memories, Iris said. Her
mother, Lillie Pope, moved with them - and


Sharing recipes is a source
of joy for mother and son

By B.C. Manion
Originally published Oct. 13

They don't have a fancy test kitchen, so-
phisticated equipment or years of formal
culinary training, but this Lutz mother and
son have big dreams.
They're aiming for their own cooking
show.
Years ago, they would have never pic-
tured themselves having such lofty
ambitions, but that was before they turned
their hobby into a publishing venture that
they hope will lead to bigger things.
Indeed, it already has.
Iris and Michael Raie are scheduled to
appear Oct. 15-17 at the Epcot International
Food &Wine Festival.They will be talking
about their cooking techniques and recipes
and signing copies of their book,"No Place
Like Home: Southern Cooking with a Latin
Flair."
The mother and son say their love of
cooking is rooted in generations of good
cooks in their family.
"My mother was an excellent cook," Iris
said. Her grandmother was too, she said."My
mom grew up in the kitchen cooking. I
grew up in the kitchen cooking."
Michael has cooking in his genes too."I

CnewsPubs.com / 813-909-2800


'Making Life


Saucier' is Michele


Northrup's motto

By B.C. Manion
Originally published Sept 1

Michele Northrup stands in her kitchen,
dicing jalapeno peppers and cloves of gar-
lic, and mixing them into a sauce that is
simmering in a pan on her stove.
She's experimenting on a new recipe for
her gourmet hot sauce business called
IntensityAcademy.
The company's name pays homage to the
fact that Northrup was inspired to begin her
business while in the garden at Learning Gate
Community School, where she works in Lutz.
The vegetable of the week that week
was carrots and everyone was encouraged
to come up with a new way to serve car-
rots, Northrup said. She concocted a
gourmet hot sauce, combining the sweet-
ness of carrots and the heat of peppers.
The sauce was such a hit, Northrup de-
cided to try her hand at creating a gourmet
sauce company.
Since then, her sauce line has evolved
into tea-infused marinades, ketchups, dip-
ping sauces and hot sauces. She uses
organic teas as additives in her sauces.
Besides concocting the sauces, she de-
signs the labels on her bottles and does all
of her marketing.The sauces are made and
bottled at a bottling plant in Clearwater.
Northrup's company has not gone unno-
ticed.
She has won a slew of national and local
awards. Her Chai Thai Teriyaki sauce re-
ceived the Golden Chili award at the 2010
Chili Pepper Magazine competition in Fort
Worth and her Chai Chipotle Chup was
voted the No. 1 ketchup in the nation in the


Michele Northrup contin-
ues concocting new sauce recipes
and expects to release
a new sauce to the
market, Chai Sweet
Chili, in the spring.
She's also writing a
cookbook.


at 85 she was still
el Raie are still cooking.
"Shortly after we
cooking.They'll moved here, we start-
food show in ed seeing her decline,"
guests on Ch. 10. Lillie said. In 2006,
Lillie died, and while
Iris knew her mother's
recipes by heart, they were not written
down anywhere.
Friends encouraged Iris to compile the
recipes in a book, and after she'd begun the
project she decided to branch out and add
her own recipes and some from her friends.
Creating the book was a monumental task.
As Iris and Michael made Lillie's dishes,
they had to constantly measure ingredients
that for years they'd added by a pinch or a
handful.The project was pricy. Buying the
ingredients to make all of the recipes was
expensive.
It also was time-consuming.They spent
many long days prepping the ingredients,
preparing the dishes and then cleaning up
afterwards. Ultimately, they decided to self-
publish the book.
Now the pair plans to self-publish a se-
ries of five cookbooks. Once they sell
enough volumes they will recoup the
money they have paid to the publishing
company,Iris said.
Already, they are tasting more success.
They've been on radio and television pro-
grams and will be featured in a podcast out
of Iowa.
They recently taught a cooking class on
southern cuisine at The Rolling Pin in
Brandon.They demonstrated how to make
fried green tomatoes, chicken and
dumplings, skillet cabbage and country-fried


Michele Northrup takes a break from stirring
jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves into a
gourmet sauce that she is concocting, with
the intention of adding a bit more heat to a
previous recipe. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

2010 Scovie Awards Fire Foods magazine
competition.
Most recently, she won the manufacturing
category in the Tampa Bay Business Journal's
2010 Business Woman of the Year competi-
tion. Winners in various categories were
announced at a black-tie gala onAug. 20.
She was delighted and surprised.
"I didn't really think I was going to win.
Some of these companies that I was up
against were really big,' said Northrup, whose
work force consists mostly of her three sons,
her husband and her father-in-law
Northrup's sauces are sold at about 90
stores across the nation, including all of the
Whole Foods stores in Florida, someWalgreens
locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties
and numerous independent shops.
She also sells her sauces online,promotes
them vigorously through Facebook and
Twitter, and markets them at the Zephyrhills
Celtic Festival, San Antonio Rattlesnake
Festival, the Kumquat Festival in Dade City,
and at festivals and street markets in Lutz,
Land O'Lakes,Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Northrup also makes deliveries. She'll
put out the word that she'll be out on the
road and people will send her requests.
Northrup is widely known in Lutz, as the
former Guv'na, who still holds the record
for raising the most money by a candidate
seeking the honorary post. Information:
www.intensityacademy.com.


Michael and Iris Raie, cookbook authors who
live in Lutz, will speak at the Epcot International
Food & Wine Festival. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

apples.They hope the Epcot talks will open
many new doors.
Their next cookbook, slated to come out
next year, will be called "No Place Like
Home: Holiday Creations." Other books are
planned on children's recipes, desserts and
international foods.
Sharing recipes is a source of joy, Iris
said. She said she doesn't understand why
some people want to keep them secret.
"There was a lady at the church where
we used to go and she made the most deli-
cious pickles and the most delicious apple
butter," Iris recalled."I said,"I would love to
have that recipe"
"She said,'Honey, I don't give my recipes
out to nobody, "Iris said.
Michael added: "She said, "I'm taking
them to the grave with me."
"And she did," Iris said."To me, that is a
waste. I would want to share - (so that) our
recipes live on."
For more information about the cookbook go
to http://noplacelikehome.tatepublishing.net.


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


Lutz family tastes


cookbook success


I


I December 29, 2010 1 9




1930 Land O' Lakes Blvd, Unit 15 * Lutz
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Famous quotes or company

graffiti? Either way they guide us


By Diane Kortus
Publisher
My favorite part of the week is
Wednesday morning when I get together
with my group of 15 employees to reflect
on what we're doing well and what we
could be doing better.
We talk about what we like best about
that week's papers and Monday-morning
quarterback on how they could have been
better. Reporters tell us about their stories
for the next issue and the rest of us add our
two bits to their ideas.
We recap our sales numbers and talk
about the challenges and opportunities our
sales people face in this difficult economy.
We go over production deadlines and how
we plan to cover when someone is taking
time off. Before we end with our recogni-
tion awards, we share personal and family
news.
We have been meeting every Wednesday
for more than a year. Everyone attends, in-
cluding part-time employees and student
interns.We've learned that the best ideas
often come from colleagues outside our
area of expertise because they offer valuable
perspectives we may have failed to consid-
er.
It is somewhat unusual for a small busi-
ness like ours to be so diligent.We never
cancel our weekly staff meeting and we ad-
here to the rules that it starts on time and is
kept to an hour.
I've talked to many business owners
who have the same good intention of con-
ducting weekly employee meetings. But
they tell me their meetings often run out of
momentum and wane after just a few
months.
So why does our staff meeting have such
staying power? One reason is because we
begin each week with a quote. In the
course of a year these quotes have helped
to define our vision of who we are as a com-
pany and what we hope to become.
Everyone is encouraged to bring quotes
to our meeting. Some weeks several employ-
ees bring quotes and other weeks there is
just the one from me. We post our quotes
on a wall that's on the way to the restroom,


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so they get plenty of visibility.
This wall has become thick with what
I've come to think of as our company graffi-
ti.As I pulled them down to select the best
quotes to share with you this week, I was
struck by how well they capture the beliefs
and values that bind us together as col-
leagues and friends.
Our quotes fall into three main areas of
thought:
-The attainment of goals is possible only
if people care deeply and believe in a shared
vision.
- Nothing is more important than kind-
ness and abiding by the Golden Rule.
-You can only live in the present, so
make the most of it.
Of the 14 quotes on the facing page,
three have been guiding principles as I lead
this company.
"Determination, energy and courage
appear spontaneously when we care
deeply about something. We take risks that
are unimaginable in any other context"
-Margaret Wheatley
"Kind words can be short and easy to
speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
-Mother Teresa
"Stop a minute, right where you are.
Relax your shoulders, shake your head
and spin like a dog shaking off cold water
Tell that impervious voice in your head to
be still.
-Barbara Kingsolver
These wise words help me lead our com-
pany to produce community newspapers
that make a difference.We want to connect
you to your community through the stories
we tell about your neighbors and the busi-
nesses who reach out with their
advertisements.
Some weeks it is easier to make these
connections than others. It is the weeks that
we struggle that I turn to these quotes to
give me courage to overcome adversity, to
find the kindness that surrounds me and to
reflect on the peacefulness that only the
present can provide.


Gary Gunter
(813) 994-3900
28955 St. Rd. 54
Wesley Chapel
garygunter@allstate.com



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Wayne Rogers with his buddy, Elvis, a Great Blue Heron who stays by his side while he
fishes. They have grown closer since Wayne lost his dog a few years ago. (Photos by
Glenn Gefers of www.photosby3g.com)


Elvis the Heron finds a friend


By Shannon Edinger
Originally published Oct. 18

Fishing is more than just a hobby for
Wayne Rogers. It is a way for him to bond
with his buddy, Elvis.
What makes their relationship unique?


Elvis is a Great Blue Heron.
Rogers, 67, has lived in the
area for 19 years now. Elvis
first came by his Land O'
Lakes house five years ago
and, Rogers said, has re-
turned every day since.
Rogers' wife, Kitty, says Elvis
showed up a week after
their dog died."After losing
my dog, I kind of took him
in as a pet," he said.
Rogers is not entirely
sure if Elvis is a male or fe-
male, but he named him
Elvis and refers to him as a
he. Elvis initially got
Rogers' attention by flying
around outside his back
window. He also walked
around and pecked on the
roof to make noise.
To this day, Elvis still
uses these techniques to
get Rogers' attention when
he is hungry.
"The hungrier he is, the
braver he is," Rogers said. In
the winter, Elvis is more ag-


This was t
"you've got tc
believe it" stc
of us weren't
this could be
writer Shannc
and photogra
Gefers hit the
got to "meet'
proving that
oddest tips ca
times turn ou
compelling t


gressive because there are fewer fish to
catch than in the summer. Great Blue
Herons primarily feed on small fish.
Neighbors have seen Elvis walk up to
Rogers' back door and patiently wait for him
to come outside.


When Rogers walks outside, Elvis follows
him down the back walkway to the dock.
There, the bird quietly stands, waiting for
Rogers to catch him some fish. Once Rogers
catches a fish, he will hold the fishing pole up
with the fish dangling so Elvis can grab the
fish off the line."I don't want to try feeding
him by hand," Rogers said."He's still a wild an-
imal and that long bill could
cut one of my fingers off."

S about an hour on the dock,
but Elvis will remain out-
side until dark.
"Once it's dark, he will
fly off somewhere. I'm not
sure where he goes, but I've
always been curious about
he staff's it," Rogers said.
Ssee toSometimes, Rogers will
go out on his boat to go
)ry. Some fishing and Elvis will stand
so sure on the front of the boat.
real, but "If I'm not careful, he
on Edinger will get into the bait well
pher Glenn and eat all the bait," Rogers
said. Elvis has become terri-
e lakes and trial of Rogers' dock."He
'Elvis, won't let any other birds on
even the the dock," Rogers said. Elvis
an some- started a fight with a hawk
it to hold a one time for coming too
close to the dock. "This is
ale his territory."
Elvis is shy around peo-
ple he does not know. He
keeps a safe distance when there are
strangers around, but he always keeps a
watchful eye on Rogers and the dock.
It is uncertain why Elvis chose Rogers'
home, but Rogers is certain of one thing:"He
is a happy camper."


Christina M. Martin, DDS, MS
, ' 81 3.929.6700

IB O 1r~ ' 1 F I O I o


IEHIND) SAMvI'S CLUB


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I December 29, 2010 1 13


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Principal Estabrook celebrates last first day


By B.C. Manion
Originally published Aug. 25

It's Day 1 of the 2010-11 school year, and
Principal Dave Estabrook wants to make
sure it gets off to a smooth start.
"It's a big day for setting the tone for the
year," said Estabrook, as he greets students
filing into Charles S. Rushe Middle School in
Land O' Lakes.


Dave Estabrook greets a group of boys
heading into Rushe Middle School for the
first day of classes in the 2010-11 school
year. (Photo by B.C. Manion)


As students pass by, some say hello to the
principal, others stop to ask him questions.
One girl tells him,"Nice tie, Mr. Estabrook."
Opening day is always special for educa-
tors, but this one in particular, has even
more meaning for Estabrook: It will be the
last time he rings in a new school year as a
Pasco County educator.
Estabrook is set to retire in mid-
December from his 35-year career in the
county's public schools.
He chose a mid-year departure to try to
ease the transition, he said.
But nothing will make his departure
easy, said Lorraine Majowicz, registrar and
class sub coordinator.
"I'm really sad that he's going to retire.
We're all going to cry," she said. Estabrook
treats others with respect, is an excellent lis-
tener, is fair-minded and is compassionate
with his staff when they have family issues,
she said.
He is able to see the big picture, while
still responding to individual needs, said
Assistant Principal Ron Michalak.
"I'm going to miss his strength and his
wisdom," Michalak said.
"He's an icon in the community,"
Michalak continued, which gives Estabrook
great credibility among parents and staff.
"The trust is there."
Estabrook inspires loyalty because he sin-
cerely wants to help other people grow, said
Vicky Hill, a reading teacher.


ri Im


We want
Estabrook ii
many contr
ml..LI . I---


public scno
year career
Rushe Midd
early 201 I.

"He's always trying to find everybody op-
portunities to advance, to try to do
something new," Hill said.
"You can't even imagine how many peo-
ple respect him and really enjoy working for
him and with him," Majowicz added.
When Estabrook was tapped to open
Rushe Middle three years ago,lots of teach-
ers and staff from Pine View Middle - his
previous school - followed him.
"That says a lot," said Mindy Turba, presi-
dent of the Parent Teacher Student
Association, who also knew Estabrook at
Pine View.
"He's very accessible,"Turba said."He will
make time for people. He will listen."
He's cordial, but no pushover, she added.
"We know how far we can push. If he's
against it, he's not going to sugarcoat it,"
Turba said.
Being able to communicate is perhaps
the most important aspect of a principal's
job, Estabrook said.


:ed to include this story about Dave
n our year-end edition to recognize the
ributions he has made to Pasco County
)ols and the community during his 35-
as an educator.The new principal for
le School is expected to be named in



The days of a school leader are filled
with communications - with administrators,
teachers, instructional assistants, custodians,
cafeteria workers, office staff, parents, stu-
dents and virtually everyone else on the
school campus, he said.
On top of all that, there's a need to reach
out to the community, said Estabrook, who
has mastered that as an active board mem-
ber and former president of the Central
Pasco Chamber of Commerce.
"We're here for the curriculum, the in-
struction, the teaching and the learning, No.
1 - but that still involves tactful communica-
tion, in order to get the job done," he said.
The principal is adept at reaching kids,
said Majowicz, who used to be directly in-
volved with school discipline cases.
When dealing with students who were
in trouble, Estabrook was firm, she said. But
he also is skilled at building rapport with
students - talking to them to find out about
their interests and strengths.


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Lutz restaurant benefit to help injured Marine keep home


By Suzanne Schmidt
Originally published July 28

An injured war veteran living inWesley
Chapel needs the community's help to stay
in his home.
AlexAltenhoff, co-owner ofWeck's, said
from the moment he met Pequeno he knew
he wanted to help him.
"We wanted it to be a nice backyard
shindig where whole families can come and
eat together," Altenhoff said. "This is not
about whether you are pro- or anti-war.Jose
made his decision to fight forAmerica and
he needs support."
Altenhoff said he was inspired by the
strength and determination he sees in
Marine Staff Sgt.Jose Pequeno, 36.
It has been more than four years since he
returned to the states after that fateful day in
Iraq when a grenade was thrown into the
Humvee he was riding in. He suffered a severe
brain injury along with a number of other in-
juries. Since then he has had 21 surgeries and
spent a total of 34 months in the hospital.
The day his mother, Nellie Bagley, re-
ceived the call he was injured is one she
will never forget. It was March 1,2006 when
her whole life turned upside down.
"They told me that my son had been in
an accident, but they wouldn't give me de-
tails," Nellie Bagley said. "When that
happens, you imagine the worst.When you
get a call like that you lose a piece of your-
self.That phone call is always in the back of
my mind.They said they didn't think he was
going to make it."
Pequeno either damaged or lost 50 per-
cent of his brain on the left side. Bagley and
her daughter Elizabeth Bagley traveled to
the Navy National Medical Center in
Maryland to see him as soon as he got back
to the states.
"When we were allowed to see him, we
took our gloves off and touched his shoul-
der in the only place we could," Nellie


Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Pequeno with his mom Nellie Bagley and Alex Altenhoff, co-owner of
Weck's American Grill. (Photo by Suzanne Schmidt)


Bagley said."We looked at him and told him
that we care for him and that if he wanted
to let go he can.We said if he wants to stay
and fight that we will be there for him.We
told him he will never be alone."
His mother and sister have kept that
promise by taking care of him everyday
since he cannot take care of himself and he
still cannot speak. Up until the last year and
a half, they stayed with him while he was in
and out of several hospitals. Since
December 2008, they have been living with
him in a home inWesley Chapel. Now it is
time to buy the house they have been rent-
ing, but they do not have the money.
"I started looking for a rental house that
would allow me to fix the bathrooms and in-
stall ramps and widen the doors," Nellie
Bagley said."The goal was to get him into a
house and out of the hospital so he could


get better. I found someone who would let
me rent the home and we had all of the
modifications done but I had to sign a con-
tract stating I would buy the house in a year."
Heroes to Hometown withTheAmerican
Legion did all of the $60,000 worth of modi-
fications to the home but now the family is
struggling to be able to buy it.
"Over a year has gone by and we haven't
had any success in raising money for the
house," Nellie Bagley said."Being out of the
hospital is the best thing for him. No med-
ication can replace the love and attention of
a family around him. If we get the house se-
cured that would be one big weight off my
shoulders.We have to keep the house, be-
cause Jose has to stay out of the hospital.
The difference in him since he has been out
is unbelievable."
Elizabeth Bagler said her brother knows


Former
Marine Jose
Pequeno, who
suffered seri-
ous injuries
while serving, is
now almost $80,000 closer to
owning his home due to a fundrais-
er held by a local restaurateur.
Weck's American Grill owner
AlexAltenhoff hosted The Meet
Jose silent auction and, despite tor-
rential downpours of rain, managed
to gather 500 people for a success-
ful night.Though Altenhoff's original
goal was $ 10,000, the auction at-
tendees exceeded his expectations
and raised $27,000, plus another
$50,000 donated by the Semper Fi
Fund.
According toAltenhoff,
Penqueno's home is around
$250,000, so there is still a little
way to go.


what's happening around him.
"We are typical brother and sister," Bagley
said."I will give him a hard time about the
outfit he is wearing and he will make a
growling noise or make a face as if he is re-
torting. It may take time but I have no doubt
in my mind one day he will communicate
with us down the line."
He has been improving thanks to the
physical, speech, occupational and pool
therapy he has been doing five days a week
and to the love and support of his family.
For more information or to donate, call
(813) 948-1615 or visit www.wecksameri-
cangrill.com.


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


16 1 December 29, 2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com







School celebrates a century of service


Zephyrhills High School's

roots date back 100 years

By B.C. Manion
Originally published Oct. 20

When students and alumni of
Zephyrhills High celebrate homecoming
this week - they will be marking 100 years
of public education in a place that prides it-
self on strong ties between the community
and its schools.
The homecoming game and its festivi-
ties, dubbed "A celebration of the
generations," promise to offer opportunities
not only for current faculty and students at
Zephyrhills High but also for decades of
alumni and former school staff to create
new memories and demonstrate school
pride.
The roots of today's Zephyrhills High go
back a century, when small nearby schools
closed and a new school opened in 1910 to
accommodate children in grades one
through 11.
Madonna Jervis Wise has chronicled the
city's history in "Images of America,
Zephyrhills" published by Arcadia
Publishing. She also gathered memories
about the school in "Zephyrhills - An
Anthology of its History Through
Education."


The original Zephyrhills School at Seventh Ave
Sixth Street opened in 1910. (Photos provided
Madonna Jervis Wise)


Students are shown in front of the second Zephyrhills school in 1926.


In"Images of America, Zephyrhills,"Wise
lc,, ribc, I the first public school in the city:
"It had four rooms on the first floor with a
wide hall and stairway leading to the second
floor."
That structure was built behind the pres-
ent-day Clock restaurant,Wise said, during a
recent interview with Wise, Ron Cherry,
Clereen Morrill Brunty and Caroline
Marlette, all members of the ZHS 100
Centennial Committee.
As homecoming festivities kick into high
gear, many alumni will be sharing fond
memories of the good old days at
Zephyrhills High.
While it began as a school for students in
grades one through 11, the school went
through many changes over
the years.
The original two-story
wooden school burned down
and was replaced by a two-
story stucco school. That
school also had a fire, which
caused extensive damage and
forced students to be split up
and taught at a bakery, a hotel,
a grocery store, City Hall and a
schoolhouse annex until re-
pairs were completed through
the Works Progress
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sure students had places to
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"Can you imagine a city - all those busi-
nesses - to show that kind of love and
support?"Wise asked.
The school moved to its current location
in 1975, with the former high school build-
ing becoming Stewart Middle School.
Ron Cherry has spent the better portion
of his life walking the corridors of
Zephyrhills schools. He spent a combined
total of more than 48 years as a teacher, stu-
dent and assistant principal.
He recalls when Pasco County had just
three high schools, and those attending
Zephyrhills High came from an area roughly
bounded by Greer Hill and the Pasco
County line, the Cypress Creek area and the
Polk County line.
Cherry played on the high school's bas-
ketball team during its glory days. He recalls
basking in the glow of the community's love
when he and his teammates won the state
championship in 1964.
As the team was heading back home, it
was greeted by sheriff's deputies at the


county line and given an escort into the city
where nearly half of the town was there to
celebrate.
"We thought we were heroes," Cherry
said.
Cherry also remembers the introduction
of technology into Zephyrhills High. The
mathematics teachers were ecstatic when
they learned they were getting a half-dozen
calculators made by Texas Instruments, he
said.
But the school quickly became a leader
in technology, said Caroline Marlette, brag-
ging how Zephyrhills High was the first
school in Pasco County to have its own
computer network.
Clereen Brunty, of the school's alumni as-
sociation, said thousands of people have
attended Zephyrhills High through the
years. She said there's roughly 11,000 names
of alumni in a database and she's still look-
ing for more.
Brunty is excited about the upcoming
festivities, where old friends, classmates and
faculty members will have a chance to min-
gle and share memories.
Unlike many homecoming dances,
which are exclusively for current students,
Zephyrhills High will have two dances this
year.
The students' dance will be in the
school's activity center, while the ZHS 100
Social and Dance will be in the school's
commons area.
A photographer will be on hand, too, to
capture the event in photos.
If the past is any indication, this will be
just one more time when special memories
are made during a century of public educa-
tion in Zephyrhills.


Students weren't the only ones partying at
I this year's homecoming at Zephyrhills High School.
In the spirit of the school's centennial year, the
school held a dance for alumni and staff members
- and more than 200 people turned out, said
Madonna Jervis Wise.The decorations were lovely,
the cake was huge and alumni from numerous
decades turned out to hail their alma mater.







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I December 29, 2010 1 17


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A selection of our favorite 'Pets Of The Week' from 2010


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Owners are Grace Thomas and Patti Owners Dawn and Danny Khalil
Nolan of Wesley Chapel of Wesley Chapel


Dolly Badger and Blondie
Owners are Bill and Gloria Martin Badger's owner is Morgan and Blondie's
of Land O' Lakes owner is Amanda Wade of Lutz


Gio Stinky
Owner is Suzanne Beauchaine of Lutz Owner is John Novikoff of Zephyrhills


Roxy
Owner is Darlinda Lewellen of Land O' Lakes


Mickey and Minnie
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18 1 December 29, 2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com






New Gaither field name honors 'Original Cowboy'


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Aug. 25

For years, Gaither High's football stadium
has been known as Death Valley, but this
season the field will have a name for the
first time - RonAllen Field.
Allen was Gaither's first principal when
the school opened in 1984. He came to the
school after being the principal at
Chamberlain High.
"I wasn't expecting it and I'm very hum-
bled to have such an honor," said Allen, who
has lived in Lutz for the last 32 years."I've
spent a lot of time as an administrator in
Hillsborough County and I will always re-
member the time I spent at Gaither."
Gaither's current principal was a student
there when Allen led the school.
"Mr. Allen is an important part of our
local community in northwest Hillsborough
County" said current Gaither principal Marie
Whelan, who is Gaither's fourth principal.
"Mr.Allen was my principal when I was a
student at Gaither, so this is even more spe-
cial for me."
One current teacher at Gaither has even
more history withAllen.
"Mr.Allen hired me in 1978 to teach and
coach at Chamberlain High School," science
teacher Karen Haag wrote in a letter to the
Hillsborough County School Board."He was
a tremendous principal and an amazing
leader of a severely overcrowded school.


S-_- "-4 -',- N
- d 1i






Gaither's first principal Ron Allen looks at the p
school before it was built in 1984. (Photo court

"I transferred to Gaither in 1984 not only
to work at a new school, but because I
could not imagine going to work with any-
one else at the helm," Haag continued.
Whelan, Haag and other Gaither employ-
ees and current students, such as student
senate president Shelby Masuck, wrote let-
ters to the school board requesting the field
be named after him. The board approved
the motionAug. 10.
School board chairwoman SusanValdes
said the board saw how obvious the Gaither


community supported the
motion and was happy to
honor Allen.The school will
officially honor Allen at a
home football game this sea-
son.
Allen said he remembers
the first day of school at
Gaither. He said there was no
intercom or bell system, so
faculty had to use bullhorns
in the halls to let people
.' know to move to the next
class.
"We opened the school
Son time and had very few
S problems'"Allen said."We had
more than 2,000 students
that first day and things went
lans for the smoothly."
esy of Allen) Allen also recalls how the
school got its mascot - the
Cowboys. Before the first day of class in
1984 he got 30 incoming students to dis-
cuss what would be a good name. They


decided on the Cowboys because it was
then very rural in north Hillsborough and
no other county school had a similar mas-
cot.
"He loved this school,"Whelan said."He
would wear a huge cowboy hat and cow-
boy boots and ride onto the field on a horse
(Spirit) during football games. He was the
original Gaither Cowboy."
Allen left Gaither in 1993 to become an
administrator for Florida High School
Athletic Association (FHSAA). Allen's wife
Nancy said it was very hard to leave Gaither
because they both love the school very
much. He retired from FHSAA in 2003 and
was inducted into the organization's hall of
fame the next year.
Besides his position with FHSAA,Allen
was also a high school track and field, foot-
ball and basketball coach. He also received
the 2003 Honor, Courage and Commitment
Award from the U.S. Marines, a partner of
FHSAA.
Allen and Nancy will celebrate their 50th
wedding anniversary next month.


SRon Allen is still living with his wife Nancy in
their Lutz home. Gaither High officially renamed the
field afterAllen at the Cowboys home football game
Oct. 24. Gaither defeated Freedom High in the con-
Stest 17-10.


Hall of fame calls for


Gaither coach Frank Permuy


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published March 10

During the 26-year history of Gaither
High School, only one man has managed the
Cowboy's baseball team. Now Frank Permuy
will live forever as a hall of famer.
Permuy was named to the Florida High
SchoolAthletic Association's (FHSAA) Hall of
Fame Feb. 25.
"When the FHSAA called me I was actu-
ally worried because they usually will only
call if you've broken some rule," Permuy said
jokingly."When they told me I was named
to the hall I was very surprised and ex-
tremely honored. There are so many great
coaches in the FHSAA Hall of Fame and it's a
pleasure to be among them."
It is the second hall of fame the coach
has been inducted into. The first is the


Florida Athletic Coaches
Association Hall of Fame, which
he was named to last year.
"The FACA is for coaches
only, so this one is even a little
more prestigious you could say,"
Permuy said."The FHSAA has of-
ficials, student-athletes and other
athletic personnel along with
coaches."


i-ranK rern


The 2010 class is the 18th group named
to the FHSAA hall.The group will be official-
ly inducted at a ceremony April 25 in
Gainesville.
"Frank Permuy will join official Clement
Brooks, former swimmer Andrew Coan,
baseball coach Pat McQuaid, writer Larry
Blustein, former football coach Harry
Jacobs, the late baseball coach Guy Garrett,
official Joseph Rider and the late former


football coach Sam Sirianni," said Seth
Polansky, FHSAA spokesperson."Permuy and
the others are all very deserving new mem-
bers of the hall of fame."
Permuy, 67, was born inYbor City and
grew up playing baseball, football and many
other sports.After a short career
S in the minor leagues was cut
short because of knee problems,
he took over as the skipper at
Leto High School for the 1971-72
school year.
"We won our district my first
year at Leto and I'm proud of
that," Permuy said.
uy He then coached at the
University of Tampa for four
years before moving to Tampa Catholic High
School. He guided the Crusaders to the
1982 Class 3A state championship.
Permuy took the coaching job at Gaither
when the school opened in 1984. He was a
physical education teacher for most of that
time, but retired from teaching three years ago.
"Now I just coach and it's a little differ-
ent," Permuy said."Before I could deal with
problems as soon as they happen. Now I


wait until I come in and get my mail to hear
if there are any problems."
The Cowboys have won eight district ti-
tles under Permuy, who was also named the
2007 National Federation of State High
School Association's coach of the year.
Gaither's best finish under Permuy was the
2005 6A state runner-up. He has won more
than 500 games during his high school
coaching career.
"We went 2-20 my first season at Gaither
and that's the only losing season I've had
here," Permuy said."The next year we won
the district, so we got things going in the
right direction fast.
"I want to keep coaching because I think
I can contribute and help the kids," he con-
tinued. "Although my wife (Danae) might
tear the uniform off me before I'm ready.
She thought it was time years ago."
During his career at Gaither, Permuy has
coached several players who were drafted
by Major League Baseball franchises. Of
those, Kevin Cash, who played last season
for the NewYorkYankees, and Chad Zerbe,
who played four years for the San Francisco
Giants,reached the big leagues.


SFrank Permuy is devoting his life to teaching
area children baseball. He is currently getting his
Cowboys ready for the 201 I season. Several of his
former players are doing the same as coaches for
other area teams.


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


I December 29, 2010 1 19







AH-Laker


AT-FaO News FALL TEAMS

THE BEST PLAYERS OF 2010 SELECTED BY SPORTS EDITOR KYLE LOJACONO


The Laker and the Lutz News has named its inaugural All-Laker/All-Lutz News teams for the
I I 2010 fall high school athletic seasons. Members of the team were selected based on their skill,
value to their team, final statistics and head-to-head matchups.Teams in the coverage area in-
clude Academy at the Lakes, Carrollwood Day, Freedom, Gaither, Land 0' Lakes, Pasco,
Saddlebrook Prep, Steinbrenner, Sunlake,Wesley Chapel,Wiregrass Ranch, Zephyrhills and
Zephyrhills Christian. Only sports sanctioned by the Florida High School Athletic Association
(FHSAA) are eligible for the team, not recognized sports. Sports Editor Kyle Lojacono selected the team.All stats were
as recorded to Maxpreps.com by coaches and all playoff performances are as recorded by the FHSAA.


GOLF

BOYS
-Jacob Fleck, Sr.,Wesley Chapel. No. 1
golfer on the first Wesley Chapel boys team to
reach the state tournament in program history.
-Jon Kopsell, Sr., Land O' Lakes.Was the
individual runner-up in districts and helped
the Gators reach the regional tournament.
-Dylan Larson, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch.
Leader of the first boys Bulls team to win a dis-
trict championship in program history and
was also the individual champion.
-Brandon Mumaw, Sr.,Wesley Chapel.
Four-year member of the Wildcats team and
finished as the individual runner-up in districts
with a 76.
-Jimmy Stranger, So., Gaither. His 77 was
tied for the lowest in districts and helped the
Cowboys finish as the runner-up in the event.
Coach of the Year: Alan Black, Wesley
Chapel. Black has been the only boys golf
coach at Wesley Chapel since it opened in
1999 after coaching at both Pasco and Land O'
Lakes and he saved his best team for his last
year.While he had taken individuals to states
before, including Cameron Knight who won
the 2004 Class 2A state title, this was the first
time he had taken a team to the event.

Player of the Year:
Jacob Fleck, Wesley
Chapel. Besides being
the No. 1 golfer of the
first team in program
history to reach the state
tournament, Fleck won
the individual Sunshine
Athletic Conference
tournament. His 78 was
good enough for third
lowest in districts and
followed that up by win-
ning the individual crown
in regionals with a 70.


GIRLS
-Nicholette Clark, Sr.,
Zephyrhills. Qualified for states in
the 200-yard freestyle with a time of
2:00 and won the race in districts in
2:01.
-Lindsay Gorgen, Sr.,
Zephyrhills. Won the 100-yard
freestyle in districts with a time of
56.71 seconds.
-Megan Huynh, Sr., Sunlake.
Won the 50-yard freestyle race in
districts with a time of 27.44 sec-
onds.
-Rebecca Pindral, Sr.,
Wiregrass Ranch. Came in sixth in
the state in the 100-yard back-
stroke with a time of 1:07.
-Makayla Strickland, Sr.,
Wiregrass Ranch. Key member of the
Bulls 200-yard freestyle relay team that
took first in districts in 1:49.


E ... , "
Player of the Year: Alex Milan, Steinbrenner.
Milan brought home her fourth straight district
tournament and competed in states for the
third consecutive season, but for the first time,
her team came with her. Milan was the leader
of the first Warriors team to reach states and
was like a second coach for the squad. She
has already signed her letter of intent to play
at Florida State University next year.


GIRLS
-Ellen Crowley, Jr., Academy at the
Lakes. Leader of the team that won the first
district championship in school history.
-Hana Lee, Fr., Wesley Chapel. Only a
freshman, but was the No. 1 golfer on the
squad and shot an 86 to qualify for regionals as
an individual.
-Kellianne May, Jr., Pasco. Shot a 79 in
districts, helping the Pirates earn runner-up in
Class 1A, District 8. She followed up with a 79
in regionals, good enough for third place.
-Alex Milan, Sr., r~cinibrciilcr Won her
fourth straight individual district champi-
onship.
-Lauren Riehle, Jr., Saddlebrook Prep.
Won her second straight individual district
championship despite being the only member
on the team.
Coach of the Year: Mark Mann, Steinbrenner.
Mann became the Warriors coach when the
school opened last year. Most of his new players
at Steinbrenner came over with him from Sickles
and he has helped turn the second-year school
into a girls golf contender. His team will likely re-
turn four players who competed in this year's
Class 1A state tournament and the squad will like-
ly be a factor for years.


Swimmer/Diver of the Year: Rebecca
Pindral, Wiregrass Ranch. Besides being a
part of the Wiregrass Ranch 200-yard
freestyle relay team that took first in districts,
Pindral also won the 100 backstroke. Pindral
has been on the team for four years and was
also a leader of the team that started to make
a name for itself in the school's fifth year.

Coach of the Year: Jennifer Ordetx,
Steinbrenner. Despite coaching a program in its
second year, Ordetx took several swimmers to
regionals. She was only the girls coach in name,
but did everything she could to help the boys
as well. Given a couple more years Ordetx will
likely add some banners in the Warriors gym.


FIRST TEAM
--Libero: CaryAnn Bame,Jr.,
Steinbrenner. Led the Warriors
with 217 digs while adding 43
aces and helped the squad win
its second district title and first
regional match.
--Middle hitter: Chelsea
Violenes, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch.
Her 1.5 blocks per game was
11th most in the state. Had 138
blocks, a team-high 152 kills and
103 digs.
-Middle hitter: Nicole
Woodard, Sr., Land O' Lakes. Her
136 blocks was tied for third
most in Florida. She also added
186 kills and 20 aces.
- -Outside hitter: Morgan
Crescent, Sr., Land O' Lakes.
Named the Sunshine Athletic
Conference East Co-Player of the
Year after putting down a team-
high 221 kills and adding 97
aces.
-Outside hitter: Natalia
Ortiz, Sr., Steinbrenner. The co-captain put
down 84 kills while adding a team-high 31
blocks.
-Outside hitter: Teresa Della Penna,Jr.,
Land O' Lakes. Played both outside hitter and
setter this year and led the Gators with 284 as-
sists and 112 aces while adding 208 kills.
-Setter: Erin McMurtry, Sr., Steinbrenner.
Along with her 613 assists, she had 79 digs, 70
aces, 37 kills and 17 blocks.

SECOND TEAM
-Libero: Helen Marte, Sr., Land O' Lakes.
Finished the year with 371 digs and also con-
tributed 19 aces.
-Middle hitter: Megan Moyer, Sr.,
Steinbrenner. Led the Warriors with 128 kills
and contributed 25 aces and 22 blocks.
-Middle hitter: Tori Quaglia,Jr.,Wiregrass
Ranch. Led the Bulls with 83 blocks and also
added 135 kills and 41 digs.
-Outside hitter: Kaylee Gaskin, Sr.,
Zephyrhills.After losing three key starters to


BOYS
-Alex Hill, Sr.,Wesley Chapel. Came in
second overall in the Class 2A state diving fi-
nals with 17 points.
-Nick Keach, Sr., Sunlake. Finished sec-
ond in districts with in the 100-yard freestyle
in 50.05 seconds and part of the 200 freestyle
relay team that finished second in the event.
-Matt Menendez, Fr.,Wiregrass Ranch.
Placed second in the 100-yard butterfly event
in districts with a time of 59.32 seconds.Also
came in third in 200-yard free in 1:54.
-Giorgi Meyer, Jr., Steinbrenner. Took
first place in diving in the Class 1A, District 7
and followed that up by finishing third in re-
gionals.
-Kyle Shaffer, Sr., Sunlake.Won the 200-
yard individual medley in districts with a time
of 2:11 and part of the 200 freestyle relay team
that finished second in the event.
Coach of the Year: Tanner Schmitz,
Wiregrass Ranch. Schmitz had never coached


Player of the Year: Erin McMurtry,
Steinbrenner. McMurtry had not played
setter since middle school but had to
relearn the position this summer to fill a
team need. She did not miss a beat and
helped guide the Warriors to their second
straight district championship and first
regional tournament win. McMurtry was
also a co-captain and was a leader on and
off the court.

graduation, Gaskin stepped up and was the
frontline leader for the Bulldogs.
-Outside hitter: Ashley Wilson, Fr.,
Freedom. Led the Patriots with 295 kills and
chipped in 205 digs and 25 aces.
-Setter: Kelly Schaller, Fr., Freedom.
Racked up 645 assists and a team-high 82 aces.
Also had 97 digs, 39 kills and 18 blocks.
Coach of the Year: Laurie Fitzpatrick,
Land O' Lakes.The first-year coach came in and
made a mark on the program quickly. The
Gators were 11-9 last season, but improved to
19-4 this year. Land O' Lakes was knocked out
of the district semifinals in a four-set match
against Hernando, but were headed in the
right direction. Given a few more years she
will likely end the Gators 21-year district tour-
nament drought.


r, - W' -


Swimmer/Diver of the
Year: Alex Hill, Wesley
Chapel. Coming in first
in diving in the Class 2A,
District 5 tournament
was just the beginning
for Hill. He followed that
up by placing second in
regionals and matched
that finish in states.
Unfortunately for the
Wildcat senior, he was
runner-up to Cole Maffeo
in both events, but made
his mark on state diving
in his last year.


swimming before this season, but he handled
the Bulls team like a seasoned professional. He
played and coached football and brought a
new level of work and commitment to the
boys and girls squads' practices this year.


Offensive Player of the Year: Stephen
Weatherford. Despite missing the Gators
last two games for undisclosed reasons,
Weatherford's 30 passing touchdowns
was still tied for third most of any quar-
terback in Florida. His 237.3 passing
yards per game was also the eighth
most in the state. He added a team-high
476 rushing yards and eight touchdowns
on 62 carries and brought in one catch
for five yards and another score.


-Offensive line: Carrollwood Day.The unit includes jun-
ior right tackle Chance Furman, sophomore right guard Collin
DeBossier, sophomore center Jarrod Smith, sophomore left
guardAdam Morsel and senior left tackle Mak Djulbegovic.

OFFENSIVE HONORABLE MENTION
-Quarterback: Jacob Jackson, Sr.,Sunlake. Stepped up as a
passer this season, throwing for 1,258 yards on 82 completions
and 18 touchdowns while adding a team-high 1,058 rushing
yards on 138 carries and another 12 scores.
-Running back: Robert Davis, So., Carrollwood Day. Ran
for 1,523 yards on 124 carries and 15 touchdowns.
-Running back: Janarion Grant, So. Pasco. Picked up five
touchdowns and 434 rushing yards on 41 carries and added an-
other seven receiving scores.
-Wide receiver: TobiAntigha, Sr., Steinbrenner. Most reli-
able target on the Warriors team that finished 5-5 after not
winning a varsity contest the year before.
-Offensive line: Wiregrass Ranch.The unit had six play-
ers who rotated as starters, including senior tackle Noah
Ravenna, junior tackle Justin Scamardo, junior tackle Jacob
Sniezyk, senior guard Frankie Walther, senior guard Jared Cameli
and junior center TravisWhiddon.


OFFENSIVE FIRST TEAM DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM


--Quarterback: Stephen Weatherford,
Sr., Land O' Lakes. Led Pasco County with
2,136 passing yards and 30 touchdowns
while adding another eight rushing scores.
--Running back: David Emmanuel,
So., Pasco. Racked up 1,046 rushing yards
on 145 carries and 16 scores.
-Running back: Josh Roberts, Jr.,
Zephyrhills Christian.Was the leading rush-
er and scorer on a Warriors team that won
the six-man football championship.
-Wide receiver: Trey Dudley-Giles, Jr., Pasco. Led the
Pirates with nine receiving touchdowns while adding 547
yards on 24 catches.
-Wide receiver: Will Irwin, Sr., Land O' Lakes. Brought in
18 touchdowns and 46 catches for 1,018 receiving yards.
-Tight end: Jason Tello, Sr., Land O' Lakes.Was the under-
neath threat for the Gators, catching 58 passes for 846 yards
and five scores.
-Offensive line: Sunlake.The unit includes junior right
tackle Nate McCoole, junior right guard Matt Sanders, senior
center Josh Nobles, junior left guard Randy Silverwood and jun-
ior left tackle Canon Clark.The big five helped the Seahawks
win a program record eight games.

OFFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
-Quarterback: Jacob Guy,Jr., Pasco. Completed 106 pass-
es for 2,014 yards and 27 touchdowns while guiding the
Pirates to the regional semifinals.
-Running back: Rashaud Daniels,Jr., Sunlake. Gained 543
yards on 78 carries and found the end zone 11 times.
-Running back: Nick Lomba, Sr.,Wiregrass Ranch. Had
670 yards on 71 carries and 11 touchdowns in helping the
Bulls win their first district championship.
-Wide receiver: Mike Clower, Sr., Pasco. Had a team-high 658
receiving yards on 23 catches, including eight for touchdowns.
-Wide receiver: Robert Lohnes, Sr., Freedom. Probably
the fastest player on theAll-Laker team, racked up 596 yards on
37 catches and five touchdowns.
-Tight end: Kent Taylor,Jr., Land O' Lakes.Was second on
the Gators with nine receiving touchdowns and added 571
yards on 35 catches.


CROSS


COUNTRY


GIRLS
-Lauren Garris, So., r~ciiibrciiicr
Finished seventh in the regional event with a
time of 20:24.
-Ariel Grey, Sr.,Wiregrass Ranch. Came
in 12th place individually in regionals with a
time of 19:20.
-Evyn Moon, Fr., Steinbrenner. Her 20th
place finish helped the program advance to
their first state tournament.
-Nikita Shah, So., Wiregrass Ranch.
Helped lead the Bulls to conference, district
and regional championships.


Defensive Player of the
Year: Josh Scarberry.
The Gaither defense was
the squad's strength and
Scarberry was the leader
of that unit. He shined
with both his play on the
field, but also because of
his leadership. Opposing
coaches spoke of how he
never takes a play off.


-Linebacker: Jackson Cannon,
Jr., Land 0' Lakes. Led the Gators
with 123 tackles and 15.5 sacks.
-Linebacker: Josh
Scarberry, Jr., Gaither. Led the
Cowboys with 75 tackles, nine
sacks and three forced fumbles.
-Linebacker: Shadow
Williams, Jr., Land O' Lakes. Had
121 tackles, 11 sacks and three
forced fumbles.
-Defensive line: Chadd
Hannah, Sr., Gaither. Had 48 tack-
les and seven sacks this year and
has several scholarship offers
from Division I schools.
-Defensive line: Mark Landry,
Sr., Pasco. Recorded 61 tackles com-
ing off the end with seven sacks.
-Defensive line: Spencer
Michelson, Sr., Land O' Lakes.The
team captain moved to the line
to help the team and still had 82
tackles and 9.5 sacks.
-Defensive line: Nick


Wilson,Jr., Pasco. On a Pirates team that put constant pressure
on opposing quarterbacks, he led Pasco with 9.5 sacks.
-Defensive back: Tyler McCollum,Jr., Gaither. His five in-
terceptions and three passes defensed made quarterbacks
throw to the check down option.
-Defensive back: Max Pautler,Jr., Gaither. Pautler had four
interceptions, but could easily have had many more if opposing
quarterbacks threw his way.
-Defensive back: Eddie Burgos, So., Sunlake. Had four in-
terceptions and 13 passes defensed.
-Defensive back: Justin Tello, Sr., Land O' Lakes. Came up
with five interceptions and 45 tackles.

DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
-Linebacker: Alex Bombino, Sr., Nrclllbrciilcr Was the
heart and soul of the Warriors defense,making big plays and
not allowing any teammates to quit.


Runner of the Year:
Nikita Shah, Wiregrass
Ranch. Despite being only a
sophomore, Shah became
the Bulls No. 1 runner this
season. Her times helped
Wiregrass Ranch win the
Sunshine Athletic Conference,
'5 T the Class 3A-3 district and
3A-2 regional championships.
She ran the 10th fastest time
in regionals, finishing in
19:51. She has plenty of time
to get even faster.

-Nicole Solmonson, Jr., Zephyrhills.
Made it to the regional tournament as an indi-
vidual this year.
Coach of the Year: Don Howard,Wiregrass
Ranch. Howard led the Bulls to conference, dis-
trict and regional titles this year, but also
showed his leadership in rallying the team be-


Coach of the Year: Bill Browning, Sunlake. In the pro-
gram's fourth season, Browning guided the team to an 8-2
record, the first winning season in program history. The
competition in Class 3A, District 7 was so tough that the
Seahawks just missed the playoffs, but the growth in the
program is evident.

-Linebacker: Jack Fisher, Sr.,Wesley Chapel. Recorded 120
tackles, 50 more than any other Wildcat.
-Linebacker: Dale Smith Jr., Zephyrhills Christian.Was the
leader of the state championship team despite taking a year off
from the sport the previous year.
-Defensive line: Craig King, Sr., Sunlake. Led the
Seahawks with seven sacks and added 42 tackles.
-Defensive line: Frank"Duke" Morrison, Sr., Zephyrhills.
Probably the most respected by his teammates, Morrison's lead-
ership was evident in practice and games.
-Defensive line: Noah Ravenna, Sr.,Wiregrass Ranch.
Recorded 31 tackles and two sacks while drawing double
teams all year.
-Defensive line: Angel Alvarez, Sr., Gaither. Had 36 tackles
and was named to the All-Western Conference Football
American Division first-team.
-Defensive back: JohnAyers, Sr.,Wesley Chapel.The safe-
ty came up with four interceptions and 70 tackles.
-Defensive back: Chris Reaves, Sr., Zephyrhills. Reaves' play
in the secondary was one of the bright spots for the Bulldogs.
-Defensive back: Wesley Moore,Jr., Land O' Lakes. Led
the Gators with seven interceptions while adding two sacks
and 92 tackles.
-Defensive back: Raymond Powell, Sr.,Wiregrass Ranch.
Led the Bulls with four interceptions and added 48 tackles.

DEFENSIVE HONORABLE MENTION
-Linebacker: Levon Brookins,Jr., Gaither. Brookins had 71
tackles and forced a fumble.
-Linebacker: Keith Lewis, Sr., Freedom. Lewis had some
injuries this season, but managed 104 tackles and three sacks.
-Defensive line: Max Osnos,Jr.,Academy at the Lakes. Osnos
played at many positions, but made the biggest difference up front.
-Defensive back: Dillon Floyd,Jr., Carrollwood Day. Had a
team-high six interceptions while adding six passes defensed
and 35 tackles.
-Defensive back: Jordan Michelson, So., Land O' Lakes.
Picked off two passes, but had 15 passes defensed to lead all
defensive backs on the All-Laker team.

SPECIAL TEAMS
-Kicker: Adrian Krupka, Sr., Sunlake. Had 32 touchbacks
out of 63 kickoffs and 40 made extra points.
-Punter: Jacob Guy, Jr., Pasco. Along with running the
Pirates high powered offense, Guy averaged more than 40
yards a punt.
-Returner: Robert Lohnes, Sr., Freedom.Averaged 12 yards
a punt return and 33 yards per kick return.


hind a fallen teammate. Lexi Ulrich would have
been a junior on the team, but was killed with
her family in a plane crash earlier in the year.
He and the team dedicated the season to her.

BOYS
-Kenneth Fessel, Jr., Sunlake. Was the
only member of the Seahawks to advance to
states with a time of 16:12 in regionals,good
enough for fifth place.
-Hendrix Lafontant, Sr., Land 0' Lakes.
No. 1 runner on the Gators team that ended
up second in both districts and regionals.
-Alex Newby, Sr., Steinbrenner. No. 1 runner
on the Steinbrenner team that won its district and
finished second in Class 2A state event.
-Anthony Plourde, Sr., Pasco. Qualified
for states individually and came in 35th place
with a time of 16:49.
-Joshua Reilly, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch.
Finished third individually in regionals with a
time of 16:08.


Runner of the Year:
Alex Newby,
Steinbrenner. Newby
went out with a bang this
year, helping the Warriors
program win its first dis-
trict title in surprising
fashion. After taking first
in Class 2A, District 5,
Steinbrenner came in
second in the state event.
Newby posted a time of
16:26, good enough for
15th fastest in the state.


Coach of the Year: Bobby McConnell.
McConnell came to rcil[Ircilllcr from Gaither
and won a district title in his first campaign.
Even more surprising, the Warriors leader got
the squad in good enough shape to finish sec-
ond in the Class 2A state finals. Things look
good as NrtcinlrciIIIcr races into the future.


20 December29,2010 I THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


0















Cr


CnewsPubs.com /81 3-909-2800


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS - SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION I December 29, 2010 1 21






Shuffleboard king returns with two more titles


Earl Ball ties record for
national championships

By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Sept. 22
When it comes to shuffleboard na-
tional championships, no one has more
than Zephyrhills resident Earl Ball.
Ball, 66, won two of the three titles
at the Eastern National Shuffleboard
Championship in Hendersonville, N.C.,
bringing his total title count to 15.That
ties him with Lary Faris, who has re-
tired from the game.
"It's exciting to have the opportuni-
ty to win so many titles," Ball said."I've
really enjoyed chasing this record be-
cause the guy who had the record and I
go back and forth with it. I wrote him e-
mails saying that's number 14 and that's
number 15. He typically comes back
and says he's going to come out of re-
tirement to stay on top."
The weeklong championship fin-
ished Sept. 7. Ball, 66, took home the
men's singles and doubles Eastern
National titles, but was eliminated in
the semifinals of the mixed doubles
event.
Helping Ball bring home the dou-
bles event was Stan Williamson, who
now has won eight championships.
Seven of those titles came as a doubles
team with Ball.
"I really went and played for Earl,"
Williamson, 63, said. "He plays a lot
more than I do and is much more into
getting the most titles, so I did it for
him.
"When we go anywhere people al-
ways know Earl," Williamson added.
"He's the person everyone knows and
is trying to beat. That makes it harder
for him because everyone is gunning
for him."
Williamson is three years younger
than Ball. Because of that,Williamson
said he is like Tiger Woods chasing
down Ball who is Jack Nicklaus for the
most titles. Nicklaus has the most major
championships in professional golf his-


Eve's, Gard


Stan Williamson (left) and Earl Ball display
the titles won in Hendersonville. Williamsor
has the doubles title the two claimed and
Ball has the singles championship trophy.


tory with 18, while Woods is chasing
him with 14.
"When you're the person doing it
you don't even feel it," Ball said."Other
people see it.When I look at what Tiger
Woods does or what Jack Nicklaus has
done I'm amazed, so it's the same thing.
When you're the actual person, it's just
part of what you're doing."
Ball first started playing in 1997, so
he has averaged more than one national
championship per year. His main goal
has been to track down the record for
most national titles. He also wants the
all-time wins crown in Florida.
"The person with the most has 85
and that's by Glenn Peltier," Ball said."I
am third with 58 and won 10 last years.
So I'm chasing that. I'm also about 20
points behind Faris for total national
points. So I've still got that to chase

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Down too."
-- Players receive points for finish-
ing near the top of various events.
Ball said he wants to continue
playing as long as he can to reach
those last goals and stretch out a
lead in the number of national
championships.
"Every now and then I consider
reducing the amount of play be-
cause I always feel it wear on me at
the end of the season in March and
April, but come October you get ex-
cited after you start playing some
tournaments," Ball said. "It's the
mental part that really gets you. It's
not so much physical, but it's the
combination of the travel and play-
n ing four and five days a week in
heavy competition."
At the Zephyrhills Shuffleboard
Club most people said they look up
to Ball on the courts, including Tom
Churchill.
"He's a great player," Churchill said."I
wish I was half as good as him because
he's the best in the city and really in the
country."
The next chance for Ball to take the
overall lead in championships is in
November in Bradenton for the
National Singles Championship. If he
does not win there, Ball and Williamson
will team up for the National Doubles
Championship in January, also in
Bradenton.
"That's where I won my first title
with Stan," Ball said. "It was the first
championship of the new millennium
in January of 2000 and it would be fit-
ting if we could win that to set the
record. Of course I want to win in
November too."


rl Ball's total title count is still
His next chance to take the
rd for his own is in February in
enton at the Winter National
bles tournament. He will again be
d with Stan Williamson.


Earl Ball with the two national titles he won in
Hendersonville, N.C. (Photos by Kyle LoJacono)


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813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com






Sisters reunited in college


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Aug. 18

For just one season sisters Kayli and
Meghan Keough played basketball together
through the highs and lows as student-ath-
letes at Land O' Lakes High.
That single season was the 2007-08
school year, when the Gators went 25-4 and
reached the second round of the playoffs.
Kayli was a senior and Meghan a freshman.
The two never thought they would have an-
other opportunity to play together once
Kayli left to play at Florida State University
(FSU), but they will be reunited this year at
the University of Central Florida (UCF).
"I loved playing with her that one year,"
Meghan said."It was easy for us to play to-
gether because we know exactly what the
other is going to do. I thought it was only a
one-time thing, but I guess we got lucky."
Kayli decided to transfer from FSU to UCF
for this school year after playing two seasons
with the Seminoles. She will have to sit out
one season because of NCAA transfer rules,
but she will be eligible to play two more
years with the Golden Knights in Orlando.
She has already left for her new school.
Kayli said she wanted a little more play-
ing time and she liked the fit and coaches at
UCEAlso, Meghan had verbally committed
to the school and will sign with them in
October.The appeal of playing with her sis-
ter was a key reason for switching to the
school.
"I consider her my best friend," Kayli said
of Meghan."As kids we bickered a lot, but


that changed when we were in high school
together. Now we are best friends and love
being around each other."
The two grew up in Land O' Lakes.Their
father, Mike, was also an athlete with the
Gators. He was part of the second graduat-
ing class at Land O' Lakes and received a
scholarship to play quarterback at
Tennessee Tech University. He was also a
volunteer football coach with the Gators for
12 years.
"Athletics has been very important in our
lives and we really enjoy watching the two
of them play," said their mother Lisa."It's re-
ally exciting to watch their games. It was a
longer drive to Tallahassee than it will be to
Orlando, so we'll be able to get to many
more of their games."
The two first started playing basketball a
little later than most Division I athletes. Kayli
picked it up around age 13 while playing at
Pine View Middle, while Meghan began at 10.
"I started playing because my sister
played," Meghan said."I'd see her playing in
the backyard and I'd want to come out and
play too. Now I can't imagine not playing."
Kayli plays both forward and on the
wing. She is 6-foot-1 and her ability to play
inside and out has made her difficult for op-
ponents to match up against. At Land O'
Lakes she averaged a team-high 18.9 points
per game, 104 blocks, 89 steals and 240 re-
bounds as a senior while adding 50 assists.
Meghan is a point and shooting guard.
The 5-foot-7 perimeter player says she most
enjoys driving to the basket and kicking the
ball out to a teammate ready to sink an


L 1 Kayli Keough is currently attending the University of
I Central Florida, while Meghan is finishing her senior sea-
son atTampa Catholic High. Meghan has since signed her
letter of intent to play at UCE




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Kayli (left) and Meghan Keough last played together at Land O' Lakes High. (Photos cour-
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open shot. She played her first two seasons
at Land O' Lakes, but transferred to Tampa
Catholic High for her junior season because
she felt the academic reputation would help
her get into a better college.
In that first season Meghan played most-
ly point guard and guided the Crusaders to a
Class 3A championship, the first state title in
the program's history.
"She did a great job handling the ball and
stepping into a roster that had four return-
ing players," said Tampa Catholic coach
Nancy Kroll."As the point guard she runs
the offense and she made it look easy to
step right in and do just that."
Meghan averaged 12 points per game,
110 assists, 96 steals and 79 rebounds last
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Kroll said Meghan is very coachable and
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"I don't have to ever worry about her
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While basketball is a large part of their
lives, the two actually started out as swim-
mers on the Land O' Lakes Lightning swim
team. They then started playing volleyball
and Kayli received scholarship offers to play
middle blocker in college.
Kayli is double-majoring in sociology and
psychology and plans to eventually attend
law school. Meghan is still undecided what
kind of career she will pursue. Professions
are still many years off and the two are just
looking forward to playing together again
next year.
"When we lost in the playoffs my senior
year we were both so sad because we
thought that was it," Kayli said."Now that it
is really possible for us to play together
again it doesn't seem real. This time we'll
have two years together and it'll be some of
the best years I've had playing."
-All stats as recorded to Maxpreps.com
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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


Y IP~"


I December 29, 2010 1 23


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800






Drew Weatherford earns


pro shot with the Storm


EAS(O)


Former Land O' Lakes QB throws
first Arena League touchdown

By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published July 14

A few years ago DrewWeatherford was
leading the Land O' Lakes High Gators to nu-
merous touchdown drives on Friday nights,
but his most recent score was different for
him.
That latest touchdown was his first as a
professional football player with the Tampa
Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.The
score came on a 24-yard pass to Hank
Edwards in a 78-39 win over Bossier-
Shreveport June 25.


Former Land O' Lakes football coach John Ber
Drew Weatherford after a Gators game.


"I'm just loving the opportunity to play,"
Weatherford said."Ever since I was little I
wanted to play professional football. I didn't
think it would be in arena football, but it's
still great to be able to play. I mean, they pay
me to play football."
It is not Weatherford's only job as he
works full-time with Imperium
Development, which is currently building a
large renewable energy facility in Dover.
After working all day he drives to practice
to live out his football dreams.
"He certainly does whatever he can to
promote the sport while helping us on the
field and holding down a full-time job," said
Storm head coachTim Marcum."We see that
with his willingness to play special teams
while also developing into a top-notch quar-
terback in this league."
Weatherford is the
backup quarterback for
the Storm (10-3), but also
leads the team with 14
tackles on special teams,
according to the team
spokesman Jim
Robinson.
"To be honest I just
love playing football,"
SWeatherford said. "I al-
ways considered myself a
football player first who
just happened to be a
quarterback.
"I've played quarter-
back since I was
12-years-old and I actually
played linebacker in mid-
e detto (left) and le school, but I couldn't
nedetto (left) and
do that in high school,
Weatherford continued.


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Drew Weatherford of the Tampa Bay Storm makes a special teams tackle against the
Orlando Predators this season. (File photos)


"I did get to play safety
during my senior year at
Land O' Lakes.Then it was
five or so years of just
playing quarterback and
being the one getting hit.
Now I get to return the
favor and hit people in-
stead of getting hit."
Weatherford has com-
pleted six of four passes
for 64 yards and that one
touchdown through the
Storm's first 13 games.
He first started playing
football with the Citrus
Park Bills of the Tampa Bay
Youth Football League at
Skyway Park near the
Veterans Expressway and
Tampa International
Airport. Those were the
same fields Weatherford's
tryouts were when he
made the Storm's roster.


The Storm reached the
Arena Football League's
championship game this
year, but were defeated by
the Spokane Shock 69-57.
DrewWeatherford is still
working with Imperium
Development and decid-
ing if he wants to play the
upcoming season for the
Storm.


Weatherford was the third of six broth-
ers to play for the Land O' Lakes High
football team.As a senior he led the Gators
to a 12-1 record with 2,639 passing yards
and 20 scores.
"My high school experience couldn't
have been better,"Weatherford said."I was
the water boy for the team when I was little
and I got to play with my older brother Sam
when I was a freshman. Playing at Land O'
Lakes is something I'll never forget."
Weatherford's younger brother, Stevie,is
the Gators current starting quarterback and
will be a senior next season.
"I wasn't at the game he threw the
touchdown, but I got to see it on TV and I
was very happy to see him," Stevie said."I've
gotten to some of the games and it's great to
watch him, but it is kind of weird but really
cool to see him running down the field on
special teams."


Weatherford attended
Florida State University
(FSU) after graduating from
Land O' Lakes. He took a
medical red during his first
season, but became the
Seminoles' starting quarter-
back the following year in
2005.
FSU won the inaugural
Atlantic Coast Conference
his first year quarterbacking
the Seminoles while setting
a conference record for a
freshman with 3,208 passing
yards while adding 18 touch-
downs, according to Florida
States' sports information de-
partment. He finished with
37 career touchdowns and
nine 300-yard passing
games.
After graduating from
FSU,Weatherford got an invi-
tation to a Chicago Bears


rookie minicamp in 2009, but nothing came
of it.Then he got his shot with the Storm be-
fore this season and quickly found the game
to be different than what he has played his
whole life.
"The speed is much faster here than in
high school or college,"Weatherford said.
"The biggest thing for me is the angles with
the smaller field.The windows to throw the
ball into are much tighter, so I need to be
more accurate."
Weatherford lives in Odessa, just minutes
from his old high school. He plans on
watching Stevie play during his senior year
and said being able to stay close to home is
very special to him.
"God works in funny ways sometimes,"
Weatherford said."I get to play for my home
team and am getting a chance to do what I
love. I couldn't really ask for more than
that."


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24 1 December 29,2010 1






Benedetto's switches up


seafood dishes due to oil spill


By Suzanne Schmidt
Originally published May 19

Ben Pumo, owner of Benedetto's
Ristorante Italiano, has changed the seafood
dishes at his restaurant to bring in fresh fish
from other areas like Maine and Hawaii due
to the recent Gulf oil spill.
"We have stocked up on shrimp and
once we run out, we will get it from the east
coast,' Pumo said."We are now serving mon-
chong from Hawaii, which is a buttery,
meaty fish with a texture almost like chick-
en and an unbelievable taste.We are also
bringing in fish from Maine where it comes
from our own dock. We have haddock,
Ipswich clams, and Maine lobster."
The restaurant is also serving mahi-mahi
and big eye tuna from Hawaii and Chilean
sea bass. Sean O'Connor, general manager of
the restaurant, said he thinks it is a good
idea.
"People won't want to eat seafood as
much with the oil spill," O'Connor said."We
are getting our seafood now from all over
the place."
Pumo said his restaurant is different from
others for a number of reasons.
"The uniqueness of the piano bar and


the type of cuisine we offer sets us apart,"
Pumo said."Everything we serve is so fresh.
We also have a lot of talent here with the
chefs and the servers."
Vito Martucci, a chef at the restaurant,is
from Italy and has worked in and owned a
few Italian restaurants through the years.
"We have contemporary Italian cuisine
with a flair of French and Latin influences,"
Martucci said."The atmosphere is nice since
we have live music every night.The piano


Although there are still millions of gallons of oil in the gulf,Tampa
restaurants have returned to business as usual. Benedetto's owner Ben Pumo
began buying seafood from the East Coast after the spill, but as of a month
ago, he is buying shrimp and grouper from Tarpon Springs again.Pumo said that
Seven after the spill, the number of seafood orders
J stayed the same.


"I think a lot of people respect my judgment, and
my customers know I would never serve anything
that wasn't the best possible quality," said Pumo, who
buys his seafood directly from the ship captains.


Ben Pumo, Vito Martucci and Dustin Funderburg take a break from cooking at Benedetto's
Ristorante Italiano in Land O' Lakes. (Photos by Suzanne Schmidt)


adds a NewYork flair to the atmosphere."
The restaurant can also serve up made-
to-order dishes.
"A lot of people think eating Italian
means that they have to eat garlic, but every-
thing we make is made-to-order," Pumo said.
"We can make something special for people
who are lactose-intolerant or we can make
it with wheat pasta.Also most of our dishes
are vegetarian or can be made that way.We
truly try to have something for everyone."
Lillian Stark of Land O' Lakes has been
eating at Benedetto's since it opened. She
said she keeps coming back because the
staff is so inviting, the atmosphere is cozy
and the food is excellent.
"He has a real knack for coming up with
creative and delicious dishes," Stark said."It
is a place I like to go weekly to just hang


out. I am from NewYork and it is hard to
find an Italian restaurant that can deliver
such great food. Plus I love the piano bar, it
makes it so much fun."
The restaurant is also offering early din-
ner specials from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday
through Thursday. For $14.95 customers get
a beverage, house or Caesar salad, a choice
from eight entrees and either key lime pie
or spumoni for dessert.
"It is a good deal and that is what people
are looking for," Pumo said.
The restaurant, 21529 Village Lakes
Shopping Center Drive in Land O' Lakes, is
open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through
Thursday, from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and
Saturday and from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call (813) 909-
9694 or visit benedettoitaliano.com.


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


aaa


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


I December 29, 2010 1 25






From old metal to new beauty

Lutz artist transforms rusted railroad spikes, old
nuts and bolts and cast-off metal chairs into art


By B.C. Manion
Originally published Sept. 15

Sparks fly as Karyn Adamek grinds the
surface of a rusted railroad spike as she
works to create Fancy Dancer, an equestrian
metal sculpture.
Smoothing metal surfaces is a basic part
of the artist's job.
"You can't weld rust on rust,"Adamek ex-
plains, as she prepares the surface for
welding.
"Since I work with found metal objects,
everything is usually rusted. So, I try to get it
into some welding condition," she said.
The makings for her artworks include
brake pads, nails, hammers, nuts, bolts,
screws, springs, sheet metal, horseshoes,
rods and other items.
The stuff comes from all sorts of places.
Flea markets.Thrift stores. Friends'yards.
Even from junk piles she sees on the side of
the road.
All of the railroad spikes in Fancy
Dancer, for instance, came from an aban-
doned railroad track on a friend's private
land.
"They had torn up some track on his
property and it was in a big pile rotting
away," said Adamek, 52.
"Most of the stuff that I work with -
that's what is happening to it. So, I recreate
it and reincarnate it. Certain pieces of metal
will inspire me to make a certain creation,"
she said.
Recently, she spied a metal chair that had
been set out for trash collectors. She
plucked it up and gave it new life. She
turned it into a plant holder and took it to
sell at Annie's Garden Shed in Lutz, where
she works part-time.
Working with metal can be dirty, hot and
hard. It's time-consuming, too.
ButAdamek loves it.
""It is a spiritual thing for me," she said.
When she's out in her workshop, she can
work 12 or 13 hours at a stretch. She be-
comes so absorbed in what she's doing, she
often loses track of time.
But there's a feeling of deep satisfaction


when she finishes a piece, she said.And, that
feeling can turn into pure joy, when her
work is on display and she sees people re-
sponding to it.
Her largest metal art works are of horses,
which weigh hundreds of pounds and are
close to actual life-size.
"They're a little surreal in a way, in that
they are not exactly proportioned," she said.
She also makes the horse in a modular
form, so the head and the tail come off.That
makes it easier to transport if she's taking
one to an art show, or if one of her patrons
wants to move the horse into a different
place in the yard.
Adamek also makes much smaller ver-
sions of horses and other sculptures, and
she makes functional art, too. For instance,
she made a round table from a circular
piece of glass, supported by three giant
leaves that she cut from metal and bent to
hold up the glass.
Through the years,Adamek has explored
several artistic mediums including throwing
clay, painting and doing sculpture, stained
glass and murals.
She doesn't use mechanical drawings to
create her metal art, but instead works from
sketches,photographs and paintings.
When she is welding or grinding metal,
she is careful to protect herself. She wears
gloves, a helmet, long pants, boots and a fire
retardant shirt. She also uses good tools to
help prevent injuries.
Adamek said she comes by her love of
metal work naturally.
"My grandfather worked at J & L Steel in
Pittsburgh," she said."That's where I grew
up.
"My dad was an amazing auto body man.
He made things in our driveway that looked
like they came out of the factory."
The artist did not fully appreciate her fa-
ther's or grandfather's skills when she was
young. Indeed, it was just a few years ago
when she studying welding that she realized
the opportunities she had missed.
She laments the fact that she did not rec-
ognize their talents and did not tap into
their expertise while they were alive.


Karyn Adamek continues to create beautiful
pieces of metal art. One of her works, "Wave of
Emotion," received the People's Choice Award at Great
Art & Frame's "Magic, Masks and Fantasy 2010" held in
November at the gallery which is located in Westchase.


Karyn Adamek grinds rusted metal to create a smooth surface for welding work.


"They had all of this knowledge. I didn't
even pay attention to it,"
Strange as it may seem, her work with
hard metals began with an interest in gar-
dening.
Adamek was studying horticulture when
someone handed her a topiary book.
She decided she wanted to learn how to
weld, so she could create topiaries - which
are metal structures designed to support
plants.
It was like an entirely new world had
opened up for her.
She went from learning how to weld at a
trade school into working in the real world
as a volunteer at a shop in Channelside
where they make gates and railings. She
wanted to hang out at the shop so she could
learn more about working with metals.


Gradually, she began buying pieces of
equipment and creating her workshop at
home.
She still makes topiaries, but has
branched out into all sorts of garden decor,
yard art and creative pieces intended for ju-
ried art shows.
She won an honorable mention at the
Wesley Chapel Celebration of the Arts, a
show sponsored last year by the Wesley
Chapel Chamber at the Shops atWiregrass.
At the 43rd Annual Fine Arts for Ocala,
she won best of show, picking up $3,000 in
prize money.
Prices for her pieces range from around
$75 to more than $5,000 for the large
equestrian pieces.Adamek also does custom
work on request. For more information
about her work, go to karynsart.com.


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Taking a spin on the track of life


Cancer survivor pursues
race car dreams
By Sarah Whitman
Originally published May 26

Accelerating to 100 mph around the
Daytona Speedway racetrack, Land O' Lakes
resident Tom Harrison felt his pulse race. He
pressed down hard on the gas, remember-
ing a few months before when he was too
sick to get out of bed.
"I was going around at top speed and I
pictured myself lying bald with a chemo
needle in my arm," Harrison, 56, said."At that
moment, I thanked God for my life."


Harrison, a family man and proud patriot,
was diagnosed with throat and tongue can-
cer last September. Uncertain about the
future, he made a list of things he wanted to
accomplish in life. Getting his race car dri-
ver's license was at the top.
He underwent surgery to have a tumor
removed; then endured the pain of radiation
and chemotherapy.
The treatments worked and Harrison
went into remission. InApril, he hit the track
at driving school and walked away carrying
a dream come true, a regional Sports Car
Club ofAmerica racing license.
"It was exciting, exhilarating and a little
bit scary my first time on the track,"
Harrison said."You're going really fast and I


"The story gets better," Tom Harrison notes. He and Alex continue
their work installing windows, but Eaglespeed also buys old cars, fixes them
- up, sells them and uses the profits to finance the race


team.Alex recently completed driver training and an-
other son, soon-to-be- 15 Westley, has also taken an
interest in racing. Harrison notched a pair of third-
place finishes at an event in Daytona Beach.
Plus,"I'm still cancer free," Harrison notes.


Cancer survivor Tom Harrison and his son, Alex, are now in the race car business. (Photo
courtesy of Tom Harrison)


wondered if I'd actually have what it took to
not be afraid, to just pay attention and drive.
I was surprised how well I did."
He was laid off from his job around the
same time he was diagnosed with cancer.
"It couldn't have happened at a worse
time," Harrison said."I'd been laid off from
work. I had no job and no insurance. I was
faced with my own mortality and I realized
there were a lot of things I wanted to do in
my life, all the would of, could of, should of
dones."
Harrison decided to pursue life's what-
ifs.What if he'd pursued racing? What if he'd


spent more time building a family business?
Alex wanted to help his dad achieve
those dreams. Alex, like his father, is a long-
time NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt fan.
So,he was excited to accompany his dad
to driving school in Daytona and stand on
the same track where Earnhardt raced.
Alex acted as his dad's pit crew at the
weekend-long school.
Alex and his dad are also in business to-
gether.They own Eaglespeed US, a company
specializing in door and window replace-
ments. The company operates online at
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I December 29, 2010 1 27


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I






View into the horror of Port-au-Prince


Heart condition 'helped' Nelson Ryman evacuate Haiti


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Jan. 20

When Nelson Ryman traveled to Haiti
Jan. 12 he could never have expected to ex-
perience a 7.0 earthquake.
"It was just a normal day with the sun
shining bright," Ryman, 71, said."I was in my
hotel room at the time, when all of a sudden
it felt like I was on the deck of a ship with
50 foot waves."
Ryman arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's
capital, around noon Jan. 12. The largest
earthquake to hit the nation in more than
200 years happened at 4:53 p.m. Ryman
was one of the fortunate ones.
"I was able to get downstairs and outside
without getting hurt," he said.
The Zephyrhills resident travels to the
village of Simonette about every six and a
half weeks. He has done so for the last six
years to visit Tytoo Gardens, an orphanage
he supports. During the last 10 years,he has
developed a bond with the children.
"I was so happy that (Tytoo Gardens)
and all the kids survived the earthquake and
the aftershocks,"he said."I've watched some
of them since they were 1-year-old. For
them to still have a place to live is a miracle
because most people in the village lost their
homes."
Ryman, who has lived in Zephyrhills
since 1969 and owned H&R Interstate


Mobile Homes, has a heart condition, which
he takes blood-thinning medication for. He
has had three angioplasties performed and
recently had an aneurism repaired. He had
planned to stay in the country until Jan. 15
and had enough medicine to last him until
Jan. 17, but his condition made him a special
case for local government officials.
"After numerous calls and e-mails from
the public, we felt we needed to try and
rush him out of Haiti because of his age and
heart condition," said Joy Hampton, con-
stituent services representative and grants
coordinator for Rep. Ginny BrownWaite of
Congressional District Five.
"We got his personal and passport infor-
mation from his family and worked with the
United Nations and the Haitian authorities
to get him out of the country as safely as
possible," Hampton continued."The prob-
lem was the area he was in was ten to 15
miles away from the airport, and with his
heart condition he couldn't safely get there."
Ryman said State Rep.WillWeatherford
also worked to get him out of Haiti.
While his location was a problem in get-
ting him to the airport, Ryman could not be
happier that the village was ten miles out of
harm's way.
"That is probably what saved the orphan-
age," he said. "It was also good that it
happened when it did. In Haiti, people
spend most of the day outside because the


Since first published, Nelson Ryman and the two
Rotary clubs of Zephyrhills collected several thou-
sands dollars to rebuild houses in the island nation.
He has returned to Haiti several times and has over-
seen the completion of about I 0 homes. Ryman
remains committed to helping those in Haiti.


-W


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houses are small. If it had happened later a
lot more people would have been inside
their houses when they collapsed."
Ryman said the people of Simonette
made tents to sleep in with bed sheets fol-
lowing the earthquake. Ryman himself slept
in an abandoned pool Jan. 13 to protect
from falling debris from the aftershocks.
The next night, Ryman was able to stop
some UN trucks delivering relief supplies to
the surrounding area. The truck drivers
agreed to pick Ryman up on their way back
to Port-au-Prince, where he could get on a
plane out of Haiti.
"I know people were very worried about
me being kidnapped, but that wasn't my
main concern because the UN had really
cracked down on that and thrown the gang
leaders in jail after gaining some control in
the country a few years ago," Ryman said."I
was just worried about everyone I knew in
Haiti...There is a little store that I stop in for
supplies each time I'm in the country. I was
there the first day and later learned that
everyone there was killed when the store
collapsed."
While Ryman worried about his friends
in Haiti, his family back in Zephyrhills wor-
ried about him.
"The worst thing is not knowing what
happened," said Ryman's son Kevin."We did-
n't know if he was OK or hurt or worse for
a day.That was terrible to not be able to tell
anyone anything because we just didn't
know."
Ryman's wife, Dottie, said she was able to
speak to him for less than a minute Jan. 13.
Ryman eventually got on a U.S.Air Force
cargo plane that flew him to Puerto Rice
Jan. 14 and arrived at the Homestead Air
Force Base Jan. 15. A colonel at the base
drove him in his Cadillac to the Miami
International Airport, where he got on a
plane to Tampa InternationalAirport.
"I just thanked God that I got home safe,"
Ryman said."Now we need to help the peo-
ple of Haiti rebuild because what they need
most now is shelter.They are very resource-
ful and can find food almost anywhere, but
they don't have homes left to protect them
from the rain and the sun."
While Ryman is already trying to stir up
support for the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere, his family is looking


Photos taken by Nelson Ryman during his
time in Haiti after the recent earthquake.
Seen is the village of Simonette the day
after the disaster. Ryman supports an
orphanage, Tytoo Gardens, in Simonette.

,Z- 7


The abandoned pool Nelson Ryman and
several of the villagers of Simonette slept in
after the earthquake in Haiti. The pool
offered protection from aftershocks.

for him to take it easy for a little while
"Selfishly we try and get him to go there
less often because we are always worried
about him," Kevin said."We want him to sup-
port the orphans, but we are always afraid
of what could happen.We never thought an
earthquake like that would hit with him
there though. Now we have another thing
to worry about."
It seems unlikely Ryman will stop his
trips to the nation on the west side of the is-
land of Hispaniola.
"I've grown to love all those kids down
there that are in the orphanage," Ryman
said. "Just sending them money and supplies
doesn't impact them as much as me being
there."
To help Ryman rebuild some of the
homes and shelters in Haiti, send checks
made out to Jesus In Haiti Ministries to
CenterState Bank, 6930 Gall Blvd. in
Zephyrhills.


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I


I


2010


28 1 December 29,2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com






Steinbrenner death felt in area


By Suzanne Schmidt
Originally published July 21

From South Tampa to the Bronx, the
death of George M. Steinbrenner triggered
reminders of what he meant to the commu-
nity. That impact was felt straight up Dale
Mabry Highway into the Lutz area.
Steinbrenner, 80, suffered a fatal heart at-
tack last week.
Many people might remember him from
owning theYankees or even from the char-
acter that was supposed to be him on the
show"Seinfeld."
But locally, he is remembered more as a
generous person who asked for nothing in
return.


Susan Valdes, chairwoman of the
Hillsborough County School Board, said this
generosity is what inspired the board to
name the high school onW Lutz-Lake Fern
Road after him.
"There was a part of him I think many
people may not have realized,"Valdes said.
"He did so many things for Hillsborough
County. If it had to do with kids and there
was something he could do to help them,
he did it. I miss him already."
~ciiibrciiiicr did a lot to help the com-
munity and the schools in Hillsborough
County, according to Valdes.
"There was the time when the kids at
Gaither High School were invited to go to
the inaugural parade and they were strug-


George Steinbrenner's legacy will have a permanent place in Pasco
County. He was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Trinity
I ^ 1 I Memorial Gardens, just off SR 54.A NewYorkTimes
report quoted one New Jersey resident who stopped
to take a picture of Mr. Steinbrenner's final resting
place."George has done a lot for everybody," Paul
Reed of Freehold, N.J. told the Times."The least I can
do is stop and take five minutes to pay respect."


in Lutz. (File photo)


gling to get the money to go,"Valdes said."It
was a dream come true for those kids to be
able to go. That is what he did, he made
dreams come true for kids."
Brenda Grasso, now principal at
[cilnbrciiiicr k I Gaither at the time.
"The turnaround time was very short so
it was difficult to raise the money in a short
time," she said in an e-mail. "The Band
Boosters appealed to the community and
when Mr. Steinbrenner heard of the matter,
he provided the rest of the money needed."
Grasso said r~cinblrciicr also gave about
one-third of the total cost to help Gaither


build a rubber track in its stadium.
"He did prefer to remain anonymous as a
contributor but these two acts are known
and have been previously made public," she
wrote.
Valdes said her favorite thing
\rcimbrcmincr did was the yearly Christmas
concert.
"He had so many different contribu-
tions,"Valdes said."He would send the kids
who would not have the opportunity to go
to the theater to see the Florida Orchestra
play at Christmas time.You could look at his
face and see how much he enjoyed it."


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


'i7rb


I December 29,2010 1 29






Lutz house gets 15 minutes of fame


By Sarah Whitman
Originally published June 9

A Lutz home is about to be famous.
A 4,000-square-foot home at 1308
Anglers Lane was selected to appear on Sell
This House,A&E's home makeover show
with a twist. The show's hosts, Tanya
Memme and Roger Hazard, visit homes
throughout the country and do makeovers
designed to help the homes sell.
The Lutz home, a four bedroom three bath
on 1.3 acres behind the Publix at Dale Mabry
and Lutz Lake Fern, will appear on a June 26
episode.The asking price is $499,500.
Owners Ralph and Peggy Watts can't
wait for the show to air.
"It's a dream come true," Peggy Watts
said. "They had great ideas and made big
changes.We'd watched the show before and
it's exciting to be on it."
The SellThis House crew came to Lutz in
mid-May and spent two days working their
magic. The Watts are both art teachers, so
the home was a creative hodge-podge with
different wallpaper at every turn, mis-
matched antiques and even aVegas-style slot
machine. The couple gave the show free
reign to make changes.
Led by Hazard, the designers stripped
wallpaper, repainted, redecorated and even
created a home theater. They emphasized
the homes spacious rooms and hardwood
floors, getting rid of unnecessary furniture
and other items like faux flower arrange-


I - -
This Lutz Home will appear on Sell This
House on A&E. (Photos courtesy of Keller
Williams Realty)

ments.They went for a clean and modern
look.
Thousands of people submit their homes
to appear on Sell This House.To qualify, a
home must currently be on the market and
the owners must be living in the home with
furnishings.Applicants send in photos with
a story about the house.
Keller Williams realtor Elizabeth Flach said
producers selected the Lutz home based on
its potential. She said the house's best quali-
ties were hidden and the show's designers
knew how to make those features pop.
"They removed the clutter from the
house," Flach said. "They put chair railing
and added other new accessories."
The Watts purchased the home, which
was built in 1982,12 years ago.
They remodeled the inside and built a
life there, spending many weekends relax-
ing on the lake.They put the house up for
sale because they plan to retire from teach-
ing soon.


Homeowner PeggyWatts loves her new house inWesley Chapel,
thanks to A&E's Sell This House.The Watts' old house in Lutz was featured on
the home makeover show and after some renova-
I I1 tions, it was able to sell.A family with three kids
moved into the home, and Watts said it's a perfect
Match. "There's a lot of room, it is a great place to
raise a family," she said.Watts and her husband enjoy
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Grand opening to expanded


Oscar Cooler park


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Aug. 11

Each year thousands of children, parents
and friends pile into Oscar Cooler Sports
Complex to watch youth athletics.Al those
people walk by the park's sign, including
Oscar Cooler himself.
Cooler, 81, has lived in Lutz since 1963


and was instrumental in bring-
ing the first version of the
park to Lutz in 1975.
"I think kids need to have
a safe place to learn about
teamwork," Cooler said.
"That's why I worked to get
the first park built all that
time ago.
"If kids don't have some-
thing like this then they
usually get into a lot of things
they shouldn't be doing,"
Cooler continued."I think the
most important thing for a
community are its athletic
fields for the kids. I'd say the
park has helped keep thou-
sands of kids, if not millions
of kids, off the streets."
Now the current park will
be 33 acres larger after the
grand opening of the $3.9
million expansion at 9 a.m.
Aug. 14.
"That's great that the new
part of the park is opening,"


new soccer program is called FC Tampa
Lutz Rangers, which will have competitive
and recreational soccer for children ages 4-
18.
The park was originally built in 1975 and
had three baseball fields only. Before it was
built, the area was mainly orange groves.
Cooler was one of the key people in getting
the first park built. He and worked for about


Since the expansion
of Oscar Cooler Sports
Complex, the FC Tampa
Lutz Rangers soccer
program has completed
its first year, as did the
Lutz Chiefs football and
cheerleading organiza-
tion in its new home.A
future project will reno-
vate the older baseball
and softball portions of
the complex.


Cooler said."Now we can get more kids into
our programs."
Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation
and Conservation
Department spokesman John
Brill said the expansion will
allow more than 500 addi-
tional athletes to participate
in sports programs at the
park.A future project will im-
prove the existing football
and baseball facilities as well
as adding more parking.
"It's going to be one of the
best field locations in our
league," said Tampa BayYouth
Football League president
Scott Levenson."The county
really went above and be-
yond making the park a great
place for youth football and
cheerleading."
Also part of the expansion
was adding a soccer game Lutz resident
field for the first time. The plex to the ai


two years to convince the
county to buy the land and
build the park.
Brill did not know when
the park was renamed after
Cooler, but said it was given
the name because,"He was
a major player is getting the
original park put in the area
as a place for the Lutz com-
munity kids to play."
Cooler has been a big
supporter of the youth
sports programs at the park
during the last 35 years. He
was the Lutz Little League
president for 15 years and
still goes to the games
when he can.
Cooler continued by say-
ing he wished he had a
park like the complex
while he was growing up.
He said after the county
bought the land more than
three decades ago he got
local people to volunteer to


do as much of the building as possible.This
allowed the first park to open much sooner
than was originally anticipated.


t Oscar Cooler was key to bringing the Lutz com-
rea 30 years ago. (Photo by Kyle LoJacono)


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


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813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com





Wiregrass Ranch name a throwback to area's early days


By Kyle LoJacono
Originally published Sept. 1

The Shops atWiregrass,Wiregrass Ranch
High and the future Pasco-Hernando
Community College's (PHCC) Wiregrass
Campus all got their names from a ranch
owned by the Porter family.
Don Porter said his father, uncle and
grandfather - James, Bob,J.B. Porter, respec-
tively - bought 14,000 acres of land in
1941.
"Originally we had a smaller piece of
land where the Zephyrhills (Municipal)
Airport is," Don said. "When World War II
happened, the government bought the land
for the Air Force training base. They used
that to buy the land."
Don said the family first came to
Zephyrhills in 1937.
The Porters first moved onto the land in
1946.At that time, Don said the area was
known as Gatorville, which was what they
used to mail things.
The original home Don grew up in with
his brothers,Tom and Bill, was on the south
side of SR 54 across from where Heritage
Ford is today.The original land went south
to the area between 30th Street in Lutz to
Bruce B. Downs in NewTampa, up to their
homestead and to the east into where New
River is today.
The family raised cattle on the land,
which is where the ranch part comes from.
Wiregrass is a kind of bunchgrass that grows
in the area, according to Mimi Williams,
plant materials specialist with the Natural
Resource Conservation Service.
Williams said the grass grows about 20-
30 inches long. It is native to Florida and has
virtual no use to people except as a food
source for grazing animals like cows.
However it is not the most nutritious food
for livestock. It is a favorite food for gopher
tortoises and quail.


The Shops at Wiregrass got its name from the ranch owned by the Porter family in the
area. (File photo)


Don said his father would burn the wire-
grass on a regular basis to try and keep it in
check as much as possible and also to en-
courage younger and tenderer growth that
is easier for the cattle to eat.
Don and his family called the area
Gatorville for years. It was not until 1950
when a family friend, Ed Madill, sent the
Porters a postcard while on vacation in
Mexico. Don said Madill did not have the
Porter's address, so he sent it to Wiregrass
Porter, Gatorville, FL USA.The name stuck.
While Don was growing up, there was
only a one-room schoolhouse. He said every-
one just called it"the schoolhouse," which
was located south of SR 54 across from
Boyette Road. Don remembered about 13
students who shared the school.
Don, who was born in Plant City, married
his late wife Lajuana and built a house for
their new family on the ranch in 1970.The
couple have two children,J.D. and Quinn.
"I grew up in a house right by where the
new Wesley Chapel (Medical Center) will
be,"J.D. said."Back then when we wanted to
go for pizza we had to drive south on Bruce
B. Downs to Fletcher Avenue.There weren't


� Pasco County has approved the rezoning of
many acres of land around Wiregrass Ranch to allow
the construction of a hospital and other improve-
Sments to the area.Additionally, Don Porter continues
to be happy with the development of his home.




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J.D. was born in 1979 and went to Quail
Hollow Elementary,Weightman Middle and
finished up high school at Zephyrhills High.
The family started selling large parts of
the original ranch in 1972, with
Saddlebrook Resort as the first buyer.The
next year the land of Meadow Pointe was
sold to a developer.
Don said the family now owns about
5,000 acres and still raises cattle and orange
trees on the property. He said he envisioned
an area with schools, shopping centers,
recreation, neighborhoods, businesses and a
hospital decades ago.That vision is coming
true.
The Shops at Wiregrass opened in 2008
and has more than 100 businesses.
Saddlebrook has become known across the
nation for its tennis and golf programs and
large developments like Meadow Pointe, New
River Township and Seven Oaks have built up.
The educational center of the area has
grown around Mansfield Boulevard where
Dr.John Long Middle andWiregrass Ranch
High currently sit.
John Petrashek, Pasco County director of
construction services and code compliance,
said the family sold the land to the county's
school district around 2004. Both Petrashek
and Don said the Porter family worked with
the Pasco school board to come up with the
high school's name.
"Other names were proposed, but
Wiregrass Ranch made the most sense,"
Petrashek said.


Don Porter


In 2012, the education in the area will
progress further when construction begins
on PHCC'sWiregrass Campus. It will be lo-
cated just north ofWiregrass Ranch High on
Mansfield and is scheduled to open in 2013.
Within the next few weeks the Wesley
Chapel Medical Center, a full-service hospi-
tal, will also break ground on the east side of
Bruce B. Downs north of SR 56.The facility
will take 18 months to build.
Wiregrass Ranch has progressed far from
the Gatorville of Don's youth, but it is the
same place he knows and loves.
"I've grown up here and I can't imagine
living anywhere else," Don said. "There's
been a lot of progress and that's needed. I'm
glad I've been able to see the area build up
into what it is today."


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WAR NM

A R B A X


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


WORD SCRAMBLE
Rearrange the letters in each word to spell
the name of a Christmas carol.

NIETSL GITNH



qAIN Ual!s :yIMSNVr


HI
HOT
HUM
HUSH
ICE
IF
INN
IT
JAIL
JAR
JUST
KNEE
LEG
LIP
LONE
MET
MOB
MORNING
MY
NAILS
NESTS
NOR
ODD
OF
OLD
PAN
PENNY
RAT
ROW
RUBS
RUIN
SAFE


SAW
SCORED
SEA
SEE
SET
SHE
SHOW
SLAP
SLOT
SO
SPY
STERN
STEW
STRAP
SWIMS
TAR
TEN
TESTS
THREW
TIED
TOE
TOO
TUB
TWISTED
UP
USE
WARN
WE
WHO
YARN
YEAH
YOU


Guess who's
turning another
year older this
week!

DEC. 26-JANUARY 1
I was born on December 27,
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6jaqp|lo0 ll! :J~NsuV

I was born on December 28,
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am I?
SIOL3N e8lleq!N :JeMsuV

I was born on December 29,
1936, in Brooklyn, NY.
I played Laura Petrie on
The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Who am I?
GJOOIyA J|AL AJBeV\I :Je Msuv

I was born on December 30,
1945, in Manchester,
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The Monkees' "Daydream
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seuor AAeQ :JeAsuv


I was born on December 31,
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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


SfAre


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.;r


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I December 29,2010 1 33


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800





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Heather Fiorentino |
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1813-909-2800IuT


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


I December 29,2010 1 37





Man attempts to defy

gravity with plane

made from signs

By Suzanne Schmidt
Originally published May 5

To most people a bunch of leftover signs
would just be a bunch of trash, but to
Marcus Price it is an opportunity.
Price, co-owner of Goin' Postal and Life
Size Greetings in Zephyrhills, ended up with
lots of scrap material while making signs
through his company, Life Size Greetings.
One night he and one of his business
partners, Bob Stephens, decided it would be
a great idea to build an airplane out of those
scrap pieces.
"We had all of this spare plastic and we
were looking for a way to use it," Marcus
Price said."I originally drew the plan on a
napkin and then Bob went through and put
the pieces together and fixed the design as
we went along."
Now the airplane is almost complete and
he plans to fly it to see how well it works.
"I know how an airplane works and
what shape they should be," Marcus Price
said."When we have an engine the idea is to
be able to fly at about 20 miles per hour.We
figured all of that out on a napkin too."
About 99 percent of the plane is made
up of the recycled plastic signs including
the wheels, the body of the plane and the
wings. PVC piping is used to make the con-
trols and to reinforce some of the structure


1 .

*,












Price and Stephens and some of their
employees help to flip the plane over.
(Photo by Suzanne Schmidt)
of the airplane.
In the next couple of weeks, Price and
Stephens plan to build the control surfaces
and then at some point they will take it for
its maiden voyage. Since the plane will not
have an engine, it will be towed behind a
truck just to see if it is able to fly.
"For the first flight, it should only be
about six or seven feet off the ground,"
Marcus Price said."If anything happens, it
should be OK since we won't be that high
up."
Stephens said over the last couple
months, he and Price have spent about 24
hours total building the plane.


Model boat club stuck on dry land


By Suzanne Schmidt
Originally published Feb. 10

In a town known for its many lakes, a
local club is having a hard time finding one
it can use.
Jim Slaughter, of Land O' Lakes, said he is
hoping to find a local place for members of
the West Florida Model Boat Club to prac-
tice racing their model boats. He said the
boats are all electric so they do not cause
any harm to the lake or the wildlife.
"They are all electric so they don't make
noise like gas boats do," Slaughter said."The
boats don't pollute the water or the air and
it doesn't hurt the fish."
There are boats of different scale and
sizes and types. Some boats can go as fast as
60 miles per hour.
"We have races just like if the boats were
full-scale," Slaughter said."We put buoys in
the lake and we have rules like full-scale
boat races have.We like to race them but we
also do different events like we use the tug-
boat to pull a boat or do precision
maneuvering."
Slaughter said he enjoys racing the boats
as well as putting them together.
"We can buy the fiberglass hull or make
one from wood and then put all the equip-
ment inside," Slaughter said."It is a challenge
to put them together but then you have the
pleasure of seeing something you made rac-
ing along the water."
Just maneuvering the boat can be a chal-
lenge according to Slaughter.
"It is very technical," Slaughter said."You
have to have the boat set up


Jim Slaughter of Land O' Lakes holds up
one of the model boats he races in the
West Florida Model Boat Club. (Photo by
Suzanne Schmidt)
right and have things like the angle of the
propeller just right. It is something that is a
lot of fun for technical minded people."
Mike Harvey, of Land O' Lakes, said he
likes the competitive side of the racing.
"It is your equipment and skill vs theirs,"
Harvey said."It is just as much fun as racing
the full-scale boats, but without the danger."
For more information or if there is a lake
available, contact Slaughter at (813) 966-
7529 or Jim@Slaughter.org.


So what happened? "The engine overpowered the rudder, so we could-
n't get it going straight enough, long enough, to get it going," Price explained.
A new prototype, an ultra-light, can be flown by anyone without the need of
a pilot's license."We already have about a dozen people lined up for a nicely
designed ultra-light at an affordable price of $9,950," stated Mr. Price.


No news was bad news for Jim Slaughter this year, as he re-
ports the club is still looking for a home nearly a year after this
article was published. Model boat enthusiasts must drive to
Sarasota."For now, we have to drive 1.5 hours each way to run our
boats. No fun!"


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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


38 1 December 29,2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com







Dennis Real
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www.DennisRealty.com 7;4 dA o
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THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


1022 LE


CA��� r---) � 4'wr / I


CnewsPu bs.com / 81 3-909-2800


J&o6,


I December 29,2010 1 39











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R � OBff cIal cars and trucks of the Ta mpa Say Bucca naer.


Ford Credt


2011 FORD FOCUS
O%APR
financing
PLUS
$1,500
Toward your first
3 payments*

Purchase a 2011
FORD FOCUS S
AUTOMATIC for
$13,995
After $3,500
Total Cash Back*


2011 FORD TAURUS


O%APR
financing
PLUS
$1,500
Toward your first
3 payments*

2011 FORD TAURUS SEL FWD
8299per month /27monh le*
Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease
$3.663, due at signing, Security deposit waived.
Excludes taxes, title and registration fees.





SDriv one.


*Not all buyers will qualify for Ford Credit limited-term financing or for low-mileage Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease. $1,500 Cash Back may be used to make
payments; customer is required to make all actual payments. Available on select 2011 Taurus models and on select 2010 and 2011 Fusion models. Not available
on Raptor or Hybrid models. F-150 Total Cash Back includes $1,500 Promotional Bonus Cash. F-150 Total Factory Savings includes $2,500 customer cash,
$2,000 SYNC/Chrome/Tow package savings. $1,000 XLT Bonus Cash, $1,000 Promotional Bonus Cash, $1,000 Ford Credit Bonus Cash. Trade-in of 1995 or
newer FLM or competitive vehicle required or lease terminated from 11/1/10 to 3/31/11. Lease payments may vary; dealers determine prices. 2011 Focus S
starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, excluding destination/delivery charge, taxes, title, and registration fees. Optional equipment not included. Focus
Cash Back includes $1,500 Customer Cash, $1,000 Promotional Retail Bonus Cash, $500 Retail Bonus Cash and $500 Ford Credit Bonus Cash. All Ford Credit
Bonus Cash requires Ford Credit limited-term financing. For all offers, take new retail delivery from dealer stick by 1/3/11. Residency restrictions apply.
See dealer for qualifications and complete details.


HERITAGE FORD
28739 SR 54 West / Wesley Chapel


Deone. 813-907-7800
Southern Ford DBialers.cn rn 813=907 7800
www.heritageford. biz
PARTS & SERVICE:
Open Monday-Friday 7:0am-6:00pm and Saturday from 7:30am-3:30pm
SALES DEPARTMENT:
Open Monday-Friday 8:30am-9:00pm, Saturday 8:30am-7:00pm and Sunday Noon-6:OOpm


THE LAKER / LUTZ NEWS * SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION


40 1 December 29, 2010 1


813-909-2800 / CnewsPu bs.com