+ ODA Volleyball
The Out-of-Door Academy volleyball team captured its first district title since 2007 with a 25-20, 22-25, 25-12, 25-11 victory over rival Cardinal Mooney in the Class 3A-District 10 championship Oct. 24.
Natalie Buffett powered the Thunder with nine kills and 11 perfect passes. Lauren Maxey added eight kills and 10 digs. Cameron Graham led the way defensively with 20 digs, 15 perfect passes and three aces. Reanna Gregory recorded six kills, and Greta Holland had three aces.
With the win, ODA played host to Clearwater Calvary Christian in the Class 3A-Region 3 quarterfinals Oct. 29.
+ Mustangs headed back to state tourney
The Lakewood Ranch High boys golf team captured its fourth-consecutive regional title at the Class 3A-Region 5 tournament Oct. 21 in Venice.
The Mustangs shot a combined 284 to finish seven strokes ahead of runner-up Newsome.
Ramsey Touchberry fired a 7-under par 65 to win medalist honors. Danny Walker shot 71 followed by Luke Miller (73), Kelly Sun (75) and Charlie Sun (76).
Lakewood will now advance to the Class 3A state tournament Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, where it will vie for its third-consecutive state title.
+ Admirals remain unbeaten
The Manatee Admirals hockey team improved to 5-0 with a 6-0 victory over Plant Oct. 25.
Braden River senior Cam Edwards scored his first goal of the season to lead the way for Manatee, which recorded 64 shots on goal. Inspiration Academy junior Charlie Schukay had a goal and an assist, and Braden River freshman Matt Dedjar added a goal.
The Admirals return to action Nov. 1 against River Ridge.
+ Falcons open new athletic center
Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School officially opened its new $5 million, state-of-the-art athletic facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 23.
The Falcons continued the celebration during a tailgating extravaganza and grand opening prior to the start of Saint Stephen’s 20-0 victory over The Out-of-Door Academy Oct. 25.
The Moore Athletic Complex at Turner Fields will host athletic events for the Falcons football, track and field, lacrosse, baseball, softball and tennis teams.
“We are so grateful to have the tremendous community support that we have,” says Dr. Janet Pullen, head of school at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal. “None of this would be possible without the generous donations from those who believe in our school. We want to sincerely thank everyone who helped make this possible, especially the Moore family.”
+ East County runners earn regional berths
Cardinal Mooney High runners Grace Casagrande and Cal Davidson Turner both captured individual district titles at the Class 1A-District 10 cross-country meet Oct. 25 in Largo.
The Cardinal Mooney boys team and the ODA girls team both finished fourth overall to earn berths in the Class 1A-Region 3 meet Nov. 2 in Melbourne.
The Lakewood Ranch High boys and girls teams both finished fourth in the Class 3A-District 10 meet Oct. 24 in Largo to advance to the Class 3A-Region 3 meet Nov. 2 in Tampa.
Mitch Arnold finished fourth for Lakewood’s boys team with a new personal record of 16 minutes, 25.58 seconds. Julia Ortiz was fourth overall for the girls in 19:14.42.
GAME TO WATCH
Lakewood Ranch at Sarasota (7:30 p.m.)
The Out-of-Door Academy
11 — The number of perfect passes Graham had in ODA’s 3-1 victory over Cardinal Mooney in the Class 3A-District 10 championship Oct. 24.
316 — The number of digs Graham has recorded so far this season.
2 — The number of years Graham has been a starter on the Thunder’s varsity squad.
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The Tabernacle Christian School middle school student Lauren Medred, an East County resident, earned top vocal honors, taking first place in vocal solo female category of the Florida League of Christian School’s Festival of the Academics and Arts Feb. 28 and March 1 at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Manatee County schools dominated a state technology competition with five of six top-three finishes earned by Manatee County schools during the 35th annual Technology Student Association State Competition late February.