Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sarasota high school fall season's under-appreciated athletes

Prose and Kohn: Ryan Kohn

  • Sarasota
  • Sports
  • Share

With the high school fall sports season over for all but the Riverview High football team, it is a good time to honor some folks.

Other publications do “all-area teams,” but we are not other publications, so this isn’t that. Instead, this space will recognize athletes who did stuff deserving of recognition. That’s a broad qualification, and that’s the point. High school sports are about making memories that will last a lifetime and putting on for your community, representing your school to the best of your ability. If you do that, you deserve a shoutout, no matter if you performed great for a play, a game or the whole season. All is fair game.

Robbie Peterson was thrust into the QB role this season for Sarasota High.
Robbie Peterson was thrust into the QB role this season for Sarasota High.

Let's start with Sarasota High football senior Robbie Peterson. He came into the season, the first under coach Spencer Hodges, as a cornerback, but spent the majority of the season at quarterback after injuries and struggles at the position. Peterson battled valiantly under center, completing 51.4% of his passes (38 for 74) for 326 yards and running for 246 yards (5.1 per carry).

Hodges recently called Peterson “Mr. Versatile” on Twitter and noted he’s doing well in the classroom too, scoring a 3.8 GPA in the first quarter. The Sailors finished the season 2-8, but players like Peterson made the team fun to watch improve.

Cardinal Mooney football seemed primed for a dream season before both starting junior quarterback Ryan Bolduc and backup senior quarterback Geno Giardina went down with injuries, starting 8-0 before losing its final two regular season games and its playoff game against Calvary Christian. With the passing game hurting, the focus turned to junior running back Tray Hall to shoulder the offensive load, and he delivered as best he could.

Hall ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-31 playoff loss, and that wasn’t even his best performance: running for 320 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars’ 39-27 win against First Baptist Academy on Oct. 11. He will be one of the top returning players in the county next season, and with Bolduc back healthy, the Cougars will again have a shot at a huge year.

Sticking with Cardinal Mooney, but switching sports, sophomore Ashley “Skye” Ekes saved her best volleyball match of the season for the team’s last, and most important. Ekes had 17 kills in the Cougars’ 3-2 state championship loss to Trinity Catholic on Nov. 15, playing so well that Trinity coach Jeff Reavis said watching video of Ekes play "does not do her justice."

Any time you get a compliment like that from an opposing coach, even if it is after a loss, you are doing something right. The 6-foot-1 Ekes should be a monster at the next for the Cougars the next two years. Her brilliance in the title game proves her potential.

Emma Weyant won two gold medals at the girls swimming state meet.
Emma Weyant won two gold medals at the girls swimming state meet.

Finally, Riverview High junior girls swimmer Emma Weyant took home gold medals in the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.07) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:44.32) at the FHSAA Class 4A championships on Nov. 10. While the IM was relatively close, she won the freestyle by approximately six seconds, an eternity in swimming time. It is a testament to the work Weyant put in that, a year after finishing second in those events, she was able to not just win, but dominate. Congratulations are in order.

Congratulations are also due to everyone I couldn’t fit in this column. There were more cool moments this fall season than I can ever remember. Hopefully that continues through the winter and spring seasons, and we have a repeat of this next fall.



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

Related Articles