Area parks hosting events
This weekend, GSA Baseball will host its Spring Break Classic tournament, which will use fields at Ellis-Methvin Park, the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex and Snowden Park, from Saturday through Sunday. Games start between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The National Club Baseball Association and National Club Softball Association’s Spring Training Showcase tournaments are ongoing at Mike Sansone Park and the MLK ball field. More than 70 college club teams from around the country will come through town. Visit ncbaspringtraining.weebly.com/ for baseball schedules, team information and more, and visit ncsaspringtraining.weebly.com/ for softball schedules, team information and more.
Next weekend, Florida Premier League will host a youth soccer showcase at Ellis-Methvin Park on March 21 and 22 with start times between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. This tournament is for boys teams in U15 through U19 age groups. The league play will come back to the park on March 28 and 29 for girls teams.
USSSA Baseball will host the War on I-4 tournament at the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex, Mike Sansone Park, Ellis-Methvin Park, Snowden Park and the MLK complex field on March 21 and 22, with games starting between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. both days.
Durant softball retires Bell’s jersey number
Durant’s softball team celebrated more than just a 3-0 win over Bloomingdale on March 5.
The Cougars retired former captain Shannon Bell’s jersey number that evening. Bell, who wore no. 2 for Durant, played in the outfield on the school’s varsity team for four years and graduated as one of the best players in program history.
Bell finished with a career batting average of .327 with 112 hits, 77 RBI, 83 runs scored, 28 doubles, six triples, 14 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 108 games played. She also recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in her senior season.
Bell was a member of four of the best teams Durant has ever fielded and helped the team win the 8A state championship in 2012. Those teams also reached the regional semifinals twice (2011 and 2013) and the regional championship game once (2014). After high school, where she also played volleyball, Bell played softball for Hillsborough Community College and Florida Southern College.
Local wrestlers at states
Durant’s Hendon Haley and Strawberry Crest’s Jarrett Affronti both competed in the FHSAA 3A state wrestling championships in Kissimmee over the weekend.
Affronti competed in the 132-pound bracket and won his first match against Lake Mary’s Alex Vazquez, but Olympic Heights’ Cole Bosch sent him to the third-place bracket in the next match. Affronti went on to face Trenton Johnson of Manatee High School and lost by fall, ending his run.
Haley wrestled at 138 pounds and lost by decision to Cypress Bay’s Edward Punzalan, but then beat Olympic Heights’ Pedro Azevedo by decision in the third-place bracket. Unfortunately for Haley, he lost by decision to Wellington’s Jesse Weinberg in the next match.