Tampa Tribune names ten AHN athletes to All-County Teams

Mary Green, Sports Editor

Tampa Tribune has named ten Academy athletes to its  All-Hillsborough County Teams for varsity swimming and golf. This recognition caps off a successful season for all Academy fall sports this year.

Recognized on the county’s golf teams are Emmy Martin, First Team; Mariah Diaz, Second Team and  Casey Pluchino, Honorable Mention.

The following swimmers netted team rankings as follows: 

First Team – 200 Freestyle Relay: Paige Russell, Tori Litschgi, Konner Brewer, Clare Fleming; 100 Backstroke: Tori Litschgi

Second Team – 200 Freestyle: Paige Russell; 50 Freestyle: Clare Fleming

Honorable Mention – Mary Green, Margaret Shumake

Once again, Academy proved itself as an athletic powerhouse asall four fall teams made it to district play at the end of their respective seasons. Every sport, cross country, golf, swimming and diving, and volleyball, excelled in the postseason and made their school proud.

As it has done in the past, cross country proved that little schools can win on the big stage. Faced with fierce competition from larger public schools, including Steinbrenner and Robinson, along with rival private school Berkeley, the Jaguars captured the Class 2A-District 5 title. They did this after completing a stellar season that was highlighted by a victory at the West Hillsborough Invitational and a third place finish at the prestigious Hillsborough County Championships. At the district meet, eighth-grader Colleen Doherty bested her high school competition with a district title, while her teammates Marisa Petrick, Alexandra Reichert, Natalie Hahn, and Lindsey Hahn all finished in the top fifteen.

Golf, one of Academy’s youngest teams, reminded the Bay area that age is no obstacle when it comes to athletic prowess. The team swung its way to a second-place finish behind Steinbrenner in the Class 1A-District 14 tournament. Freshmen Emmy Martin, Casey Pluchino, and Mariah Diaz, along with sophomore Christina Gerecke and junior Allie Babin, competed. The team did remarkably well in the regular season, finishing with a 7-2 record that included an overall win at the Mustang Invitational.

The swimming and diving team raced its way to its third consecutive district title, beating second-place finisher Hillsborough by 309 points in Class 2A-District 8. Competing in honor of former coach and Academy teacher Mara Schultz, the swim team ended its regular season with a 6-2 dual meet record and a third-place finish at the renowned City Relays meet. At the district meet, Jaguar swimmers and divers captured numerous top-eight finishes, including district titles for Kathleen Sheridan, Tori Litschgi, Margret Shumake, and the 200- and 400-freestyle relays.

Lastly, volleyball had one of its best seasons in recent years and proved the Jaguars to be a formidable foe for any Bay area team. Led by lone senior Annie Swanson, who spearheaded the successful Spike and Splash for the Cause, the team took third place in the Class 3A-District 8 tournament, which featured national powerhouse Berkeley and strong contender Clearwater Central Catholic. Though Academy lost its district match to CCC in five games, the team nonetheless had an outstanding season, bolstered with a 15-6 record and a victory at the Academy Invitational.

Each team made Academy proud by having wonderful seasons and fantastic postseason play. Good luck to all Jaguars competing in Regions and States in the weeks ahead.