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South is “leafing” this season behind

Joshua Geller, Staff Writer

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As the South Florida weather gradually shifts, signaling a transition into Winter season, the subtle changes in the air mark the end of the Fall sports season. There were highs and lows to be found in each sport, some expectations were exceeded, while others decidedly missed their mark.

Several new varsity coaches made their debut in the Fall, attempting to make their mark on Paladin athletics. Stephanie Del Rio Garcia became the third coach to lead the Swimming and Diving team over the past four seasons, taking both the boys’ and girls’ teams to regionals in her inaugural season. Two divers qualified for States this year: Leanne Sheffer, junior, finished 8th and Logan Downey, senior, finished first in their respective 1-meter dive events in the Class 4A competition.

This marked the fourth consecutive state diving championship for Downey, who has arguably been the best 1-meter diver in Florida during his entire high school career.

When asked about her plans for next year, Del Rio said “I want to continue to coach the team, continue to win more and make it to States next season.”

Varsity Football head coach, Dominic Anderson, was also a new face to Paladin sports fans this season. A developing talent-pool left the football team with a disappointing 0-10 record this season, but Anderson and his players are not fazed by the challenges. “I want to continue mental training and applying more discipline, we have to build young men that are willing to win,” said Anderson.

Coming off of last year’s disappointing run, the Cross Country team showed future promise during this season of rebuilding. The girls’ team finished as district runner-up behind St. Thomas Aquinas, and two runners from the boys’ team finished in the Top 15 at Districts, which enabled them to move on to regional competition.

The qualifying girls were Elise Anderson, Alexandra Baranosky, Dakotah Ducharme, Taylor Elias, Jolie Johnstone, and Toijun Wiggan. The boys that qualified were David Hernandez and Dylan Kerr.

When asked about the evolution of his senior runners since he first coached them, Coach Andre Henry remarked, “I have great respect for each of my Seniors and the leadership they communicated to the younger runners.” Henry may be losing experienced leaders, but the young talent on the team holds promise and he is optimistic about their development for next year.

Girls Varsity Volleyball, under long-time coach Tania Lam, ended with an 11-6 record this season, but a strong JV team gives much hope for future development next year.

Former head football coach Douglas Gatewood surprised many this year when he stepped up to take over the Varsity Golf team after Coach Guy Taglienti’s retirement. “I am very pleased Gatewood stepped up and took over the program, he has done a great job,” said Mike Collins, Athletic Director who also said that Jake Gochenour and Jonathan Lynn had impressive seasons, as well.  Lynn, a sophomore, was the only golfer from South Plantation to make the cut for the BCAA Championships on November 8th, scoring an 84 and finishing in a tie for 12th place. Gatewood wants to continue to build off of this past season’s success, he said  “It was an enjoyable season and I hope we can build on that for many seasons to come.”

The Winter season of sports brings much to look forward to, including Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball. The girl’s team has a new coach, Tara Kingcade, Physical Education teacher.

Second year Varsity Soccer coaches Akram Moloka (Boys) and Christopher Jarvis (Girls) are also looking to continue to drive their program in the right direction.

Both soccer teams are off to a promising early start, most recently shutting out cross-town rival Plantation High School on November 14th, with the boy’s team posting a 6-0 win and the girls 8-0.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the games to support our teams.

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The student news site of South Plantation High School
South is “leafing” this season behind