Which players in the area, teams started spring sports with a bang

Which players in the area, teams started spring sports with a bang

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The sun is out and the beaches are full, which means one thing.

It’s spring break.

While Tallahassee schools have a week off, some athletic programs are in tournaments across the country as the spring sports season continues for another week.

As we head into the second half of the spring sports season, however, there are some programs and players that are drawing attention with their performances thus far. With spring break here, who are some of the breakout stars and teams so far this year?

Let’s take a look at Big Bend’s spring breaks!

Stats, schedules, scores and more sourced from Maxpreps and baseball gamechanger and softball

Baseball: The Chiles are back on top of Class 6A

The Timberwolves are flying to start the season, sitting at 6-2 and picking up wins against some top programs.

With spring break bringing the Chiles to the South Walton Showdown, the team earned wins over the St. Augustine and Mississippi’s Lewisburg. Before the spring break tournament, the Timberwolves picked up wins over Bucholz and Lincoln and losses to North Florida Christian and Lowndes.

In Corey Pai’s second year, the Timberwolves have certainly figured things out, showing a clear improvement over Pai’s first year. Chiles is a program that wants to be at the top of 6A and right now is on a good early season pace to do so.

Softball: Leon’s perfect start

The Lions are a perfect 6-0 and are now just four games shy of the number of wins they had in 2023, finishing 10-12.

Starting off the new season hot, scoring 65 runs in six games, the Lions were one of the biggest breakout stars of the spring. The catalysts for the run were Mikenzie Smith, Camille Montgomery and Lamonica Sims, who combined for 18 hits and are a constant threat to either bring base runners home or score themselves.

With no games over spring break, the Lions will return to action against Lincoln fully rested for the second half of the season.

Flag football: Florida High’s Rachel White’s elite start

Top Florida football is 3-1 through the first four games of the season and there’s a big reason why?

The play of dual threat senior quarterback Rachel White.

White was outstanding early in the year, throwing for 271 yards and seven touchdowns, making up for it with his 376 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, the senior has been nearly unstoppable for the Seminoles this season. Florida High looks to be one of the best teams in the area, and a big reason for that is White.

Track: Florida High’s Micahi Danzy cements status as top sprinter

Florida High’s Micahi Danzy returned to the track to defend his state titles in the 200 and 400 meters. Recovering from a hip injury that prematurely ended his senior football season, the Seminoles senior has shown no signs of slowing down as he has won five of six contests he has competed in this season.

Still unseeded in the 400 meters this season, Danzi won all three of his 100-meter races and two of his three 200-meter races, finishing second at the Jimmy Everett Invitational. Danzi, a Florida State University signee, will look to continue to add to his growing legacy at Florida High, and he is currently doing just that.

Track: Rickards Sacori Gardner’s blazing start to her freshman year

Looking at the track results in the area, one name from Rickards stands out for the 100 and 200 meters.

The name is Sakori Gardner.

The freshman has clocked blistering speeds to start her high school career, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes in every event she’s competed in this season. Taking a personal best at the Jimmy Everett Invitational in the 200 meters, posting a 25.06, Gardner is one to watch as she continues to show star potential to begin her high school track career.

Beach volleyball: Chile start the season strong

The Timberwolves are 2-1 and look like a threat to compete for the 2A District 1 crown.

The only loss of the season for Chiles so far came against undefeated Gulf Breeze, dropping the game 3-2. With wins over South Walton and Leon, both 5-0 wins, the Timberwolves look to get back to the district title game and avenge last season’s loss to the Lions.

With an experienced lineup that has played together throughout the indoor season, the Timberwolves are a team to keep an eye on as the beach volleyball season continues.

Tennis: Leon junior Gabe Garcia looks for the Lions

With a new tennis court and a new season, the Lions are off to a flying start to the tennis season, winning 46 out of 68 matches played.

One of the stars for the Lions is junior Gabe Garcia, who has a 24-5 overall record in games this season. Playing both No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches, Garcia has a 13-3 record in singles thus far, going 11-2 in doubles.

The Lions’ strong performance was led by Garcia, who helped fill the void left by 2023 All-Big Bend Boys Tennis Player of the Year Ian Nicodemus, who graduated.

Tennis: Chiles Lillian Zhang impresses in junior year

The defending All Big Bend Girls Tennis Player of the Year, Chiles junior Lillian Jahn picks up where she left off and looks to retain her crown.

With an overall record of 27-2 in matches this year, competing in both singles and doubles, Zhang is undefeated in singles competition, posting a clean record of 15-0. One of the stars of Chiles’ program, which has won 52 of its 74 games, Gian is quickly becoming one of the top players in the state.

Jahn is looking to get back to the state tournament, and with her current play, she is well on her way to doing so.

Liam Rooney covers prep sports for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @__liamrooneMr

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