L.E.A.D. Academy baseball coach Chris Lyle points to an example during an interview of how competitive his team has become in 2023.
It’s a game against Paxton that he highlights. The Lions lost 6-1 to the Wildcats on March 9. A game like that wouldn’t have been nearly as close in the past.
Pace checks all the boxes in flag football.
The Patriots have talent on both sides of the ball. They understand what it takes to win. And they have the potential to make a run at the program’s first state championship.
Two Pace standouts have earned impressive recognition on a national level by Legacy & Legends Softball.
Teammates Jayden Heavener and Shelby McKenzie are ranked in the top 10 nationally among Class of 2024 players, with Heavener, an LSU commit, notching the No. 1 spot.
Quent Blackwell has been around football his whole life.
His dad, a former standout at Escambia, earning all-decade recognition along-side players like NFL legend Emmitt Smith, is a coach at Milton and inspired his son to want to play the game as well.
Jonathan Acuff is an offensive lineman, a position that is often more in the shadows than the spotlight.
That said, it doesn’t make the Milton senior any less of a competitor. He is fierce when it comes to that.
Nathan Caston needed one out. One out to seal the deal on a no-hitter. One out to close the door on a shutout win over Yukon, Oklahoma, in the Tate Aggie Classic.
But as he fired a pitch at the plate in the seventh inning on a chilly Wednesday evening in mid-March, he had a feeling his no-hit bid was probably done.
Milton’s softball team ended its pre-spring break schedule with three consecutive losses. Two of those were by a run. The other was a shutout loss to Pace, one of the nation’s best teams.
But while the season hasn’t started off as expected, the Panthers aren’t hanging their heads. They simply keep pushing forward.
On the sign of one of the local business along the road to Milton High School are words congratulating Aireaana Gavere on her state championship in girls wrestling.
Even on the school’s campus, as Gavere poses for a few photos with her medal and bracket, a couple of coaches walk by and congratulate her.
Kaleb Nobles talks with his team after the end of a University of West Florida spring practice on a sun-splashed morning in early March.
The first-year head coach of the program tells his players he is proud of the work they have put in and likes the way they have handled everything this spring.
A lot is running through the mind of Emma Turner when she’s behind the plate catching for an unbeaten Pace softball team on course to contend for a state title.
If the ball is hit, she has to be ready to communicate with her teammates. If the ball is popped up, fouled off or is thrown toward her at the plate, the junior standout has to be ready for that scenario as well.