While most of the community is celebrating and attending holiday events in and around Osceola County, student athletes in the School District of Osceola are still hard at it in December. Here’s a look around the county:


Harmony hosted the Harmony Longhorn Duals this past Saturday and dominated the field with five victories – none of which were close.   The Longhorns defeated Cypress Creek (74-4), Cocoa Beach (66-3), Lake Nona (84-0), Hagerty (47-28) and Olympic Heights (54-12).  Seven Longhorn wrestlers went undefeated, including at Max Butler (120), Carlos Rodrgiuez (132), Carson Estrada (138), Shawn McCallister (150), John Fernandez (175), Seth Scutero (190) and Case Roberts (215).  Butler and Rodriguez went 4-0; the others were 5-0.

Elsewhere, Osceola was at the Varsity Clash of Champions in Orange City, Fla.  The event featured national power Lake Highland Prep (Team Champion with 183 points).  Osceola finished third in the team score (156) behind Winter Springs (177).  The Kowboys came away with three champions in the event as Adais Ortiz went 3-0 at 113 pounds; defending state champion Anderson Heap was 5-0 in winning at 157; and Gunner Holland (4-0) won a 5-4 ultimate tiebreaker decision over Winter Springs Elijah Penton to win the 175-lb. class.  Penton is the defending 2A State Champion and a US Naval commit.  “A great match between two outstanding wrestlers and two outstanding young men,” Osceola coach Rick Tribit said.  They have met three times in the last year, and all of the matches were incredible.  We’re 3A and Winter Springs is 2A, but they will probably meet at least two more times this year.”

Osceola will host the Danny Byron Invitation (Dec. 8-9).


The first Orange Belt Conference championship of the winter sports season will be contested this week at the Girls Soccer Tournament is held.  Quarterfinal games on Monday, Dec. 4 will feature #8 Liberty at top-seeded Harmony; #7 Osceola at #2 Celebration; #6 Tohopekaliga at #3 St. Cloud; and #5 Poinciana at #4 Gateway.  With the exception of St. Cloud game (5 p.m.), all contests begin at 6 p.m.

Semifinal games and consolation games will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. on the home fields of the higher seeds.  Third place (5 p.m.) and the OBC Championship Game (7p.m.) is slated for host site Liberty High School.

Harmony has had a stranglehold on the OBC Championship, having won 11 of the last 13 titles but Celebration pulled the upset last year to claim their first OBC girls’ soccer crown. Both Harmony (4-1) and Celebration (5-1) are off to great starts this season and look to be the favorites to advance to the OBC finals on Friday.


Long-time conference top dog Celebration (five Orange Belt Conference titles in last six years) may be the pre-season favorite, but upstart Gateway, Harmony and others could challenge for supremacy in 2023-34.

Playing a tough schedule, Celebration is off to a 1-2-1 start this year following a 2-1 loss to Lake Nona (3-0-1) on Friday night.  The Storm lost a lot of their scoring punch to graduation off of last year’s regional final team.   Still, they feature some excellent players, including one of the state’s top goaltenders in Chris Vargas.

Gateway (3-1) defeated Harmony (3-3) by a 3-0 score on Friday night.  The Panthers met Celebration in last year’s OBC finals and feature striker Jose Calderon.  Harmony coach Brett Ballard believes the Longhorns will show significant improvement over last year’s 9-9-0 club.

The boys Orange Belt Conference championship is not slated until January.  Key games this week include St. Cloud at Gateway, Harmony at Tohopekaliga, and Celebration at East Ridge.  All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5.


The race to be the best in Osceola County should be a wide open affair this year.  Long-time power Osceola, the defending OBC Champions, feature a young talented team.  They lost their opener to Harmony – a team that they beat in the OBC Finals last year but lost to in the District tournament – 50-48.  Osceola took state-ranked Edgewater (5-0) to the absolute brink at the Winter Park Rotary Tournament before a phantom foul call in the final seconds cost them a win (60-59).  In the consolation round they defeated Spruce Creek but lost a tough 64-55 decision to 5-1 Daytona Beach Mainland.  “We are a really young team but we are going to be all right,” Osceola coach Steve Mason said.  “Edgewater has three D-1 prospects and we played with them to the end.”

Harmony, led by senior Vlad Torrado, has gotten off to 3-0 start after beating St. Cloud, 54-47.  Torrado had 15, Jeremy Penner added 14 and Sylus Cory had 13 for the Longhorns.  St. Cloud who is looking for its first winning season in more than two decades, is 2-1 this season.  Alex Springs had 24 in the loss to the Longhorns.

Key games this week finds St. Cloud (2-1) at Dr. Phillips (3-0), Olympia (3-1) at Osceola (1-3) and Harmony (3-0) at Orlando Christian Prep (3-0) on Tuesday.  Tip off for all three games is 7 p.m.


Defending OBC champion St. Cloud (4-2) got off to a great start – winning their first four games of the season – but dropped a tournament game to Tampa Catholic and then lost a home game to Miami, 45-36, this past Saturday.  Seniors Emily Lockey and Haley Collins were leading the Bulldogs in scoring through six games.

With a 64-25 win over Celebration, Gateway was 2-0 on the season.  With opening week wins over Four Corners (49-40) and Orangewood Christian (59-16), Tohopekaliga was also 2-0 on the young season.  After getting blown out by St. Cloud in their season opener, Poinciana recorded back-to-back wins – including a 44-37 win over Liberty – to move to 2-1 on the season.