Dan PearsonBy: J. Daniel Pearson
For Positively Osceola

This week marks the final days of the regular season for many spring sports as teams begin preparations for district play.   In other news, Osceola wrestler Cooper Haase was named the Florida winner of the prestigious David Schultz Award.  Here’s a quick look around the county:


It was a big week for Osceola as they knocked off two regional powerhouses to push their record to 13-9 on the season.  The Kowboys beat Lake Nona (18-3) by a 12-3 score as Nick Palmi drove in two runs and pitched five innings of three-hit ball.   In a 12-9 win over Lake Minneola (18-3), John Rodriguez and Louis Rodriguez combined for five RBI and Palmi scored three times.  Osceola has two regular season games left at home with Cypress Creek and a return matchup on road with Lake Minneola this week.

 After a four-game winning streak and slipping above Osceola in the power rankings, Harmony had a tough week, losing a narrow 6-5 decision to Eau Gallie and then dropping a 12-1 game to Viera.  Sophomore Sam Castillo continues to have a good year for the ‘Horns, hitting .375 with 19 RBI and a team-leading nine extra base hit.

 Sebastian Rivera knocked in a run as Celebration ran its record to 13-6-1 with a 3-2 win over Ridge.  Logan Grathwol drove in two runs as St. Cloud (7-10) broke a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Poinciana.  Liberty took two out of three last week, beating Victory Christian (10-9) and Poinciana (6-2) to push their record to 10-9 on season.  Senior Jeydalier Aponte was hitting .404 for the Chargers.  Sophomore Hudson Moberly was hitting an impressive .571 and senior Austin Montalvo has a team leading 16 RBI for Tohopekaliga, that takes a 12-6 record into the final week of the regular season.


Despite an impressive 27-0 thrashing of Horizon (Read Story Here:  https://www.positivelyosceola.com/harmony-longhorns-get-defensive-rout-horizon-for-district-title-in-flag-football/ )  in the Class 2A, District 9 championship game, Harmony (15-2) will find itself on road in the first round when they take on District 12 champion Spanish River (14-4) in a regional quarterfinal.  When district champions meet in first round action, home field is determined by state power rankings and Spanish River (12th in 2A) was ranked slightly higher than the Longhorns (14th).   “It’s not going to be easy,” Strauch said.  “They are one of the top teams in the region and like us won a district championship.  We are going to have to play a great game to have a chance.”


Osceola’s Cooper Haase, who joined legendary wrestler Fox Baldwin this year as just the second four-time state champion from Osceola County, has been named the Florida recipient of the Dave Schultz Award of Excellence.    Named for the legendary Olympian, The Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award, is presented annually to a male high school senior, is based equally on outstanding wrestling success, scholastic achievement and citizenship or community service. The national winner is selected from state and regional winners.   Haase, a West Point commit, has been actively involved in coaching junior wrestlers as well as other community service work.


The season came to a rough end for the Celebration Storm, as they dropped a heart-breaking 14-13 decision to Viera in a regional quarterfinal game.  Celebration, who has won multiple district titles – including in 2023 – was looking for its first regional title ever.  It was the second year in a row that Storm fell one goal short in the Regional Quarterfinal round.  On the bright side, the Storm return their two top scorers next year, as both Abigael Locher (91 goals) and Ayla Moffit (64 goals) were just sophomores this year and junior goalie Isabella Phillips also returns.


With a light schedule for the last week of the regular season, two Osceola County schools were looking to record their first winning seasons in school history.  Poinciana (11-8) can insure its first winning season in school history by winning one of its final three regular season games.  The Eagles, led by a potent offense averaging more than 15 runs per game, have three games this week.  Tohopekaliga, which opened four years ago, 8-60 in their first four years, actually clinched a winning season with a 10-7 record and will take a four-game winning streak into its season finale against Lake Nona.  Orange Belt Conference champion Osceola (14-9) and St. Cloud (14-9) have already clinched winning seasons; while Harmony (8-7) hopes to join them.


Spring football begins next week for the eight county schools.  Each school will be permitted 20 practice sessions, which includes a spring game or jamboree.   Last week, long-time Harmony coach Don Simon announced he was stepping down to become the Athletics Director at Tohopekaliga (Read Story Here: https://www.positivelyosceola.com/harmony-longhorns-football-coach-don-simon-steps-down-to-direct-athletics-at-tohopekaliga/ ).    


Six of the eight county schools will be at Harmony on Thursday for the Class 4A, District 10 Championships.  Several outstanding athletes, including Harmony high jumper Drea Thompson and hurdler Alex Tuyo will be looking to advance to regionals while competing on their home track.  Other outstanding competitors include Osceola sprinters Shannon Levy, Henly Placide and Taevion Swint; Tohopekaliga distance runners Johan Comancho and Zeniel Lizardo; and Celebration miler Catina Edwards.  Harmony distance runner Lailana, pole vaulter Kacey Sinagoga and javelin thrower Hallie Vickers will be among the favorites to advance.  Tohopekaliga’s Javon Andrew-Brown and Poinciana’s  Hakeem Alvena will be favored in the triple jump and long jump respectively.


Looking to prepare for next week’s district competition, OBC Champion Celebration (13-9) is finishing its regular season with a gauntlet of outstanding opponents.  The Storm put together a 3-1 week by beating Harmony, Lake Brantley and Coral Gables, before dropping a decision to state-power Southwest (Miami).  They have a tough doubleheader Tuesday, hosting Tampa Bay Heat (17-4) and Hialeah (9-3) on Monday before finishing the regular season with a match against Windermere.  Tohopekaliga (15-8) picked up some valuable ranking points with a 3-1 upset of Lake Nona last week.


Monday (4/24)

  • Rockledge at Harmony (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Freedom at Liberty (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Palm Bay at Gateway (Softball) 6 p.m.

Tuesday (4/25)

  • Harmony at Sebastian River (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Cypress Creek at Osceola (Baseball) 6:30 p.m.
  • Freedom at Celebration (Baseball) 6:30 p.m.
  • St. Cloud at Hagerty (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Tohopekaliga at Lake Nona (Softball) 6 p.m.
  • Liberty at Gateway (Softball) 6 p.m.
  • Winter Springs at Harmony (Softball) 6 p.m.
  • First Academy at St. Cloud (Softball) 7:30 p.m.
  • Poinciana at Olympia (Softball) 4:30 p.m.
  • Cypress Creek at Harmony (Boys Volleyball) 6 p.m
  • Tohopekaliga at St. Cloud (Boys Volleyball) 6 p.m.
  • Tampa Bay HEAT at Celebration (Boys Volleyball) 5 p.m.
  • Hialeah at Celebration (Boys Volleyball) 7 p.m.

Wednesday (4/26)

  • Liberty at Davenport Ridge (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Poinciana at Tohopekaliga (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Harmony at Spanish River (Flag Football) 7 p.m.*
  • Poinciana at Cypress Creek (Softball) 6 p.m.
  • Poinciana at Harmony (Boys Volleyball) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday (4/27)

  • Gateway at Celebration (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Osceola at Lake Minneola (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Cypress Creek at St. Cloud (Baseball) 6:30 p.m.
  • Lake Buena Vista at Tohopekaliga (Baseball) 6 p.m.
  • Poinciana at Liberty (Baseball) 7 p.m.
  • St. Cloud at Hagerty (Softball) 6 p.m.
  • Poinciana at Liberty (Softball) 4:30 p.m.
  • Tohopekaliga at Poinciana (Boys Volleyball) 5:30 p.m.
  • Windermere at Celebration (Boys Volleyball) 7 p.m.
  • Gateway at St. Cloud (Boys Volleyball) 6 p.m.
  • Class 4A, District 10 Track Championships (Boys and Girls) at Harmony;  All Day