This weekend’s state water polo finals at Ransom Everglades are just as notable for who didn’t make the field as for the 16 schools – eight boys’ teams and eight girls’ squads – that did.
For the first time since the state series began in 2005, Gulliver does not have at least one team present. The Gulliver girls have been especially dominant, winning five state titles, most recently in 2013, and finishing second last year. The Gulliver boys have won three state titles, including last year’s trophy.
Gone also is Ransom standout Chelsea Johnson, who graduated and now plays for Princeton University with her sister, star goalie Ashleigh Johnson, who is a junior. The last time Ransom was without at least one Johnson sister was in 2008. Ransom won five state titles during that span.
As for the teams that did make state this year, the St. Thomas Aquinas boys (22-1) won the state title in 2013 and have played in three straight championship games. Aquinas went 6-1 against schools who made the state quarterfinals, beating everyone except the two schools that were not on their schedule, Krop and Seminole.
Krop Coach Ann Gordon regards Aquinas as the favorite.
“Eric Goldberg is real good, and their coach [his father, Michael Goldberg] is real good,” Gordon said. “I think it will be Aquinas and Belen in the final.”
Belen (23-1) and Aquinas split two matchups this season, each team winning by two. Belen is led by senior Ryan Guso, who has 68 goals and 20 assists. Goldberg, a senior, has 61 goals and 35 assists for Aquinas. If the teams meet in the final, it will be a rematch of 2013, when Aquinas beat Belen 13-10.
The other two local boys’ team at state are Cypress Bay (7-7), led by junior standouts Andres Schmidt and Arturo Freitas; and Krop, which is powered by senior Mohammad Alsabbaghe (115 goals).
On the girls’ side, Ransom (22-1) is the team to beat, even without Johnson. MAST (18-0) is undefeated but has yet to play any team that made it to state. Cypress Bay is 10-5 but lost four games in overtime. And the other local team is Pembroke Pines Charter (11-4).
Ransom, led by senior Sofia Rivas and her 71 goals, is 7-0 against teams that made state, and its only loss was 8-7 to Orlando’s Dr. Phillips.
“The fact that we won state last year ... has given our girls a lot of confidence,” Ransom coach Eric Lefebvre said. “That has carried over to this year.”
Ransom also has an advantage playing in its home pool.
“It’s a lot of work for us at the school,” Lefebvre said, “but it’s awesome to know that we get to play where we’re comfortable.”
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Florida Christian has added former NFL, Florida State University and Miami Southridge star Lamont Green to its football coaching staff. Green will assist head coach Chris Rivera as the team prepares for the spring practices.
Green, a former NFL linebacker, was USA Today’s Defensive Player of the Year at Southridge and part of the Spartans’ state championship team in 1993. Green is also the only recipient of both The Miami Herald’s Football Player of the Year (1993) and Coach of the Year in 2011 when he led South Miami to the playoffs after the Cobras had won only three games combined the previous three seasons.
“It’s good to be back and it’s a great situation for me and my family,” Green said.
Zion Lutheran 6-8 forward Keith Stone, a long-standing Florida commit, locked up his future with the Gators by signing a letter of intent Wednesday.
The ESPN four-star prospect averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in leading the Lions to a 20-8 record and berth in the regional semifinals.
Paola Rios of Riviera Prep in Miami has signed with Boston’s Simmons College. Rios, a senior, lettered at Riviera for four years and has co-captained the volleyball team the past two years.
▪ 15-6A championship — Miami Springs 8, Goleman 6: Thanks to a big offensive night from Tiffany Turman (3-for-4, 3 RBI) Miami Springs overcame an early 4-1 deficit to rally past Goleman at Virginia Gardens Field.
Springs (18-3) will host either Doral or TERRA in a regional quarterfinal game at VG Field on April 23 at 7 p.m. Goleman (17-3) which had beaten Springs twice during the regular season and was the top seed, will travel to either Doral or TERRA for its regional game.
▪ 16-7A championship: American 14, Ronald Reagan 0
RR: 000-00 -- -- 0-1-9
Amer: 160-7x -- -- 14-15-1
WP: Alexis Castroman (14-10) 4 IP, 7 K; Vanessa Abreu 3-3,l 3 RBI; Kayleen Romero 2-3, 2 2B, RBI; Chastity Velez 2-3. Amer 16-7.
▪ 14-7A championship: Monarch 15, Fort Lauderdale 0
FtL: 000 -- -- 0-0-1
Mon: 555 -- -- 15-13-0
WP: Emily Estroff (18-3). Stefani Collins HR, 3 RBI; Kiara Robin 3-3. Mon 23-3.
▪ 16-8A: Coral Reef 14, South Dade 1
SD: 000-101 -- -- 1-6-2
CR: 035-6x -- -- 14-13-1
WP: Michelle Mesa (17-3). Kylan Becker 3-4, 3 RBI; Carolina Colli 2-2, RBI; Amanda Grullon 2-2, 2 RBI. CR 22-4.
▪ University School 10, Miami Country Day 0
Univ: 630-10 -- -- 10-17-1
MCD: 000-00 -- -- 0-3-2
WP: Jesse Crosno (3-5) 7 Ks; Evan Klugerman 3-4, 3 RBI; Buddy Hayward 3-5, HR, 7 RBI. Univ 13-12.
▪ Doral 12, Dade Christian 3
DC: 000-300-0 -- -- 3-1-2
Dor: 130-224-x -- -- 12-13-2
WP: Anthony Perez (4-0). Yasel Fabra 4 RBI; Nelson Montilla 2 RBI; Luis Valbuena 2 RS. Dor 17-7.
▪ Pines Charter 6, Pine Crest 5 (8)
Pines: 020-300-01 -- -- 6-7-2
PC: 111-020-00 -- -- 5-8-2
WP: Daniel Rivero (3-3). Jordan Quijano 2-4, HR, 3 RBI; Trent Herzog HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Daniel Rodriguez-Velez 3-4, 2B, 2 RS. Pines 16-4-1.
▪ Westminster Christian d. Pace 22-25, 25-14, 25-18, 20-25, 19-17: Danny Verdeja 18 kills; J.P. Alvarenga 45 assists; Sam Zakka 16 points, 12 digs; T.J. North 11 kills.
▪ Archbishop McCarthy d. Cooper City 25-16, 25-18, 25-15: Nick Alonso 25 points, 13 digs; Nick Covone 10 kills. McC 13-7.
▪ Florida Christian d. Coral Gables 25-17, 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-11: Alex Benites 28 digs, 10 points; Willmar Gonzalez 22 kills, 15 digs; Nick Tejedor 25 assists, 18 digs, 18 points; Danny Hernandez 9 kills. FC 10-8.
▪ Columbus d. Belen 25-15, 25-15, 25-12: Peter Cancio 12 kills; Javier Cisneros 8 kills; Nicholas Diaz 5 kills. Cbus 20-1.
▪ American Heritage d. Nova: Jeff Rice 12 kills; Landon Lupo 11 points, 19 assists; Jon Gomes 15 digs.
GMAC championship: Columbus at Killian, 4
11-8A final: Douglas at Taravella, 7; 12-8A final at Cooper City: South Plantation vs. Western, 6:30; 14-8A final at Dr. Krop: Miami High vs. Miami Beach-Hialeah Gardens winner, 4; 15-8A final: Braddock at Coral Gables, 4; 15-7A final: South Broward at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7; 16-6A final: TERRA at Doral Academy, 7; 14-4A semifinals at Betti Stradling Park: North Broward Prep vs. Calvary Christian, 4; Chaminade vs. Coral Springs Charter, 4; 15-4A final: Pace-St. Brendan winner at Florida Christian, 7; 16-4A final at Gulliver: 4; 14-3A final: Coral Springs Christian at Westminster Academy, 4; 15-3A final at Miami Country Day: 7; 16-3A final at Palmetto Bay Park: 7; 14-2A final at Posnack: Posnack vs. Sheridan Hills, 4; 15-2A final: Miami Christian at Princeton Christian, 3:30.
DISTRICT TRACK AND FIELD
16-2A at Calvary Christian – Field: 1; Prelims: 4:30; Finals: 7; 15-1A at Westminster Academy – Prelims: 2; Finals: 5:30.
IF YOU GO
What: State water polo finals.
Where: Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Highway, Coconut Grove.
Admission: $8 per session.
Defending champions – Boys: Gulliver Prep; Girls: Ransom Everglades.
Friday’s schedule - Girls’ quarterfinals: Pines Charter vs. Orlando Olympia, 9 a.m.; MAST vs. Orlando Lake Nona, 10:30 a.m.; Ransom Everglades vs. Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley, noon; Cypress Bay vs. Boca St. Andrews, 1:30; Boys’ quarterfinals: Cypress Bay vs. Boca Raton St. Andrews, 9:30 a.m.; Belen Jesuit vs. Sanford Seminole, 11 a.m.; St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Winter Park, 12:30; Dr. Krop vs. Orlando Lake Nona, 2; Girls’ semifinals: 5 and 7:30; Boys’ semifinals: 5:30 and 8.
Saturday’s schedule – Girls’ championship: 2; Boys’ championship: 4