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Saluting Newsome’s softball seniors

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Newsome's softball seniors

This season was supposed to be about redemption. Newsome lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in eight innings to Park Vista in last season’s Class 9A state title game. The Wolves took solace in knowing they had a future together. Seven seniors returned, including five who have already signed with college programs. All the pieces were there for a title run. Through eight games, Newsome was 7-1 and ranked seventh in the state in 7A by MaxPreps. Now, the season — and the Wolves’ chance at redemption — remains in limbo until at least May 3 when the Florida High School Athletic Association will be able to determine whether spring sports can resume. “Everyone wants to play their last game, especially the seniors. It would be crushing if this is the way the season ended for us,” senior shortstop Lindsey Harper said. 

Meet the seniors 


Newsome’s Claire Ginder

INF Claire Ginder

2020 stats: .500 avg., 7 RBIs

Career stats: .354 avg., 24 RBIs

College: Furman

Senior memories: “It’s been everything to play with them and I’m thankful for my time at Newsome. My teammates are such a talented group of seniors and we’re all there to have fun, get better and win. It has been such a great and successful program, and I’m hoping we will get to finish what we started last year. If we don’t, I know we have an amazing group of girls in the grades below us that can pull through next year.”

Best career moment: “Going through the whole postseason last year, we had a great game against Palm Harbor to win districts and then cruised through regionals and the first round of the state tournament. Even though we lost in the finals, just the way the team was able to overcome injuries and sickness to play the last game as well as we did was just an amazing thing to experience. And then, in what might have been the last game of my high school career, I finally hit my first over-the-fence home run in high school ball. The support of my teammates when that happened was just the best feeling.”


Newsome’s Lindsey Harper

SS Lindsey Harper

2020 stats:  .333 avg., 8 RBIs

Career stats: .392, 50 RBIs, 96 runs

College: Tampa

Senior memories: “I knew it was a tough team to make. Only a select few get to be on the roster, so I was fortunate to be a part of that. There’s a strong bond just having so many seniors that are graduating at the same time and are going off to play in college. They definitely make you work harder. We push each other to get better.”

Best career moment: “The state final from last year. We got out to a lead and played our hardest, but we weren’t able to win. It was a teaching moment for us to leave it all on the field.” 


Newsome's Madison Hudson
Newsome’s Madison Hudson

OF Madison Hudson

2020 stats: .200 avg., 4 RBIs

Career stats: .325 avg., 19 runs

College: Coastal Carolina 

Senior memories: “It means a lot to me to be a part of this awesome program. My teammates and coaches mean the World to me. I love being on the field with them each and every day. We returned this year with one goal in mind and that was to get back to and win the State Championship.”

Best career moment: “The biggest moment of my high school career was when I was a freshman (in Texas) and we were down 8-7 in the top of the seventh with two outs and I hit a solo homer to keep us in the game.”


Newsome’s Brianna Langlois

2B Brianna Langlois

2020 stats: N/A (injured)

Career stats: .250 avg., 13 runs

College: Undecided

Senior memories: “It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of this team. I had a shoulder injury that kept me out and everyone continued to make me feel welcome and still be a part of the team.”

Best career moment: “Just being there everyday with my teammates. That’s what made me feel happy.” 


Newsome's Jada Smallwood
Newsome’s Jada Smallwood

UTIL Jada Smallwood

2020 stats: .538 avg., 10 RBIs, 2 HRs

Career stats: .441 avg., 83 RBIs, 12 HRs

College: Maryland

Senior memories: “Honestly it’s been such a blessing to play for Newsome softball the past four years, and I’ve loved every second of it. I’ve made so many memories on and off the field with these amazing girls and this senior class is truly something special. I really hope we get the chance to finish out our season.”

Best career moment: “Favorite memory is definitely going to states and playing in the state championship despite having the flu that game. But my favorite moment by far though was the homerun I hit in the semifinal game with a full count on a change up into the middle of the water behind the field.”


Newsome's McKayla Timmons
Newsome’s McKayla Timmons

1B McKayla Timmons

2020 stats: .500 avg., 8 RBIs

Career stats: .503 avg., 70 RBIs, 13 HRs

College: Ball State

Senior memories: “We’re pretty talented and to be around this amazing group of girls is special. I came here as a sophomore and they were very accepting and helped me make new friends.”

Best career moment: “When we knew we were going to the state semifinals last year was the best feeling. We were trying to make it all the way and came pretty close.”


Newsome's Daniela Waldron
Newsome’s Daniela Waldron

OF Daniela Waldron

2020 stats: .278, 2 RBIs

Career stats: .322 avg., 27 runs, 15 RBIs

College: Undecided

Senior memories: “I moved here from New York three years ago. Being a part of this team and with these seniors changed my softball and high school experience. They were very open and became family to me.”

Best career moment: “The experience of going to states last year and just having that experience and knowing how well we played to get there.”

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Thursday night football forecast

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Seffner Christian (2-3) at St. Petersburg Catholic (3-3), 7

After starting 2-0, the visiting Crusaders have lost three straight. The host Barons, meanwhile, have rebounded from a 1-2 start to win two of their last three games. 

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg Catholic 30-28

Gibbs (3-3) at Tarpon Springs (3-3), 7

An important Class 5A, District 10 game for both teams not only to stay in the mix for a title but also to get above .500 for the season. 

Putnam’s prediction: Gibbs 34-21 

Clearwater (5-1) at Anclote (1-5), 7:30

The Tornadoes have won five straight and are the clear favorite to the Class 5A, District 10 title. The host Sharks are on a two-game losing streak. 

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 42-7

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Thursday sports schedule (Oct. 14)

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What to watch

Volleyball

Sunlake (12-5) at Wesley Chapel (13-4), 6

The Seahawks, who have won four straight, try to maintain their streak against the Wildcats in a rematch from last week that Sunlake took in five sets. 

Palm Harbor University (14-8) at Mitchell (18-0), 6:30

The Mustangs have a shot at going undefeated in the regular season. To do that, Mitchell has get the Hurricanes, who have turned things around. 

St. Petersburg (15-8) at East Lake (16-7), 7

The Pinellas County Athletic Conference final is between teams with impressive streaks. The Green Devils have won seven straight while the host Eagles have won five in a row. East Lake has owned the series this season, sweeping its rival in the previous three meetings. 

Newsome (16-7) at Bloomingdale (11-5), 7:30

Both teams have won three straight heading into their regular season finale. 

The schedules

Volleyball

Solid Rock Christian at Grace Christian, 4:30

Zephyrhills Christian at Hernando Christian, 5

Hillsborough Baptist at Foundation Christian, 5

Tampa Prep at Ocala Trinity Catholic, 5:30

Oldsmar Christian at Elfers Christian, 5:30

Brandon Academy at Universal Academy, 6

Sunlake at Wesley Chapel, 6

Tampa Bay HEAT at Shorecrest, 6

Weeki Wachee at Hernando, 6:30

Wiregrass Ranch at Anclote, 6:30

Carrollwood Day at Calvary Christian, 6:30

Citrus at Nature Coast, 6:30

Palm Harbor University at Mitchell, 6:30

St. Petersburg Catholic at Sarasota Christian, 7

Zephyrhills at Gulf, 7

Gulf Coast HEAT at Tampa SLAM, 7

Seven Rivers Christian at Cambridge Christian, 7

Alonso at Freedom, 7

Crystal River at Springstead, 7

St. Petersburg at East Lake, 7

Central at Lecanto, 7:30

Sumner at Brandon, 7:30

Cypress Creek at Pasco, 7:30

Tampa Bay Tech at Gaither, 7:30

River Ridge at Hudson, 7:30

Riverview at East Bay, 7:30

Newsome at Bloomingdale, 7:30

Spoto at Durant, 7:30

Middleton at Leto, 7:30

Plant at Robinson, 7:30

Jefferson at Armwood, 7:30

Indian Rocks Christian at Countryside, 7:30

Swimming

Plant at Berkeley Prep, 5

Tampa Prep at Berkeley Prep, 5:30

Lennard, Riverview at East Bay (Apollo Beach), 6

Blake, Leto at Hillsborough (Copeland), 6

Spoto, Tampa Bay Tech at Plant City (Plant CityYMCA), 6

Freedom at Academy of the Holy Names, 6:30

Steinbrenner, Wharton at Robinson (Bobby Hicks), 6:30

Gaither at Middleton (Cyrus Green), 6:30

Spoto, Sumner at Jefferson (Interbay), 6:30

Brandon, Tampa Bay HEAT at Bloomingdale (High five), 7

Golf 

East Bay at Riverview (boys), 2

Hillsborough at Leto (boys), 2:30

Freedom at Jesuit (boys), 2:30

Alonso at Chamberlain (boys), 3

Sickles at Jefferson (boys/girls), 3

Steinbrenner at Gaither (boys), 3

Newsome at Plant City (boys), 3

Sumner at King (boys/girls), 3:30

Plant at Robinson (boys), 3:30

Berkeley Prep at Tampa Prep, 4

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Volleyball: Hillsborough County Top 15

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The top of the rankings stays the same heading into the final week of the regular season. But there was plenty of movement in the rest of the top 15.

1. Berkeley Prep (22-2)

Up next: Idle

Last spot: No. 1

Why they stayed put: The Buccaneers, ranked fifth in the nation, closed out the regular season on a 15-match win streak, including sweeps over Newsome and Tampa Bay HEAT last week. Berkeley Prep can now focus on the ultra-competitive Class 3A, District 5 tournament, which starts on Oct. 18. 

2. Steinbrenner (21-2)

Up next: Monday at Blake; Tuesday vs. Plant

Last spot: No. 2

Why they stayed put: The Warriors, ranked No. 3 in Class 7A, have won 10 straight matches, including a sweep over Alonso in their only match last week. Steinbrenner closes out the regular season with an anticipated matchup against Plant that could serve as a preview of the Class 7A, District 7 final. 

3. Plant (18-4)

Up next: Tuesday at Steinbrenner; Wednesday vs. Clearwater Central Catholic; Thursday at Robinson

Last spot: No. 3

Why they stayed put: The Panthers, the state’s top team in 7A according to MaxPreps, have won seven straight, all via sweeps. The match against Steinbrenner is not the only tough one this week. Plant also faces Clearwater Central Catholic on Wednesday. 

4. Tampa Prep (18-5)

Up next: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay HEAT; Thursday at Ocala Trinity Catholic

Last spot: No. 4

Why they stayed put: The Terrapins are on a three-match win streak after sweeping Academy of the Holy Names last week. Two of Tampa Prep’s five losses this season have come against Berkeley Prep and Plant, both ranked ahead of the Terrapins. 

5. Riverview (13-3)

Up next: Monday at Leto; Thursday at East Bay

Last spot: No. 6

Why they moved up: After starting the season 1-3, the Sharks have won 12 straight matches, including sweeps over Robinson and Durant last week. Riverview will try to keep that streak going with matches against Leto on Monday and East Bay on Thursday to close out the regular season. 

6. Academy of the Holy Names (15-8)

Up next: Tuesday at Osceola

Last spot: No. 5 

Why they moved down: The Jaguars split their two matches last week, sweeping Tampa Bay HEAT and getting swept by Tampa Prep. Academy of the Holy Names travels to Osceola on Tuesday for its regular season finale. 

7. Newsome (15-7)

Up next: Tuesday at Tampa Bay Tech; Thursday at Bloomingdale

Last spot: No. 7

Why they stayed put: The Wolves won their only match last week, sweeping Lennard. Newsome finishes the regular season with matches against Tampa Bay Tech on Tuesday and Bloomingdale on Thursday. 

8. Wharton (13-7)

Up next: Tuesday at Strawberry Crest

Why they stayed put: The Wildcats swept King to extend their win streak to five. Wharton will maintain that streak when it travels to play Strawberry Crest in Tuesday’s regular season finale. 

9. Bloomingdale (11-5)

Up next: Thursday vs. Newsome

Last spot: No. 10

Why they moved up: The Bulls had a solid week, beating Strawberry Crest in five sets and sweeping Sumner to extend their win streak to three. Another challenge comes Thursday when Bloomingdale hosts Newsome in the regular season finale. 

10. Sickles (13-10)

Up next: Monday at Wiregrass Ranch; Tuesday at Gaither

Last spot: No. 9

Why they moved down: The Gryphons split their two matches last week, sweeping Blake and getting swept by Plant. That tough schedule will help Sickles stay competitive in the Class 7A, District 7 tournament that starts Oct. 18. 

11. Plant City (8-4)

Up next: Monday at Lennard

Last spot: No. 15

Why they moved up: The Raiders have won four of their last five matches, including a sweep over East Bay in their only match last week. Plant City finishes the regular season with a match against Lennard on Monday. 

12. Strawberry Crest (12-5)

Up next: Tuesday vs. Wharton

Why they moved down: The Chargers split their two matches last week, losing in five sets to Bloomingdale and sweeping Leto. Strawberry Crest hosts Wharton on Tuesday in the regular season finale. 

13. Freedom (8-2)

Up next: Tuesday at Hillsborough; Thursday vs. Alonso

Last spot: No. 13

Why they stayed put: Though the schedule has been light, the Patriots have played well. They beat Gaither in five sets in their only match last week. Freedom’s two losses came against Wharton and Strawberry Crest. 

14. Carrollwood Day (13-10)

Up next: Tuesday at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney; Thursday at Calvary Christian

Last spot: No. 12

Why they moved down: The Patriots split their two matches last week, sweeping Patel and getting swept by Bishop McLaughlin. All of Carrollwood Day’s losses this season have come against quality opponents. 

15. Tampa Catholic (12-10)

Up next: Tuesday at Shorecrest

Last spot: No. 14

Why they moved down: The Crusaders will try to snap out of their four-match losing streak when they travel to play Shorecrest in the regular season finale. 

On the bubble: Gaither (6-3) , Sumner (8-8), Cambridge Christian (12-10)

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