Mike Ridaught is the editor and publisher of ThePrepZone.com, the foremost website for high school sports in northeast Florida.
Former Ocala Forest baseball player and current University of Florida senior Kirby McMullen has announced that he will be back next year in the Orange and Blue. When the NCAA announced last Tuesday that it was extending Division I spring athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the Coronoavirus canceling the season, McMullen renewed his lease right away. The former Wildcat played in 16 of the Gators’ 17 games this season for No. 1 Florida, and finished with a .458 on-base percentage, which was second on the team.
Boy’s Basketball: Eastside players honored
Last week, KJ Bradley and Jarvy Gainey of Eastside, and seniors Darrien Jones and Kenney Gaines of Lake City Columbia were named co-Big School Basketball players of the year. Bradley and Gainey led the Rams to a regional final appearance while Jones and Gaines helped lead the Tigers to their first state semifinal season in 52 years. Senior Torey Buie of Hawthorne, who led the Hornets to their first state title since 1987, and Florida A&M signee Jalen Speer of The Rock, were named Small School Boys Basketball Players of the Year.
Junior guard Quay Brodus of Chiefland was named to the Small School All Area 1st Team. Brodus led the area in scoring, averaging 23.1 points per game. He also added six rebounds per game for the Indians.Williston junior guard Keith McGuire was also named first team All-Area after leading the Red Devils with 16.0 points per game. McGuire, who scored a season-high 29 points in a win over Interlachen, also averaged 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
Bell junior guard Riley Kilgore was named to the 2nd team after averaging 11.0 points, three rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game for the Bulldogs, who finished 15-6. Bronson sophomore guard Jesse Williams, and Chiefland senior forward Austin Adams were also named to the second team. Williams led the Eagles in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Adams averaged 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for the Indians.
Bell junior guard Joshua Mendoz, freshman forward Daniel Pitman were honorable mention selections, along with Bronson junior forward Xavier Guyton, senior Micah Hubbard, senior guard Blake Homan, Chiefland senior guard Ty Corbin, Dixie County sophomore guard Carson St. Laurent, sophomore guard Luke Thomas, senior forward Kyle Lamb, sophomore guard Brenden Hall, and Trenton senior guard Trent Becker.
Steve Faulkner of Lake City Columbia was named the Big School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. Faulkner led the Tigers to their first state tournament appearance in 52 years, going 28-3 on the season, that included an 18-game win streak that ended with a double-overtime loss to Fort Lauderdale Dillard in the Class 6A state semifinals in Lakeland.
Greg Bowie of Hawthorne was named the Small School Coach of the Year after leading the Hornets to their first state title since 1987. It marked Bowie’s first state title in his 13 years as coach and it was his fifth trip to Lakeland and the state tournament.