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GAINESVILLE – The FCSAA #1/NJCAA #9 Santa Fe Saints (7-1) begin a five game home stand on Friday against Indian River State College at 3:00 PM and continue on Saturday when they host South Florida CC at 12:00 PM for a double header.  The games can be followed live via Dakstats GameTracker.

 Left hander Ryan Yarbrough will take the mound on Friday against Indian River looking to improve on his 2-0 record.  Through nine innings pitched, Yarbrough has yet to allow a run, has accumulated 15 strikeouts and opposing batters are hitting just .235 against him.  He was recently named the FCSAA Pitcher of the Week for his work over the first week of the season.

 On Saturday, south paw Lawrence Pardo (1-0) will get the ball in game one and right hander Brad Markey (1-1) gets the nod in game two.  It will be the third start for each pitcher.

 Admission to all baseball games is free to the general public.

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Alachua_World_Series_Signing2012a L-R:  Santa Fe Babe Ruth President Jason Raulerson and Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball National Commissioner Robert Faherty.

ALACHUA – The City of Alachua will host the Babe Ruth Softball 12 Under World Santa Babe Series in August.  And the City of Alachua made it official Jan. 18 when it hosted Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball National Commissioner Robert Faherty for the contract signing of the state of Florida’s second-ever Babe Ruth Softball World Series.

Santa Fe Babe Ruth President Jason Raulerson joined Faherty for the signing. The Santa Fe Babe Ruth Softball program is a volunteer program for girls ages 4 to 16.

Alachua hosted the first-ever Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Florida in the summer of 2010, and was selected from other national finalists to host the Babe Ruth Softball 12-Under World Series contest.

The Hal Brady Recreation Complex will host 20 teams from around the country for the week-long event next summer, which will bring scores of team and thousands of visitors to the city for the competition.

In the 2010 competition, the local team took home the Babe Ruth 12U World Series title when the Santa Fe Babe Ruth girl's softball team beat out a team from Brusly, LA 8-1 in the six-inning championship game.  On its way to the title game, Santa Fe defeated teams from Oviedo, Fla., Hamilton, NJ, Graceland, IN, Monadnock, NH and Othello, WA in World Series play.

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Santa Fe downs Clearwater Central Catholic 67 – 44

Community_Hitchcock_Winner_CHSDSC_0064_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_IMG00514-20111229-1942_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_MVP_CHSDSC_0057_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_IMG00513-20111229-1939_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_SF_vs_SuwanneeDSC_0009_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_Hawthorne_DSC_0041_copyCommunity_Hitchcock_SF_vs_Clearwater_DSC_0031_copyPhoto 1: Columbia High School defeated Eastside HIgh School 50-45 to take home t he championship. Photo 2: West Gadsden’s Brandon Shingles was the tournament’s 3-Point Contest Champion. Photo 3: Tournament MVP was awarded to Columbia High School’s Tae Foster. Photo 4: Sidarius Berrium of West Gadsden High School was declared the Dunk Contest Champion. Photo 5: Santa Fe High School’s Swandrick Miller takes a shot during the contest against Suwannee High School. Photo 6: Hawthorne’s Jayquan Hamilton takes a shot from 3-point land against Suwannee High School. Photo 7: Michael Mulberry sets up for 2 points in Santa Fe’s win over Clearwater Central Catholic.

Hitchcock’s Challenge competition dished up three full days and nights of high school basketball action last week.  Columbia High School came away with the championship by besting runner-up Eastside High School 50 – 45 in the final game Friday night.  West Gadsden knocked off Gainesville’s St. Francis High School to take third place and Suwannee High School beat Hawthorne High School to take fifth place.  Santa Fe took seventh place by trouncing Clearwater Central Catholic 67-44. Tournament MVP went to Tae Foster of Columbia High School.  West Gadsden High School had two athletes receive special tournament awards.  Sidarius Berrium won the Dunk Contest and Brandon Shingles won the 3-Point Contest.  This marks the 18th year Santa Fe High School has hosted the Hitchcock’s Challenge, which is made possible by corporate sponsors Hitchcock’s Markets and the Alachua Lions Club. Add a comment

Julianna_WelchSanta Fe High School Principal Bill Herschleb, Athletic Director Michele Faulk, Julianna Welch, mother Annette Welch, sister Sammantha Welch, father Jay Welch and brother Mackenzie Welch celebrated as Julianna signed her official letter of intent to join Jacksonville University’s rowing team.

ALACHUA – Santa Fe High School senior Julianna Welch signed a letter of intent to join the women’s rowing team at Jacksonville University (JU), where she’s been offered a full scholarship.

The decision to attend JU came after Welch received rowing offers from numerous schools.  For recruiting schools, she is an ideal student athlete with a 4.6 weighted grade point average.  Welch settled on JU because it offers a marine science program, an area she wants to pursue as a career.

JU women’s rowing coach Kris Muhl said, “Jules is an outstanding student and athlete and has accomplished a great deal in the time she has been rowing.”

On Jan. 11, Welch finalized her commitment to attend JU with a signing ceremony at Santa Fe High School where she was joined by coaches, family, friends, teammates and faculty. 

Welch, 17 years old, is a varsity member of Gainesville Area Rowing (GAR), a team made up of students from several Alachua County high schools. 

Before joining GAR in the last year, Welch was also a starting player on Santa Fe’s varsity volleyball team.  After three years in volleyball, she opted to sit out her senior year to return to her passion for rowing competition.

A proud Santa Fe Volleyball Coach and Athletic Director Michele Faulk congratulated Welch on her achievements, noting that she was missed on the volleyball team.

About Welch, Faulk said, “I knew this young lady was going to be tremendously successful because when she takes something on, she does it wholeheartedly.

“I know you’re going to go out there and make us extremely proud,” Faulk said to Welch.

Santa Fe Principal Bill Herschleb was elated with Welch’s scholarship.

“Never in my 15 years as a principal has a student been given a full rowing scholarship…she is a pioneer,” said Herschleb.

Welch is following in her older sister’s footsteps.  Sammantha Welch also rowed competitively, including at the University of Central Florida.

“She’s been able to outdo me in everything,” Sammantha Welch said.

According to statistics obtained by JU, Welch is the women’s varsity captain in her senior season and posted a 6k split time of 2:06.4.  She also was a gold and silver medal winner in the U.S. Southeast Regionals, and was a U.S. Rowing national qualifier along with being a U.S. Junior Women’s National Team Developmental invitee.

Glowing with excitement, Julianna Welch told the large gathering, “This is just such a big experience for me.  I feel like I’ve done my best, and I guess it’s paid off.”

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Men host TAAG Academy on Jan. 2; women play The Rock on Jan. 3

GAINESVILLE - The Santa Fe Saints open the new year with games on back to back days in what will be their last tune-ups before Mid-Florida Conference play opens on Jan. 7.

The men host TAAG Academy on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. and the women host The Rock School on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m.

Coach Chris Mowry and the men carry a 13-2 record and a #4 ranking in the FCSAA Coaches Poll into 2012.   The women, led by Coach Chanda Stebbins played one of the most challenging schedules in the state and enter the new year with a 5-12 record.

Admission is $3 for the general public, $2 for military and seniors and free for children under 12 and Santa Fe student, faculty and staff with valid ID.

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