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Olsen_teamDSCF6272_copy  Front Row L-R: Chloe Clifton, Giacomo Burgetto, Jenna Olsen, Jasmine Perez, Dimitri Perez, Alex Roberts, Sela Cason. Back Row L-R: Ryan Roberson, Evan Butcher, assistant coach Elizabeth Roberts, Tucker Hodges, head coach Cliff Olsen.

ALACHUA – The High Springs "Tigers" 6U soccer team finished second in the European Division of the Alachua World Cup tournament held last weekend at the Hal Brady Alachua Recreation Complex.

In three games, in which the Tigers went 1-1-1, Jenna Olsen scored four times, while Jasmine Perez added three goals. Tucker Hodges was strong in goal, with Alex Roberts anchoring the Tigers' defense. Coach Cliff Olsen also received contributions from Giacomo Burgetto, Chloe Clifton, Dimitri Perez, Sela Cason, Ryan Roberson and Evan Butcher.

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SFHS_BB_Brooks_Signing Seated L-R: Todd Brooks, Kyle Brooks and mother Michele Page. Standing L-R: Santa Fe High School Athletic Director Michelle Faulk and Gatorball owner Stephen Barton.

ALACHUA – Santa Fe High School Raider Kyle Brooks made it official Tuesday as he signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of North Florida (UNF).  The senior will join the Ospreys after graduating in the spring.

Flanked by his parents and coaches, Brooks told a gathering of his teammates, family and friends that since he was a young child, all he wanted to do was play baseball.  The emotional athlete thanked his family, extended family, friends, teammates and coaches for their support.

Brooks’ father, Santa Fe’s head varsity baseball coach, Todd Brooks, read a poem written by the high school senior several years ago, which highlighted his love of the sport.

Todd Brooks extended his appreciation to those who had helped his son over the years, including Gatorball owner Stephen Barton.

“Without the help of so many of you, there is no way Kyle could have done what he is doing,” Brooks said.

Barton, who led the signing ceremony, said Brooks had made considerable contributions to his baseball team.

“As soon as Kyle joined my program, I knew he was going to be a special player,” said Barton.  “He is one of the best short stops I’ve seen around.”

Tuesday’s signing ceremony garnered special attention at the school as not only the baseball team, but also the football and basketball teams showed up to support their fellow athlete as he committed to UNF.

As a junior, Kyle Brooks had a batting average of .484, 35 runs batted in and 56 hits on the season.

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ALACHUA – Last Thursday and Friday were the two biggest days thus far of what has been a breakout season for the Santa Fe High School football team.

On Thursday, the Raiders blasted Eastside, 42-0 in a crucial District 5-5A battle at Raider Field.

Senior running back Brandon Willis led the way with 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13 attempts as Santa Fe defeated the Rams for the first time since 2003.

That victory gave Santa Fe an 8-1 overall record and a 4-1 mark in district play.

However, North Marion's 9-3 district-win over Dunnellon on Friday night was just as big. While the Colts claimed the district championship, the win also clinched the runner-up spot for the Raiders, and with it, their first regional-playoff berth since 2004.

"Our major preseason goal was to get in the playoffs," Santa Fe coach Tommy Keeler said. "I was at the North Marion-Dunnellon game and it was nerve racking because I didn't want a tiebreaker.

"It was a relief for me. We're excited."

A Dunnellon win over North Marion would have forced a tiebreaker with Santa Fe this past Monday. Instead, the Raiders will travel to Dade City Pasco for a Class 5A, Region 2 quarterfinal on Friday, Nov. 18.

Without a win over Eastside on Thursday night, the biggest two days in the last seven years of the Santa Fe football program would not have occurred.

The Raiders got off to a fast start as Willis ripped off a 46-yard scoring run on the game's fourth play from scrimmage to give the home team a 7-0 first-quarter edge.

Senior linebacker Deriyal Owens then made the first of his two big defensive plays in the second quarter. At the 6:31 mark, Eastside had a bad snap deep in its own territory. Owens secured the loose ball and trotted into the end zone from two yards away.

Verntario Jenkins then intercepted Eastside starting quarterback Sir Jackson, which set up Tray Presley's 56-yard touchdown run as Santa Fe enjoyed a 21-0 cushion at halftime.

Santa Fe's defense, which held the Rams (3-6, 2-3) to 175 yards of total offense, put the game out of reach early in the third quarter.

Jenkins picked off a pass from Eastside backup quarterback Tervasius Johnson and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown just 12 seconds into the period. On Eastside's third play from scrimmage to open the half, Johnson fumbled. Owens covered up the loose ball in the end zone at the 10:59 mark for the 35-0 advantage.

Willis put the finishing touches on the senior-night win and provided the final margin with a four-yard scoring run as the third quarter expired.

"Our kids got real fired up tonight," Keeler said. "Our defense was all over the place, offensively we controlled the ball and we just played really well tonight all the way across the board."

Presley finished with 90 yards and the touchdown on eight carries for the Raiders, who ran for 267 yards as a team.

Steven Glover rushed for 92 yards on 24 carries to lead the Rams, who were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Jackson did not play in the second half with a foot injury, according to Rams coach Jeff Parker.

"This is a huge win for the team, the school and it gives a little bit of pride back to Alachua," said Keeler, who was drenched from the water cooler shower he received after the win. "Everything kind of clicked for us tonight."

This Friday, Santa Fe travels to rival Fort White (6-3) for the annual "Battle for the Paddle" matchup. The Raiders will look to end their six-game losing streak to the Indians.

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GAINESVILLE – The Gator Ticket Office has tickets remaining for Saturday’s football game against Furman at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium that begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis until sold out. Place your order quickly to guarantee your seats.

Gator fans can order tickets online at www.GatorZone.com/tickets<http://www.GatorZone.com/tickets> or by calling a Ticket Office Specialist at (352) 375-4683, ext. 6800, or toll free 1-800-344-2867, ext. 6800, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Gator Ticket Office, located at Gate 1 of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional events for Saturday:

*A flyover will take place following the National Anthem that will be performed by the U.S. Navy.

*There will be a special flag presentation by UF ROTC cadets and the University of Florida Concert Choir and the Signing Gators will perform.

*Sergeant James Mike, a Combat Medic who has served in the United States Army for over nine years, will be an honorary captain. After playing college football at Jacksonville University, he walked into a U.S. Army Recruiting Office and joined the Army.  While deployed in Iraq, he served as a medic for the 617th Military Police Company, whose units’ main responsibility was to provide Main Supply Route Security. Mike was part of a 10-man patrol that was ambushed by 50 insurgents. His vehicle was completely surrounded and, after dismounting the vehicle with his team, two of his fellow comrades were shot.

Although Mike began to provide aid and return fire, the gunner was hit and he found himself completely in the fight by himself. Undeterred, he began to lay down fire in the direction of all of the insurgents which were completely surrounding him. As Mike returned to provide treatment, he noticed he was being fired at by a sniper and took the sniper out with an AT-4 Anti-Tank rocket. He soon evacuated all wounded casualties. After the 45-minute firefight, 26 insurgents were killed, six injured, and one captured unharmed. All three of Mike’s team members survived their wounds and made a 100% recovery. For his actions, he was awarded the nation’s third-highest medal for valor, the Silver Star. Mike is now serving with the 20th Special Forces Group as a Medic and in pursuit of the Green Beret.

*Between the 1st and 2nd Quarters:

*Members of the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” of the United States Armed Forces, will be honored at this time. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) works to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

*World War II veteran and UF graduate Bill Scruggs will be recognized at a timeout during the game.


*Performances by the University of Florida's Fightin' Gator Marching Band and the Gator Alumni Band

*UF Student Veterans will be honored at this time.

*One contestant will have a chance to kick a 10-yard field goal to win a year's worth of Bean Street Coffee presented by Kangaroo Express.

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LAKE CITY – The Santa Fe Inferno 12U softball team picked up their second consecutive tournament championship this past weekend, with a 6-0 performance at the Haunted Fastpitch INSANITY tournament in Lake City, Fla.

The Inferno started off red hot, easily defeating the Chaos 16-0, and Gainesville Gators 12u/99 10-1, earning first place in Pool A as the tournament headed to bracket play.

With the arrival of the single elimination bracket play the competition stiffened up, but so did the effort and play of the Inferno.

In their first game, the Inferno survived a scare from the upset minded Gainesville Gators and escaped with a closely contested 3-2 victory. Using the narrow victory as motivation, the Inferno put together back-to-back shut out victories over the Grand Slam Storm and Jax Fusion 99.

Already in the finals, the Inferno sat back and watched as the Jax Fusion went on to defeat the Storm 2000 and battle their way back to the championship game, setting up a rematch between the Fusion 99 and Inferno.

The final game was a microcosm of the entire tournament, as both teams battled hard but in the end, the Inferno won a close game 2-1 to earn the tournament championship.

Coming a week after winning the Tsunami Slam tournament, the Inferno are putting together a fall season that includes two third place finishes and two championships thus far. The girls will wrap up their fall season with one tournament in November and one in December.

Inferno coaches are Jason Nowling, Chris Chronister, Jason Raulerson and Manny Perez, and their 2011 fall roster is comprised of Alex Acevedo, Sk Lewis, Emily Yankel, Kaitlyn Nowling, Teala Howard, Kayanna Perez, Kyndall Williams, Kaylah Lents, Hailey Raulerson, Skylar Rollins, Savana Shealey and Jackie Chronister.

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