Doral Academy and Monarch tennis win top state honors. LaSalle sailing wins national title

·5 min read

Doral Academy junior Valeria Ray was named 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Tennis, and Monarch senior Corey Craig was named 2022 Mr. Tennis in a final round of voting by a statewide panel of prep tennis coaches.

In addition, Justin Puppo of Doral Academy was named the 2022 Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year, and Lake Nona’s Tom Beard was named the Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year.

Ray was earlier named the Class 4A POY after capturing her second straight state individual singles title and going undefeated during the season. Ray has committed to Vanderbilt University.

Other finalists included Class 3A POY Delaney Bennett of Belleview, Class 2A POY Juhnyee See of Coral Springs Charter and Class 1A POY Lily Dounchis of Community School of Naples.

Corey Craig was named 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Tennis.
Corey Craig was named 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Tennis.

Craig, the Class 4A POY, won the overall Class 4A singles title in his first year of high school tennis and completed an unbeaten season without losing a set. Craig has signed with Boston University.

Other finalists included Class 3A POY Carlos Ramirez of TERRA Institute, Class 2A POY Max Lindstrom of Satellite-Satellite Beach and Class 1A POY Chase Healey of Christ’s Church Academy-Jacksonville.

Puppo, who was named the overall state Girls’ Coach-of-the-Year in 2019 and 2021, repeated the honor this year after leading Doral Academy to its fourth straight state title.

Puppo’s team was ranked No. 1 nationally and stretched its winning streak to 67 straight matches dating to 2017.

The other finalists for the girls’ coaching award included Class 3A COY Carol DeOpsomer of St. Thomas Aquinas, Class 2A COY Kelly Mulligan of Gulliver Prep and Class 1A COY Reid Rafter of St. Andrew’s-Boca Raton.

Lake Nona’s Beard won the top boys’ coaching honor after leading his squad to an unbeaten season and the Class 4A state title. It was the first state title for an Orange

County public school team since 1935 and the first Orlando-area public school to win a state title since 1996.

Class 3A COY Fred Weiland of Ponte Vedra, Class 2A COY Corey Marsh of Pine Crest and Class 1A COY Reid Rafter of St. Andrew’s-Boca Raton were the other finalists for the boys’ coaching award.

The Florida Dairy Farmers Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers’ commitment to the state’s youth. This is the 30th year of these unique awards, honoring the state’s top athletes and coaches in all 32 sanctioned FHSAA sports.

The program also emphasizes to young people the importance of keeping dairy products a primary part of their diet in their overall nutrition plan.

LaSalle sailing

LaSalle sailing became the first team from South Florida to win the prestigious Baker Trophy at the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA)’s National Team-Racing Championship and only the second team from Florida ever to do that since its inception in 1989.

The prestigious event was in Houston. Twelve teams qualified from their respective districts around the country, representing more than 600 high school sailing programs. Of those 12 teams, LaSalle and Ransom Everglades were the only two teams that qualified from the SAISA (South Atlantic District).

LaSalle sailing won a national title in Houston.
LaSalle sailing won a national title in Houston.

The national champion LaSalle sailors are: Justin Callahan, Mitchell Callahan, Umi Noritake, Danny Riano, Brianna Ross, Caroline Caudron, Holland Ramos and Jadin Gonzalez.

A full round robin format was completed on the first day of competition with each team sailing against the other 11 schools, totaling 66 races. LaSalle ended the day on top with 11 wins and only one loss.

The finals format was a Gold round of the top four teams, and LaSalle finished that round 2-1 for a final record of 12-2.

In team racing, each team sails three boats against three boats from another high school. The competition was top notch with schools from California, Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Texas, and Michigan.

This was LaSalle’s first appearance in the Team Racing National Finals, while the three other schools who reached the Gold round made multiple appearances over the years.

Flag football honors

The Florida Dairy Farmers announced Sydney Ford of 2A Western and Lonesha Howell of 1A Miami Edison are the 2022 Flag Football Players of the Year in their respective classification.

They are now finalists for Miss Flag Football.

Sydney Ford, Senior, Quarterback/Linebacker, 2A state champion Western, Class 2A Player of the Year: completed 307-of-423 passes for 3,809 yards with 50 TDs and 7 interceptions; rushed for 355 yards on 47 carries (7.6 avg.) with 6 TDs; had 75 tackles and 3 interceptions on defense.

Lonesha Howell, Senior, Quarterback/Safety, 1A state semifinalist Miami Edison, Class 1A Player of the Year: completed 363-of-438 passes for 3,809 yards with 48 TDs and 6 interceptions; rushed for 463 yards on 49 carries (9.4 avg.) with 14 TDs; had 38 tackles and 9 interceptions on defense.

James O’Brien of state champion Western is the Class 2A Coach of the Year. He finished with a 19-0 record after his team defeated 2021 state champion Newsome 34-14 in a state title game rematch. In 12 years, he has posted a career record of 131-20.

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Roundup compiled by Jim Varsallone

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