A likely MLB 1st-round pick, Charlee Soto blazes own trail

Sunday, Charlee Soto will sit with his family in Seattle, more than 3,000 miles away from home, watching the MLB draft and awaiting the phone call of a lifetime.

Soto, a 17-year-old pitcher from Kissimmee who is the No. 28 prospect by MLB.com, is projected to be taken on the first day and be one of the 39 first-round picks. Rounds 1 and 2 will be followed by 3-10 Monday and 11-20 on Tuesday.

That phone call will change everything for the 6-foot-5, 210-pound flamethrowing right-hander and his f

Ben McCabe looks to future after stellar UCF baseball career

When Ben McCabe was 3 years old, he was dropped off at a camp by his mother, Connie.

The camp had five different sports: football, basketball, soccer, tennis and baseball.

Amid the chaos of kids his age running back and forth among the sports, McCabe found his love for the game with a bat, a ball and a glove.

Now the same kid who got dropped off at a summer camp has finished his collegiate career as UCF baseball’s all-time leader in home runs.

“It’s probably one of the most enjoyable times I

Windermere completes 2-day FHSAA baseball region win vs. Durant; Winter Springs stays alive

Brayden Badua went 3 for 4, including a three-run home run that gave the Windemere Wolverines a 10-4 homefield victory over Plant City Durant in a FHSAA Class 7A Region 2 baseball semifinal that began Saturday and was completed Sunday.

Windermere (25-3-1) is set to play a Tuesday region final against the winner of a Lakewood Ranch (18-7) at Tampa Plant (18-7) game that was postponed to Monday night due to inclement weather. Windermere would travel to top seed Plant, which topped the Wolverines

Winter Park’s inseparable volleyball triplets will go separate ways for college

For as long as Merrell, Cole and Dickson Colado can remember, their lives have intertwined.

The triplets’ bond came naturally, but it reached another level through volleyball. They shared the joy of a state championship for Winter Park High School and the memories of years as practice partners.

Cole and Dickson are senior captains on a Wildcats boys team that won the state championship last year and is back in contention as the 2023 playoffs unfold. Merrell was a captain for Winter Park’s girl

Thomas Castellanos hopeful to be UCF’s QB1 sooner rather than later

Questions about who the backup quarterback is for UCF seemingly got answered in its spring game.

Sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos took some first-team reps as John Rhys Plumlee was making his trek from baseball to football on Friday night, then took most of the second-team reps in the first half at FBC Mortgage Stadium.

But Castellanos has his eyes on something more as UCF heads into the Big 12 Conference this season.

“Hopefully, I do turn out to be QB1,” he said. “If not, I’m going t

‘This is a dream for me’: John Rhys Plumlee plays baseball and football on the same day

That’s all the time that separated John Rhys Plumlee from playing in UCF baseball’s game against Memphis to playing quarterback in UCF football’s spring game on Friday night.

And while those seven minutes were the difference between Plumlee playing two sports, it was also the culmination of his dream from when he was a kid coming to life.

“One of the coolest days of my life,“ Plumlee said. “I’m probably going to die with it being one of the coolest days in my life. This is a movie for me, this

Cancer concerns inspire FHSAA weightlifting champions Andres Giron, David Izquierdo

Lake Howell senior David Izquierdo and Windermere junior Andres Giron swept their divisions in Class 3A of the FHSAA boys weightlifting championships on Saturday.

But their performances as two of Saturday’s seven Orlando area champions carried more weight than just winning a gold medal, at least emotionally.

For Izquierdo, it was a chance to win for his dad, who is battling cancer, and to redeem himself after falling short in 2022.

“My dad going through a whole bunch of stuff, fighting cancer

Winter Park flag football improves along with Horizon as FHSAA playoffs approach

Winter Park High flag football’s ascent reached its pinnacle on Thursday with a 22-6 win over Freedom to claim the Metro Conference East Division championship.

The Orange County Public Schools title is among a bevy of firsts the Wildcats (12-0) have achieved in 2023. Their unbeaten regular season is also a first for the program.

“Everything that we accomplish is the first time it’s ever happened at Winter Park High School,” coach Johnny Miller said. “I always call them history makers. … It’s s

Jalen Suggs gives Magic a spark in his return to the lineup

As the Orlando Magic attempt a late push toward the NBA Eastern Conference play-in tournament, the young team is learning a lot about itself down the stretch.

One of the young players who has had to overcome a lot on and off the court, second-year guard Jalen Suggs returned on Sunday after missing four games due to a concussion. Suggs scored 16 points off the bench in Orlando’s 119-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets (40-35).

“I was so eager to get back on the court,” Suggs said. “I think I’ve miss

West Orange water polo finds home at NTC, 20-1 entering FHSAA playoffs

Just over a week before the season began, the No. 1-ranked West Orange girls water polo team wasn’t sure where it would play home games.

Structural damage to the usual home site, Farnsworth Pool, forced 13-year head coach Jennifer Dailer to scramble in search of a place to play. The aquatics director at the National Training Center in Clermont, Mateo De Angulo, came to the rescue, allowing West Orange to play at the Lake County facility.

“I keep thanking him for saving our season,” Dailer said

Magic take down Wizards for 30th win, gain ground in play-in push

While a run at the play-in is bleak with nine games left to play, the Magic have found themselves in close games against teams with the playoffs in their sights.

They created some daylight Tuesday with a 122-112 victory against the Washington Wizards at Amway Center.

The Wizards (32-40), who entered as the No. 11 seed in the East, were two games back of the No. 10 Chicago Bulls (34-37) before tipoff. They fall even with the Indiana Pacers (32-40).

The Magic are learning as they go.

“It’s fan

Pitching and comeback victory highlight three-game sweep of Dartmouth

UCF baseball extended its win streak to five with a 5-2 win on Sunday over the Dartmouth Big Green (1-11) to complete the weekend sweep at home.

“We talk all the time about being dynamic,” UCF head coach Greg Lovelady said. “You’ve got to win different ways. If you’ve got to win 1-0, or you’ve got to win 21-20, today it was pitching and defense and getting some timely hits.”

The Knights (15-5) dominated on Friday night with a 16-1 win. Redshirt senior righty Ruddy Gomez had a career-high 12 st

UCF baseball sweeps FSU in two-game series

As the final out was recorded on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon, UCF baseball had accomplished something for the first time in program history.

“It’s just big wins to get us back on the winning side of things,” UCF head coach Greg Lovelady said. “It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. The sweep of Clemson and not really playing, not really pitching up to our ability. When we do pitch, it just changes our team.”

UCF (12-5) drubbed No. 21 FSU 14-3 on Tuesday, then jumped out to another big lea

UCF men's basketball rolls past ECU on senior night

UCF men's basketball turned in a complete performance on Sunday with an 84-58 win over East Carolina at home on senior night.

Freshman forward Taylor Hendricks had a double-double with a career-high 25 points along with 10 rebounds in potentially his final game at UCF for the projected first round pick. Hendricks’ performance marked the sixth time the star freshman has scored over 20 points in a game this season.

“When you’re that talented, you love to see a guy be that coachable,“ UCF head co

"Game changer:" UCF Athletics receives largest pledged gift in program history

UCF Athletics announced a pledged gift of over $5 million on Friday — the largest in its history.

The announcement came during UCF baseball’s game against Siena. The pledge comes from a former student athlete that played baseball at UCF and his wife, who is also a UCF alumna, according to a UCF Athletics press release.

“Our family is devoted to enriching the lives of others, and we are proud to support UCF’s talented and dedicated student-athletes and help them succeed on the field and in thei

“It’s gonna be really rewarding:” John Rhys Plumlee set to return to the diamond

When John Rhys Plumlee suits up for UCF baseball on Friday, it will be the first time he's eligible to play on the diamond in 614 days.

The day is one that's been a long time coming for Plumlee, who became a Knight in January of 2022.

“It’s gonna be really rewarding,” Plumlee said. “It’s something that I’ve worked really hard for to get to this point. I came here with the mindset of playing both, and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Plumlee planned to play baseball for UCF in 2022, but was ruled

“Chip on their shoulder:” UCF softball aims to make more history in 2023

When the final out was recorded in UCF softball’s 7-1 loss on the road against Oklahoma on May 28, 2022, the most successful season in program history came to a close.

UCF went 49-14, won the American Athletic Conference Championship, and won the Orlando Regional to secure its first NCAA Super Regionals appearance in program history. Now, No. 15 UCF is back for an encore with its sights set beyond super regionals.

“Our goals are bigger this year,” junior infielder Jada Cody said. “Last year wa

Three takeaways from UCF's 82-71 loss to No. 3 Houston

The home crowd reached a fever pitch after a 3-pointer from senior guard C.J. Kelly cut Houston's lead to three with 14:37 left to play.

On the ensuing possession, Houston freshman Jarace Walker drove to the basket, where fellow freshman Taylor Hendricks was waiting for him. As Walker left his feet to shoot, Hendricks leapt with him and drew a defensive foul — his fourth of the game.

The call drew the ire of the UCF faithful and head coach Johnny Dawkins, which led to him getting a technical foul. The tech and foul on Hendricks gave Houston four free throws, and they made each one. The Knights ultimately wouldn’t get any closer than four points, and they fell to No. 3 Houston 82-71 on Wednesday at Addition Financial Area.
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