Ten days after his Lake Nona women’s water polo team won its second straight state championship, Lions coach Alex Bennett was announced Tuesday as one of seven new inductees for the Hall of Fame’s 2022 class. the fame of the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Bennett coached 11 state championship teams, including nine at Gulliver Prep in Miami, during a career that began in the spring of 1997. He is also the swimming and diving coach for the Lions.
“I haven’t figured it all out yet,” Bennett said after the honor was announced. “I think it’s pretty cool that they recognize someone in the aquatics field outside of swimming and diving. I hope I’m not the last. There are definitely other coaches (from water polo) and certainly players who deserve it.
Bennett, 47, was the Orlando Sentinel All-Sports Female Coach of the Year in the 2020-21 school year after leading Lake Nona to the first FHSAA Tag Team Championship in franchise history. ‘school.
He also won the Florida Dairy Farmers Water Polo Coach of the Year award and earned honors from the Miami Herald and United States Water Polo. He has served on the National Federation of High Schools and FHSAA advisory committees on water polo.
Bennett is one of only two coaches selected for the Hall of Fame Class of 2022, joining Kelly Beckham, who recently retired from Gainesville High after scoring nearly 800 wins in boys’ basketball.
Freshman phenom Ronnice Berry scored every point for Dr. Phillips as the Panthers rallied at 18 to win 19-18 over Hillsborough County’s Riverview in a women’s football region quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
Berry’s third touchdown of the night, with 43 seconds left on a fourth and a 15-yard field goal, carried DP (16-1) to victory. She had 11 catches to set a school record with 106 receptions for the season.
Sophomore quarterback Olivia Cadiz threw all three TD passes for DP.
The Panthers, seeded No. 4 in Class 2A Region 2, will play a semifinal on Thursday against another Tampa-area team.
DP will either host Valrico Bloomingdale’s (11-5) or travel to No. 1 State Lithia Newsome (16-1) pending the outcome of those teams’ Wednesday game.
Jones (13-2) earned a 27-6 win over Lincoln Park Academy on Tuesday. The Tigers, who inflicted their only defeat on DP, will be at home Thursday at 7 p.m. for a Class 1A Region 3 semi-final against Riviera Beach Suncoast (13-6).
Winter Park (11-3) saw its eight-game winning streak and season end with a 13-6 loss to Port Orange Spruce Creek. In Tuesday’s other 2A games, Timber Creek (12-3) fell to Tallahassee Chiles 14-7, and Harmony (15-3) was shut out 12-0 by Lake Worth Park Vista.
All four Orlando-area teams that qualified for this weekend’s FHSAA Women’s Beach Volleyball State Tournament in Tallahassee are in the same quadrant of the 16-team bracket.
The undefeated Hagerty (13-0) takes on Orangewood Christian (13-1) and Timber Creek (8-6) takes on Tohopekaliga (7-4) in matches that start at 10 a.m. Friday at Florida State University Beach Volleyball Courts.
The winners will face off at 4 p.m. in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, setting up a championship game at 3 p.m.
The region’s semifinals will be played on Friday, with nine Orlando-area teams still in contention for berths in the state tournaments.
Friday’s winners advance to Tuesday’s regional finals.
The eight-team state tournament will be played May 13-14 at Archbishop McCarthy in South Florida.
All Friday games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. according to the FHSAA website.
Spruce Creek (15-13) to Lake Mary (24-1)
Seminole (8-15) at Bartram Trail (11-3)
Lake Brantley (19-9) at Winter Park (23-2)
Bishop Moore (12-14) at Timber Creek (17-8)
Windermere (20-5) at Liberty (25-3)
Celebration (21-2) at Tampa Bay HEAT (24-0)
Lake Mary 3, North Marion 0
Sanford Seminole 3, Creekside 2
Winter Park 3, Winter Springs 0
Lake Brantley 3, Apopka 1
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Bishop Moore 3, Lyman 2
Timber Creek 3, Lake Howell 2
Freedom 3, Olympia 0
Windermere 3, Lake Nona 1
Tampa Heat 3, Tohopekaliga 1
Celebration 3, Saint Cloud 0
This report was first published at Orlandosentinel.com. Buddy Collings, Academic Content Editor, can be contacted by email at [email protected].