PREP NOTEBOOK: Coogan wins, Phu expects more, plus football notes

Staff Reports

Isabella Coogan had a record-setting cross country run Saturday for Charlotte High School in the Caloosahatchee Riverdale Invitational in Alva.

The sophomore shattered the school record in winning the 5,000-meter event in a time of 19 minutes, 34.3 seconds to help the Tarpons finish runner-up behind Fort Myers. Coogan’s effort topped the mark of 19:44 by Teressa Gugino in 2009.

Coogan finished ahead of Fiona Kurland of Fort Myers, who clocked in at 19:52.7. Kurland was one of four Fort Myers runners in the top 10, totaling 32 points to easily outdistance Charlotte (95) and top the 16-team field.

Junior Katie Kanagy finished 14th overall for Charlotte in a personal best time of 21.38.8 while sophomore Alexa Roughton also had a personal best of 22:16 to take 23rd.

Fort Myers also won the boys event with 42 points while Charlotte’s boys finished sixth in the 10-team field. Kyle Shirley topped the Tarpons with a 16th-place finish in a time of 18:00.3.

By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent

SLIPPED AWAY

North Port cross country coach Phu Nguyen thought his team should have won Saturday’s Lemon Bay Invitational even with his team a little banged up and a top runner leaving the squad, The Bobcats ended up two points shy of Lely, which had two runners in the top four and three in the top 10.

“We had runners who didn’t run to their full potential. Everyone has a bad race sometimes, so we’ll come back next week,” said Nguyen, who saw Kevin Kapedia take fifth, Evan Weisberger 11th and Dillon Garrett 14th.

Port Charlotte only fielded three runners, but all had respectable finishes, with Michael Balseca in 16th. But it could’ve been better if they had been a little slower and steadier,

“We came out a little too fast. We carried to first turn too hard and because we went out so hard in the first half-mile, the final mile was very painful for them and timewise wasn’t what we wanted,” coach Ray Chumbley said.

Lemon Bay’s boys finished 10th, with Henry Finck being the top finisher, in 17th.

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

QUARTERBACK SWITCH

Skylar Razwilavich was expected to start at quarterback for the injured Devon Allen, who hurt his ankle in the preseason game, but it was Travis Cook who got the call under center instead Saturday against Cypress Lake. Razwilavich eventually took over under center in the third quarter once Cypress Lake had pulled away and led North Port on its only touchdown drive of the game in the 40-7 loss.

“We were just working different personnel groupings and different guys in the backfield to see what gave us the best opportunity and I thought we started out pretty well, things just didn’t work out for us,” Hatler said.

North Port head coach Brian Hatler downplayed Devon Allen’s absence.

“Unfortunately injuries are part of the game and we’ve got to be ready to perform,” Hatler said. “I think it wasn’t one single thing or one single player, we just didn’t play well as a team and we made some mistakes as a coaching staff.”

Cypress Lake scored touchdowns in all three phases of the game in the first half while North Port went 0-for-4 inside Cypress Lake territory in the game’s first 24 minutes.

“We gave the opportunity to give them some momentum and that really shows how important momentum is,” Hatler said. “They had a greater challenge than we did today because they were playing on the road and they responded well so you’ve got to give them credit.”

Hatler was proud his players didn’t give up and kept fighting despite a huge deficit for most of the game. Octavious Cummings exemplified that, rushing for 27 of his 35 yards on North Port’s scoring drive, which included his 4-yard touchdown run.

“Our kids play hard. I’m proud of our effort, we have to pay more attention to detail to get us over the edge,” the coach said. “We did come out and give better effort in the second half. We had fewer mistakes in the second half, but we have to get focused on what we’re doing and try to get better every time we have an opportunity to do that.”

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

PIRATES WISE UP

The tone of last week’s preseason win for the Port Charlotte Pirates was overshadowed by penalties.

A total of 90 yards in penalties, five of which came from personal fouls, left coach Jordan Ingman displeased after the 7-0 win over Victory Christian.

The Pirates responded, and only two penalties were accepted against them in Saturday’s 34-6 win against Lemon Bay. Both of those penalties were personal fouls, but one of them wasn’t necessarily the fault of the offender.

Tiyan Bush lit up the Lemon Bay punt returner, who called for a fair catch pretty late. Bush didn’t see the fair catch signal, and delivered a big hit on the unsuspecting returner.

Even with that miscue, the Pirates played a fairly clean game, and Ingman noticed.

“We played smarter football today,” Ingman said. “Last week we played dumb. We cleaned up a lot of mistakes in penalties, and that’s what I was proud of.”

One thing Ingman attributed to the penalties in the preseason game was a two-hour delay which left the players cooped up in the locker room longer than they had anticipated. This week, they played a rare Saturday morning game, but still stayed gameday ready.

Again, Ingman noticed: “The kids were very focused. I knew from the walk through on Thursday it would be a different approach this week, and that showed this morning. The kids did a really nice job focusing, and that was definitely shown on the field.”

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