Building on the momentum after finishing a strong first half, athletes at Durant High continued on in their athletic quest.
To start, Durant enjoyed some attention as it hosted the 12th Annual Cougars Wrestling Championship. It was a full house as the competition started off with a total of 30 schools participating from around the state.
The Cougar wrestlers had the potential for a big finish. But, while none were able to win the title, Alex Hamm, 103 lbs., Christian Reed, 125 lbs. and Derrick Hudson, 130 lbs. of Durant each recorded third-place finishes. Jamil Crespo, 145 lbs., placed fourth as one of two Hillsborough County wrestlers to place in the top four.
The Durant basketball season has also left behind some interesting highlights to look back on. After a tough start and the suspension of a key player, it was hard to predict the direction the program will take. But proving the value of discipline and A.J. Gardens’ strong commitment to improve his on-court behavior, the Cougars returned with a vengeance and won their next four games in a row, losing only to the Brandon Eagles.
The past season was also the year for the newly official competitive cheerleading program to prove its worth. The Durant squad made every effort to be recognized and after two seasons of settling for second place behind the Bloomingdale Bulls, it was time for a change. The Cougars won the coveted Western Conference title, dethroning the four-time defending champion Bulls during the championship held on February 8 at Armwood High School.
Last, but not least, the Cougars softball program turned on the heat to close the 2007-08 season with plenty of excitement. Patience and hard work seem to have paid off for the girls. After winning senior night as well as advancing to the regional line-up as the 2007-08 district champions for the second year in a row, Durant was able to overcome
one of its biggest hurdles of the last two years and defeated Clearwater’s Countryside, during the regional semi-finals, gaining a much needed boost and completing its run for the state final four.
“We just keep focusing on the basics which are repetition and muscle strength along with going out there and playing hard,” said Carter, adding, “This is what these girls have been doing all along.”
For more information and results, please visit www.fhsaa.org.