First Baptist Academy volleyball player Katie Gilchrist won the Naples Daily News Athlete of the Week poll for Sept. 25-30. A 6-foot-1 senior middle blocker, Gilchrist led the Lions to a 5-0 record last week with 29 kills, 11 aces and nine blocks.
Gilchrist received 1,122 of the 2,678 votes cast (42 percent) in the online poll. Gulf Coast diver Olivia Ricard was second with 703 votes (26 percent), followed by Naples High swimmer Davis Olmstead with 366 votes (14 percent).
Southwest Florida Sports Awards Banquet
Two FBA student-athletes take home awards from the Southwest Florida Sports Awards Banquet on May 24, 2017.
I Am Sport Award by Nike
Ashleigh Baker was presented the I Am Sport Award by Nike for service to our community. Ashleigh, a newly graduated senior, participated in cross country, soccer, tennis & track and field at FBA this year. Congratulations Ashleigh!
Defensive Football Athlete of the Year
Joe Sparacio took home honors as the top Defensive Football Athlete. Joe, a junior at FBA, participated in football and track and field this year. Congratulations to Joe!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING FBA SPRING SPORTS ATHLETES ...
NAPLES DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA: Girls Tennis
Aiden Denman -Second Team
Ashleigh Baker- Honorable Mention
Bella Heaslip- Honorable Mention
NAPLES DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA: Boys Track & Field
Ray Pierre - First Team
Nick Tompkins- First Team
Ryan Mitchell- Coach of the Year
Zac Brecher- Second Team
Keean Burlison- Second Team
Austin Edie- Honorable Mention
Cipriano Martinez- Honorable Mention
Dan O'Dell- Honorable Mention
Matt Powers- Honorable Mention
Brant Ralph- Honorable Mention
Jorge Santos- Honorable Mention
William Sillery- Honorable Mention
NAPLES DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA: Girls Track & Field
Sydney Beam- First Team
Nicole Smith- First Team
Amanda Lines- Second Team
Malaya Melancon- Second Team
Samantha Shemavonian- Second Team
Grace Dean- Honorable Mention
Natasha Rodriguez- Honorable Mention
Paige Scullin- Honorable Mention
Emme Warburton- Honorable Mention
2017 FBA WINGED FOOT SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION NOMINEE:
Track & Field FHSAA State Results
Track & Field Regional Meet Results
MALAYA MELANCON, AMANDA LINES, NICOLE SMITH, SAMANTHA SHEMAVONIAN
See results for FBA athletes and their events. Click Here
FBA Track & Field 2017
SETH SOFFIAN, USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA- Watching the girls 3,200-meter run during the latter stages of Thursday’s District A-8 track meet, First Baptist Academy coach Ryan Mitchell was so focused on one of his freshman runner’s bidding for a top four finish and regional berth that he lost track of the team scores.
“Wow. I didn’t know we were that far ahead,” Mitchell said, looking at the updated scores on his phone before pausing and choking up a bit. “We might beat them. Man, that’s emotional.”
After two straight years finishing in second place behind Fort Myers-Evangelical Christian School, FBA resoundingly snapped what had been ECS’ six-year run of girls district titles.
Along with a convincing win in the boys meet as well Thursday at ECS for its third straight district championship, the Lions swept the competition.
“The boys, it’s expected for them to win,” Mitchell said. “They were so young we weren’t sure they were going to do it. But they stepped up to the plate. And the girls, it’s just awesome. You work hard to get them up to that level, and they competed. It’s just exciting as a coach. Very exciting.”
FBA won the boys competition with 176 points, ahead of Community School of Naples (146), St. John Neumann (105.5), ECS (60), Seacrest Country Day School (53), Southwest Florida Christian Academy (44.5), Canterbury School (35), Moore Haven (32) and Marco Island Academy (4).
“Just overall everybody did exactly what we asked them to do,” Mitchell said of athletes competing in more than their customary events. “We had people in the finals that were not expected to get to the finals because they ran hard.”
FBA – which also was bolstered on the boy's side by a strong showing in the field events, leading CSN 80-60 going to the track finals – employed the same strategy successfully on the girl's side.
Junior Paige Scullin, who finished second in the discus behind SFCA’s Rebekah Bergquist, and sophomore Kamryn Hacker, a finalist in the 400 meters, both picked up points for FBA in the high jump as well after first being taught the event this week by Mitchell.
“Run the ‘J’ as fast as you can and lean back,” said Mitchell, a former high school thrower and runner and later a thrower and football player at NAIA Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
FBA won the girls competition with 155.5 points. With a victory in the final event of the meet, the 4 x 400 relay, St. John Neumann earned 10 points to edge out ECS for second place in the final team standings, with scores of 115.5 and 112, respectively. ECS was third in the 4 x 4 for six points.
SFCA (71.5), Canterbury (68), Marco Island (54), Community School (32), Moore Haven (12) and Seacrest (10.5) rounded out the girl's team scores.
Girls Basketball - Naples Daily News All-Area Selection
Girls Soccer - Naples Daily News All-Area Selection
Girls Track & Field (MS) - GCAC Champions
The girls team took home the Gulf Coach Athletic Conference Track & Field Trophy.
Lady Lions Basketball
Congratulations to the varsity girls basketball team on winning the district championship.
Nicole Smith: NDN Prep of the Week
Read the Naples Daily News Article
Middle School Basketball
Girls JV Basketball
Cross Country - All-Area Honors
"Congratulations to three members of the FBA Cross Country Team who received all area honors". Junior Dan O'Dell has been selected as a Runner of the Year Finalist. He is invited to the Southwest Florida Sports Award Ceremony on May 24th at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on May 24th where the Runner of the Year will be announced.
Sophomore, Cipriano Martinez was name on All Area Second Team. Cipriano dropped significant time this season and finished 33rd at State Meet.
Senior, Jack Heerema received Honorable Mentioned recognition."
Football - All-Area Honors
FBA Athletics would like to congratulate the following student-athletes on their Naples Daily News All-Area Nominations for Football.
Joe Sparacio - NDN Defensive Player of the Year Finalist
Year: Junior - Position: Linebacker
Associated Press (AP) - 1st Team All-State Linebacker
Highlights: The junior was the anchor of the Lions’ defense for a third straight year. As a result, he’s in line for his third straight all-state selection. Sparacio (6-0, 215) had 101 tackles, including nine sacks and 21.5 for loss. As a fullback and tight end, Sparacio also had 839 yards of offense and 14 total touchdowns.
Jayce Howell - NDN Offensive Player of the Year Finalist
Year: Senior - Position: Running back
Associated Press (AP) - 2nd Team All-State Running Back
Highlights: In his first year starting in the backfield, Howell led Collier County in rushing yards (1,642) and total touchdowns (25). He was more than 400 yards ahead of second place, and he did it in 11 games. Howell ran for 100 yards in 10 of those games and went over 200 in three of them. He averaged 9.4 yards per carry and a touchdown every seventh attempt.
Jacob Maxfield is a is an NDN Offensive Player of the Year Finalist
Year: Senior - Position: Offensive lineman
Associated Press (AP) - 2nd Team All-State Offensive Lineman
Highlights: Maxfield was a two-year starter for the always-physical Lions. The 6-4, 285-pound tackle helped First Baptist rush for 258.9 yards per game and win a district title.
Blane Briggs (Sr)
Michael Ritter (Sr)
Daniel Marquina (Jr)
Naples Daily News - All-Area (Honorable Mention)
Volleyball - All-Area Honors
Katie Gilchrist recieves Honorable Mention Honors by the Naples Daily News All-Area Team.
Paige Scullin - NDN Prep of the Week
Cross Country - State Championship Meet
The boys team placed 5th at Regionals qualifying them for the State meet as a team for the second straight year. At the State Meet, they finished 11th overall the highest finish in school history.
Cross Country - District Champions 2016
VARSITY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY:
Congratulations to the Boys Cross Country team on winning Districts by a substantial margin. The team was lead by Junior Dan O'Dell placed second in a very close race. Sophomore Cipriano Martinez finished 4th. The breakout runner of the meet was Senior Jack Hereema who smashed his personal best to insure a team Championship. Junior Matt Powers struggled during the race but at the finish was all heart to beat a district competitor with a fantastic effort. First year runner HSE, Senior Matthew Bueltel, had a personal best.
The boys team will head to Lakeland for Regionals on Thursday. They will run Friday morning at Holloway Park. They aim to qualify for State Championships on Nov 5th.
VARSITY GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY:
Congratulations to Senior Ashleigh Baker! Ashleigh qualified to advance to Regional Championships next Friday in Lakeland. One second behind her was her sister, Alexis, who narrowly missed moving on to Regionals. Break runner was junior Daniela Bonilla she smashed her best times!
Wish Ashleigh well as she prepares for Regionals on Friday morning!
Football Receives FACA All-District 18 Honors
Joseph Sparacio (#34)
Jayce Howell (#15)
Jacob Maxfield (#59)
1st Team Offensive Line
Michael Ritter (#28)
Blane Briggs (#31)
Billy Sparacio (HC)
2A Coach of the Year
The First Baptist Academy football team’s senior class doesn’t know what it’s like to not be a champion in 2A-7 football. Now, they never will.
FBA clinched its fifth straight district title Friday night with a 42-0 win over Moore Haven.
“Winning a district title is not easy,” First Baptist coach Billy Sparacio said. “It’s a hard thing to do. So with a lot of hard work in the off season, in the weight room and on the field, good things happen.”
First Baptist is a combined 29-0 against District 2A-7 opponents since their first district title in 2012. Now, the reigning regional champions are looking for another title. They will play host to Village Academy, the Class 2A-8 runner-up, in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 11.
“We’re just going to stay hungry,” senior running back Jayce Howell said. “We want to be the most physical team as always and want to keep that hunger every week. (Winning the district) is amazing, I don’t think we’ve lost a district game since before my freshman year. It just shows that FBA and our coaches have done so well and made this a great program.”
With the clock winding down, sophomore Austin Edie scored the Lions’ sixth touchdown of the night off a 5-yard run with 3:30 left. Edie’s touchdown added to his 45 rushing yards on just four carries.
It only took Howell 20 seconds to score his third touchdown of the game at the start of the second half. Howell, who rushed 120 yards on 11 carries, made a 66-yard run on the Lions’ first play of the second half to push FBA to a 35-0 lead.
Joe Sparacio led the Lions in rushing and receiving in the first half, picking up 87 yards on four carries and 33 yards on two receptions. Julien Tirado threw for 70 yards in the first half, completing 6 of his 10 attempts.
Just a few minutes into the second quarter, Howell scored his second touchdown of the game on a 20-yard run to push the Lions up 21-0. With 2:40 left in the half, Joe Sparacio scored his second of the game on a 3-yard run to push the Lions to 28 unanswered points.
After several penalties on the Terriers’ defense moved the Lions almost 20 yards up the field at the end of the first quarter, Howell squeezed into the end zone on a 1-yard run for the Lions to push to a 14-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter.
On the Lions’ second carry of the game, Sparacio found a pocket through the Terriers’ defense and rushed down the field 67 yards into the end zone to immediately put the Lions up seven in the first quarter.
Jayce Howell: Naples Daily News Prep of the Week (Oct. 11, 2016)
First Baptist Academy running back Jayce Howell puts up big numbers week after week, but he cranked it up a notch on Friday. The Lions’ workhorse went off, racking up 244 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a crucial, 54-7, district win over Community School.
For that, Howell has been named Boys Prep of the Week.
Howell scored all four of First Baptist’s touchdowns in the first half, then tacked on one more in the third quarter. He punched it in during crowded red zone situations three times and ripped two long touchdowns, one from 23 yards and one from 39. His 23-yard burst came less than two minutes before the break and gave First Baptist a 26-0 halftime cushion.
“Before the play, I just knew,” Howell said. “My line said, ‘I got you.’ All I know is just to run fast and get to the end zone, and that’s what I did.”
Along with the offensive line, fullback Blane Briggs and tight end Joe Sparacio threw some key blocks, clearing the way for Howell to get to the sideline and sprint to the end zone.
“I just noticed an extra gear,” Billy Sparacio said. “He just attacked the hole that was there and he was gone. It was just special.”
After six weeks, Sparacio expects nothing less than a solid game from Howell. After all, he came into the game as one of the area’s leading rushers and scorers.
Howell started in the secondary last year, occasionally stepping in on offense to take some hand-offs. This year, he’s the Lions’ primary option in the backfield and he’s flourishing in his new role.
“Jayce has always been a hard worker,” Sparacio said. “A tough worker for us. A real program kid, just doing whatever we ask him to do. He comes to play every year. A tough kid. Tough as nails.”
Howell understood what it meant to be the Lions' go-to guy. So, when his team called on him, he made sure he was up for the task.
“I knew it was my time to shine,” Howell said. “FBA is just known for having great running backs. I just worked hard, got ready for the season and I just knew it was go time.”
Article from Naples Daily News
FBA Golf: Alexa Oates - 3rd Place
First Baptist’s freshman golfer Alexa Oates finished in 3rd place, as an individual, in the girls varsity high school golf regionals yesterday at Bradenton Golf and Country Club. Alexa finished one stroke away from 2nd place and from advancing to the state championship. Overall there were 34 golfers competing this year at regionals. Congratulations to Alexa Oates on a fantastic golf season!
Cross Country Results
ELEMENTARY CROSS COUNTRY:
Luther Mogelvang and Oliver Flornes lead the boys with a First and Second place finish overall finish!
Rounding out the top seven boys:
Kendra Pruitt lead the girls with a Second place finish.
Rounding out the top seven girls:
- Alexa Haley
- Ava Birk
- Gianna Talarico
- Aleyah Wrightsman
- Ashlynd Wrightsman
- Mary Simoldoni
MIDDLE SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY:
The Middle School Cross Country Team ran well on Friday at the Celtic Invitational. There were several teams in attendance that we had never faced before. Notable finishes were achieved by Katie Beam - 10th place, Juliette Lane - 11th place, and Noah Flornes earned a 13th place ribbon.
VARSITY CROSS COUNTRY:
The girls Cross Country Team finished 10th Friday afternoon at the 19th Annual Celtic Invitational. Top girl runners were Ashleigh and Alexis Baker finishing within one second of each other 24:40 and 24:41. The girls enter the post season with Districts on October 20th at 4:30 in the afternoon at Hibiscus Country Club (Naples). It looks to be a very close meet. Please come out to cheer your XC teams on!
The boys Cross Country team finished third behind Barron Collier and Naples High Friday afternoon at the 19th Annual Celtic Invitational at Golden Gate Park. The Lions had two boys medalling in the top 10, Cipriano Martinez 7th and Dan O'Dell 4th. Breakout runner of the meet was Home School Extension Senior Matthew Bueltel, breaking the 20 minute for the first time. The boys enter the post season in hopes of defending their District Championship. Districts are on October 20th at 4:30 in the afternoon at Hibiscus Country Club (Naples). It looks to be a very close meet. Please come out to cheer your XC teams on!
Katie Gilchrist - Prep of the Week
Alexa Oates - FBA Golf
Alexa finished in 2nd place in the Second Flight as an individual representing FBA at the 2016 Crutchfield Hawkins High School Golf Tournament in Sebring, Florida yesterday, where 31 Florida girls high school golf teams competed with over 160 golfers.