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Features

  • One point will be clear after the final horn sounds Friday night at Bradford High School in Starke: one program will have exorcized its playoff demons.

    Dunnellon has had its share of first-round success the past three seasons, and no one knows it better than the Tornadoes, who have fallen to the Tigers in the opening round the past two years. But on the flip side, Dunnellon knows all too well the sting of playoff loss, having fallen in the second round two straight seasons.

  • Morgan Luckey

    For the Riverland News

    If you’re looking to be entertained, look to Dunnellon High School’s Drama Club.

    This past weekend they performed, “Rabbit Hole,” by David Lindsey Abair at the Dunnellon Historical Depot. They will perform “River Side Drive” at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in the DHS Cafeteria.

    Tyler Leeps, teacher and sponsor of the Drama Club, is not putting on your average teen play, though.

  • For the third straight season, Dunnellon High School finds itself in the playoff mix where it’ll begin its “Drive to Orlando” against Trenton on Friday at Richard Kennedy Stadium.

    “I think they are a proud program, they’ve had a lot of success the past couple of years in (Class 1A),” Dunnellon coach Price Harris said. “It’s going to be a tough game, I look forward to it. I think it’ll be a challenge; it’ll be a neat atmosphere.”

  • For Dunnellon High School, the math is simple.

    A win against Baker County on Friday night at Ned Love Field at Richard Kennedy Stadium, and the Tigers will secure home-field advantage throughout the first three rounds of the Class 4A state playoffs. A loss puts Dunnellon hosting two rounds, not a bad consolation prize, but it could also mean a final four showdown with Raines: on the road.

  • Believed to be a year away from making a name for themselves, the Dunnellon High School boys cross country team peaked at the proper time – the District 2A-6 Cross Country Championships.

    There, the Tigers finished fourth in the team standings, one point better than The Villages, 102-103, earning a berth to the Region 2A-2 Cross Country Championships, which begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Atlantic Port Orange High School.

  • Lace your sneakers up tight, pull that tacky Christmas sweater out of the moth balls or the bottom dresser draw, because it’s time for the Ugly Sweater 5K and 1-Mile Walk/Fun Run.

    Planning for the fourth annual event has been well underway for months now, according to Race Director VirginiaFit, who along with the Dunnellon High School Booster Club and the Rainbow River Runners will host the Saturday, Dec. 2, event at Blue Run Park.

  • A year ago, Dunnellon High School all but knew its playoff fate.

    That’s not the case this season, at least not with the new FHSAA playoff format, in effect for Class 4A schools and lower, now in place.

  • Morgan Luckey

    For the Riverland News

    Dunnellon High School’s band is marching in a new direction this year with Ms. McMahon, the new band leader.

    Megan McMahon, the red-headed dynamo and graduate of Florida State University, took over the DHS band in September. She is a world traveler, born in Italy, raised in Fairfax, Va., and having lived on both coasts of the United States.

  • Its record isn’t impressive; its playoff chances are slim, but Dunnellon coach Price Harris is well aware of what North Marion will bring into Richard Kennedy Stadium as the Tigers renew their rivalry with the Colts.

    Neither team has played since 2014, and perhaps for good measure considering North Marion has had the Tigers’ number for years. The Colts have won eight straight in the series and own a 21-5 overall record against Dunnellon.

  • INVERNESS — Under cloudy skies and humid conditions, the Dunnellon High School cross country teams fled to the trails in Whispering Pines Park for the annual Whispering Pines Park Invitational.

    With a loaded field including powerhouses such as Tavares, Belleview, Lecanto, Crystal River and Citrus, the Tiger boys team finished 14th in the 16-team field. Tavares finished first with a team score of 70.

  • Tom Golden

    Riverland News

    That’s what defense does, as Crystal River learned last Friday at Ned Love Field at Richard Kennedy Stadium.

    The Pirates journeyed up the coast and over the Rainbow River, where they sailed deep into the jungle. But the Tigers didn’t let them escape unscathed, posting a resounding and convincing 40-0 victory on a gorgeous evening with the promise of clear skies as the dark clouds dissipated near game time. Fourth-ranked Dunnellon’s victory marked its 16th straight win in the series.

  • Even with improved play, there are two areas of concern for Dunnellon coach Price Harris’ charges when it comes to the fourth-ranked Tigers clash against Citrus on Friday at Richard Kennedy Stadium.

    “They’re big and strong,” said Harris, whose unit throttled Crystal River, 40-0, in its season-opener last Friday at Ned Love Field.

  • Carolyn

    Ten Broeck

    For the Riverland News

    BRONSON — Five years ago, Tim Hamilton wasn’t sure whether he would live or die.

    Fighting two horrendous infections, he woke up in a hospital bed at Shands to discover he was now minus a leg. An amputation — at the hip — was necessary to save his life.

    In the weeks, months and years that followed, Hamilton slowly recovered and learned to adapt to life minus a limb.

    His life as he knew it: contractor, fisherman and hunter, was over.

    Or was it?

  • In just a little more than two quarters of action, Dunnellon High School amassed a whopping 350 yards of offense a week ago against Williston in the Tigers’ Fall Kick-Off Classic.

    The problem for their offense was twofold against the Red Devils: Dunnellon tallied just 14 points and committed five turnovers, including three inside the red zone.

  • Students at Romeo Elementary School didn’t slip through the cracks, but one of their aides did.

    And administrators are more than alright with it, though they’ll admit, they were a tad envious of “Flat Stanley.” That’s because he did more traveling this past summer, than they did.

    The “Flat Stanley” Summer Slide program was designed to motivate students to read over the summer, said Kim White, assistant principal at Romeo, noting the school had similar programs in the past.

  • As the regular season for the 2017 prep calendar looms in the coming week, Dunnellon High School might not just have a new mantra, but a new team mascot.

    Both could serve the Tigers well as they replace numerous starters on both the offensive and defensive sides, while navigating a new playoff system as Dunnellon seeks a third consecutive playoff berth under fourth-year coach Price Harris.

  • When the pitch to return to the mound came at Emily Bowne two years ago, she didn’t balk at the notion.

    But the then-sophomore at West Port High School knew she had her work cut out for her, especially considering she hadn’t thrown a pitch since traversing the fields at the Dunnellon Little League Complex.

    The return to the pitcher’s circle more than paid off almost two weeks ago, when Bowne inked her national letter of intent to play at Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga.

  • With a few days of spare time before a photo assignment in Buffalo, N.Y., Bradley Easom and his wife, Rebecca, didn’t hesitate to make a side trip to nearby Cuyahoga National Park.

    In almost three years of marriage, the Easom’s have made it a habit of making long treks to visit a bevy of U.S. National Parks. They’ve visited 12 thus far with plans underway for a visit in May to Joshua Tree National Park in California.

  • Diesel was the rather appropriate name for T.J. Peterson’s swine entry into the 2017 Southeastern Youth Fair, which concluded Saturday at the Marion County Livestock Pavilion.

    In his fourth year raising a pig, Peterson not only captured the title he wanted in the Intermediate Swine Showmanship after finishing runner-up a year ago, the 11-year-old’s Diesel was chosen as the grand champion.

    “I never thought I had a grand champion pig sitting there,” admitted the sixth-grade student at Dunnellon Middle School.

  • Etch it, sketch it, photograph or paint it, no matter how you choose, mark it on your calendar. The second annual Rainbow Springs Arts Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Dunnellon Plaza, 11223 N Williams St., across from McDonald’s. Peruse and purchase a one-of-a-kind piece from local talented artisans.