Wharton High won a hard-fought, Class 8A-District 7 match Thursday against host Bloomingdale 25-13, 25-27, 25-23, 13-25, 15-12.
Wharton improved to 18-0 overall and 5-0 in the district. Bloomingdale dropped to 11-11 overall and 3-2 in the district.
Wharton is undefeated in the six-team district and will be the No. 1 seed in the district tournament hosted by Durant in two weeks.
Sophomore Kennedy Stocker scored the winning point in the final game. Caci Andreychuk led the Wildcats with 23 kills, Ashton Stocker had 29 assists, freshman Chanelle Hargreaves recorded 27 digs, and freshman Lindsey Schaible added nine blocks for the winners.
"It means a lot going undefeated in the district," said Wharton coach Eric Barber, whose team is positioned to win its first district title since 1999-2000. "We know how tough the other (five teams in the district) are. This is a momentum builder."
Wharton hosts the Anclote Tournament today and Saturday as its regular season winds down.
Armwood players out until January
After initially being told by the Florida High School Athletic Association that running back Greg Newton and linebacker Craig Carrington would be eligible to suit up in mid-November, Armwood football coach Sean Callahan said he has learned both players' one-year suspension will not end until January.
Newton and Carrington, both juniors, were banned from action for one full year by the FHSAA due residency violations. Both appealed the decision, first to the FHSAA's sectional appeals committee and, after being denied there, to the FHSAA board of directors last month in Gainesville.
After the board also turned down Newton and Carrington, there was confusion as to when their 365-day ban began. FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing initially said the two players would be eligible in November, the month the FHSAA's investigation of Armwood's football program began last year. But Callahan said he was told by principal Mike Ippolito the two players were not put on official suspension until January of this year and as a result, are not eligible for action again until January 2013.