Despite obstacles, Bishop McLaughlin athletics program thriving

Led by first-year head coach Ken Stills, the father of Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills, Bishop McLaughlin’s varsity football team clinched a berth in the program’s first Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship game.

SPRING HILL — In a school year in which finding positives is tough, there’s been plenty of good results that have come out of the Bishop McLaughlin High School athletics program.

Despite the continuing pandemic, the Hurricanes have seen a growth in their athletics department this fall. With several programs seeing success, it’s easy to see why the Hurricanes have been going in the right direction this fall.

Bishop McLaughlin’s volleyball team reached the Class 3A state semifinals recently, falling to Ocala Trinity Catholic in five games and the varsity football team clinched a berth in the program’s first Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship game under the watch of first-year head coach Ken Stills, the father of Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills.

It’s not just the fall sports that have seen their share of success on the field, as the baseball program also has jumped into the spotlight despite its season not taking place until the spring. The Hurricanes won the George M. Steinbrenner Field Wooden Bat championship 3-0 over Berkeley Prep, giving Bishop McLaughlin some good momentum heading into the spring.

The winter sports for the Hurricanes have plenty to look forward to as well, with Bishop McLaughlin’s boys basketball team shaping up to being a possible state contender under head coach Derrick Sharp. Sharp employs one of the top lineups in the state, which includes Emanuel Sharp, Dillion Mitchell and Anthony Davis Jr.

A new hire has also been made for the Hurricanes’ girls soccer team, with athletic director Riczer Desvaristes bringing on board former U.S. national team midfielder Kacey White. White played her college collegiately at the University of North Carolina and then went onto play for the national team before starring with the Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer. White was hired as coach on Oct. 26.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.