By JACOB HOAG
In a recent social media post, UFC fighter Felicia Spencer paid homage to her alma mater Lemon Bay High School, thanking Manta Ray nation for its support.
Spencer has risen quickly in the sport, going an undefeated 6-0 in the Invicta FC series before being signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship series.
After winning her first UFC fight, a first round rear-naked choke of established fighter Megan Anderson, Spencer is fighting for more.
With a 7-0 record to her name, Spencer will fight an even more established fighter in Christian Justino (20-2) in UFC 240. The card also features a main event fight with Frankie Edgar vs. Max Holloway.
After her last UFC win, Spencer’s hometown of Englewood welcomed her back with open arms and she even threw out the first pitch at a Stone Crabs game.
Will she get another victory lap in two weeks?
The fight is on July 27th in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
VENICE OPENS STATE TOURNAMENT WITH WIN
Entering this weekend’s state tournament, the 9-11-year-old Venice All-Stars knew they would be tested early.
Belmont Heights (Tampa) wanted to use its speed to its advantage, and tried to drop down two bunts to open the game. But Venice didn’t flinch, throwing out both runners before taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
With Trent Fulcher on the mound, Venice stayed out in front all game as it used seven RBIs from the Kunz brothers (Carter and Jaxson) to win, 7-2, on Friday night at Atwater Park.
“We kind of scouted them, so we knew their first two batters were going to bunt,” manager Jason Allaire said. “We worked on it all week. We stopped them from bunting really quick, and that was important.
“And our bats, again. We started off the first inning well. Our bats are really good.”
VENICE CATCHER INVITED TO SELECTIVE SHOWCASE
Year after year as the Perfect Game All-American Classic aired on TV, Mac Guscette would watch and dream about playing in it one day.
Showcasing the top 55 players in prep baseball across the country, this event has featured 215 first-round picks in the MLB Draft in its 16-year history.
Those players include MLB greats like Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Joey Gallo, Andrew McCutchen … and the list goes on.
Guscette was invited to try out for the team earlier this summer in Arizona at the Perfect Game National Showcase, and caught some eyes with his bat and his arm. But even though he has the talent to play with the best, it wasn’t easy getting selected.
“I’m surprised because there’s so many great players out there and I’m just surprised I was picked to be one of them,” he said.
NORTH PORT’S PARTRIDGE SIGNS
Former North Port High baseball ace Alex Partridge has made his college decision, signing with Central Alabama Community College.
NORTH PORT WRESTLING EXCELS AT PENN STATE
The North Port High wrestling team traveled to Penn State University to train and compete with some of the top wrestlers and instructors in the country.
At the time of publication, the Bobcats were 7-1 in the competition. In Friday’s matches, Hope Eastes earned MVP after coming back from a 5-0 deficit to earn a pin.
Sports Writer Vinnie Portell contributed to this report.