The high school sports season is over in our area, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be athletes and storylines to follow throughout the summer.
Several talented senior athletes are graduating this month — leaving us with a void that will need to be filled by the next wave of talent.
While many of those players will be worth watching at the next level, there are several returning athletes who are ready to ascend to stardom.
Here are a few athletes to keep your eye on in the summer doldrums:
The Venice High graduate hit .477 with 27 runs and 17 stolen bases in 28 games while covering the vast terrain of center field with his gliding speed.
These traits — speed, contact hitting, fielding and base running — have Robertson projected by MLB experts such as Keith Law of The Athletic and Jim Callis of MLB.com as a top 100 prospect.
It will be interesting to see where Robertson is selected in this summer’s MLB Draft (July 11-13) and if he decides to sign professionally or honor his commitment to play for the University of Florida.
Venice High football players
Damon Wilson and Elliot Washington have already established themselves as two of the most highly-recruited athletes to play in southwest Florida.
Wilson, a four-star defensive end, already has offers from Alabama, Clemson and Florida. Washington, a four-star cornerback, has offers from Ohio State, Georgia and Florida.
That’s not all for the Indians, who also have several other players — like RB Da’Marion Escort, OL David Raney, WR Jayshon Platt, WR Myles Weston and WR Omari Hayes — with Division-I offers while others, like quarterback Ryan Browne, vie for that first offer.
Many of these players will be visiting universities, earning more offers, competing in camps and playing 7v7 games, giving fans plenty of news to follow
The graduation of Tre Carroll (FAU commit) leaves an opening for the area’s best boys basketball player.
That could be Perry, who averaged 18.8 points per game while hitting 69 percent of his shots and grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game.
He wasn’t only a scorer, but a strong defender and a high-flying dunker, too.
If all that weren’t enough, Perry — a 6-foot-6, 180-pound rising-senior — is also one of the area’s best wide receivers. He caught 28 passes for 658 yards and nine touchdowns last year for the Pirates.
He’s already earned offers from Division-I universities like Purdue and Old Dominion and will be worth monitoring as he continues to play basketball and football this summer — possibly adding to his list of offers.
Ary Hicks & D’Yanis Jimenez
The area’s best returning duo, Hicks and Jimenez powered the Charlotte girls basketball team to the state tournament this past season.
Hicks (14.3 points per game) and Jimenez (13.7 points per game) were the Tarpons leading scorers and both flashed exceptional athletic ability — scoring the ball by driving to the rim, shooting from deep or setting up teammates.
The growth of these players in travel basketball tournaments this summer could play a big role in the Tarpons making another title run — with each potentially getting collegiate looks along the way.
One of the area’s top golfers despite being just a freshman this past season, Kemble helped North Port break the team scoring record and also advanced to the regional tournament as an individual.
Kemble preformed well in the postseason, too, shooting an 81 at both the district and regional tournaments — where he finished 30th in the 71-player field.
His growth over the years will be one to watch beginning this summer with golf tournaments throughout the state.