Ranch Reflections – National Signing Day is the thrill of a lifetime

Ranch Reflections are articles written by students who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for students to branch out beyond traditional news stories.

Tyler Gordon is an LRHS senior who plays soccer at Bradenton’s IMG Academy and recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play at North Carolina’s High Point University.

Tyler Gordon – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Any competitive high school athlete would agree that their dream is to one day become a college athlete. The hard work from all of the practices, missed social events, the extra time on the field, the losses and victories are all defined by one day for every athlete – College Signing Day.

Committing to play a college sport may be one of the most relieving and joyous feelings anyone could ever know. The only thing that could top this sensation is the day you make it official.

Your University send you the paperwork. The National Letter of Intent (NLI) that you have heard about for years is now at your fingertips. Your scholarship documents are confirmed with your Coach’s signature. The satisfaction is that all your handwork is about to be made official.

Wearing the college logo, carrying the NLI in a folder with your name on it, and walking into a room with families and friends, tables with college names and college logos beside athletes’ last names. A lone table sits in the middle of the sea of name plates, with a backdrop for pictures. Athletes are seated, smiling for pictures from exuberant parents. Coaches from each sport stand up and announce your teammates’ names along with their colleges and accomplishments.

Hands shaking, carrying the NLI and name plate to the lone table…setting everything down and opening the folder…the pen clicks and you scribble down your name. Looking up from the signature, cameras flash and applause erupts in the large room.

This day marks the end of a high school career but the beginning of something far more intense and gratifying, the athlete’s college career.

LRHS announces 2015 “James Bond” prom theme

Sydney Wolf – LRHS Associate Editor

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Prom season is in full swing at LRHS with “promprosals’ in the parking lot and seniors receiving their “missions,” so-called because the theme is “James Bond.”

Mustang seniors' "secret" prom instructions.
Mustang seniors’ “secret” prom instructions.

During first period on March 26 seniors were given their top-secret missions, “Join me at the Casino Royale. Dress to the Nines for a “Black Tie Affair.””

Seniors were told when and where to report, the LRHS prom, 8 pm – 12 am Friday, May 1 at the Sarasota Hyatt.

The 2015 LRHS prom ticket
The 2015 LRHS prom ticket

Junior Advisory Board adviser and LRHS math teacher Macie French reminds students that the week after Spring Break prom tickets will be on sale.

“Tickets will be sold during lunch April 7-17. Senior tickets are $60 each and junior tickets are $70 each. Prices will increase the week of April 20-24 to senior tickets $65 each and junior tickets $75 each.”

LRHS officials remind students that the prom dress code will be strictly enforced.

LRHS girls win tennis districts

Ryley Zunica – LRHS NEWS

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS girls tennis team is heading into spring break as Class 2A – District 10 champions.

The Mustangs took their 12-0 record into this week’s district tournament and brought home the title.

Lakewood Ranch finished first in the tournament with 20 points. Braden River was second with 14.

Lakewood Ranch’s star player came through in the clutch for the Mustangs as senior Ashley Bongart overpowered the Pirates.

“It’s like a perfect year. We’re undefeated, regular season, districts; it’s pretty good,” Bongart told the Bradenton Herald.

Bongart ended up winning the ladies tennis singles title, defeating Dunka Kisin of St. Petersburg Northeast High School.

The Mustang boys finished fifth.

LRHS announces 2015-16 cheerleaders

Jill Campbell – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Cheerleading tryouts for the 2015-2016 season have officially wrapped up at LRHS, and the girls who made the team are ready to start working.

“I’m really excited about my first year as a varsity cheerleader,” said Freshman Hannah Springer. “I’m pumped to be able to compete with a higher skill level, cheer at the big football games and to become close with all of the older girls.”

Returning Varsity cheerleader Kylie Birch said, “I can’t wait to continue cheering with all of my friends on varsity next year and to start working with the girls who just made the team.”

Junior Karlyn Hanson has similar feelings.

“This upcoming year will be my last year as a Lakewood Ranch cheerleader and its pretty bittersweet,” she said. “This year I want to go to nationals with the competition team and just have a squad where everyone is really close with each other.”

Everyone who tried out was judged on their stunting, tumbling, and jumps as well as their execution and spirit in a previously taught cheer and dance. The tryouts lasted over four days and ended Wednesday. The girls who made the squads are:


  • Shelby Jackson
  • Sophia Masterson
  • Natalie Fonseca
  • Claudia Sarria
  • Jackie Drake
  • Karlyn Hanson
  • Jennifer Lederman
  • Hannah Worthington
  • Kayla Nevadomski
  • Sara Molinari
  • Sierra Parsons
  • Kara Mathis
  • Kaitlin Alvarez
  • Jill Campbell
  • Sierra Ellis
  • Tara Robbins
  • Camryn Laney
  • Holly Macleod
  • Charlie Gillam
  • Remee Farah
  • Emilee Bierwirth
  • Sammi Zellitt
  • Bristol Vestal
  • Carsen Schmidt
  • Hannah Springer
  • Kylie Birc

Junior Varsity

  • Mackenzie Brielmann
  • Casey Sagar
  • Denver Romano
  • Alexis Sharp
  • Haley Plantz
  • Madeline Hartman
  • Annabelle Peck
  • Payton Rypel
  • Sarah Dill
  • Sophia Anderson
  • Allison Fox
  • Haley Taaffe
  • Skylar Homan
  • Rachel Weronik
  • Jonie Lewis
  • Felicia Jenkins
  • Tykierah Austin
  • Katelynn Ridenour
  • Ivy Proffitt
  • Hayden Gregan

Mustangs continue registration process

Megan Spranger – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Registration forms are roaming around the Ranch for the 2015-2016 school year. Students were given their forms, color coded by grade, on Tuesday and were told to have them filled out with the appropriate requirements and turn them back in Thursday. This has many Mustangs scrambling to have their forms signed and ready within the 48 hours.

Students were told to take their forms home and acquire a parental signature to confirm their elective classes they are requesting. They list up to six electives in number order, one being most wanted and six being least wanted.

“There’s so many classes to choose from, making it difficult to decide what class will benefit my future the best,” said freshman Hannah Springer. The number of options increases as students progress through grades 9-12.

“I’m focused on picking classes that will ready myself for my college courses,” junior Sierra Amato exclaims, “I just want my classes to match my profession I seek to reach in the near future.”

Core academic classes were preset on registration forms. School officials say they can still be changed, it is not written in stone. Guidance counselors will be calling in every Mustang to come in and discuss their schedule for next year.