Mon07252016

Last updateFri, 22 Jul 2016 3pm

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Former Santa Fe High School's Kirby Snead Drafted

Kirby Snead

KIRBY SNEAD/Special to Alachua County Today

GAINESVILLE – Kirby Snead, a UF baseball player and former Santa Fe High School standout, has been drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB) and will be headed to play with the team – most likely a minor league affiliate – in a few weeks.

Snead, a pitcher in his third year at UF, said he had meetings with scouts from various teams, but the Blue Jays selected him in the 10th round of the MLB Draft.

He said a scout he spoke to praised his pitching style.

“Well, my position is left-handed pitch,” he said. “There’s not many of those that come around, so I think I’m very unique in the way I pitch - I’m very good at coming into close games and keeping it close.

“I’m pretty excited for it. It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. I’m just ready to get started.”

Snead said he started playing baseball when he was about 5 years old, and fell in love with the game. He said he tried football and basketball growing up, but didn’t enjoy either of them.

He also said he wouldn’t consider baseball a family sport – his father ran track in college and also played football for a time.

There’s a difference between the mindset of playing during high school versus college, he said.

As a baseball player in high school, he said he was only aware of what team he was playing against, while college baseball taught him that it’s important to fully understand the opponent in order to have an advantage.

“Coming to UF is probably the best baseball program in the nation,” he said. “[It] just kind of got me to realize how different aspects of the game work – more from a mental standpoint than the physical – just understanding the game more and learning more about how the game’s played.”

Some advice he would impart to any young players who are interested in pursuing baseball is simply to persevere.

“There [were] definitely days where I thought baseball wasn’t for me,” he said. “But I just stuck with it and it really got me to where I am now.

“Baseball is a game of failure – you’re going to fail more times than you succeed. I guess I would say stick with it. No matter how many times – you’ve just gotta stick with it.”

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Thanks You, Bill D'Amico

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Photo special to Alachua County Today

ALACHUA – Bill D’Amico suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago. Bill was instrumental in working with Florida Senator Kirkpatrick and the Governor of Florida in overseeing the stadium committee for the first ever Florida Babe Ruth Baseball World Series, which was held in Alachua.

Working with Julian Davenport, Robert Hartley, and Fred Nobles, Bill got volunteers to tear down the South End Zone at the Florida State University football field in Tallahassee.

Bill, with the help of the Florida Army Reserve, transported the entire 2,500 seat stadium to the Alachua Recreation Center.

Bill directed volunteers, local companies, and city staff and completed the stadium for the first ever Florida Babe Ruth Baseball World Series. The 1992 World Series was important to the Alachua – High Springs area, setting the stage for ongoing tournaments, and Bill played a major role in this success.

Bill was also a big part in hosting the first T-Ball tournament ever for Santa Fe Babe Ruth.

Bill’s legacy remains as a reminder of his dedication to youth sports. In that spirit, Lawrence D’Amico and the family donated $500 to the Babe Ruth program in memory of Bill D’Amico.

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Wakeley signs with JU Dolphins

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Photo special to Alachua CountyToday

Center: Santa Fe High School senior Caysaun Wakeley signed a four year scholarship with the Jacksonville University Dolphins.

ALACHUA - Santa Fe High School Senior Caysaun Wakeley has signed a four year scholarship to the Jacksonville University Dolphins located in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 5' 10' 200lb linebacker was 1st Team All Area, and 1st Team All-State 4A Defensive linebacker. He averaged 125 tackles throughout his varsity career starting as a sophomore, junior and senior at Santa Fe.

The 4.5 GPA student begin his football career at the Gainesville Pop Warner League and came to the Santa Fe Pop Warner League in 2009 playing in the Pee – Wee Division.

Wakeley will start his college career this coming August. Congratulations to Caysaun and the Wakeley Family.

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Batter Up at Spring Classic Tournament

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Photo Special to Alachua County Today

ALACHUA – Last week, the Santa Fe Babe Ruth Baseball volunteer program hosted its annual Spring Classic tournament at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.

The tournament was played in the minors (10U) age division, and teams from Alachua, Bronson, Gainesville and Melrose participated. On Sunday during the Alachua Main Street Spring Festival, the Champion Gainesville Tigers were crowned. The Spring Festival was a fun and interesting event for people from all over Alachua County, and beyond, as local merchants gathered and sold their fine crafts and foods.

Santa Fe Youth Spring Volleyball began their season last week. Teams from Alachua, Newberry, and High Springs compete to stay tuned up for the Fall Volleyball season. And ACTFOR Soccer season continues every Saturday.

Coming Up:

4/22, 23, 24 Santa Fe Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.

4/23 Stampede Shootout Basketball Tournament at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.

4/23 Free sports physicals at UFhealth – Contact the Hal Brady Recreation Center for more information, 386-462-1610.

4/23 ACTFOR Youth Soccer games, High Springs.

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Let's All Go out to the Ball Game

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Lehigh Photo/Special to Alachua County Today

ALACHUA – With spring finally here, Alachua’s families and youth are staying active at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex. City staff and volunteers are working hard to generate new, fun, community events; and improve on traditional spring events. The City of Alachua has always had a passion for youth sports.

Alachua Youth Soccer and Santa Fe Babe Ruth Softball/Baseball are the premier sports programs in the county and are preparing to start their new seasons.

Santa Fe High School Softball hosted their 39th annual Raider Softball Invitational Tournament earlier this month at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex.

Another exciting event was the Santa Fe Babe Ruth Baseball & Softball Jamboree that happened this past Saturday. The jamboree started at 8:30 a.m. with music, fun and food followed by games throughout the day. Local dignitaries attended and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office helicopter made an appearance on the Hal Brady Recreation Complex Football Field.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

Mebane Middle School hosted their 2nd Annual Mebane's Got Talent this past Friday evening. The winners are Alera Gainey for best overall, Jordan Boyer for best crowd-pleaser and Angelia Neel won honorable mention.

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