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Best of Lafayette High athletics 2018-19

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MAYO — District championships, regional titles, deep playoff runs and college signings have been a pretty common occurrence for the Lafayette Hornets. Lafayette achieved all of those things and more again this school year.  

Here’s a look back at another success year in LHS athletics and the top 10 moments from 2018-19. 

10. No-hitter

The LHS baseball team got off to a scorching 9-1 start to begin their season. During that stretch, junior Jarrett Pearson tossed an abbreviated no-hitter against Bell. He also had two hits and four RBIs in the four-inning victory. 

Jarrett Pearson

Jarrett Pearson pitched a no-hitter against Bell and helped the LHS baseball team get off to a 9-1 record to begin the season. 

 

9. Track Field

Jasmine Lewis (long jump, triple jump) and Garrison Beach (300 hurdles) took home individual district championships in track and field. Richy James had his best performances at the state championships with a third-place finish in high jump and sixth-place finish in the 200-meter dash.

8. Hanging on to ‘The Helmet’

After winning the previous eight matchups against rival Branford in dominating fashion, the Hornets edged the Buccaneers 32-26 in an entertaining game on the gridiron. LHS forced four turnovers and picked up 218 yards rushing in the win.   

Helmet game

Joseph Perry and the Hornets retained ‘The Helmet’ for the ninth straight season. 

7. New coach

After Hall of Fame coach Joey Pearson retired, Lafayette didn’t have to look far for its next football coach. LHS assistant coach Mark Beach, who has been a head coach twice, was announced as the Hornets coach.     

6. Girls basketball 

Khari Jackson, Renee Clines and Jasmine Lewis led LHS to its third straight district title, an appearance in a regional final, and a 22-4 record. Lewis was named the Suwannee Valley Player of the Year.

Girls basketball

The LHS girls basketball team finished 22-4 and advanced to a regional final.

 

5. All State

Six Lafayette football players were recognized as some of the best Class 1A players in Florida. Quarterback Jaxson Beach, wide receiver Ben Massey and linebacker Xavier Fleming were first-team selections. Running back Garris Edwards earned second-team honors. James (wide receiver) and Joseph Perry (center) were Honorable Mentions.   

4. College signings 

The Hornets had multiple signings for different sports. Massey, James, Fleming and Edwards will play college football. Volleyball player Sarah Hamlin and softball player Ragan Barnes also signed with colleges.  

3. LHS softball 

An incredible run for the softball team saw the Hornets knock off Madison County for a district championship and then advance to the Final Four. That was after a 5-10 start to the season. 

2. Last-minute win 

The LHS football team won its first playoff game since 2012 in spectacular fashion. Trailing Union County in the final minute of a regional quarterfinal game, Jaxson Beach led the Hornets down the field and ran in a game-winning, 12-yard touchdown.     

Beach

Jaxson Beach lead LHS to a last-minute playoff win against Union County. Beach was named to the Class 1A All-State First Team for the second straight season.

1. Joey Pearson 

What a final season it was for Joey Pearson as the Hornets football coach. Before the start of the season, it was announced he would be entering the FACA Hall of Fame. During the season, he earned the 150th win of his head coaching career. Then after leading the Hornets to a playoff victory, Pearson announced his retirement after 20 successful years as LHS head coach.     

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Mike Jones is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press in North Florida.