May 6, 2024

Best Friends Play Against One Another in District Championship

1.9 min read| Published On: May 6th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Best Friends Play Against One Another in District Championship

1.9 min read| Published On: May 6th, 2024|

This past week South Lake High played Lake Minneola High in the softball district championship game. This cross-town rivalry is always fun but it took on new meaning this year when Samantha Cruz from Lake Minneola High and Marissa Weaver who plays with South Lake High went up against one another. The two are best friends off the field but they play for two rival programs who competed in a nail-biting finish.

Samantha and Marissa met through the sport of softball during a tryout. The second these two met, they knew they were going to be best friends. “Playing against each other is a different experience for me than it is for her. Playing against Marissa makes me want to win more than any other game while at the same time wanting to support her while she plays because I want nothing for her but success.” says Samantha.

The two have played against one another before but not on this big of a stage. South Lake High was going for their 3rd District Championship in a row while Lake Minneola was trying to play spoiler. The game was back and forth the entire way however South Lake High would pull off the victory claiming the school’s 3rd District Championship in a row.

“I would say it’s even more fun playing against Marissa, Sometimes I wish we could play together but I know that I can just be her number 1 support regardless. I support her both on and off the field. Our friendship is one of the most genuine friendships I’ve ever had. We always help each other through tough times. Even though we go to rival schools I will always root for her.” says Samantha.

These two players are the very definition of sportsmanship. During the course of the season sometimes it is easy to forget the human aspect of sports. After South Lake High had won the championship the first person to meet Marissa after she had celebrated with her teammates was none other than Samantha Cruz. Even though Samantha was sad at the loss, she was happy that her best friend got to win the 3rd district championship in a row for South Lake High.

Similarly, Marissa uplifted Samantha and the two were there for one another just like they have been. Both girls are the definition of what true sportsmanship is all about. Unfortunately for Samantha Cruz and Lake Minneola High their season came to an end with the loss against South Lake. However South Lake will host George Jenkins in the first round of the FHSAA Regional Softball Championships on Thursday May 9th at 7pm.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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