South Fork’s Katie Kidwell voted TCPalm Athlete of the Week

South Fork's Katie Kidwell (8) throws a pitch during the District 8-5A softball championship against Okeechobee Thursday, May 5, 2022, at South Fork High School in Martin County. South Fork won 3-0.

South Fork senior Katie Kidwell was voted the TCPalm Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. Kidwell, who competes in cross country, basketball and track and field, helped lead her basketball team to a district championship this past week. The next day she ran third in the 3A girls 5K at the FHSAA State Track & Field Championship meet at University of North Florida — finishing with a personal-best time of 17:15 and qualifying for regionals by placing 12th overall. The 5-foot-9 guard also finished fourth in the 1,600 meters at state (5:13). Kidwell had previously won Athlete of the Week after leading South Fork to its first district title since 2012. “It’s really cool being recognized as an athlete by my community,” said KidRead more

Girls Soccer: 5A Final Four

South Fork soccer teams have three five-star recruits on the roster, but none of them have seen the field yet. The Raiders are loaded with seniors, including Wendy Barajas, Alexis Garcia, Alyssa Miranda, Julia Ortiz and Leandra Solarte. The team has been to the playoffs three straight seasons, but has yet to advance out of the second round. This year, the Raiders have been dominant and enter the playoffs ranked No. 1 in the state. Barajas (27 goals) and Solarte (10) are two of the top scorers in the region.

Volleyball: 5A Final Four

The Raiders are looking to end a three-year volleyball drought. South Fork, which reached the district finals in 2015 and ’16, is 0-2 in the playoffs. The Raiders lost to Cypress Bay in five sets in the district semifinals and were swept by No. 1-ranked Lake Highland Prep in the regionals. The Raiders have one of the best players in the state in junior outside hitter Katie Kidwell. Kidwell, who already has committed to Stanford, has 101 kills, 22 aces and 12 blocks in 13 postseason matches. Kidwell was first-team All-State as a sophomore, when South Fork reached the regional final. She was also first-team All-State as a freshman, when the Raiders reached the state semifinals.

Cross Country: District Champs and Regionals

The Raiders won the district title and will enter the postseason ranked No. 1 in the state. They have won the district title five of the past six years. This is the first time since 2012 that South Fork has won a district title in cross country.

The Raiders finished second in the district behind Forest High School last year. Forest beat South Fork by three points at the state meet. The Raiders were the No. 2-ranked team in the state entering the meet.

South Fork has only two top-five finishes in the past six years at the state meet. The Raiders were fifth in 2010, when no team from Martin County or Indian River County reached the state meet.

Boys Basketball: District Champs and Regionals

The Raiders have won eight consecutive district titles. They lost to John I. Leonard (50-46) in the regional semifinals last year after going undefeated in district play. In her first season as head coach, Kim Moore guided the Raiders to the regional semifinals. Moore was hired after South Fork finished 10-15 last year under Amy Johnson, who left to take a head coaching job at Vero Beach.

Girls Track & Field: 3rd at State, 12th overall, regionals qualifier.

Kidwell was first-team All-State in the 100 and 200, second-team in the long jump and honorable mention in the 400. She is one of the top sprinters in the state and has a chance to break the school record in the 100, which is 11.48. Kidwell has a chance to be the first girls athlete to win a state title in track and field since at least 2002. The Raiders have qualified for state in six of the last seven years, but have yet to finish higher than seventh at the state meet.

This was a special season for the Raiders, who peaked at the right time. They won the District 3-5A meet with the help of a state record of 51.76 seconds in the 4×100 relay. The Raiders were ranked No. 5 in the state entering the FHSAA state meet.

Stream of consciousness

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