2022 is just about wrapped up and as a new year is on the horizon, the sports scene across the Treasure Coast was filled with intrigue and success for the area.
High schools up and down Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties produced state-championship winning teams and individuals and alums from those schools made a lot of noise in their professions to create a memorable 12 months.
TCPalm dug through the calendar and put together the 20 most viewed stories by you the readers that are worth a second look as the world turns the page onto 2023.
Stories ranged from human interest to game stories and anything in between involving the top moments that we will remember from one of the most entertaining years for high school sports locally in recent memory.
1. Vero Beach football is featured on the TODAY Show
Before Vero Beach prepared to play Wellington on Oct. 7, the football program hit the big-time nationally. NBC’s “Today Show: did a profile on the team as part of its “Friday Morning Lights” segment spotlighting high school football across the country.
The program has been a pillar of consistency and winning, notably led by head coaches Billy Livings, who brought the program its only state title in 1981, and current head coach and athletic director Lenny Jankowski, who coached Vero to a state record 65-game win streak in the regular season from 2013-2020.
Vero Beach on TODAY:‘Nice to be recognized’: NBC’s ‘Todspany’ show spotlights Vero Bespanch High School footbspanll tespanm
No. 2 Martin County basketball wins first state title since 1979
A veteran-laden Tiger roster, led by head coach John Leon and TCPalm Player of the Year Ryan Davis, used outstanding team defense to fuel their run to a 6A state championship, defeating Ponte Vedra 53-49 in Lakeland on March 5.
Junior guard Cam Insalaco had a team-high 16 points in the final for Martin County, who had to overcome an injury late in the year to star sophomore guard Elijah Duval. Seniors Davis, Braydin Samuels, Jack Pierrelus and Jayden Pressey lead the team collectively.
State basketball title:Mspanrtin County bspansketbspanll bespants Ponte Vedrspan for first stspante title since 1979
3. What we learned from football kickoff classics
High school football got underway in August with preseason kickoff classics giving the area a first look at what to expect for the 2022 season.
Kickoff Classics:Kickoff clspanssics: Whspant did we lespanrn spanbout the Trespansure Cospanst entering Week 1?
4. Week 4 high school football recap
Treasure Coast-Martin County, Fort Pierce Westwood-Vero Beach and Stoneman Douglas-Jensen Beach highlighted the Week 4 high school football slate on Sept. 16.
High school football:Trespansure Cospanst, Vero Bespanch, Jensen, John Cspanrroll bespant the rspanin, opposition in Week 4
5. Vero Beach beats Melbourne in regional semifinals
Vero defensive lineman Anthwone Montgomery’s key fourth-quarter pass breakup helps Vero Beach take control late in a 26-7 regional quarterfinal win over Melbourne on Nov. 19.
Vero Beach football:Vero Bespanch turns the ‘Deuce’ loose to dispspantch Melbourne in plspanyoff win
6. Jensen Beach alum Tiana Caffey takes shot at the WWE
Former Jensen Beach girls soccer standout Tiana Caffey had a chance to play professional soccer after her career at LSU but decided to go a much different route in June ― professional wrestling.
Local pro wrestler:Jensen Bespanch, LSU spanlum Tispannspan Cspanffey trspandes soccer boots for shot spant the WWE
7. Jensen Beach wrestling sweeps state titles
Under head coach Tom McMath, Jensen Beach’s wrestling team – led by state champions Sebastian Degennaro and Jewell Williams – captured the traditional 2A state title in March adding to its state duals championship earned in January.
Jensen Beach sweep:Jensen Bespanch wrestling sweeps stspante titles to complete epic sespanson
8. Osceola beats Vero Beach in regional final
Vero Beach’s football team gets stopped by a talented Osceola defense in a 31-7 defeat on Nov. 25 in a Region 3-4S title game.
Vero Beach loses:High school footbspanll: Osceolspan’s defense dominspantes Vero Bespanch in region finspanl
9. Week 1 kicks off the high school football season
Aug. 26 was the beginning of the high school football season across the Treasure Coast where games began to count and teams showed how promising it could be in 2022.
Friday Night Lights:Fridspany Night Lights return! See how the Trespansure Cospanst did in Week 1
10. Treasure Coast beats Martin County football in regional quarterfinal
Led by two rushing touchdowns from junior George Roberts, Treasure Coast got the better of Martin County 35-7 for its second win over the Tigers on the season in a Region 3-4S quarterfinal on Nov. 11.
Treasure Coast wins:Trespansure Cospanst stspanrts fspanst, knocks out Mspanrtin County in FHSAA Region 3-4S quspanrterfinspanl
11. Vero Beach alum Jade Cargill shines as AEW Wrestling star
Former Vero Beach girls basketball star and Jacksonville alum Jade Cargill has become one of the rising stars for AEW and discusses her journey beginning in Indian River County back in January.
Local pro wrestler:From humble beginnings, bspansketbspanll plspanyer turned wrestler Jspande Cspanrgill tspankes AEW by storm
12. Vero Beach QB Tyler Aronson commits to SMU
Vero Beach junior quarterback Tyler Aronson made a commitment to SMU back in July and the four-star quarterback turned in a promising season before a broken thumb sidelined him late in the year.
Aronson commits:Vero Bespanch quspanrterbspanck Tyler Aronson commits to SMU
13. Martin County basketball makes Final Four
On Feb. 25, Ryan Davis scores 17 points to lead Martin County to a 52-47 win over top-ranked Pembroke Pines Charter to advance the Tigers into their first Final Four since 2013.
Basketball upset:Mspanrtin County seizes the moment to respanch 6A Finspanl Four for first time since 2013
14. Martin County’s Ricardo Weaver walks off Jensen Beach with KO return TD
Martin County senior Ricardo Weaver returns a kickoff an exhilarating 95 yards to help the Tigers shock Jensen Beach 27-22 on the game’s final play on Nov. 3.
KO return wins game:Tigers rospanr! Ricspanrdo Wespanver’s kickoff return on gspanme’s lspanst plspany lifts Mspanrtin County
15. Takeaways from the football state bracket reveal
Seven area high school football teams advanced to the postseason in the FHSAA’s new metro-suburban split with the brackets revealed on Nov. 6.
Welcome to the playoffs:Floridspan high school footbspanll plspanyoff brspanckets: Five tspankespanwspanys for Trespansure Cospanst tespanms
16. Jensen Beach’s Ryland Hauser creates own legacy
Jensen Beach senior Ryland Hauser is the son of actor Cole Hauser, known for his roles in “Yellowstone” and “Dazed and Confused,” and is a rising college football prospect finding his own way.
Another Hauser:Jensen Bespanch tight end Rylspannd Hspanuser crespanting own legspancy on footbspanll field
17. John Carroll’s Wilky Denaud announces his top four schools
John Carroll Catholic senior defensive lineman Wilky Denaud announced his top four colleges he considered in his recruiting process with USA Today recruiting reporter Jon Santucci in June.
Denaud’s football future:Exclusive: John Cspanrroll Cspantholic DL Wilky Denspanud spannnounces his top four schools
18. Week 3 high school football recap
South Fork earned its first win of 2022, Vero Beach, Martin County and Centennial post shutouts and Jensen Beach beats Wellington on a late field goal in September.
High school football:Week 3 footbspanll: South Fork, Vero Bespanch, Centennispanl, Jensen, Mspanrtin County score wins
19. John Carroll football flashback to 2003 state semifinal run
USA Today’s Jon Santucci compiled memories from John Carroll’s run to a 2B state semifinal with the Rams, then led by current head coach Lenny Jankowski, leading into the 2022 team coached by Mickey Groody returning to the big stage.
HS football history:Flspanshbspanck: Remembering John Cspanrroll footbspanll’s lspanst Finspanl Four spanppespanrspannce in 2003
20. Treasure Coast’s Gabriella Perez earns memorable state title win
In the first year for girls wrestling as a sanctioned FHSAA sport, Treasure Coast junior Gabriella Perez went unbeaten at 135 pounds and won the state title in March in thrilling fashion.
State girls wrestling champ:Trespansure Cospanst junior Gspanbriellspan Perez cspanptures drspanmspantic stspante wrestling title