The 2016 high school football season is still a couple months away, but hundreds of athletes in the Tampa Bay area had the opportunity to work on and showcase their skills Sunday at the Sound Mind Sound Body football camp. Among them were Sickles QB Jordan McCloud and Hillsborough CB Ken Montgomery, both of whom are new to positions they'll likely be playing come August.
McCloud, brother of current Clemson running back and Hillsborough County all-time leading rusher Ray Ray McCloud III, was listed as a running back and played a little bit of cornerback last season for the Gryphons, but this season he'll likely start under center.
McCloud said the drills Sunday at Jefferson High School were a good opportunity for him to grow into his new position.
"It went well, just overall learning new stuff with new coaches and stuff," he said. "Just getting the ball out of my hands quicker at quarterback and then just staying more patient at quarterback." …Full Story
This spring, Clearwater Central Catholic quarterback Jakob Parks picked up his first offer from Eastern Kentucky.
That did not did not generate scholarship offers from other schools despite an impressive showing in the spring game against Clearwater.
So Parks decided to go to them.
He will be on a whirlwind tour this month, visiting as many colleges as possible to show off his skills at camps. This past week there were stops Indiana, Marshall, Memphis, Miami (Ohio) and Western Kentucky.
On Sunday, he attended the Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Jefferson High.
It does not end there. Parks will attend camps at Akron on Wednesday and Ball State on Thursday. He might go to Eastern Michigan on Friday.
Parks said he plans to attend more than 15 camps in June.
“This month is just crazy,” Parks said. “I’m to going as many camps as I can to get as exposure as possible for myself and my team.”
In today's high-pressure world of college football, potential recruits try to gain an edge by mailing letters, sending out a DVD of highlights or investing in recruiting services. …Full Story
Dixie Hollins senior quarterback Dakovin Cann, Jr. attended Sunday’s Strong Mind Strong Body satellite camp at Jefferson High School to not only prepare for his final season, but also to be seen by the numerous college coaches in attendance. Cann, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, was one of 400 players attending the camp. After throwing for 1,454 yards last season, he is hoping to surpass 2,000 yards this season and help the Rebels have a winning season. They were 1-9 last season.
“There’s a lot of talent out here,’’ Cann said. “I love competing against players like this. When I am at these camps I don’t get nervous. I just play my own game and work on improving.’’
This was Cann’s first satellite camp of the summer. He threw several tight spirals in the afternoon’s one-on-one passing drills. He plans on attending camps at Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and perhaps Miami throughout the summer.
While Cann is preparing for his final season as starter, Indian Rocks Christian sophomore quarterback Andrew Roberts is preparing for his first. He will take over for Garrett Ross-Johnson after serving as the backup last season. …Full Story
Daniel Wallace | Times
Nelson Agholor (seen here playing for Berkeley Prep in 2011) is the subject of a rape investigation, according to a report.
Former Berkeley Prep star Nelson Agholor has been accused of rape, according to a report by Philadelphia magazine.
An exotic dancer at Cheerleaders Gentlemen's Club told police that the Eagles receiver raped her Thursday afternoon, according to the magazine. At least two other teammates were at the club, and police are seeking video footage.
Agholor has not been arrested or charged with a crime. Read the magazine's full report here.
The Eagles said in a statement that they are aware of the incident. The 6-foot, 198-pound Agholor had 23 catches for 283 yards and a touchdown in 13 games as a rookie last year.
Agholor was the No. 20 overall pick last spring after a successful career at USC. Before that, Agholor won the Guy Toph Award in January 2012 as the top high school football player in Hillsborough County.
Our Joey Knight profiled Agholor when he was a five-star recruit. As a senior at Berkeley, he rushed for 1,983 yards and 28 touchdowns to help his team advance to the Class 3A state semifinals. Full Story
Here are the Western Conference softball as selected by the public school coaches in Hillsborough County
P Marcella Parrado, Sr., Leto
P Hailee DeCicco, So., Gaither
IF Kayla McGory, Sr., Plant
IF Jessica Louth, Sr., Alonso
IF Bethany Kursch, Sr., Gaither
C Elizabeth Mason, Sr., Gaither
OF Kristen Hawkins, Sr., Alonso
OF Lauren Lastres, Sr., Plant
OF Marcella Copeland, So., Leto
1B Jennifer Oliva, Jr., Robinson
DH/UTIL Samantha Conlan, Jr., Robinson
P Natalie Zweig, Fr., Sickles
P Dana Rowley, Sr., Plant
IF Caila Weisman, Sr., Alonso
IF Justine Fernandez, Sr., Jefferson
IF Alexis Smith, Fr., Robinson
C Hayley Mongoy, Jr., Robinson
OF Olivia Longshore, Jr., Robinson
OF Amelia Iacovino, Jr., Steinbrenner
OF Cassidy Scott, Sr., Blake
1B Alyssa Rowe, Jr., Leto
DH/UTIL Cassidy Renninger, So., Robinson
Coach of the year: Robin Kopp, Alonso
P Scottie Todd, Sr., Strawberry Crest
P Gabby Vallee, So., Chamberlain
IF Alex Quinonez, Jr., Chamberlain
IF Hope Hernandez, Jr., Chamberlain
IF Kasey Locke, Sr., Strawberry Crest
C Maddy Hall, Sr., Freedom
OF Maddie Lewis, So., Chamberlain
OF Gracie Seidl, Jr., Freedom
OF Brandy Ashmore, Jr., Strawberry Crest …Full Story
First team: 1B Jordan Butler, Jr., Alonso; INF Jose Ciccarello, Jr., Alonso; C Adrian DeArmas, Sr., Leto; P Gavin Gillespie, Sr., Gaither; OF Robby Martin, So., Jefferson; OF Ryan Mejia, Sr., Alonso; Andreas Morales, Jr., Leto; DH Ryan Russell, Sr., Steinbrenner; OF Conner Scott, So., Plant; INF Matthew Steckel, Sr., Robinson; P CJ Van Eyk, Jr., Steinbrenner
Second team: OF Jose Cadenas, Jr., Gaither; DH Ryan Drumheller, So., Alonso; P Ryan Fernandez, Sr., Alonso; P Zane Hedaya, Sr., Plant; INF Bradley Hession, Sr., Steinbrenner; INF Chipper Holland, Jr., Gaither; C Shawn McGory, Sr., Robinson; 1B Patrick Morris, Jr., Steinbrenner; OF Mike Paule, Sr., Alonso; OF Kenny Rodriguez, Jr., Gaither; INF Peyton Woble, Sr., Alonso
Coach of the year: John Crumbley, Steinbrenner
First team: OF Tyrek Ball, Jr., Brandon; 1B Zach Barfield, Sr., Durant; OF Nate Chevalier, Jr., Bloomingdale; OF Keith Harden, Jr., Lennard; INF Jonathan Hermann, Sr., Durant; INF Spencer Nelson, Sr., Durant; P Jonah Scolaro, Jr., Durant; C Jake Sullivan, Sr., Durant; INF Freddy Tarnok, Jr., Riverview; P Antonio Velez, Sr., Brandon …Full Story
Here is the SAC East and West All County teams, as voted on by Pasco County public school coaches:
Coach of the Year: Jeff May, Land O’Lakes
Player of the Year: McCabe Sargent, Land O’Lakes
P Kirby Osborn, Sr., Land O’Lakes
C Dillon Sink, Sr., Wesley Chapel
INF Michael Wu, Jr., Sunlake
INF Max Law, Jr., Land O’Lakes
INF Zach Ghelfi, Sr., Wesley Chapel
INF Marcus Gonzalez, Soph., Wesley Chapel
OF Colton Bierly, Soph., Wesley Chapel
OF Jake Starling, Sr., Pasco
OF Austin Forest, Sr., Land O’Lakes
DH/Util McCabe Sargent, Jr., Land O’Lakes
P Tommy Mace, Jr., Sunlake
C Jacob Ortiz, Jr., Sunlake
INF Marcus Gonzalez, Jr., Zephyrhills
INF Ethan Nuebling, Sr., Sunlake
INF Dustin Harris, Jr., Land O’Lakes
INF Corey Mills, Jr., Pasco
OF Dylan Gobel, Sr., Pasco
OF Jeremy Moser, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
DH/Util Hunter Moye, Jr., Wesley Chapel
Coach of the Year: Scott Wilcox, Mitchell
Player of the Year: Jakob Mattos, Mitchell
P Jakob Mattos, Soph., Mitchell
C Zack Witfoth, Sr., Hudson
INF Jake Treloar, Sr., Ridgewood
INF Kyle Haglund, Sr., Fivay
INF Ryan Oneill, Soph., Gulf
INF Ryan Delnegro, Jr., Mitchell
OF Mike Smith, Jr., Gulf
OF Jaden Cooper, Sr., Ridgewood …Full Story
BRENDAN FITTERER | Times
Central High School tackle Lyndell Hudson, right, blocks a teammate during spring football practice in May.
As concern about concussions mount, Florida is set to enact its first restrictions on full-contact practices for the state's high school football players.
The Florida High School Athletic Association plans to limit live contact - drills where teammates tackle each other to the ground - to 80 minutes per week during the season. Live contact could take place three days a week for no more than 30 minutes each day.
During the preseason, live contact will be limited to 40 minutes per day. There are no restrictions to the amount of limited contact drills that involve bags or pads or end without a hit to the ground.
The FHSAA, the state's governing body for high school sports, discussed the idea with coaches, trainers and administrators across the state and received little blowback.
"We feel like this is a really good fit for our state," FHSAA athletic director Frank Beasley said.
Most coaches already operate within the guidelines to keep players fresh, Beasley said.
Pasco High coach Tom McHugh said the policy change works within most coaches' practices. He has restricted his full-contact practices over the years to reduce injuries. …Full Story
Shawn Brown is the new head baseball coach at Countryside. Brown spent the past three years as head coach at Largo. He takes over for Kemo O’Sullivan, who was relieved of his coaching duties at the end of the season. O’Sullivan had been the Cougars head coach for nine seasons.
“This wasn’t something that was planned,’’ Brown said. “I was happy at Largo and they were going to get a new field in the coming years. It was a good situation. But (Countryside) came to me. Once I heard about the tradition they have, I was excited to take over.’’
Brown, who is self-employed and does not teach in Pinellas County, said he will meet with returners from this year’s team before school lets out next week. While at Largo, Brown was 28-52. This season, the Packers were 6-21.
Countryside was 19-8 and won the Class 8A, District 7 tournament. The Cougars graduated six players but return a good corps of starters, including top pitcher Matt Adams.Full Story
Former Northside Christian golfer Anna Newell recently finished tied for fourth at the NCAA tournament in Eugene, Oregon. Newell shot a four round score of 6 under, 282. It is the best NCAA tournament finish in the history of the Tennessee women’s golf program and just the third time a Tennessee golfer has finished in the top five.
Newell, a sophomore, shot under par in three of her four rounds, including a second round score of 5 under 67. Duke’s Virginia Elena Carta won the tournament by eight strokes with a score of 16 under 272.
Newell was homeschooled but played golf for the Mustangs. She is currently ranked 21st in the country.Full Story
When/where: 7 p.m. Sunday; Tropicana Field
Admission: $5 for students, $10 for adults
Pinellas roster: Pitchers: Triston Allen, Pinellas Park; Andrew Belcik, East Lake; Garrison Bryant, Clearwater; Riley Degnan, Palm Harbor University; Joey Jimpie, Northeast; Corey Ireson, Osceola; Logan Lipsch, Seminole; Tyler Malinowski, Osceola; John Pichman, Palm Harbor University; Colton Widdows, Dunedin. Catchers: Will Condon, Northeast; Drew Guido, Largo; Kyle Kania, Countryside; David Reith, St. Petersburg. Outfielders: Kenny Brush, Pinellas Park; Adrian Comas, Dunedin; Jake Hale, Northeast; A.J. Hrica, Palm Harbor University; Caleb Johnson, Seminole; Adam Jurco, Palm Harbor University. Infielders: Ryan Cook, Northeast; Justin Dahill, St. Petersburg Catholic; Derek Jaar, Northeast; Matt Tharp, Seminole. …Full Story
Here are the Sunshine Athletic Conference softball teams as selected by the coaches.
Player of the year: Shannon Saile, Sr., Land O’Lakes
Coach of the year: Mitch Wilkins, Land O’Lakes
P Shannon Saile, Sr. Land O’Lakes
C Kameron Aitken, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
IF Tia Williams, So., Land O’Lakes
IF Gianna Basilone, Sr., Sunlake
IF Brianna Lindner, So., Land O’Lakes
IF Ashley Nickisher, Fr., Wesley Chapel
OF Ashley Smith, So., Land O’Lakes
OF Kacie Huber, So., Pasco
OF Dana Mumaw, Jr., Wesley Chapel
UTIL/DH Shelby Lansing, Jr., Sunlake
P Mariah Melendez, So., Sunlake
C Tayler Holt, Sr., Land O’Lakes
IF Cassidy Roberts, Sr., Sunlake
IF Jordyn Kadlub, Fr., Pasco
IF Kacie Lemanski, So., Wiregrass Ranch
IF Tylah Remaley, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
OF Jessie McCallister, Sr., Land O’Lakes
OF Jaime Valenta, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
OF Samantha Hiley, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
UTIL/DH Logan Coward, Fr., Pasco
Player of the year: Brittney Pressler, Sr., Gulf
Coach of the year: Kurt Goluba, River Ridge
P Brittney Pressler, Sr., Gulf
C Hailey Smith, Fr., Hudson
IF Alex Hare, Fr., Mitchell
IF Amanda Crisafulli, Jr., Gulf
IF Breana Blankenship, So., River Ridge …Full Story
Here are the Pinellas County Athletic Conference softball selections. The teams are for public schools players and were voted on by coaches.
P Stella Preston, Sr., Countryside
P Diana Rayder, Sr., East Lake
C Cheyenne Blumberg, Sr., Countryside
1B Jordan Day, Jr., Seminole
2B Nicci Palumbo, Jr., East Lake
SS Mackenzie Griffin, Jr., Countryside
3B Kendyl Crean, So., East Lake
OF Alice Gannaway, Jr., Countryside
OF Aliyah Andrews, Sr., East Lake
OF Mia Buffano, Fr., PHU
DP Nikki Steiniger, East Lake
UTIL Ashlee Klinefelter, Clearwater
P: Savannah Farkas, So., Seminole
P Savanna Bennett, Fr., PHU
C Hannah Grossi, Sr., East Lake
1B Madison Neuhaus, Jr., East Lake
2B Jenna Wojnar, Tarpon Springs
SS Bailey Wilson, Jr., PHU
3B Mackenzie Smith, Fr., Tarpon Springs
OF Savanna Rumore, Sr., Seminole
OF Emily Hollenbeck, Sr., Countryside
OF Taylor Scott, Jr., PHU
DP: Autumn Myers, Fr., PHU
UTIL: Hannah Bonner, Sr., PHU
Honorable mention …Full Story
FORT MYERS — Steinbrenner struck early in Saturday's Class 8A state semifinal and never backed down, as Patrick Morris' two RBIs and a sound defense led the Warriors to a 2-0 victory against Westland Hialeah.
The Warriors were in trouble early when an error, single and hit by pitch loaded the bases for Westland Hialeah in the first inning, but Steinbrenner got out of the jam with the first of two big double plays.
Westland Hialeah had runners in scoring position in the third, sixth and seventh innings, too, but the Steinbrenner defense — led by CJ Van Eyk, who struck out six and gave up six hits in a complete game — prevailed each time.
The Warriors weren't as strong offensively, notching just three hits, both in the first inning. Van Eyk had a lead off single, and Morris drove him home with a double to the fences. Steinbrenner scored its second run after Van Eyk was hit by a pitch and Morris followed later with an RBI sacrifice fly.
Steinbrenner, which is making its first appearance at the state final four, will play Oviedo Hagerty in the state championship at 7:35 p.m. today. The Huskies won a rain-delayed semifinal 19-16 in 12 innings Friday.Full Story
Photo provided by John Edwards
Former Robinson coach Herman Valdes with (left to right) former players John Edwards, Brian Peterson and Charlie Bradley.
With family in tow, 76-year-old Herman Valdes returned Friday evening to the site of some of his most glorious triumphs.
Only this time, the occasion was a glorious tribute.
Valdes, who won 235 games in a dozen seasons (1970-82) as Robinson boys basketball coach, had the Port Tampa school's gym named in his honor. Among the 100 or so friends, family members and former players in attendance was all-time USF scoring leader Charlie Bradley, who led Valdes' 1981 Knights team to a No. 1 state ranking.
A father of three girls (with five grandchildren and two great-grandkids) Valdes totaled nearly 600 boys victories in a tenure that included 12 seasons at Bayshore Christian.
He also led Robinson's volleyball team to the Class 4A state title in 1978, and briefly coached the Knights girls in the early 2000s. His administrative career included several years as principal at nearby Monroe Middle School.Full Story