Strawberry Crest came into Friday's game against Lennard winless and without its head coach, who had been fired earlier in the week. The Longhorns saw the Chargers' struggles, Lennard coach Keith Chattin said, and incorrectly assumed it would be an easy win.
Strawberry Crest proved from the start that wouldn't be the case.
The Chargers scored on their first drive, then again after a Lennard fumble, going up by two touchdowns early. But Lennard running back Jahryn Bailey rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns to help Lennard come from behind, and the Longhorns (5-0, 2-0) won 28-21 to remain undefeated.
"Those guys really rallied together and they played extremely hard," Chattin said of the Chargers (0-6, 0-3). "It took us a while to get settled down and get into the game."
Once they did, though, Bailey and quarterback Devin Black led the way. Strawberry Crest scored led 21-14 at the half, but after the break it was all Longhorns. Bailey scored a touchdown in each quarter of the game, and Black threw for 121 yards and ran for 87 more. …Full Story
Andy Warrener | Special to the Times
Riverview sophomore Bailey Hertenstein, right, and Tampa Prep freshman Josie Garba are the hottest runners in Hillsborough County right now and train together with coach Steve Dunn in Fishhawk. Hertenstein is coming off wins at the Flrunners Invite and Don Bishop, while Garba won Thursday's IRC Invite in Largo.
The trend of four-team sweeps continues in Tampa Bay area cross country. Last week, it was Osceola taking the Mitchell Invite for a four-team sweep. The week before, it was Wiregrass Ranch sweeping all four races at the Land O'Lakes Keppel Invite.
On Saturday, it was Hillsborough County powerhouse Newsome making it a complete sweep, winning the varsity girls team title with 29 points to runnerup Robinson's 79 at the Don Bishop Invitational. The Newsome boys varsity squad scored a 38-87 win over Robinson with Plant City in third (91). The Wolves even took both JV races, the boys stamping the meet with a perfect score of 15. It was the third straight team titles for both varsity squads.
The girls went off first through the campus at Brandon High School where runners made a figure-eight pattern around the athletic fields and school while circling back through the football stadium and track. The course took two laps around the campus with the last 300 meters circumnavigating the asphalt track before finishing down the 100-meter straightaway. …Full Story
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Sept. 26 through Friday, Oct. 2. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Ali Bronson, volleyball, Hernando: The junior helped the Leopards to three wins this week, tallying 35 kills and 109 digs. She leads the team in both categories (201 kills, 557 digs) this season.
Ava LaBrant, cross country, Indian Rocks Christian: The seventh-grader won the WD Invitational in 21 minutes, 14 seconds — 30 seconds ahead of the closest competitor. The Golden Eagles were the only Class A school competing with 10 other 3A and 4A schools.
Peyton Palsha, swimming, St. Petersburg: The junior took control of the distance events at the Pinellas County Athletic Conference meet, winning the 200 free in one minute, 50.46 seconds and the 500 free in 4:54.35. She was more than three seconds ahead of her closest competitor. …Full Story
The Clearwater Central Catholic Invitational tournament will be held on Saturday at Belleair Country Club. It is the final local 18 hole tournament before district tournaments begin on Oct. 12. There is a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
The schools participating are CCC, Mitchell, Sarasota Riverview, Calvary Christian, Northside Christian, Sebring, Countryside, Olympia, Shorecrest, East Lake, Palm Harbor University, Sickles, Spruce Creek, Tampa Prep and West Orange.
Admission is free.Full Story
The first half of the season was a rough one for East Lake with three losses – two more than the Eagles had in the previous three regular seasons combined.
But East Lake is starting to rebound. Thursday’s 42-6 win over the International School of Broward was the Eagles' second straight.
The scoring was balanced with six players scoring. Bobby Goldinak started the first half and threw touchdown passes to Bryce Miller and Kyle Fearrington. Tupac Blanch, Bailey Fowler and Michael Del Duca also scored on the ground to give East Lake a 35-0 lead at the half.
In the second half, David Lucas had a short touchdown run to round out the scoring for the Eagles (3-3).
It was the second time this season East Lake has scored more than 40 points.
But it is the improved play of the defense that is biggest reason for the recent turnaround.
East Lake gave up a combined 95 points in consecutive losses to Lake Brantley and St. Petersburg that dropped the Eagles to 1-3. Since then, East Lake has allowed just 13 points in wins over Tarpon Springs and International School of Broward. …Full Story
ST. PETERSBURG – Newsome’s Dhruv Patel admits he is not a very long hitter, but it didn’t take monster drives to win Thursday’s Vinoy Classic.
Patel hit most of Vinoy’s narrow fairways and nearly all of its greens in regulation on the way to 1-under 70. He was the only player to shoot under par and won the individual championship by one shot over three other players.
Patel also helped Newsome win the team championship with 295. Plant finished second with 304 and Lakewood Ranch was third with 314.
“It’s a short course, very skinny off the tee,” said Patel, a sophomore. “If you’re a longer hitter, you’ve got to keep it straight. Luckily, I’m not a very long hitter and I was able to keep it straight.’”
This was Patel’s first individual win in high school this season. He had two bogeys and three birdies in his round. He didn’t figure a 70 would win the tournament.
“I was kind of pulling the ball all day so I just played that shot the rest of the way,” Patel said. “I aimed a little right of my target. I hit a lot of greens. I’ve been doing that for a while. I really wasn’t playing great and I didn’t think a 70 would win.” …Full Story
MONICA HERNDON | TIMES
Armwood's Byron Cowart, now at Auburn, was an Under Armour MVP in the last game.
One of the nation’s top high school football showcases is leaving St. Petersburg.
The Under Armour All-American Game, held at Tropicana Field the past six years, is moving to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The game is Jan. 2.
“We had an incredible run at the Trop and love working with the folks there,” Intersport Vice President of Properties Drew Russell said. “We just wanted to explore another option with a more traditional football venue."
ESPN airs the games, which routinely draw more than 20,000 fans. The last game set an attendance record of 25,461.
The event features some of the nation's top high school senior recruits. The Under Armour Game and U.S. Army All-American Bowl, played in San Antonio, compete for the country's top prospects.
The Citrus Bowl was the site for the first two UA games in 2008 and '09. Practices the week leading up the game are held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The 2016 game will be held a day after the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Russell said because the venue now has a turf field, it's an easy turnaround. …Full Story
DAVID W DOONAN | Special to Times
Can Jesuit keep its unbeaten streak alive? Our staff writers think so.
Bradenton St. Stephen’s at Bishop McLaughlin
Rodney Page: St. Stephen’s 34-14
Kelly Parsons: St. Stephen’s 45-17
Bob Putnam: St. Stephen’s 41-14
Zephyrhills Christian at Windermere Prep
Rodney Page: Windermere Prep 21-14
Kelly Parsons: Windermere Prep 24-10
Bob Putnam: Windermere Prep 31-23
St. Petersburg Catholic at Clearwater Central Catholic
Rodney Page: CCC 56-6
Kelly Parsons: CCC 52-7
Bob Putnam: CCC 49-0
Winter Haven All Saints’ at Keswick Christian
Rodney Page: Keswick Christian 36-13
Kelly Parsons: Keswick Christian 31-16
Bob Putnam: Keswick Christian 40-13
Mitchell at Pasco
Rodney Page: Mitchell 27-7
Kelly Parsons: Pasco 14-13
Bob Putnam: Mitchell 17-14
Hudson at Zephyrhills
Rodney Page: Zephyrhills 42-12
Kelly Parsons: Zephyrhills 28-18
Bob Putnam: Zephyrhills 37-13
Sunlake at Springstead
Rodney Page: Sunlake 42-14
Kelly Parsons: Sunlake 45-10
Bob Putnam: Sunlake 38-7
Lecanto at Central
Rodney Page: Lecanto 28-7
Kelly Parsons: Lecanto 21-20
Bob Putnam: Lecanto 21-10
Fivay at Wesley Chapel
Rodney Page: Fivay 26-14
Kelly Parsons: Fivay 32-17
Bob Putnam: Fivay 24-20
Ridgewood at River Ridge
Rodney Page: River Ridge 23-21
Kelly Parsons: River Ridge 35-24
Bob Putnam: River Ridge 24-7
Citrus at Weeki Wachee …Full Story
Northside Christian will host the Mustang Invitational on Friday and Saturday. It is an eight-team volleyball tournament with two pools of four teams. Admission is $5 per day.
Here are the pools and schedule for the tournament:
Pool A: Tampa Prep, Orangewood Christian, Palmer Trinity, Northeast
Friday: 4 p.m.: Tampa Prep vs. Palmer Trinity, Orangewood Christian vs. Northeast; 6 p.m.: Tampa Prep vs. Northeast, Orangewood Christian vs. Palmer Trinity.
Saturday: 9 a.m.: Palmer Trinity vs. Northeast, Tampa Prep vs. Orangewood Christian
Pool B: Northside Christian, Sarasota Christian, Seffner Christian, Bradenton Christian
Friday: 5 p.m.: Northside Christian vs. Seffner Christian, Sarasota Christian vs. Bradenton Christian; 7 p.m.: Northside Christian vs. Bradenton Christian, Seffner Christian vs. Sarasota Christian
Saturday: 10 a.m.: Seffner Christian vs. Bradenton Christian, Northside Christian vs. Sarasota Christian.
The final will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (semis at 12:30). Full Story
The Associated Press Top 10 Florida high school football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records, rating points and previous rankings. Area teams in bold:
Record Pts Prv
1. Apopka (19) 5-0 190 1
2. Christopher Columbus Catholic 5-0 168 2
3. Vero Beach 4-0 141 4
4. Atlantic Community 4-0 134 5
5. Fort Pierce Central 4-0 97 7
6. Charles Flanagan 3-1 85 6
7. Mandarin 5-0 64 8
8. Kissimmee Osceola 4-1 46 3
9. South Dade 4-0 41 10
10. West Orange 4-1 35 9
Others receiving votes: Lake Brantley 13, Plantation 10, Sandalwood 7, Coral Gables 7, Boca Raton Community 3, Oak Ridge 2, George Steinbrenner 1, Deerfield Beach 1.
1. St. Thomas Aquinas (19) 5-0 190 1
2. Dwyer 4-0 170 2
3. Venice 5-0 147 3
4. Braden River 5-0 133 4
5. Sickles 5-0 93 9
6. Lakeland 3-1 90 5
7. Oakleaf 4-1 68 8 …Full Story
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
Julia Angelo and Palm Harbor University are looking to stay on top of PCAC and district competition.
1. Carrollwood Day (17-2)
This week: No matches scheduled
Scoop: The Patriots take a 10-day break for service missions, and that’s why they front loaded 19 matches in their schedule. When they return, a district match at Seffner Christian on Oct. 6 awaits.
2. Berkeley Prep (7-3)
This week: Tuesday at Holy Names, Thursday-Saturday at Asics Challenge (Chicago)
Scoop: The Bucs have always been big on tough schedules, and that continues to be true with a weekend tournament in Chicago where coach John Coup says they’ll face some of the best competition in the nation. That kind of experience will certainly come in handy with district tournaments nearing.
3. Palm Harbor University (11-2)
This week: Tuesday at Countryside, Wednesday vs. Northeast/Countryside (PCAC second round), Thursday vs. St. Petersburg
Scoop: The Hurricanes bounced back from two losses in the Berkeley tournament by easily defeating Pinellas Park and Clearwater Central Catholic. PHU is clearly the team to beat in the PCAC and in Class 7A-10, and it will be tested this week, especially on Thursday against the Green Devils.
4. Mitchell (16-1)
This week: Tuesday at Land O’Lakes, Wednesday vs. Wesley Chapel, Thursday vs. East Lake …Full Story
Ridgewood volleyball coach Emily Lucci had a feeling about this season. Now in her third year, Lucci has seen her team get better and better, and more importantly, older and older. The Rams have four seniors and three juniors on a team that only uses eight players.
Ridgewood went from seven wins in 2013 to 17 last season. This year, the Rams are 15-1 and won the Fivay Invitational on Saturday. In the tournament, they won five straight matches and lost only one game. Ridgewood had won 10 straight matches prior to Tuesday’s match at Fivay.
“We aren’t just one player," Lucci said. “We really are a team. We’re not full of club players. We rely on everyone on the team."
Senior Aubree Sigismondi has been the leading outside hitter with 169 kills. Lucci said her go-to hitter is junior Johannah Cummines, who has 133 kills. And senior Jada Wilks has contributed 112 kills and 104 blocks. Senior libero Calista Presti has 276 digs. Junior setter Sara Pretto has fed the three hitters all season and has 347 assists. …Full Story
For the first time, Pasco County will have an all-star football game.
The inaugural East-West Classic is 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10 at Sunlake High. The game was put together by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is similar to the ones Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have hosted for more than two deccades.
Coaches will vote on the senior players from the 13 public and two private schools in Pasco.
“We’re all very excited about what this game will mean to the county, the community, the schools and the local businesses,” FCA area director Bob Durham said. Full Story
MONICA HERNDON | Times
Armwood's defense looked sharp against county rival Plant on Friday, and the Hawks seem to be firmly entrenched at No. 1.
1. Armwood (4-0)
This week’s opponent: vs. Blake
Scoop: Though coach Sean Callahan has been high on his offense all season, it was Armwood’s defense that looked the sharpest in its 21-3 victory against Plant. Together, the defense and offense have been a winning combo, and that’ll likely continue until the Hawks’ next big challenge: the last regular-season game against Sickles.
2. Sickles (5-0)
This week’s opponent: vs. Leto
Scoop: Sickles has allowed just 14 points, and that was in one game against Tampa Bay Tech. The last time a Hillsborough County team posted consistent shutouts like this was last year in Armwood’s state runnerup campaign. The Gryphons still have the meat of their schedule left to play — with games against Plant, Wharton and Armwood coming up.
3. Clearwater Central Catholic (5-0)
This week’s opponent: vs. St. Petersburg Catholic …Full Story
Admiral Farragut defensive back Craig Watts’ second visit to Boulder, Colo., this weekend was enough to convince him to commit to the University of Colorado.
Watts, considered a four-star recruit by several services, made the announcement Sunday afternoon, shortly after returning from his visit.
“Both times I went up there it just felt like home," Watts said. “It’s just a great fit for me."
Earlier this year, Watts orally committed to the University of Wisconsin. But in July he decided to decommit and continue looking at other schools. Watts, who transferred from Gibbs to Admiral Farragut in the summer, is being recruited as a defensive back.
Through four games this season, Watts leads the team with 23 total tackles. He also has nine carries for 135 yards and a touchdown as a running back.
Watts selected Colorado over several other Division I-A schools, including Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State.Full Story