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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

Leftovers on Josh Johnson's NFL Draft prospects

Hopefully you saw my story in today’s paper on Pasco alum Josh Johnson, who played at Purdue and will likely be picked Saturday in the final four rounds of the NFL Draft.

A couple extras that didn’t make the final version:

* Pasco coach Tom McHugh remembers one of the first times he watched Johnson play. McHugh was a peewee football official and saw Johnson rush into the open field, turn around and walk backwards into the end zone, waving the ball at his opponents.

McHugh still boasts that he was that his penalty flag was the first to hit the ground.

* It’s hard to overstate how much he means to Pasco. McHugh said if a player is slipping into trouble, he often asks Johnson to call or text the player and set him straight.

 When Trey Dudley-Giles was preparing for UMass, he wasn’t always listening to his academic tutor. No one could get through to him – except for Johnson.

“He told me if you want to be at the Division I level, you have to get school work done,” Dudley-Giles said. “He’s there, so I should listen to him.”

* Johnson is close to his family, but sibling rivalries exist, too. Freshman Nate Craig has always tried to top his older brother in everything. …

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The irony: Bills trying to make transferring easier has made it tougher

When Kelli Stargel and other state legislators passed the controversial House Bill 1403 last year, one goal was to make it easier for high school students to transfer without losing athletic eligibility.

The irony: A year later (in some school districts), that task is becoming tougher, not easier.

The Pasco School Board is considering a policy that would have student-athletes sit out from sports for a year if they transfer schools, unless their families move, the district reassigns them to a new school through no fault of their own or they experience other hardships. A committee would have to approve their eligibility.

That idea, which could come up again at next week’s board meeting, is based on a Hillsborough County’s policy. And that, the Times’ Marlene Sokol wrote this weekend, has slashed the number of transfers considerably. At this time last spring, Sokol reported, one school had 27 transfers. Through four months of the new policy, Hillsborough has heard 49 cases across the district. …

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Lions to honor former coach Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall, the first baseball coach in King High history, will be honored in a pregame ceremony Saturday morning at the Lions' ballpark.

Those who played for Marshall during his eight seasons (1961-68) as King's coach are invited to a reunion starting at 11 a.m. The alumni will be introduced on the field 15 minutes prior to the Lions' 1 p.m. game against Bloomingdale. Marshall will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

For information, contact current Lions coach Jim Macaluso -- among the Lions alumni who played for Marshall -- at (813) 758-5642.

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Texas high school football > March Madness

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a surprise, but I thought this was an interesting stat, courtesy of my friend @TexasHSFootball:

Attendance figures from Cowboys Stadium

* Class 5A, Division I Texas high school football state title game: 48,379

* Class 5A, Division II Texas high school football state title game: 42,621

* NCAA South Regional (UF-FGCU, Michigan-Kansas): 40,639

* NCAA South Regional Final (UF-Michigan): 36,585

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