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Recruiting

  • HomeTeam 25 top recruits for 2015

    Tampa Bay recruits — from our four-county coverage area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando) — as ranked by Tampa Bay Times staff. Name, school Pos. Ht/Wt Schools 1. Byron Cowart, Armwood DE 6-4/250 Undecided: Florida, FSU, Auburn 2. Deon Cain, Tampa Bay Tech WR 6-1/195 Clemson 3. George Campbell, East Lake ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 6:25 p.m. | Times Staff

    • Recruit: Byron Cowart
      Auburn University, Florida State University, University of Florida
  • Area 2016 cupboard barer after top recruits flock to IMG

    Area 2016 cupboard barer after top recruits flock to IMG Take a quick glance at the Tampa Bay recruiting class for 2016, and a few big names appear to be missing.  Blake’s Shavar Manuel, ESPN’s No. 2 recruit nationally, is coming off a junior season in which he amassed a whopping 20 sacks. He’d easily be at the top of ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 6:23 p.m. | Rodney Page

    • Recruit: Saivion Smith
      Florida State University, LSU, University of Florida
  • Tarpon Springs' Daniel Davis commits to Garden City CC

    Tarpon Springs receiver Daniel Davis committed to Garden City Community College, Spongers coach Ron Hawn said. Davis, who transferred from Gibbs in the summer, had a breakout season as a senior with 2,259 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns. His 1,266 receiving yards and 14 touchdown receptions were both school records. ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:53 a.m. | Bob Putnam

  • East Bay DE Marques Ford commits to Rutgers

    Just one day after East Bay defensive end Marques Ford was told there was no spot for him at Tennessee, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior committed to Rutgers. He announced the commitment via Twitter on Thursday night. "Everything happens for a reason! Now I know for sure everything is gonna work ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 9:22 a.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • IRC's Damian King commits to Liberty

    In the past two seasons, Indian Rocks Christian's Damian King had built up an extensive list of offers from schools such as Kansas State, Missouri, Syracuse and West Virginia. But when King broke his thumb in the third game this past season, which sidelinied him for the remainder of the ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 5:21 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Tennis: Shorecrest's Carolyn Cureton picks Florida Southern

    Shorecrest’s Carolyn Cureton has committed to play tennis at Florida Southern. Cureton has been a varsity tennis player at Shorecrest since the eighth grade. Last season, Cureton advanced to the Class A district semifinals. She also plays in USGA junior tournaments and has a state ranking of 79 by tennisrecruiting.com.. ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 1:35 p.m. | Rodney Page

  • Options aplenty sway top recruits away from state colleges

    Options aplenty sway top recruits away from state colleges There was a time when Sickles High School running back Ray Ray McCloud III envisioned playing for Florida State. The Seminoles were among his many suitors. But as McCloud’s recruitment picked up, along with his options, he became more open to playing at another school — including one of the ...
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    Wed. Jan. 21, 2015 at 8:22 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • East Bay DE Marques Ford decommits from Tennessee

    East Bay DE Marques Ford decommits from Tennessee East Bay defensive end Marques Ford has decommitted from Tennessee, the four-star recruit announced via Twitter on Wednesday. "Due to circumstances, I am decommiting from the University of Tennessee and opening up my recruitment...," Ford tweeted. East Bay coach Frank LaRosa later confirmed that there was no spot for Ford at ...
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    Wed. Jan. 21, 2015 at 6:52 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Chamberlain's Lauren Williams commits to play softball at FIU

    Chamberlain's Lauren Williams commits to play softball at FIU Chamberlain shortstop Lauren Williams has committed to Florida International. Williams made her decision after visiting FIU this past weekend. She picked the Panthers over Buffalo, Jacksonville and Liberty. "I liked the visit and my host (C-USA freshman All-American Stephanie Texeira) was great," Williams said. "I knew it was where I ...
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    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 3:43 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • DE Marques Ford puts East Bay football on the recruiting map

    DE Marques Ford puts East Bay football on the recruiting map TAMPA — The age of East Bay High School can be seen in the yellowed lettering of hallway signs, the commemoration of senior classes scattered throughout the campus from years long before current students were even born. Take a look at the athletics trophy case, though, and the school’s otherwise ...
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    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 12:58 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Nature Coast OL Christian Pellage finds late suitor in Florida

    Nature Coast OL Christian Pellage finds late suitor in Florida SPRING HILL — For more than a year and a half, Christian Pellage has been courted, his name known more readily by college recruiters than classmates in the halls of his own school. The usually anonymous offensive tackle speaks softly despite his 6-foot-7, 291-pound frame. At first, he was surprised ...
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    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 12:22 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • Calvary Christian's Stephon Williams commits to SE Missouri State

    Calvary Christian's Stephon Williams commits to SE Missouri State There have been many stories of players receiving scholarship offers and committing to schools after playing in the Pinellas County Senior All-Star Classic. Calvary Christian’s Stephon Williams is the latest. Southeast Missouri State coaches watched film of Williams’ performance in the game and were impressed. The school’s defensive coordinator, Bryce ...
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    Mon. Jan. 19, 2015 at 11:13 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Plant RB Patrick Brooks commits to Southern Miss

    Plant RB Patrick Brooks commits to Southern Miss Plant running back Patrick Brooks has committed to Southern Mississippi, coach Robert Weiner confirmed Monday.  Brooks, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior, rushed for 1,404 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while recording 274 yards and five touchdowns through the air. Despite his strong stats, Brooks’ small stature limited him in the ...
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    Mon. Jan. 19, 2015 at 12:13 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Countryside's Riley Metheney picks Winona State

    A month ago, Countryside offensive lineman Riley Metheney was scrambling to find a college to play for after Alabama-Birmingham, the lone Division I program to offer the senior, pulled the plug on football. On Sunday, Metheney finally found a home, committing to Division II Winona State in Minnesota. "It's a ...
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    Sun. Jan. 18, 2015 at 9:14 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • CCC's Demetri Royer commits to Charleston Southern

    Clearwater Central Catholic defensive back Demetri Royer became the fourth player from the school's 2015 class to commit to a Division I program when he decided on Charleston Southern during his visit this weekend. Royer picked Charleston Southern over Coastal Carolina. Both play in the Division I Big South Conference. ...
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    Sun. Jan. 18, 2015 at 8:06 p.m. | Bob Putnam

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Latest news

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Latest Football News

  • Plant City's Markese Hargrove receives inaugural Bill Minahan Award

    Plant City's Markese Hargrove receives inaugural Bill Minahan Award TAMPA  — Bill Minahan’s influence did not end when his life did. The spirit of the legendary Hillsborough County football coach, who died a little more than a year ago, was palpable at the Columbia Restaurant on Monday night. Five county football players, all with inspiring qualifications, were honored as ...
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    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Northside Christian's Dillan Gibbons is named sophomore All-American

    Northside Christian's Dillan Gibbons is named sophomore All-American Northside Christian offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons was named a sophomore All-American by Tom Lemming of CBS. "It was a surprise, but it was definitely a great honor," Gibbons said. Gibbons (6-foot-5, 285 pounds), a first-team, all-state selection in Class 2A, helped the Mustangs to their first playoff appearance since 2006 ...
    Read more

    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 4:59 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Wiregrass Ranch names Mark Kantor football coach

    Wiregrass Ranch names Mark Kantor football coach In its eight-year existence, the Wiregrass Ranch football program has yet to take off. The Bulls have been close, athletic director Dave Wilson said, but just can’t seem to make it over the hump.  Now that former Hudson coach Mark Kantor has been hired as the fourth Wiregrass Ranch football ...
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    Tue. Jan. 20, 2015 at 1:18 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • IMG snaps up Blake's Shavar Manuel, No. 2 prospect for 2016

    IMG snaps up Blake's Shavar Manuel, No. 2 prospect for 2016 Five-star defensive end Shavar Manuel is the latest in a string of top Tampa Bay area football players to transfer to IMG Academy. Former Blake coach Darryl Gordon confirmed the move Monday.  Manuel, a 6-foot-3, 262-pound junior who recorded 61 tackles and 20 sacks last season for the Yellow Jackets, ...
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    Mon. Jan. 19, 2015 at 12:06 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Tampa Catholic's Malik Barrow latest standout to transfer to IMG

    Tampa Catholic's Malik Barrow latest standout to transfer to IMG Tampa Catholic defensive end Malik Barrow, a four-star recruit, is the latest in a string of Tampa Bay area players who have transferred to Bradenton's IMG Academy, Crusaders coach Mike Gregory confirmed Thursday. Barrow, a 6-foot-1, 250-pound junior, has 17 Division I-A offers, including UCLA, UCF and Georgia Tech. Though ...
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    Thu. Jan. 08, 2015 at 7:59 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Dixie Hollins hires Shane Wheeler as football coach

    Dixie Hollins officially announced the hiring of Shane Wheeler as the school’s football coach Thursday. Wheeler, a defensive assistant at Cairo, Ga., replaces Shannon Brooks, who resigned in November after three seasons and was hired at St. Petersburg Catholic on Wednesday. “I’m excited about the opportunity,” Wheeler said. “It’s a ...
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    Thu. Jan. 08, 2015 at 4:25 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Associated Press: Class 8A, 7A football teams

    The Florida All-State Class 8A team as chosen by newspaper editors and reporters. Area players in bold: Class 8A  FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE  QB - De'Andre Johnson 6-1 180 Sr., Jacksonville First Coast  RB - Jacques Patrick 6-2 230 Sr.., Orlando Timber Creek  RB - Johnnie Lang 5-9 185 Jr., Bradenton Manatee  ...
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    Thu. Jan. 08, 2015 at 9:46 a.m. | Associated Press

  • Foundation grooms football players for college

    Foundation grooms football players for college Carrollwood Day School’s Willie Parker is an explosive running back. Calvary Christian’s Stephon Williams is a versatile playmaker on both sides of the ball. Both were first-team all-state selections in their respective classifications (Parker in Class 2A, Williams in 3A) and were picked to play in Saturday’s Blue-Grey All-American Bowl ...
    Read more

    Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 at 7:57 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Ex-Dixie Hollins coach Shannon Brooks takes over at St. Petersburg Catholic

    Ex-Dixie Hollins coach Shannon Brooks takes over at St. Petersburg Catholic Former Dixie Hollins football coach Shannon Brooks was hired to take over the program at St. Petersburg Catholic. The announcement was made Wednesday, less than two months after Brooks stepped down from the Rebels. Brooks replaces Dave Cleppe, who resigned in December after an 0-10 season. "I was very pleased ...
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    Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 at 3:54 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Associated Press: Class 6A, 5A football teams

    The Florida All-State Class 6A and 5A teams as chosen by newspaper editors and reporters. Area players in bold: Class 6A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE  QB - Dwayne Lawson 6-5 215 Sr., Hillsborough  RB - Quaide Weirmerskirch 6-0 200 Sr., Pace  RB - Gerold Bright 5-11 180 Sr., Pensacola Escambia  RB - ...
    Read more

    Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 at 11:02 a.m. | Associated Press

  • Associated Press: Class 4A, 3A football teams

    The Florida All-State Class 3A and 4A teams as chosen by newspaper editors and reporters. Area players in bold. Class 4A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE QB - Maurice Alexander 6-0 170 Sr., Miami Washington RB - Mark Walton 5-11 195 Sr., Miami Washington RB - Azende Rey 6-0 190 Jr., DeFuniak Springs ...
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    Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 at 10:04 a.m. | Associated Press

  • Associated Press: Class 2A, A football teams

    The Florida All-State Class 2A and A team as chosen by newspaper editors and reporters. Area players in bold. Class 2A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE  QB — Caleb Lewis 6-4 210 Sr., Lakeland Victory Christian  RB — Jacquan Fuller 5-9 170 Sr., Indian Rocks Christian  RB — Daniel Duncanson 5-10 190 Sr., ...
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    Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. | Associated Press

  • Under Armour: Triumphant finish to Byron Cowart’s prep career

    Under Armour: Triumphant finish to Byron Cowart’s prep career ST. PETERSBURG — Defensive end Byron Cowart has his pick of the best college football programs in the nation. But as far as he is concerned, that’s just not good enough.  In May, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound recruit was named the best recruit in the country by Rivals. When the recruiting ...
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    Fri. Jan. 02, 2015 at 10:05 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Under Armour notebook: FSU, Bama recruits put on a show

    Under Armour notebook: FSU, Bama recruits put on a show ST. PETERSBURG — Alabama and Florida State may not be playing for a national championship this season, but if Friday’s Under Armour All America Game is any indication, the schools should be in the hunt for years to come.  Players committed to both schools made big impacts in Team Highlight’s ...
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    Fri. Jan. 02, 2015 at 9:31 p.m. | Rodney Page and Bob Putnam

  • Under Armour: FSU recruits admire Jimbo Fisher's loyalty to players

    Under Armour: FSU recruits admire Jimbo Fisher's loyalty to players ORLANDO — The ultrabright future of Florida State’s already formidable football program has been on display at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex this week. Quarterback Deondre Francois (IMG Academy) and wide receiver George Campbell (East Lake), both of whom pledged their allegiance to the Seminoles, hooked up for a ...
    Read more

    Thu. Jan. 01, 2015 at 1:10 p.m. | Bob Putnam

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Other News

  • Boys basketball: Lakewood puts together victory over Berkeley Prep

    TAMPA — This season has largely been an uphill climb for Lakewood. After reaching the Class 5A state final last March, the Spartans endured almost a complete roster overhaul this fall with only one returning starter, Anthony Lawrence Jr. That kind of youth and inexperience has led to some frustrating ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:39 p.m. | Jeff Odom

  • District boys soccer: Palm Harbor University 1, East Lake 0 (5-4 PKs)

    District boys soccer: Palm Harbor University 1, East Lake 0 (5-4 PKs) EAST LAKE — From tough defense to cramping desperation, rivals Palm Harbor University and East played valiantly through regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods in the Class 5A, District 7 championship game. With no score, they extended the game as far as it could go — to the drama of ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:35 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • District boys soccer: Palmetto 1, Northeast 0 (OT)

    ST. PETERSBURG — Northeast battled a flashy Palmetto team, and a blustery crosswind, to a truly bitter end. Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Winsor commanded play, but the elusive Class 4A-10 title, and the home playoff game that comes with it, slipped away for the Vikings in a 1-0 overtime loss to ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:33 p.m. | Chuck Frye

  • District boys soccer: St. Petersburg 2, Manatee 1

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Green Devils got goals from Jake Moore and Oswald Francis to hold off Bradenton Manatee 2-1 in the 5A-8 championship Friday. Moore scored in the first five minutes, and Francis added his goal in the first minute of the second half, but the Green Devils had ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:31 p.m. | Corey Long

  • District boys soccer: St. Petersburg Catholic 2, Clearwater Central Catholic 0

    TAMPA — Clearwater Central Catholic hadn’t defeated its district rival, St. Petersburg Catholic, all season. And when it mattered most in the 2A-9 final, the Barons came out ahead, 2-0, in a hard played, foul-filled match. SPC’s first goal came 10 minutes in. Sophomore midfielder Liam Dougherty-Howard took a rebound ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:28 p.m. | Evan Abramson

  • District boys soccer: Nature Coast 1, Weeki Wachee 0

    BROOKSVILLE — Whoever won the Class 3A, District 7 championship game, history was going to be made. Neither team had ever won a district title. Nature Coast changed that with a 1-0 victory over Weeki Wachee on a rain-soaked field.   “I’ve been here for six years, and my goal ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:24 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • District boys soccer: Jesuit 3, Bradenton Southeast 0

    TAMPA — And the beat goes on. Jesuit cruised past visiting Bradenton Southeast 3-0 Friday night to capture the 3A-9 title, the Tigers’ 26th district championship in the past 28 years. “No, it never gets old,” said Jesuit coach Eric Sims, who also played for the Tigers. “Anytime you can ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:16 p.m. | Brandon Wright

  • District boys soccer: Sunlake 3, River Ridge 2

    DADE CITY — The final whistle had barely finished echoing on Friday’s District 3A-8 championship game, and thoughts of Sunlake and River Ridge staging a rematch were already being expressed. The phrase “we’ll see you again” or something akin was uttered by many. And if indeed the teams square off ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 11:06 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • District boys soccer: Newsome 3, George Jenkins 2 (OT)

    LITHIA — After tying the score at 2, host Newsome was repeatedly stymied by Lakeland George Jenkins goalkeeper Jonathan Kilby, who racked up 10 saves to help force overtime in Friday night’s Class 5A, District 6 final. It was the save he didn’t make, however, that led to the Wolves’ ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:55 p.m. | Steve Lee

  • District boys soccer: East Bay 1, Plant City 0

    RUSKIN — East Bay forward Damian Fracchia knew Josh Valverde’s corner kicks were often short, so he inched up to await the kick. Knowing his teammates’ nuance paid off. Fracchia was in the right place at the right time and headed the ball into the net for the Indians’ first ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:41 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • District boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch 3, Freedom 1

    District boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch 3, Freedom 1 TAMPA — Seventh-seeded Freedom had nothing to lose during Friday’s Class 4A, District 8 final at Sickles. Though they were down two players before the match began, the Patriots played a spirited first half before falling 3-1 to top-seeded Wiregrass Ranch. “They gave us a tough time, especially in the ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:21 p.m. | Andy Warrener

  • Region girls soccer: St. Petersburg Catholic 3, Lakeland McKeel 2

    ST. PETERSBURG – Francesca Ycaza scored the winning goal with 2:55 left in the second half to lift St. Petersburg Catholic to a 3-2 win over Lakeland McKeel Academy in a Class 2A region quarterfinal Thursday. The goal came shortly after McKeel tied the score at 2-2 on a penalty ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 12:07 a.m. | Corey Long

  • Region girls soccer: Palm Harbor University 2, St. Petersburg 0

    PALM HARBOR — Palm Harbor University’s leading scorer, Marisa Ruland, was a spectator for Thursday’s Class 5A region quarterfinal against St. Petersburg.  She had a bruised elbow and strained quadriceps, and Hurricane defender Allyssa Woodring was limited because of a sprained ankle. With the injuries mounting, this was the playoff ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 11:36 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Region girls soccer: Largo 8, Bayshore 0

    LARGO — The shackles were off, and Largo took full advantage. Against a passive Bayshore defense in Thursday’s Class 3A region quarterfinal, the Packers (16-6-1) reveled in the freedom. With Kyla Kreemer commanding a strong team offense, Largo easily dispatched the Bruins (8-8-1) in a mercy rule-shortened 8-0 decision. Next ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 11:32 p.m. | Chuck Frye

  • Region girls soccer: East Bay 2, Seminole 1 (4-3 PKs)

    SEMINOLE — There was no way East Bay was going to let it happen again. In last week’s district final against Plant City, the Indians gave up a goal in the final minutes and lost the championship. Thursday night in the Class 4A region quarterfinal against Seminole, nursing a 1-0 ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 10:56 p.m. | Rodney Page