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Recruiting

  • Tarpon Springs K Louis Zervos commits to Ohio

    Tarpon Springs K Louis Zervos commits to Ohio Tarpon Springs kicker Louis Zervos made his college plans official, committing to Ohio on Wednesday. Zervos made his decision during an in-home visit with Bobcats coach Frank Solich and special teams coordinator Brian Haines.  “They have a new field, the atmosphere is amazing on campus and the academics are great,” ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 5:59 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Players aren’t only ones who change minds during recruiting process

    Players aren’t only ones who change minds during recruiting process GIBSONTON — East Bay High School defensive end Marques Ford was going about his day Jan. 20 when he received a phone call around 6 p.m. from the University of Tennessee’s defensive line coach, Steve Stripling.  Ford, a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American, had committed in July to play ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 6:09 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • East Lake's Regis Steighner commits to Stetson

    East Lake defensive lineman Regis Steighner announced on his Twitter page that he committed to Stetson on Monday. "I visited (Stetson) a few times and really like their coaching staff, especially coach (Roger) Hughes," Steighner said. "He will be a great coach and mentor for the next four years. The ...
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    Mon. Jan. 26, 2015 at 10:43 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Land O'Lakes GK Lauren Arrabito commits to Florida Gulf Coast

    The stress of trying to get her college future squared away ended for Land O' Lakes senior goalkeeper Lauren Arrabito on Monday. She gave her verbal commitment to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. "I'm really glad to get it out of the way while we're not too far ...
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    Mon. Jan. 26, 2015 at 5:50 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Hudson's Joey Caruso Jr. picks Florida Tech

    The list of positions Hudson's Joey Caruso Jr. played his senior season was extensive. He was a quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and kick returner. Caruso found out that list will be narrowed to defensive back and kick returner at Florida Tech, the school he committed to after a ...
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    Mon. Jan. 26, 2015 at 11:01 a.m. | Bob Putnam

  • CCC's Taylor Romera commits to Southeastern

    After tearing ligaments in his knee against Jesuit the third week of the season, Clearwater Central Catholic's Taylor Romera was worried the season-ending injury would derail his chances of playing in college. Those concerns were soothed once Southeastern continued to show interest. Romera ended up visiting the campus of the ...
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    Mon. Jan. 26, 2015 at 10:33 a.m. | Bob Putnam

  • 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

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Latest Football News

  • Tarpon Springs names Countryside assistant Mike Lube football coach

    Tarpon Springs names Countryside assistant Mike Lube football coach Tarpon Springs has hired Countryside assistant Mike Lube as its new football coach, athletic director Kris Toscani confirmed Tuesday afternoon. Lube replaces Ron Hawn, who resigned after three full seasons. "Tarpon Springs is one of the dream jobs in the county," Lube said. "I'm thrilled to work with such a ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 2:36 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Times’ Blue Chipper of the Year: Armwood DE Byron Cowart

    SEFFNER — Armwood High School coach Sean Callahan looked out of his office door on a summer day in 2011 to see three boys and their mothers waiting to meet with him. It had become a familiar sight for Callahan, as would-be transfers often beat down his door to join ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 6:31 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • 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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 - ...
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    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

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Other News

  • District girls basketball: Plant survives after late turnover

    TAMPA — Plant and host Alonso reached their respective destinations Wednesday, each advancing to the Class 8A, District 7 championship game. But they took different paths. Top-seeded Plant forced a turnover with four seconds remaining to preserve a 43-41 win over No. 5 Wharton; it was the Panthers’ fourth victory ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 10:18 p.m. | Don Jensen

  • District girls basketball: Nature Coast shakes off recent turmoil

    BROOKSVILLE — The preseason favorite for the Class 5A, District 7 crown, Nature Coast has been dealing with many obstacles over the past month. But the team looked as sharp as ever during Wednesday’s semifinals. The host Sharks stamped their ticket to the state playoffs, cruising to a 60-33 victory ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 9:59 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • District girls basketball: Land O’Lakes, River Ridge to meet a third time

    NEW PORT RICHEY -— After sluggish starts Wednesday, the top seeds rolled to victory in the Class 5A, District 8 semifinals, with No. 1 Land O’Lakes topping Fivay 51-31 and host River Ridge dropping Tarpon Springs 60-26. The district championship will be decided Friday at 7 p.m. Land O’Lakes won ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 9:17 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Funeral set for East Lake swimmer Vance Sanders

    Funeral set for East Lake swimmer Vance Sanders There has been an outpouring of support within the East Lake community for swimmer Vance Sanders, who died Friday.  A candlelight vigil was held Saturday at Crystal Beach to remember him. Athletes have worn T-shirts in his honor during games this week. The basketball team planned a “white out” for ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Boys basketball: Tarpon Springs tops East Lake, but loses PCAC berth

    TARPON SPRINGS — Playing at its typical breakneck pace, Tarpon Springs got off to a big lead and cruised to a 64-37 win over East Lake in their annual rivalry game Tuesday night. For the Spongers (23-1), the victory secured the best regular-season record in school history. Tarpon Springs also ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:41 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • District girls basketball: AHN, Tampa Catholic reach 4A-10 final

    TAMPA — Academy of the Holy Names coach Chris Severini’s had one objective for his team going into Tuesday’s Class 4A, District 10 semifinal against Sarasota Booker: work quickly to seize momentum early. In two previous regular-season meetings with the Tornadoes, the Jaguars earned slim, single-digit victories. That wasn’t the ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:39 p.m. | Jeff Odom

  • District girls basketball: Palm Harbor University KOs St. Petersburg

    District girls basketball: Palm Harbor University KOs St. Petersburg ST. PETERSBURG — Two teams very familiar with each other went at it again Tuesday night with a trip to the Class 8A-8 district final at stake. St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor University had split a pair of regular-season games, the home team winning each. This time, the visiting Hurricanes ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:32 p.m. | Anthony Salveggi

  • Region girls soccer: Indian Rocks Christian 1, Shorecrest 0

    LARGO — Olivia Ross-Johnson scored the only goal with three minutes remaining in the second half to lift Indian Rocks Christian to a 1-0 win over Shorecrest in their Class A, Region 2 girls soccer quarterfinal. The Golden Eagles will face Naples Community School on Friday. Ross-Johnson’s goal came after ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:11 p.m. | Corey Long

  • Region girls soccer: Palm Harbor U. 1, East Lake 0 (OT)

    PALM HARBOR — For a split second, Kayla Mouton thought she missed. Three minutes into overtime against East Lake in Tuesday’s Class 5A region semifinal, Palm Harbor University earned a corner kick. Amanda Elsey sent a low, curling kick toward the near post. Nicole Filippelli settled the ball and passed ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:08 p.m. | Rodney Page

  • Region girls soccer: Largo 2, Robinson 1 (5-4 PKs)

    LARGO — The hex continues. Another battle between Robinson and Largo, another overtime contest, and like last year, the Packers eked out a 2-1 victory, taking the 3A region semifinal in penalty kicks, 5-4. The Packers will travel to Merritt Island Friday for the region final. The Knights (12-3-2) rode ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:59 p.m. | Chuck Frye

  • Region girls soccer: Newsome 4, Timber Creek 0

    LITHIA — In what would be Newsome’s final post-match huddle on its home field this year, coach Kelly Townsend had some closing words directed toward the immediate future. “Three more (matches) …three more. That’s all we got,” she said. Newsome kept its unbeaten season and Class 5A state championship hopes ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:54 p.m. | Don Jensen

  • Region girls soccer: Berkeley Prep 1, St. Petersburg Catholic 0 (OT)

    ST. PETERSBURG —  After 80 minutes of scoreless action between St. Petersburg Catholic and Berkeley Prep in a Class 2A region semifinal Tuesday,  it was only fitting that the hard-fought game would extend into overtime. Once extra time got underway, Berkeley (19-8-2) wasted little time applying pressure to SPC’s (12-4-0) ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:33 p.m. | Justin Miller

  • Region girls soccer: Plant City 1, East Bay 0

    PLANT CITY — The day before Tuesday’s Class 4A region semifinal against longtime rival East Bay, Plant City freshman Sammi Gutierrez practiced shooting at the net with her father. She shot high, low and worked on her hooks. That practice apparently paid off. For the second straight game Gutierrez had ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:14 p.m. | Steve Lee

  • Region girls soccer: Mitchell 2, Wiregrass Ranch 0

    TRINITY — In their two previous meetings, Wiregrass Ranch got progressively closer to Mitchell. Tuesday night gave the Bulls their last opportunity this season to close the gap. But as near as it came, Wiregrass could not get a ball across the goal line, and the Mustangs prevailed 2-0 in ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:01 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • Region girls soccer: Land O’Lakes 4, Springstead 2

    LAND O’LAKES — Land O’Lakes knows only one speed — full throttle. The Gators (22-1) had posted lopsided shutouts through the district and region playoffs. On Tuesday, however, they faced a taller test in district champion Springstead (16-2-1) and talented forward Samantha Betters.  The Eagles had the muscle to counter ...
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    Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 at 9:58 p.m. | Andy Warrener