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  • Longtime Land O'Lakes coach Kris Keppel dies

    Longtime Land O'Lakes coach Kris Keppel dies Kris Keppel, who coached Land O’Lakes High School’s cross country teams for 21 years, died Sunday after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 53. Mr. Keppel died at Gulfside Hospice in Zephyrhills, where he was admitted Saturday after his family was no longer able to take care of ...
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    Sun. Jan. 25, 2015 at 9:26 p.m. | Bob Putnam

  • Boys basketball: Plant edges Shorecrest at Derrick Brooks Invitational

    TAMPA — Peter Connelly hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Jalen Williams blocked Shorecrest’s last-second winning attempt as Plant beat the Chargers 54-53 in the tightest game of the day at the Derrick Brooks Invitational. Saturday’s action gave six Hillsborough County schools the chance to face outside competition. ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 11:17 p.m. | Darek Sharp

  • District boys soccer: Universal Academy wins A-5 for first district title

    SPRING HILL — Things didn’t look promising for Universal Academy as the Class A, District 5 championship game closed in on halftime, but all of the momentum seemed to change on one long shot. In only their second season in district play, the Falcons captured the first district title in ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 7:32 p.m. | Derek J. LaRiviere

  • 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

  • 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
  • HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for Jan. 17-23

    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, Jan. 17 through Friday, Jan. 23. The winners get a T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in ...
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    Sat. Jan. 24, 2015 at 11:54 a.m. | Times Staff

  • 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: 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: 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Region girls soccer: Plant City 1, Osceola 0

    PLANT CITY — Four-time district champion Plant City was in a familiar spot, hosting a team from Seminole in a region quarterfinal. Unlike last season, however, the Raiders’ season did not end with a home loss in that round. Plant City, which last year lost to Seminole, defeated Osceola 1-0 ...
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    Thu. Jan. 22, 2015 at 10:42 p.m. | Steve Lee

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