More than a month into the local boys soccer season, East Bay coach Jonathan Drake has yet to see the Indians lose.
For the second time this season, Drake missed a game Tuesday. And for the second time, East Bay (6-2-1) lost. In his first year of law school at Stetson University, Drake missed Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Class 5A, District 8 leader Plant City due to a final exam.
He also had a final the same night as the Indians' recent 1-0 loss to district foe Newsome.
"The fact that the team performed so well without a head coach is a testament to their abilities," said Drake, a world languages teacher at East Bay. "I will be at all of the rest of the games for the season." ...
After dropping two of its first three, Wharton (5-3-1) has lost only once in the last month. Included in the recent surge was a 3-1 triumph against North Tampa heavyweight Gaither in which three different Wildcats scored.
"That was the first time I saw the 'team' come out and play," Wharton coach Scott Ware (pictured) said. "They played for each other; they had a great spirit during the game. Best intensity I've seen them carry from start to finish."
The 'Cats' lone blemish during that stretch, a 3-2 home loss to Brandon, coached by Ware's brother, Allen. ...
The following is the latest Hillsborough County boys and girls coaches' poll released Monday (records are through the end of last week):
Boys -- 1. Sickles (9-0-2), 2. Tampa Prep (7-0-0), 3. Gaither (7-1-0), 4. Jesuit (7-1-2), 5. Plant City (7-0-1), 6. Berkeley Prep (4-2-0), 7. East Bay (5-1-1), 8. Newsome (5-1-2), 9. Wharton (5-3-0), 10. Steinbrenner (7-1-1)
Girls -- 1. Plant (10-1-1), 2. Newsome (9-0-2), 3. Berkeley Prep (8-3-1), 4. Tampa Prep (8-2-2), 5. Bloomingdale (6-3-0), 6. East Bay (6-1-1), 7. Steinbrenner (7-0-2), 8. Freedom (6-3-3), 9. Wharton (5-5-2), 10. Alonso (5-5-2)