McAllister excited about trip to Tally
Demonte McAllister's weeklong trip to Florida State, which begins this weekend, will serve two purposes. First the standout Alonso defensive tackle, generally regarded as one of the state's top rising seniors, will participate in two separate camps. But he also plans to use his time in Tallahassee to check out the campus and see what the place has to offer besides football.
McAllister has been to Tallahassee. But he never has spent an entire week there.
"I'll be checking things out while I'm up there," McAllister said. "I'll be getting to know the place well."
McAllister (6 feet 3, 245 pounds) has narrowed his list of possible choices to nine: Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Southern California and Tennessee.
He hopes to trim that list to five by the fall, then take five official visits. It's likely FSU will land one of them. McAllister admits to being a longtime Seminoles fan, but has not attended a game there.
Valrico girl headed to Yankee Stadium
Raelynn Nichols, 13, of Valrico was selected to participate in this year's MLB Pitch, Run and Hit national finals during next week's All-Star Game festivities.
Nichols, an eighth grader at Mulrennan Middle School in Valrico, and her family will travel to New York and be a part of this year's historic midsummer's classic festivities in the final season at Yankee Stadium.
The finals are at 3:15 p.m. Monday as part of All-Star workout day. Nichols is one of three finalists in the girls 13-14 age division. As Yankee Stadium's gates open and fans enter for the Home Run Derby, the competition will be underway.
And winners of the finals will be introduced between batters of the Home Run Derby that night.
In year's past, the Pitch, Run and Hit competition had both boys and girls competing in baseball activities. But this season, the competition ran a softball pilot program for girls in 10 MLB markets.
To advance to the finals, Nichols, who also plays for the Florida Fire fast-pitch club softball team, had to win her local competition then place in the top three in a super-region competition.
A new day at CDS
Carrollwood Day School begins its inaugural season of 11-man football this fall. To get the Patriots prepared, coach Lane McLaughlin has them taking part this summer in a six-team 7-on-7 passing league at Jesuit.
"I call it our advanced training regimen," McLaughlin said. "It's like when Florida Atlantic plays Oklahoma. I don't care about the results, as long as we get better. We won't see teams of this caliber in the regular season."
So far, the results have been encouraging. CDS is 0-2, but played Blake and Leto tight in 18-12 losses. And that's not bad for a Patriots team that will compete as a Class 1B independent in the Sunshine Conference.
"The first time we played Blake, I think (the players) were a little nervous, but then they settled down and played well," McLaughlin said.
The passing league suits CDS' style. While competing at the six-man level last fall, they threw about 60 percent of the time, McLaughlin said.
Next up for CDS? This weekend's 7-on-7 passing league at USF.
Compiled by Times staff writers Eduardo A. Encina and Keith Niebuhr