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Holt leaves Clearwater, family tradition, for Berkeley

Jake Holt, the last in a long line of brothers who played football in Pinellas County, is transferring from Clearwater to Berkeley Prep, according to his father, Joe Holt Sr.

"We felt this move would give him more of an academic edge," Holt Sr. said.

Jake applied in the spring and found out he was accepted into Berkeley Prep in late July, Holt Sr. said. Jake will play tight end, defensive end and punter for the Bucs.

The switch in schools is a big change for the Holt family, which has been a fixture in the Clearwater High football program. Jake's brothers — Joe Jr., Jon and Jarrod — were all-conference players with the Tornadoes who went on to play for Division I programs. Joe Sr. was a longtime assistant coach at Clearwater and his wife, Abby, was a star athlete who graduated from the school.

"We have a lot of history at Clearwater and some great memories there," Holt Sr. said. "This is just a great academic opportunity for Jake."

PHU deals with injuries to starters

Two starters for Palm Harbor University were injured over the summer. One of them, junior Scott Santangelo, should be back before the Hurricanes' first regular-season game.

"He has a shoulder injury, stretched tendons I believe," PHU coach Pete Just said. "He probably won't be back for our preseason game, but he should be back by Week 1."

Santangelo was a starter last season at strong safety and is expected to be a key contributor at safety and linebacker.

"He's one of our best defensive players so we kind of put him where we need him," Just said.

The news isn't as good for Mike McNeely, who was expected to be the Hurricanes' top receiving threat. He broke his leg in early July at a noncontact football camp when he landed awkwardly after a catch. He won't be available until at least midway through the season.

"The cast is off and he's doing rehab and everything with it, but he's got a ways to go," Just said.

McNeely, a junior, had developed into the Hurricanes' most sure-handed pass catching option. During an outstanding spring performance, McNeely saw time at kick returner, cornerback and slot receiver.

"He's a key member of our offense," Just said. "He'll catch anything you want. I mean, you throw the ball up, he's got it."

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Preseason pigskin

We're ready to answer questions you have about the upcoming football season. Log onto blogs.tampabay.com/preps/ and ask us anything about Pinellas County teams. We'll post answers to selected questions on Wednesday.

Holt leaves Clearwater, family tradition, for Berkeley 08/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 22, 2008 4:00pm]

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