Monday, June 25, 2018
Hometeam

Young Pinellas Park ready for the postseason

Pinellas Park is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. This could be the start of a trend.

The Patriots start 13 sophomores, including quarterback Brandon Coppola (676 passing yards), running back Lawrance Toafili (school-record 1,583 yards, 21 touchdowns) and safety Cody Willoughby (five interceptions). There are 25 sophomores on the 47-man roster.

"And our junior varsity was 10-0," coach Kenny Crawford said.

Pinellas Park earned a No. 3 seed and will open the playoffs at home against No. 6 Palmetto. The Patriots officially lost only two games this season, to Lakewood and Countryside. They lost to East Lake on the field but the Eagles had to later forfeit the game for using an ineligible player.

The Patriot players said they didnít know what kind of a team they were until a season-opening win over River Ridge.

"We were young but I thought we could do this," Willoughby said. "I think when we beat River Ridge that was pretty impressive and we thought we had a pretty good team."

Coppola, a first-time starter, saw promise during preseason practices.

"I knew we had the potential when the season started," he said. "It was just a matter of us coming together."

Which they did. The Patriots get at least one extra game, and they are not taking this week for granted.

"This is a whole different environment now," senior cornerback Rodney Silvis said. "Weíre usually pretty loose but this week is more serious."

Playoff football

All games 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $8.

REGION QUARTERFINALS

7A

No. 6 East River at No. 3 Plant

No. 7 Gaither at No. 2 Viera

No. 5 Wiregrass Ranch at No. 4 Lake Nona

No. 8 St. Petersburg at No. 1 Venice

No. 7 Bloomingdale at No. 2 Tampa Bay Tech

No. 6 Palmetto at No. 3 Pinellas Park

6A

No. 6 Barron Collier at No. 3 Largo

No. 8 Clearwater at No. 1 North Fort Myers

No. 7 Chamberlain at No. 2 Mitchell

No. 8 Sebring at No. 1 Armwood

No. 5 Hillsborough at No. 4 Lake Gibson

5A

No. 6 Jesuit at No. 3 Jefferson

No. 7 Tarpon Springs at No. 2 Lakewood

No. 6 Clay at No. 3 Hernando

No. 7 River Ridge at No. 2 Zephyrhills

No. 8 Nature Coast at No.1 Baker County

REGION SEMIFINALS

3A

No. 4 Tampa Catholic at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic

No. 3 Calvary Christian at No. 2 Lakeland Christian

2A

No. 4 Southwest Florida Christian at No. 1 Cambridge Christian

No. 3 Admiral Farragut at No. 2 Indian Rocks Christian

No. 4 Zephyrhills Christian at No. 1 Victory Christian

Comments
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Published: 06/23/18
Kevin Knox brushes off crowd reaction to take center stage

Kevin Knox brushes off crowd reaction to take center stage

New York Knicks fans are a boisterous bunch. They voice their displeasure at just about everything. Four years ago, the fans booed the team's first-round selection of Kristaps Porzingis, who became an all-star this past season.So it was widely assume...
Published: 06/22/18
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls basketball team

Hillsborough Player of the year: Kaliah Henderson, Jr., RobinsonWhy we picked her: Henderson is the type of player opponents know they have to stop. That has proven easier said than done. The Knights went 22-3 and that record would be much worse with...
Published: 06/22/18
Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

More than a year ago, Kevin Knox stepped across the stage at the Straz Center to receive his high school diploma.On Thursday, the former Tampa Catholic star was on basketball's biggest stage as he fulfilled his lifelong goal of making the NBA.Knox wa...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Tampa Bay Timesí all-North Suncoast girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-North Suncoast girls basketball team

North Suncoast Player of the Year: India Lewis, Sr., FivayFirst teamG Jayde Doucette, Sr., River RidgeG Reagan Huden, Sr., SpringsteadF Andrea Wallace, Sr., SunlakeG/F Ices Utegg, So., River RidgeF/C Seytia Hill, Jr., Weeki WacheeSecond teamG Lyndsey...
Published: 06/21/18
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: Kaliah Henderson, Jr., RobinsonFirst teamG Brylee Bartram, Jr., Seffner ChristianG Jacquelyn LeVay, Sr., AlonsoF/G Tarriyonna Gary, So., Carrollwood DayF Tiasia McMillan, So., Carrollwood DayC Kendal Cheesman, Fr., PlantSecond tea...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bayís highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bayís highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Published: 06/20/18
Tough questions are mere childís play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere childís play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Published: 06/20/18
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: November Morton, Sr., CountrysideFirst teamG Paris Williams, Sr., LakewoodG Summer Quigley, Jr., East LakeF Toi Smith, Sr., LakewoodF/G Carrie Lee, Sr., ClearwaterC Macey Zeh-Arndt, So., LakewoodSecond teamG Misha O'Neal, Sr., Cou...
Published: 06/20/18
Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Largo High defensive back Solomon Brown had plenty of college options with offers from 20 Division I-A schools. Still, the three-star recruit did not need to go through a prolonged process to figure out where he wanted to go.Two weeks ago, Brown comm...
Published: 06/19/18