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Hillsborough: News and notes

Spoto starting quarterback JB Burgess and former Spartans teammates Alex Byers and Romando Purcell were arrested late Saturday night, charged with armed robbery.

Burgess, who turned 17 last month, was being held at Orient Road Jail as of late Tuesday on no bond. He is charged with armed robbery with a handgun and possession of a firearm with the serial number removed. Byers, 18, was released Tuesday morning on $50,000 bond. Purcell, 18, was released Monday afternoon on $15,000 bond. Byers and Purcell are charged with robbery with a firearm.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dep. Larry McKinnon, Burgess and Byers robbed a victim of cash and a cell phone at 206 Morningside Drive in Brandon on Saturday night.

They fled the scene in a vehicle driven by Purcell, McKinnon said, and were soon stopped at the intersection of Kings Avenue and Brandon Boulevard, where the victim identified them. The cash and cell phone were found in their vehicle and they were arrested, McKinnon said.

Spoto coach Dale Caparaso referred all inquiries to principal Clyde Trathowen, who said a hearing regarding Burgess' status with the school district will be held in a couple of weeks. Until then, he can't return to school.

"We care about the kids," Trathowen said. "We back them when they're good and we don't forget about them when they do something bad. But it's like I told the team, certain things happen and you have to act accordingly."

Burgess, Byers and Purcell were teammates on last year's team that went to the playoffs for the first time in Spoto's second year of varsity football. Burgess, a rising senior, completed 24 of 53 passes for 629 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 334 yards. He was slated to be the starter when Spoto opens the season Sept. 4 at Wharton.

Byers, a wide receiver, was Burgess' top target, catching a team-high 11 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns. Purcell was the Spartans' fourth-leading rusher with 319 yards on 61 carries for two touchdowns.

Brooks-DeBartolo star, Rangers cannot agree: Former Brooks-DeBartolo standout Reggie Williams Jr. could not come to terms with the Texas Rangers on a pro contract and will attend junior college so he can be draft eligible next year.

Williams, a USA Today all-USA first-team selection, enrolled Tuesday at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga., his father, former major-leaguer Reggie Williams Sr., said. Initially, Williams had orally committed to play at the University of Miami.

Williams was rated by Baseball America as having the best speed in the draft but fell to the 32nd round.

"The Rangers really liked him," Reggie Williams Sr. said. "They were great. The 32nd round was just too much between Reggie and everyone else. The impression I got from the other scouts is that they wanted to see a little more of him. So now they will. It will also be good for him to get away from me a little bit and grow up on his own."

Williams stole a county-high 61 bases in 63 attempts for the Phoenix, in its first season of varsity baseball. He hit .604 from the leadoff spot.

Alumni update: When we last heard from Jesuit grad Anthony Allen, he was starting at running back for Louisville. That was two years ago.

After leaving the Cardinals following the 2007 season, the 6-foot, 228-pounder transferred to Georgia Tech and sat out a year per NCAA rules.

Now a junior, he's expected to start at A-back in the Yellow Jackets' vaunted triple-option attack. That means he'll line up as a wing off the tackle.

In two seasons at Louisville, Allen scored 20 TDs. At Georgia Tech, however, he will share the backfield with heralded running back Jonathan Dwyer, a player many believe has All-America potential.

Meantime, another Jesuit alum, redshirt freshman offensive tackle Phil Smith, might also start for Tech this fall.

Little League: The South Tampa All-Stars junior softball team defeated the host team, Redmond/Eastlake, Wash., 13-2 in pool play at the Little League World Series in Kirkland, Wash. South Tampa faces a team from Maunabo, Puerto Rico, today as pool play continues.

Hillsborough: News and notes 08/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:39am]

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