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John C. Cotey's high school Top 10

Land O’ Lakes and Nikki Forcier, left, don’t have fond playoff memories when it comes to River Ridge.


Land O’ Lakes and Nikki Forcier, left, don’t have fond playoff memories when it comes to River Ridge.

Times columnist John C. Cotey takes on some of the hot high school happenings in his weekly Top 10.

1. Flash

The time it takes you to finish reading this sentence is the time it took Springstead's 103-pound wrestler Richie Bliss to …

(pin his opponent Friday at the Tony Ippolito Tournament … sorry, I only had four seconds).

2. Homecoming

I don't know if Reggie Roberts is the right guy for the Zephyrhills football program, but I'm already looking forward to him coaching against his daddy, Ricky Giles, at Pasco.

3. Times two

Wharton freshmen Shayla Cooper and Tesha Hanson dismantled Freedom on Friday in a budding New Tampa girls basketball rivalry. The good news for the Patriots? Cooper and Hanson will graduate in three years. Oh … wait.

4. Times two (the sequel)

Gibbs' Charlie Brooks and teammate Ke'Owen Walker had a 3-point shooting contest Friday at Largo, combining to make 11. The winner? The Gladiators basketball team, of course.

5. Foggy Night and the Phipps

Freshman Kelly Phipps scored twice to lead the Hurricanes to an eighth straight district title. It has now been 372 days since the Palm Harbor University girls soccer team last lost. Not that I'm counting or anything.

6. Riley Lester

Makes boys soccer team for first time as a senior. Plays little, scores less. Gets first goal in East Lake's conference championship victory. Sometimes, that is what high school sports is all about.

7. Sierra Lelii

If there is a case to make for the Seminole girls soccer team breaking through and winning a first state title, I think she might be it.

8. Five is enough

Dear FHSAA: We have made the district final five straight years. And we've lost to River Ridge five straight years. So, please, move them to another classification. Kthxbai. Sincerely, Land O'Lakes girls soccer.

9. Baby steps

After going 1-38 its first three seasons, the Spoto boys soccer team won its second game this season with the first shutout in school history, 2-0 over Tampa Bay Tech. Junior Brandon Tilden had 15 saves; seniors Rueben Arias and Jose Diaz scored the goals.

10. Tuesday

Boys basketball. Lakewood at Clearwater. If you happen to drive by the night before, I'll be the guy in the tent, first in line. Honk your horn and say hi.

John C. Cotey can be reached at

John C. Cotey's high school Top 10 01/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:25pm]
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