Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County boys soccer district preview

The number of quality soccer teams littering the county landscape has us salivating at the possible district tournament matchups. Take a look at what's in store this week:

The defending champions

Palm Harbor University limped into the playoffs last season, losing twice and tying twice in the six games before the district tournament. Then, the Hurricanes won seven straight in the postseason to capture the school's third state title.

This season, PHU again finds itself limping but for different reasons. Seven key players were injured and on the bench during the Hurricane Watch tournament 12 days ago.

The team's health has improved somewhat heading into the district tournament.

"We're still a little banged up, but we're mostly healthy," coach Alex Delgado said. "We should be ready to go by Wednesday."

Delgado said sophomore L.J. Kim will be available. Kim hasn't played since a tie against East Lake in the season's opening week. Also suiting up is senior Jeremy Paul, who recently separated his shoulder but will tough it out in his final go-round with the Hurricanes.

Here comes the Hammer

Assuming Countryside can get by its semifinal opponent, the Cougars will get a big lift with the addition of Nikolai Hammer to the lineup. Hammer was suspended for six weeks after a red card ejection in a loss at East Lake, but he is eligible to play should the Cougars make the district final.

Hammer can play in midfield, combining with leading scorer Jagger Martinez and Andrew Hitt to provide Countryside with one of the top midfields anywhere. Or he can move up top and form a potent duo with Derya Ekren. Either way, his presence could spark the Cougars.

"If we can get through that first district game," coach David Sica said. "Anything can happen. That's always a key for us."

Redemption for IRC?

Last season was particularly frustrating for Indian Rocks Christian. After a woeful start, the Golden Eagles were seeded last for the district tournament and matched with Class 2A power Tampa Prep in the opening round. IRC, though, after getting electrifying goal scorer Jonny Sitton back, entered that meeting with the Terrapins unbeaten in its last eight games and nearly pulled the upset, holding a 1-0 lead at halftime before falling 2-1.

IRC is a much more consistent side this season, and another showdown with Tampa Prep is likely, this time in the district final. Keep in mind the Terrapins own a 3-1 regular-season win over IRC.



District tournament schedules

6A-7

Tuesday: North Port (5) at Sara sota Riverview (4), 7; St. Petersburg (6) at Sarasota (3), 7; Wednesday: North Port/Riverview winner at Palm Harbor University (1), 7; St. Petersburg/Sarasota winner at Countryside (2), 7; Friday: Final, 7 (highest seed hosts)

5A-12 at Pinellas Park

Tuesday: Gibbs (4) vs. Boca Ciega (5), 7; Wednesday: Pinellas Park (1) vs. Gibbs/Boca Ciega winner, 6:30; Northeast (2) vs. Largo (3), 8:30; Friday: Final, 7

5A-11 at Clearwater

Monday: Clearwater (4) vs. Tarpon Springs (5), 6:30; Wednesday: Seminole (2) vs. Dunedin (3), 6; East Lake (1) vs. Clearwater/Dunedin winner, 8; Friday: Final, 7

4A-10

Tuesday: Dixie Hollins (5) at Braden River (4), 7; Osceola (6) at Lakewood (3), 7; Bayshore (7) at Lakewood Ranch (2), 7; Wednesday: Dixie Hollins/Braden River winner at Palmetto (1), 7; Osceola/Lakewood winner vs. Bayshore/Lakewood Ranch winner, 7 (highest seed hosts); Friday: Final, 7 (highest seeded Pinellas team hosts unless two Manatee teams are in the final, in which case highest seeded Manatee team hosts)

3A-10 at St. Petersburg Catholic

Wednesday: Tampa Catholic (2) vs. Clearwater Central Catholic (3), 6; Berkeley Prep (1) vs. St. Petersburg Catholic (4), 8; Friday: Final, 7

2A-10 at Shorecrest

Monday: Admiral Farragut (4) vs. Northside Christian (5), 5; St. Stephen's (1) vs. Keswick Christian (8), 7; Tuesday: Shorecrest (3) vs. Cambridge (6), 5; Out-of-Door (2) vs. Bradenton Christian (7), 7; Wednesday: Out-of-Door/Bradenton Christian winner vs. Shorecrest/Cambridge winner, 5; St. Stephen's/Keswick winner vs. Admiral Farragut/Northside winner, 7; Friday: Final, 7

2A-9 at Bishop McLaughlin

Monday: Bishop McLaughlin (3) vs. Academy at the Lakes (6), 3:30; Calvary Christian (4) vs. Hernando Christian (5), 5:30; Indian Rocks Christian (2) vs. Carrollwood Day (7), 7:30; Tuesday: Bishop McLaughlin/AATL winner vs. IRC/Carrollwood Day winner, 5; Calvary/Hernando Chr. winner vs. Tampa Prep (1), 7; Friday: Final, 7

Pinellas County boys soccer district preview 01/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  2. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here is the full 2017-18 schedule.

    The Lightning's Brayden Point celebrates a goal during a game against the Ottawa Senators in February in Tampa. [AP photo]
  5. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.