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CHEAT SHEET: Meet "Christmas Story" stars, coming to Clearwater



Boca Ciega High

The Wounded Warriors, military veterans and athletes who have suffered injuries in service, were trouncing the Gulfport Police and Fire team in the second game of a five-game exhibition volleyball match, a fitting turn of events for a Veteran's Day event. The year before, in Gulfport's first such match, the police and fire team won.

Then the announcer made a suggestion. There just happen to be some highly skilled volleyball players in the audience. Maybe we should ask them to play.

The next thing they knew, Canterbury School of Florida sophomore Sebastian Roca V and his mother, Paula Roca, were on either side of the net showing their stuff.

Sebastian Roca, who has played volleyball for about seven years, the last two competitively, has been invited to participate in a Level A1 (the highest level) High Performance Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. in December, one of 20 players selected out of 1,000 applicants. His mother plays on the American Volleyball Professional beach volleyball tour.

Son joined the police and fire team and played in every point, without rotating out. (Perhaps the police and fire folks knew they needed his help.) His mom rotated out like every other player on the veterans' team. Both Rocas played through the end of five games, with the Warriors taking the match, 3 games to 2.

The fierce competition still left everyone game for a beach photo op. The match "was a good way to support the community on a great day like today," Sebastian Roca said.


Girl on fire

In honor of Catching Fire, we've picked a handful of our favorites from the movie's soundtrack. Scan the code or go to to listen.

Devil May Cry The Weeknd

We Remain Christina Aguilera

Atlas Coldplay

Mirror Ellie Goulding

Everybody Wants to Rule the World Lorde

Gale Song The Lumineers

Who We Are Imagine Dragons

Elastic Heart Sia, ft. the Weeknd and Diplo


East Lake High/SPC

Popping tags in Tampa

The USF Sun Dome will be overflowing with Macklemore fans Saturday night, as the rapper and his wing man, Ryan Lewis, stop by. Hype is swarming this concert, so if you're going, tag your photos, videos or tweets with #tbtwo and you could be in next issue. Katie Lamont, East Lake High/SPC

Hillsborough High sophomore Rikianne O'Byrne was riding with classmate James Hsuing on their way to a swim meet recently. A police officer stopped them, but not because of the way Hsuing, a senior, was driving. We'll let O'Byrne pick up the story.

"We had come out of the school parking lot and we were driving on Osborne by my school when we freaked out because we realized a cop was behind us and trying to pull us over. (Hsuing) was freaking out because he didn't know what he was doing wrong.

"First the cop asked to see James' license and registration, and then he asked me for mine! (The officer) said I can't wear my seat belt under my arm. How he saw that from behind our car, I'll never know. We really didn't know who was going to get ticketed, me or James. He ticketed me $103.

"It was such a scary moment and I was supposed to get my license the next day! Everything worked out though, and I got my license."

O'Byrne's word of warning about wearing seat belts incorrectly: "It became a first offense about a month ago, so watch out!"

As told to Ellie Rodriguez, Hillsborough High

We're all about catching fire

Leading up to the highly anticipated release of Catching Fire, everyone's favorite starlet, Jennifer Lawrence, has been quite active in the media. J. Law, who is sporting a spunky new pixie cut, said during Yahoo's Fireside Chat that her hair grew to "that awkward, gross length," so she just cut if off; we think she rocks it. "This isn't how Katniss is going to look in the next movies, don't worry," she said. "I'm wearing a wig." Lawrence also recently called out a fellow star with a pixie cut whose name we promised we wouldn't mention this week, saying "For some disgusting reason, young sex sells." It's pretty simple to catch who she is talking about, and we applaud J. Law's sassy and candid opinions. Hannah Elliott, Robinson High

Not the only book/movie

On a completely opposite plane from Catching Fire but beloved as well is The Book Thief, a novel by Australian author Markus Zusak that has also been turned into a movie. The movie, which arrives on Tampa Bay area screens the day before Thanksgiving, involves a young girl sent to live with a new family during World War II in Nazi Germany. tb-two* staff

Ask him about his tongue

If the holiday classic A Christmas Story is part of your routine (and if it's not, it should be), take note: Some of the original film's stars will be at Robert's Christmas Wonderland this weekend to meet and greet and kick off the holiday season. Four actors will be at the store from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 2951 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater. On hand to celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary will be the actors who played Ralphie's little brother, Randy (Ian Petrella); bully Scut Farkas (Zack Ward); the bully's toady (Grover Dill) and flagpole-licking Flick himself (Scott Schwartz). Come to take photos, and ask Flick if he's ever been tempted to stick his tongue to a cold flagpole in real life. tb-two* staff

CHEAT SHEET: Meet "Christmas Story" stars, coming to Clearwater 11/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 6:29pm]
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