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Rodney Page, Times Staff Writer

Rodney Page

Rodney Page covers golf and community sports. He has worked at the Times since 1996.

Phone: (727) 893-8810

E-mail: page@tampabay.com

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  1. PGA Tour's Valspar Championship returns to Innisbrook next year

    Golf

    Next year's Valspar Champion­ship is March 10-13 at Innis­brook in Palm Harbor as part of the PGA Tour's 2015-16 schedule, released Thursday.

    The event on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course falls between the World Golf Championships series' Cadillac Championship at Doral and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.

    Jordan Spieth won this year's tournament in March.

    Among notable changes in the PGA Tour schedule: With golf returning to the Olympics in August in Brazil, the PGA Championship was moved from August to two weeks after the British Open in July....

  2. Rain saturates Tampa Bay area golf courses

    Golf

    Here's some advice for those hoping to get in a round of golf in the Tampa Bay area this week: Call first.

    Steady rain since late last week has rendered some area golf courses unplayable. Others have only nine holes open, and just about all are enforcing the cart path only rule. Fairways are a soggy mess, so be prepared to get wet.

    "We're beyond Squeegee,'' said Brian Cummings, head professional at Fox Hollow in Trinity. "There's nowhere for the water to go.''...

  3. FHSAA requires athletes to study up on concussions

    Footballpreps

    For the past five years, the Florida High School Athletic Association has made sure its coaches were educated about concussions. Now it's making sure student-athletes are as well.

    Beginning this season, all high school athletes in Florida must complete courses on concussions provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations before being eligible. The courses are free and available online. Once student-athletes complete the course, they and their parent or guardian must sign a form. They also will get a certificate of completion which must remain on file with the coach of each sport....

    MRI scan of former Plant High football player Richy Klepal's brain. Klepal sustained a fifth concussion as a senior that ended his football career. Beginning this athletic season, all high school athletes in Florida must complete courses on concussions provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations before being eligible to compete. [Courtesy Florida Orthopeadic Institute]
  4. Innisbrook's Copperhead Course gets a major sprucing up

    Golf

    PALM HARBOR — When Jordan Spieth returns to Innisbrook's Copperhead Course in March to defend his Valspar Championship title, he'll do it on a course that looks much like the one he played in 2015. At least that's what Innisbrook officials hope.

    Not long after Spieth and 143 of his fellow professionals completed Innisbrook's PGA event, the Copperhead Course was torn up as part of a $4.5 million restoration project. Starting on May 4, all 18 greens and fairways were stripped and will be replaced with new grass and a drainage system. Sand traps are being repaired and in some cases lengthened....

    A backhoe is poised for action behind the Snake Pit statue at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor.
  5. Coach Sue Tegarden's best team will be her last at Northwest Park

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG

    As the sun sets on another muggy July evening, Northwest Park's 8-year-old Cal Ripken League all-star team is wrapping up practice. The team's head coach, 52-year-old Sue Tegarden, gathers her sweaty troops behind third base and gives them a pep talk before releasing them to their parents.

    As the players wander off, Tegarden remembers one more thing.

    "If you leave your equipment in the dugout, I'm selling it on eBay," she says....

    Sue Tegarden, top right, is finishing her coaching career with Northwest Park’s 8-year-old Cal Ripken League all-stars. Front row from left are William McGarrigle, Brady Gomes, Adler Elsworth, Walter Wolfe and Carter Land. In the middle row are Turner Gross, Chris Martinez, Noah Rodriguez, Michael Marley and Somar Ramos. In back from left are coaches Bill Gross, Chris Wolfe and Tegarden.
  6. Recruiting roundup: Plethora of Division-I commitments

    Footballpreps

    Area football players have been committing to college programs left and right this summer. Here are a few recent pledges you may have missed:

    Admiral Farragut: Defensive back Craig Watts committed to the University of Wisconsin during a weekend visit to the school. Watts, who is a four-star recruit and considered the 16th best player at his position by 247Sports, has nearly 40 offers, including ones from Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama....

    Admiral Farragut’s Craig Watts likes Wisconsin.
  7. Rowdies form partnership with Brazil's Sao Paulo Football Club

    Soccer

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced Tuesday they have formed an international partnership with Brazil's Sao Paulo Football Club. As part of the agreement, the Rowdies will have access to Sao Paulo's training facilities during the offseason, will form technical and staff exchange programs, play exhibition matches at both teams' home sites and loan players back and forth.

    "This is a big deal,'' Rowdies owner Bill Edwards said. "This will help strengthen the Rowdies' vision of developing both youth and professional players abroad. It brings two iconic brands together.''...

    “This is a big deal,” Rowdies owner Bill Edwards says of having Sao Paulo FC as a partner.
  8. St. Petersburg's and Florida State's Jack Maguire set for U.S. Open

    Golf

    Jack Maguire couldn't stop checking his phone.

    The Florida State golfer had just finished his second 18 holes at a U.S. Open sectional qualifier June 8 at the Bear's Club in Jupiter. He had shot another 2-under 70 for a 36-hole total of 4-under 140. Then came the wait to see if his score was good enough to earn one of the qualifier's four U.S. Open spots from the field of 70.

    "I just kept checking my phone and hitting refresh," said Maguire, 20, a St. Petersburg High alumnus. "It was a long hour and a half."...

    For Jack Maguire, who recently completed his sophomore year at FSU, the U.S. Open will be his first major tournament. [Courtesy of Florida State University]
  9. Tampa Bay Times' all-county baseball teams

    Baseballpreps

    NORTH SUNCOAST

    Player of the Year: SS Corey Mumaw, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    Pitcher of the Year: RHP Nate Pearson, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

    Coach of the Year: Jeff Swymer, Bishop McLaughlin

    First team

    P Branden McLeod, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    P Carson Ragsdale, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin

    P Franklin German, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

    P Jakob Barker, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    C Kyle Frick, Jr., Mitchell...

  10. Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay baseball teams (with video)

    Baseballpreps

    Pinellas Pitcher of the Year: Tim Luth, Sr., Dunedin

    Season stats: 9-1, 0.87 ERA, 51 strikeouts in 56 innings

    Season highlight: Luth said there was no particular game that stood out. Instead, he said the highlight was being able to play with friends he has known since elementary school. "We've played with each other for years," Luth said. "It's a nice, tight group. Me and (Trevor) Jensen and (Justin) Glover all played Little League together. We got to play high school together and it was a lot of fun."...

    Our players and pitchers of the year, from left: Plant’s Kyle Tucker, Brandon’s Antonio Velez, Dunedin’s Tim Luth, Wesley Chapel’s Corey Mumaw, Bishop McLaughlin’s Nate Pearson and Indian Rocks Christian’s Dan Oberst.
  11. Orioles select River Ridge star

    Baseballpreps

    River Ridge outfielder Jason Heinrich said he expected to be drafted between the third and sixth rounds, so his fifth-round selection by the Orioles on Tuesday was not a surprise.

    "It was a relief to see my name," said Heinrich, who was taken 163rd overall.

    Prior to the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, he discussed with his family what he would do if he were to go high. He decided he will bypass a scholarship to UCF, sign with the Orioles soon and report to the Gulf Coast League in Sarasota. ...

    Jason Heinrich, the 163rd pick in the draft, is highly regarded for his raw power.
  12. St. Pete High's Blake Bryant is off to college, sans soccer cleats

    Preps

    As a freshman, Blake Bryant was determined to do it all. Aside from a full load of classes at St. Petersburg High, Bryant played football in the fall, soccer in the winter and baseball in the spring.

    It was a schedule that ate up just about every hour of every day. If he wasn't on a field, either playing football or club soccer, he was in a classroom or studying. When his final grades came out, Bryant got all A's except for B's in AP geography and English. ...

    Blake Bryant says he’s done with competitive soccer.
  13. Spring football: Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Footballpreps

    At Gibbs

    Score

    Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Spring game-breakers: Jesuit quarterback Daniel Boon played the first half and looked comfortable in the Tigers' high-tempo offense. He threw a 50-yard touchdown to Travell Harris to start the game. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 140 yards. … Harris, who Jesuit coach Matt Thompson calls the best athlete on the team, caught three passes for 107 yards. … Tigers running back Malik Davis gained 162 yards on nine carries, all in the first half. He scored on touchdown runs of 60, three and 10 yards. … Gibbs quarterback Mar'Quan Harris threw a 52-yard touchdown to Marquez Walls in the second quarter. He threw a 25-yard TD to Walls in the third quarter and also scored on a 10-yard run. Walls caught five passes for 149 yards....

  14. Spring football: Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Footballpreps

    At Gibbs

    Score

    Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Spring game-breakers: Jesuit quarterback Daniel Boon played the first half and looked comfortable in the Tigers' high-tempo offense. He threw a 50-yard touchdown to Travell Harris to start the game. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 140 yards. … Harris, who Jesuit coach Matt Thompson calls the best athlete on the team, caught three passes for 107 yards. … Tigers running back Malik Davis gained 162 yards on nine carries, all in the first half. He scored on touchdown runs of 60, three and 10 yards. … Gibbs quarterback Mar'Quan Harris threw a 52-yard touchdown to Marquez Walls in the second quarter. He threw a 25-yard TD to Walls in the third quarter and also scored on a 10-yard run. Walls caught five passes for 149 yards....

  15. Spring football: Hudson 27, Dixie Hollins 0

    Footballpreps

    At Hudson

    Score

    Hudson 27, Dixie Hollins 0

    Spring game-breakers: Hudson's Nate Munson was impressive in his first start at quarterback. Munson gained 85 yards on 14 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes. …Cobra running back Spencer Shoun gained 92 yards on 14 carries. …Dixie Hollins had a rough night offensively. Armando Bonnell started the game with a 22-yard run and ended with 43 yards on seven carries. ...