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Rodney Page, Times Staff Writer

Rodney Page

Rodney Page joined the Times as a full-time staff writer in 1996. Since then, Page has not only covered the preps sports scene in Pinellas County but also the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer and local professional golf tournaments on the PGA and Champions Tour. Page was also involved in creating a golf website that featured reviews of all public courses in Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Growing up in Clearwater, Page learned to love most outdoor activities, from boating and fishing to baseball and golf. He is the father of two children, who also love to spend time outdoors when not glued to their phones..

Phone: (727) 893-8810

E-mail: rpage@tampabay.com

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  1. Nature Coast running back DeShawn Smith charged with burglary

    Footballpreps

    DeShawn Smith, a record-setting running back at Nature Coast, was arrested Wednesday and charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling in Brooksville.

    According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report, Smith allegedly stole $150 and two pairs of Air Jordan sneakers from a Brooksville residence.

    Smith, 18, along with two juveniles and another unnamed male, were identified by the owner of the residence after viewing a neighbor's video surveillance. One of the juveniles is listed on the spring roster for Nature Coast's football team. Smith was released on $2,000 bond. ...

    Nature Coast's DeShawn Smith is a record-setting running back who had previously committed to Savannah State. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  2. Region baseball: Fort Myers Canterbury 6, Northside Christian 2

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — In order to beat Fort Myers Canterbury, a team ranked second in the state by MaxPreps, in Tuesday's Class 3A region final, Northside Christian had to play near perfectly. Instead, the Mustangs got behind early and could not recover in a 6-2 loss.

    "It was a great season," said sophomore shortstop/pitcher Corey Yawn. "Our whole lineup is basically sophomores and an eighth-grade catcher. We've got a bright future."...

  3. Region baseball: Dunedin 8, Boca Ciega 6

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Two weeks ago, in the district tournament final against Boca Ciega, Dunedin had a hard time getting hits in a one-run loss. On Tuesday afternoon in a Class 6A region semifinal, the Falcons had no such trouble.

    Dunedin pounded out 15 hits and held on in the final innings to defeat Boca Ciega 8-6. Colton Widdows pitched six innings and gave up seven hits to earn the win. Nathan Plumb pitched the seventh to earn the save....

  4. HomeTeam Huddle: Bailey Brooks, St. Petersburg Catholic's unlikely ironman

    Footballpreps

    At 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Bailey Brooks does not look like a football player. But the rising junior was all over the field last fall for St. Petersburg Catholic (1-9). He led the team in rushing with 456 yards. He added 179 yards receiving. On defense, he had a team-high 66 tackles. And he also returned kickoffs. The son of Baron head coach Shannon Brooks, Bailey is expected to be on the field for just about every play again this fall. ...

    St. Petersburg Catholic junior-to-be Bailey Brooks does a little bit of everything for his team, but he prefers to play defense.
  5. Region baseball game capsules

    Baseballpreps

    Region semifinals

    Games at 7 tonight unless noted

    Class 9A

    Palm Harbor University (18-11) at Alonso (22-6): Alonso has beaten PHU in all three meetings this season, including 3-1 in the district championship two weeks ago. The Hurricanes went all the way to Vero Beach in their region quarterfinal and won 5-1. Now comes a much tougher test, and PHU knows exactly what to expect. Alonso's Jordan Butler is 9-0 with a 0.47 ERA and has 73 strikeouts in 59 ⅔ innings. He has stymied the Hurricanes this season and he'll try to do it one more time. John Pichman has come on as the PHU's top starter. He need help offensively from players like Adam Jurco, A.J. Hrica, Riley Degnan and Brian Brown. ...

    Hillsborough first baseman Tim Elko, an Ole Miss commit, provides most of the Terriers' offense. (Octavio Jones, Times)
  6. Jeff Pincus steps down as Seminole baseball coach

    Blog

    Jeff Pincus has resigned as Seminole’s baseball coach. Pincus recently completed his fifth season as the Warhawks' head coach. In five years he had an 84-54 record. This season, Seminole was 12-14....

  7. One ace can lock up a team's state fate

    Baseballpreps

    It has been eight years, but Northside Christian coach Raul Hernandez still gets fired up thinking about it.

    In 2008, the Florida High School Athletic Association experimented with a new baseball playoff format. When teams reached the region final in each classification, they would have to win two out of three games to advance to the state tournament.

    Hernandez, then in his first year as the Mustangs' coach, got to the region final against Fort Meade. Northside Christian won the first game on a walk-off hit. ...

    Brandon High always has a chance when starting USF commit Antonio Velez, who is 9-2 with a 0.69 ERA and 141 strikeouts.
  8. Dodgers are nothing new for Rays' Corey Dickerson

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — With the Dodgers coming to town for a two-game series, most of the Rays will need extra study time to get used to pitchers and hitters they have not seen regularly. Rays OF Corey Dickerson is not one of them.

    Dickerson spent the previous three seasons with the Rockies. He has 56 career at-bats against the Dodgers and has a .286 average. Although he has never faced tonight's starter, former Rays LHP Scott Kazmir, he doesn't think facing a National League team will require a big adjustment....

    Rays DH Corey Dickerson is in his first year in the American League after three with the Rockies competing with the Dodgers in the NL West.
  9. Rays' Longoria feels right on verge of breaking out

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — His .242 batting average isn't what he would like, but Rays 3B Evan Longoria sees some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Longoria hit his second home run in as many games Sunday. He added a ninth-inning single and was 2-for-4 against the Blue Jays.

    "I'm hitting mistakes a little better," he said. "But I'd like them to come with runners in scoring position. It's all about timely hitting, and I haven't been doing a good job of that. Overall, we need to get better at that as a team."...

    Evan Longoria is tied for the team lead with five homers.
  10. Rays: Another slow start in April

    The Heater

    Today: off

    Up next: vs. Dodgers, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field. Probable pitchers: Rays — LH Matt Moore (1-2, 3.66); Dodgers — LH Scott Kazmir (1-2, 5.76)

    April powers?

    The Rays finished April with a losing record for the third time in the past four years. Here is their annual record at that point:

    Year W-L

    1998 12-14...

  11. Bullpen falters in ninth as Rays lose to Blue Jays (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — For the first eight innings of Sunday afternoon's Rays game against the Blue Jays, neither manager had much to do. Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi pitched seven solid innings, giving up two hits, although one was a fourth-inning home run.

    Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, celebrating his 25th birthday, was just as good. He went eight innings and gave up three hits, although one was a sixth-inning homer to Evan Longoria....

    Steven Souza Jr. reacts dejectedly after being called out on strikes for the second out of the ninth inning.
  12. Region baseball: Northside Christian 4, Fort Myers Evangelical Christian 1

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Christian's 4-1 Class 3A regional semifinal win over Fort Myers Evangelical Christian on Thursday went almost exactly as planned. The Mustangs wanted to get a lead early, get five strong innings from starter Brendan Tracy and let Corey Yawn close the game in the final two innings.

    Northside Christian scored all four runs in the first three innings, three in the first. Tracy scattered four hits and allowed only one run, a fourth-inning homer by Matt Soletti. And Yawn earned the save, allowing a hit and striking out three in two innings....

  13. Region baseball: Northeast 10, Armwood 0

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Northeast ended last week's district tournament with a mercy-rule win over Mitchell. On Wednesday, the Vikings started the Class 7A region tournament in similar fashion, this time 10-0 over Armwood in five innings. Northeast (23-6) pounded out 12 hits and scored runs in four of the five innings.

    "We've been swinging it well this year," Northeast coach Rob Stanifer said. "They've been very aggressive with the bats all season."...

  14. HomeTeam Huddle: Northeast high on junior varsity call-ups

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Normally, when a 2-8 team loses its starting quarterback and top receiver, optimism isn't very high. That's not the case at Northeast as it began spring practices this week.

    Last year's quarterback, junior Josh Belton, is not playing football this season. That's also the case for sophomore receiver Jalynn Williams. Coach Jeremy Frioud said Williams is no longer on the team, although he is still a student at the school. ...

    Keon Gulley
  15. Region baseball game capsules

    Baseballpreps

    Region quarterfinals

    Games at 7 p.m. Wednesday unless noted.

    Class 9A

    Palm Harbor University (17-11) at Vero Beach (21-2): Yes, Vero Beach's record is correct. The Indians have only lost twice all season, and the last loss was March 21, 6-5 in eight innings against Eau Gallie. Vero Beach has won 11 straight. Clearly, the Hurricanes must play a mistake-free seven innings on the road. One advantage is PHU's tough district, which includes Newsome, Alonso and Sarasota Riverview. The Hurricanes are used to playing talented teams. Riley Degnan, Adam Jurco, A.J. Hrica and John Pichman have all been swinging well lately. ...

    Derek Jaar (34) hits a homer to put the Vikings in the lead 2-1. The Northeast Vikings defeated the Mitchell Mustangs 12-1 to win the FHSAA District 7A-10 baseball final game at Northeast High School in St Petersburg FL on Friday evening, April 22, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times