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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. State girls soccer: 'Two bad breaks' hurt Newsome

    Preps

    MELBOURNE — Newsome's exit from the Class 5A state tournament Friday night came down to a goal that could have been disallowed and a goal that was.

    Miami Lourdes scored in the 14th minute after poking a shot from Wolves' goalkeeper Madison Rowe, then withstood constant second-half pressure to hang on for a 1-0 win at Melbourne High School. Newsome scored a goal in the 42nd minute on a free kick. But after a discussion by the referees the goal was disallowed because it was an indirect kick. The refs ruled the ball did not touch another player before it went in the goal....

    Newsome's Lauren Evans (2), right, advances the ball defended by Lourdes' Niki Molina (13) during high school Class 5A Semi-final State Championship girls soccer action at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla., Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (Gary Lloyd McCullough, Special to the Times)
  2. State girls soccer: Early deficit haunts East Lake

    Preps

    MELBOURNE — For the first eight minutes of East Lake's Class 4A state semifinal against Niceville, both teams appeared evenly matched. Both had a few runs at goal, both made key defensive stops.

    Then things fell apart.

    East Lake gave up three goals in a nine-minute span and was never able to recover in a 4-2 loss at Melbourne High School. The Eagles (19-4-1) have never won a state semifinal, also losing in 2008 and 2013. Niceville (21-0) will make its first appearance in a state final....

    East Lake's Emily Cady (7) advances the ball against Niceville during high school Class 4A Semi-final State Championship girls soccer action at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.  Niceville won 4-2. (Gary Lloyd McCullough, Special to the Times)
  3. Seminole's Brandon Walton isn't soft and cuddly any longer

    Blog

    When Seminole coach Chris Miller first saw Brandon Walton as a sophomore, he never thought he would watch him sign a college scholarship. Not only did Walton sign on Wednesday, but he signed with Division I-A Florida Atlantic.

    “When I first met him he was a teddy bear," Miller said. “But by the end of his sophomore year it just kind of clicked and he became a weight room fanatic. He’s gotten better and better. He’s a big lineman, but he’s also an athlete. He can move. I really think he can play in the pros someday."...

    Brandon Walton, a Florida Atlantic commit, became focused on football when he realized it could be his college future.
  4. Pro Wells becomes Dixie Hollins' first D-I football recruit in a decade

    Blog

    When it comes to Division I-A football signings, Dixie Hollins is not usually a busy place. But on Wednesday, the school’s auditorium was filled with students administrators, family and friends as Pro Wells signed his national letter of intent with Marshall University in West Virginia.

    Wells is the first D-I football signee from Dixie Hollins since quarterback/defensive back Josh Brown signed with Iowa in 2006. Wells, who will likely play receiver at Marshall, picked the Thundering Herd over schools like Iowa State, South Carolina, USF and UCF....

    Pro Wells may be able to play football and basketball at Marshall.
  5. Admiral Farragut's Craig Watts 'USF 100 percent'

    Blog

    Craig Watts admitted he only got a few hours sleep on the eve of national signing day. That’s understandable after all of the ups and downs in his recruiting process.

    First there was a trip to Wisconsin. He was sure Madison was the place for him and he committed to the Badgers. But after thinking about it, he decided  to re-open his recruiting process.

    Then came a trip to Colorado, after which he was sure Boulder would be his new home town. But in December he started to re-think that decision and thought it would be best to decommit yet again....

    Admiral Farragut's Craig Watts and his mother, Erika Watts, smile after Craig signs paperwork with USF.
  6. Boys soccer: Shorecrest beats St. Petersburg Catholic on penalty kicks

    Preps

    ST. PETERSBURG — As Drew Zolper prepared to take Shorecrest's fifth, and potential winning, penalty kick against St. Petersburg Catholic, he knew he had to do something different. Zolper already made a penalty kick in regulation, which was the Chargers' only goal.

    He figured doing the same thing in overtime wasn't going to work.

    "When I walked up to the first one I looked to the right and I already knew I was going to the left," Zolper said. "When I did the second one I looked right and went right."...

  7. Lydia Ko, in Ocala this week, sets course toward LPGA greatness

    Lpga

    When thinking about the best to ever play on the LPGA Tour, Lydia Ko may not be among the first names that come to mind. But she probably should be.

    Since joining the Tour in 2014 at age 17, Ko has won 10 tournaments and one major (the 2015 Evian Championship). She has pocketed a career total of $4,889,835, and that's in just more than two years.

    Last season alone, Ko won five tournaments, finished second three times and earned $2.8 million more than any other player. And she doesn't turn 19 until April 24....

    Lydia Ko
  8. State girls soccer: Four make pitch for titles

    Preps

    It was almost exactly a year ago when Land O'Lakes met Plantation American Heritage in the Class 3A state championship game in Melbourne. The Gators lost 2-1 in overtime.

    The teams play each other again Wednesday, this time in the 3A state semifinals. In fact, the other two teams in last year's final four, Ponte Vedra and Merritt Island, also made it back this season.

    This time, the Gators (22-2) hope to bring home a state championship trophy, which would be their first since 2003....

    Land O'Lakes and Holy Names were good when they played in December. Now they're two of four local teams at state. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  9. Girls soccer: East Lake 4, Naples Gulf Coast 3

    Preps

    EAST LAKE — Nursing a two-goal lead in the final minutes of its Class 4A region final against Naples Gulf Coast on Friday, East Lake was hoping desperately to hear the referee's final whistle. After allowing a goal and almost giving up another in the waning seconds, the Eagles narrowly finished off a 4-3 win.

    East Lake (20-3) will play Niceville in next week's state semifinals in Melbourne. This is the Eagles' first appearance at the state tournament since 2013. They have never won a championship....

  10. Girls basketball: Calvary Christian, Indian Rocks Christian advance

    Preps

    INDIAN ROCKS — With just over one minute left in the first quarter of Calvary Christian's Class 3A, District 8 semifinal against Northside Christian, Warriors coach Brooke Sibert emptied her bench. Her team led by 26 points, so the outcome was not in doubt.

    It was that kind of night.

    Not only did the top-seeded Warriors cruise to a 68-15 win over the Mustangs, but No. 2 seed Indian Rocks Christian also had little trouble in its 47-28 semifinal win over Shorecrest. ...

  11. Girls basketball: Nothing's easy for top seeds Clearwater, Osceola

    Preps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Clearwater and Osceola, the top two seeds in Class 6A, District 9, advanced to the championship game, but both had to sweat it out in Wednesday's semifinals.

    Clearwater trailed fourth-seeded Boca Ciega by 17 points after the first quarter before finally securing a 48-43 win.

    Osceola scored the final six points and survived two missed 3-point shot attempts by Northeast in the last seconds to narrowly win 32-29....

    Clearwater High School's Cheyanne Williamson (10), center, snatches a rebound from Boca Ciega High School's Hannah Andrews (25), left, and Janiya Newsome (54) during Wednesday's (1/27/16) girls basketball, district semifinal game at Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg.
  12. Girls soccer: Palm Harbor University 2, Wharton 0

    Preps

    PALM HARBOR — It wasn't easy, but Palm Harbor University managed to defeat Wharton three times in the same season.

    On Tuesday night in a Class 5A region semifinal, the Hurricanes got a goal from Alivia Gonzalez in the 68th minute and added another from Kathryn Huapaya in extra time to defeat the Wildcats 2-0. The Hurricanes (18-1-1) also defeated Wharton 4-1 in the regular season and 2-1 in the district final two weeks ago....

  13. Cambridge Christian tackles public prayer before games

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — Cambridge Christian had a banner football season in 2015. The Lancers went undefeated in the regular season for the first time and made the Class 2A state final. Only one thing tarnished the experience for the school, and its officials are demanding that the Florida High School Athletic Association make reparations for what they say was an impeding of the school's religious freedom. ...

    Cambridge Christian and Carrollwood Day players pray after a game in October. There is no ban on student-led prayer.
  14. Two sports, zero problems for Pasco's Jordyn Kadlub

    Preps

    DADE CITY — Pasco High's girls soccer team looked like it was in for the dreaded "rebuilding season."

    Ashton Brock, who scored 41 goals as a senior, graduated. The Pirates had to find a way to fill the scoring void or it would be a long year.

    Enter Jordyn Kadlub.

    A freshman, Kadlub was an accomplished club player for her team in Wesley Chapel. But her main sport is softball. The pitcher already has committed USF....

    Jordyn Kadlub has 57 goals in her first varsity season.
  15. Boys soccer: Osceola 5, Dunedin 1

    Preps

    GULFPORT — Osceola left no doubt as to which team is tops in Class 3A, District 10. The Warriors jumped on Dunedin early and eased their way to a 5-1 win. They had five players score goals, four of which came in the first half.

    Osceola (16-2-1) has outscored its opponents 81-13. In district play, including the tournament, that margin is 49-7.

    "We have done well this season getting early leads in games," Osceola coach Al Sousa said. "We have a specific system where we have a target player and then dump it wide right away and look for the diagonal run. The kids did very well moving the ball quickly, finding the early pass and finishing it off."...