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. Three questions with St. Pete High QB Austyn Causey

    Footballpreps

    With his 5-foot-10, 140-pound frame, shaggy brown hair and crooked smile, St. Petersburg High School sophomore Austyn Causey looks more like the team's starting kicker than the starting quarterback. Coach Joe Fabrizio calls him "Skinny.'' And sometimes he has to convince classmates that he actually does play on the football team. But do not judge Causey by his appearance. He is off to one of the best starts a St. Petersburg quarterback has had in a long time, throwing seven touchdown passes in four games. That's one more than the school has had in the past two seasons combined. The Green Devils were 4-0 and rolling into Thursday's district game at Palm Harbor University High....

    “I know everyone thinks St. Pete is a running team,” says QB Austyn Causey. He also talks of the team’s passing attack.
  2. Volleyball: PHU sweeps past St. Petersburg

    Volleyball Preps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Palm Harbor University didn't have a dominant player when the season began. Yet coach Tara Kuk, in her 12th season, was quietly confident that this could be one of her best teams.

    That's because the Hurricanes have talented players all over the court.

    The depth was on display Tuesday night when PHU swept past Class 8A, District 8 opponent St. Petersburg 25-7, 25-16, 25-11. They improved to 14-1 and it was their ninth sweep....

  3. North Suncoast Game of the Week: Nature Coast 17, Pasco 14, overtime

    Footballpreps

    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast and Pasco added another chapter to its growing rivalry. The previous three games were decided by a combined five points, so it's only fitting the fourth game went to overtime.

    In the extra time, the Sharks' Ronald Florkowski kicked a 20-yard field goal. Then Nature Coast held on fourth and goal from the 1 thanks to a Pasco fumble to secure a 17-14 win.

    It is the Sharks' fourth straight win in the series....

    Deshawn Smith heads to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown run on Nature Coast’s second play of the game to make it 7-0.
  4. Nature Coast hopes for four in a row vs. Pasco

    Footballpreps

    SPRING HILL — Quarterback Jamison Carnegie had the best seat in the house for Nature Coast's game against Pasco last year. Problem was, Carnegie did not want a seat.

    A week before, Carnegie broke his hip against Central and missed the rest of his sophomore season. He could only watch from the press box as the Sharks rallied from 19 points down to beat the Pirates 29-28.

    "It hurt a lot because it felt like I let down my team," said Carnegie, who recovered in time to play point guard for the basketball team. "I felt like there was nothing I could do for them. But everything happens for a reason. I just accepted it and prepared myself for this season."...

    Nature Coast quarterback Jamison Carnegie, eluding Springstead linebacker Martin Rivera, has rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns this season. …
  5. Four questions with minor-leaguer Brett Phillips

    Preps

    Former Seminole High School outfielder Brett Phillips recently completed his first full season in the Houston Astros' minor-league system. Phillips played 103 games for Class A Quad Cities and 27 games with Class A advanced Lancaster. He hit .310 with 29 doubles, 14 triples, 17 home runs, 69 RBIs and 23 stolen bases and was named the Astros' minor-league player of the year. Phillips, who was the Tampa Bay Times' 2012 Pinellas high school player of the year, received his award Sunday at Houston's Minute Maid Park. ...

    SP_354585_BORC_baseball (05/31/12) (St. Petersburg, FL) All county players of the year Brett Phillips, left, an outfielder with Seminole High and Michael Dunnigan, right, a pitcher at Tarpon Springs High.
  6. Sunday Morning Quarterback

    Footballpreps

    SMQ team of the week

    Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls have played varsity football since 2007 and had never beaten a Hillsborough County school. That changed with Friday's 13-0 win over Tampa Bay Tech. Christopher Faddoul stepped in at quarterback and also kicked two field goals to help the Bulls. "I've never felt like this before," Faddoul said. "This is a memory that will never be forgotten; this game will stay with me my whole life." Wiregrass coach Artie Meza put in a special set formation specifically for Faddoul that put him under center with regular quarterback Shane Bucenell at running back and backs in front of and on either side of him....

    Steve Dudley
  7. Football: Jesuit 20, Largo 18

    Footballpreps

    LARGO — When Jesuit coach Matt Thompson saw that Friday's forecast called for steady rain, his only hope was that it wouldn't be enough to cancel the game against Largo. The Tigers have a run oriented offense, while Largo likes to pass the ball.

    "This benefitted us. I'm not going to lie," Thompson said. "They like to throw the ball, and they couldn't run the offense they wanted to. I wanted to play this game. I was like, 'Please don't cancel it.' I knew it played into our hands."...

  8. Girls golf: Gibson's 68 helps Osceola win Mustang Invitational

    Preps

    SEMINOLE — Osceola's Haydyn Gibson made it clear from the beginning of Thursday's Mustang Invitational that she would be the player to catch.

    Gibson started her round with three birdies, survived a few bogeys and finished with a 3-under 68 at Seminole Lake Country Club to win individual medalist honors by three shots over Northside Christian's Alyssa Lamoureux.

    Osceola also took the team title with a score of 315. Cambridge Christian was second at 348 and St. Petersburg third at 353....

  9. Gibbs receiver D.J. Johnson embraces 'next man up' philosophy

    Footballpreps

    The last time D.J. Johnson played quarterback he was a middle-schooler on the St. Pete Lil' Devils youth league team. His teammate was Ryan Davis, the team's top running back who is now the starting quarterback at Lakewood High and a Division I prospect.

    "We always won the city championship," Johnson said.

    Johnson, now a junior at Gibbs, thought his quarterbacking days were behind him. He attended Admiral Farragut last year and was a reserve back. This year at Gibbs (1-2) he started as a slot receiver, at least for the first game....

    D.J. Johnson played QB with the  St. Pete Lil’ Devils league.
  10. Three questions with St. Petersburg High RB Darius Miller

    Footballpreps

    St. Petersburg High School junior running back Darius Miller had a breakout game last Friday against Lakewood. He rushed for 121 yards and scored two touchdowns, caught three passes for 114 yards — including a 70-yard touchdown — and also ran back a kickoff 83 yards for a score. Darius helped the Green Devils improve to 3-0 with a 39-22 win over Lakewood. He talked about his performance and the team after the win....

    St. Pete High School running back Darius Miller scored four touchdowns in the 39-22 triumph over Lakewood last week.
  11. Volleyball: Seminole tops East Lake in five

    Volleyball Preps

    EAST LAKE — Seminole started its season by winning five of six matches. But Warhawks coach Dexter Rogers was curious to see how his team would play against a quality opponent in front of a hostile crowd.

    Tuesday night against East Lake, he got his answer.

    The Warhawks clawed their way to an 18-25, 25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 16-14 win over the Eagles.

    "We have not been battle tested," Rogers said. "I wanted to see how they would play in an environment like this. We played well at times but at other times we lost concentration."...

    Shea Hamilton, center, and her CCC team will play in another strong tournament.
  12. Top boys golfers set for Outback Invitational

    Preps

    Outback Invitational

    When/where: Monday, East Lake Woodlands Golf Club

    Time: 10:30 a.m. shotgun start

    Format: 18-hole stroke play, top four scores from each school are counted toward team score.

    Schools: Mitchell (black team), Mitchell (gold team), Sarasota Riverview, St. Petersburg, Sebring, Lakewood Ranch, Clearwater Central Catholic, Jesuit, Windermere Prep, Calvary Christian, Lakeland George Jenkins, Tampa Catholic, Berkeley Prep, Palm Harbor University, Spruce Creek, West Orange, Archbishop McCarthy, Osceola, Orlando Dr. Phillips, East Lake...

  13. Shorecrest not ready to call it quits on the season

    Footballpreps

    The fate of Shorecrest's football season will be a week-to-week decision.

    The Chargers have 14 players available, which is enough to play their home opener against Sarasota Out-Of-Door Academy on Friday. But if the team falls below 13 available players, the Chargers will likely forfeit the season.

    "We're trying to get through the season," athletic director Tripp Welborne said. "We've decided that if we have under 13 players it's not fair to the kids and we can't continue to play. We never expected to have this few players, but due to injuries and other things we're forced into this situation."...

  14. Little flash, but plenty of focus for St. Petersburg

    Footballpreps

    Not much has changed since the last time Lakewood and St. Petersburg met. In fact, it was exactly a year ago tonight when the Spartans defeated the Green Devils 28-3.

    Last year, both teams had played two games prior to facing each other. Lakewood lost a close game to Countryside and rebounded with a narrow win over Palmetto. St. Petersburg convincingly won games over Gibbs and Clearwater....

    “They always have athletes, so it’s not like you only have to stop (Lakewood quarterback Ryan Davis),” St. Petersburg free safety Jake Moore, left, says. “But you do have to contain him and be more responsible about what we do.”
  15. St. Petersburg High star athlete will head to the University of Florida early

    Volleyball Preps

    In late May, St. Petersburg High School volleyball coach Alex Sevillano held a meeting for new and current players. Before she entered the room, she prepared herself for the reality that junior Kaylan Marckese would not be attending.

    Kaylan, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter, has been a dominant player since she was a freshman. But as good as she is at volleyball, she's an even better goalkeeper. So good, in fact, that she is going to graduate a year early and play soccer at the University of Florida next year. ...

    Kaylan Marckese, co-captain of and hitter for the Green Devils varsity volleyball team, huddles with teammates at a game against Northeast High School last Thursday.