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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. Region baseball: Sarasota 5, Steinbrenner 3

    Baseballpreps

    SARASOTA — Steinbrenner's chance at a second straight Class 8A state championship ended with one bad inning Tuesday night. The Warriors led by two runs heading in the bottom of the fifth, but they gave up four and never recovered in a 5-3 loss to Sarasota.

    Sarasota (23-9) will play in next week's state semifinals for the second time in three years. Steinbrenner ends its season 18-10....

  2. HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Tyler Vogel and Tia Williams

    Softballpreps

    Tyler Vogel Dunedin

    Vogel, a sophomore, has stepped up as the Falcons ace when they needed him. Vogel (7-1 with a 1.08 ERA and has 44 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings) has been especially good after the Dunedin Spring Tournament, which the Falcons won.

    Vogel has helped the Falcons reach the Class 6A regional final for the second straight season. In last week's regional semifinal against Lake Wales, Vogel threw a complete-game four-hitter in a 6-2 win....

    Tia Williams of Land O’Lakes is our HomeTeam Hot Shot female winner for the week of May 13-19.
  3. Region final baseball capsules

    Blog

    All region finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with exception of Jesuit, which plays Friday.

    Class 9A

    Orlando Timber Creek (21-7-1) at Alonso (22-7): Ravens senior left-hander Jordan Butler has been good all season, but he has kicked it into another gear in the playoffs. In the district semifinal against Palm Harbor University, Butler pitched a complete game and allowed four hits and two runs in a 3-2 win. Against Treasure Coast in the region quarterfinals, he allowed only one hit in a 10-0, six-inning win. And that was followed by a seven-inning, two-hit performance in a 1-0 win over Vero Beach. Oh, and he got the game-winning hit. Clearly, there are other players. Jared DeSantolo is hitting .352 with 19 RBIs. Junior Franco Aleman is a good second arm with a 5-2 record and a 1.35 ERA. But Butler has been the difference maker for Alonso. Timber Creek got a good start from junior Bret Neilan in last week’s 2-0 win over Oviedo. He scattered four hits and struck out 10. The Wolves don’t seem to have an overpowering offensive lineup. They hit .290 as a team, led by seniors Cameron Meehan (.374, 18 RBIs) and Arnie Rulz (.330, 13 RBIs). This will be Timber Creek’s first road game in the region tournament.  ...

    Alonso's Jordan Butler has done damage with his arm and his bat this postseason.
  4. Spring football: East Lake 17, River Ridge 0

    Blog

    East Lake 17, River Ridge 0

    (Junior varsity played fourth quarter)

    Spring game-breakers: After a two-hour lightning delay, the game finally kicked off at 9:30 p.m. In the first half, the Eagles were more prepared than the Knights. East Lake’s Ian Woodward kicked a 45-yard field goal in the first quarter, made even more impressive because both teams played full rush on special teams. … On his first carry of the game, Eagle running back Isaac Gibbs scored on a 13-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. It was his only carry of the first half. Gibbs ended with 40 yards on four carries. … East Lake’s Jared Pratt scored on the next possession when he returned a fumble 30 yards. … East Lake sophomore Tucker Gleason showed his versatility. He caught four passes for 63 yards and also completed two passes for 44 yards. … Jackson Rowland was East Lake’s starting quarterback. He was 4-for-8 for 63 yards, all four passes to Gleason. … Knights quarterback D.J. Mann split time with Devin Gallo. Mann rushed four times for 28 yards but completed only 1 of 6 passes for minus-5 yards. … Gallo was 4 of 5 for 26 yards. River Ridge had 21 passing yards in three quarters....

    Royal Knights' WR Mikey Roussos (5) makes a kick return during the East Lake at River Ridge Spring Football Game on Friday, May 19, 2017.
  5. HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for May 13-19

    Blog

    Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, May 13 through Friday, May 19. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.

    Female nominees

    Taylor Bump, softball, Canterbury: The Michigan signee scored the tying run and had the game-winning hit in a 2-1 victory over two-time defending champion Aucilla Christian in the Class 2A state title game....

  6. Kayaking trip honors legacy of late Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin (w/video)

    Outdoors

    Before the sun rose Friday, Darry Jackson, Aaron Freedman and George Stovall gathered in Pinellas Point in St. Petersburg to pay tribute to late Tampa Bay Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin, who on May 19 last year died after suffering a heart attack at 55.

    "The crew," as the foursome was known, went on numerous kayak and paddleboard adventures throughout Florida. As darkness broke, Jackson, Freedman and Stovall kayaked in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge and dropped flowers into the water in honor of Tomalin and his family: wife Kanika, son Kai and daughter Nia....

    Members of "The Crew," from left, Aaron Freedman, Darry Jackson and George Stovall (obscured) share a hug moments after paddling together off St. Petersburg on Friday (5/19/17) to honor late Tampa Bay Times Outdoors Editor Terry Tomalin. The trio accompanied Tomalin on many of his paddling adventures throughout Florida during his tenure at the Times. Tomalin died one year ago after suffering a heart attack. He was 55. Tomalin had been at the North Shore Aquatic Center in St. Petersburg with his 14-year-old son Kai; the two were taking a life guarding test together. He collapsed and never regained consciousness. The larger-than-life outdoors editor once lived with witch doctors in the wilds of Amazonia, sailed to Cuba, swam around Key West and traveled Florida and the world to take readers on extraordinary adventures.
  7. Spring football: Pinellas Park 14, Largo 10

    Footballpreps

    Pinellas Park 14, Largo 10

    Spring game-breakers: Largo led 3-0 after three quarters. Both coaches agreed to play non-starters and junior varsity players in the fourth quarter. Pinellas Park scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. … Largo used two quarterbacks during the varsity quarters. Kyle Wisniewski and Kameron Greene shared possessions at quarterback. Wiesnieski threw four times and completed one pass for 13 yards. He also ran for 7 yards. Greene threw five times and completed two passes for 43 yards and an interception. … Largo sophomore lineman Jaquaze Sorrells, who has offers from Florida and Alabama, clogged up the line and made it hard on Pinellas Park backs. He also punted. … The only score of the game played by varsity starters was a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter by Jesus Montes. Teams were not allowed to rush on field goals or punts. … Pinellas Park used nine different rushers and gained a total of 65 yards. Ethan Blanchard led varsity runners with 20 yards on eight carries. … Sophomore Brandon Coppola was Pinellas Park's main quarterback. He was 1-for-4 for 5 yards. … Patriots defensive lineman Nicholas Syms had a sack and two tackles for a loss. ...

    Pinellas Park High School RB Ethan Blanchard (27) accelerates off the line of scrimmage against Largo High School during spring football at Pinellas Park 6305 118th Ave, in Largo, Thursday evening (05/18/17).
  8. Region baseball: Sarasota 3, East Lake 2 (eight innings)

    Baseballpreps

    SARASOTA — After two days of rain delays and a third straight extra-inning game, East Lake's season came to a disappointing end late Wednesday night. The Eagles held a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning against Sarasota in the Class 8A region semifinal, but gave up two runs to lose 3-2.

    Sarasota (22-9) will host Steinbrenner on Tuesday in the region final. East Lake ends its season 22-6....

  9. HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Callie Turner and Collin Booten

    Softballpreps

    Callie Turner Land O'Lakes

    Turner understood there would be pressure replacing Shannon Saile as Land O'Lakes' ace.

    After all, Saile led the Gators to the state semifinals last season and was named a high school All-American. Her retired jersey is framed and placed in a prominent spot on the press box.

    Saile, now at Florida International University, was recently named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year....

    Land O’Lakes’ Callie Turner
  10. Region baseball capsules

    Baseballpreps

    Tuesday's games start at 7 p.m. unless noted

    Region semifinals

    Class 9A

    Vero Beach (23-5) at Alonso (21-7): The postseason sets up well for teams that have a true ace, and the Ravens have that player. Jordan Butler is having a remarkable season. In 69 innings pitched, he has struck out 109 and is 9-1 with a 0.91 ERA. He allowed one hit in six innings against Treasure Coast in the region quarterfinal. Oh, and he's hitting .464 with eight home runs. With the one-game-a-week format until the state semifinals, Alonso is set up well. Offensively, Nick Gonzalez and Jared DeSantolo are hitting right around .350. Aside from Butler, the pitching staff has a 1.10 ERA. The Indians slipped past Newsome 2-1 in the region quarterfinals. Playing at home could be the difference for the Ravens. ...

    King High shortstop Dehreon Pressley (27) swings at the ball during the game between Hillsborough High and King High at King in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, March 2, 2017. King High defeated Hillsborough High 5-3.
  11. No age limits on arm strength

    Outdoors

    BRANDON

    It's 10 a.m. on a typically humid May morning when Don Miller pulls into the parking lot behind Brandon High's football field. He takes out a bag full of discuses, a shot, two hammers and a few softballs, grabs his orange javelin and heads to the north end zone.

    Miller acknowledges the maintenance staff, who all know him by name, as he sets down the bag and begins to warm up. Once loose, he stands with his back to the field, twirls the hammer — which is a 6.6-pound metal ball at the end of a 3-foot chain — over his head, then launches it as he turns toward the field. It lands about 50 feet away with a loud thud....

    Don Miller, practicing the discus throw, plans to stay busy, with his next event the Senior National Championships next month.
  12. HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for May 6-12

    Blog

    Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, May 6 through Friday, May 12. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.

    Female nominees

    Katie Barnett, track, Admiral Farragut: The Princeton signee, who also is the school’s valedictorian, repeated as state champion in the triple jump with a leap of 11.75 meters (38 feet, 6.75 inches) at the Class A state meet....

  13. Calvary Christian's offense gets speedier

    Footballpreps

    CLEARWATER — Calvary Christian will have a new look when the 2017 season begins. Quarterback Richie Mize graduates, which means rising senior Alex Laccabue will be the likely replacement. Sophomore CJ Burge is also vying for playing time.

    There will be two new receivers who will see plenty of action. Clearwater Central Catholic transfers Amari Burney and Deandre Ferguson are both big targets who will also start at defensive back. ...

    Clearwater Central Catholic's transfer Amari Burney is now wearing a Calvary Christian uniform, but his big-play abilities at receiver remain unchanged. (Jay Nolan, Special to the Times)
  14. Spring football: Indian Rocks Christian 34, Poinciana 21

    Blog

    At Indian Rocks Christian        

    Spring game-breakers: The Golden Eagles had just over two weeks of practice before the area’s first spring game Thursday night, but they looked fairly polished early. In the first quarter, D’whan Poole caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Roberts for the game’s first score. Poole then scored on a 95-yard interception return for a 14-0 lead. … Zant'a Shubert took over offensively late in the first half. He scored on runs of 9 and 3 yards, and the Golden Eagles led 28-7 at halftime. … IRC only scored two field goals in the second half. Carlos Rodriguez kicked field goals of 33 and 35 yards. …Roberts and Zach Burrill split time at quarterback. Roberts, a rising senior, played the first and third quarters and Burrill, a soon-to-be sophomore, played the second and fourth quarters. Roberts had the long touchdown pass, but completed only 1 of 5 passes in the third quarter. Burrill only threw once in the fourth quarter....

  15. Q&A with new Dixie Hollins coach Dale Caparaso

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Dale Caparaso, 60, is proof that you are never too old for a new challenge. And Caparaso has accepted a big challenge. He is the new football coach at Dixie Hollins. The Rebels were 2-7 last season and over the past five years have gone a combined 6-43. Caparaso has coached 38 years, the past 15 in Florida. He has made stops at Pasco and most recently Spoto before making the switch to Pinellas County. During practice this week, ahead of the spring game Saturday against Bradenton St. Stephen's, Caparaso talked about his new job, wife Anne's tutoring program and being in Pinellas County....

    Dixie Hollins football coach Dale Caparaso (Rodney Page, Times)