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. 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
  2. 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."...

  3. 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....

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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...

  8. 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."...

  9. 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.”
  10. 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, 16, a junior at St. Petersburg High, will graduate early and head to UF to play soccer.
  11. Three questions with Shorecrest golfer Greyson Porter

    Sports

    Shorecrest Prep junior Greyson Porter has established himself as one of the top high school golfers in the area. During a Labor Day tournament to kick off the season, Porter shot 72 at the Calvary Christian Invitational on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course.

    Shooting 72 on the Copperhead Course is a tremendous way to start the season. Where do you go from here?

    "I was very pleased with the way I played at Copperhead; I chipped and putted very well and that's key to shooting a good score out there. From here on I try to sharpen all my parts of my game and improve as much as possible heading into districts, regionals and states."...

    Mug shot of Shorecrest golfer Greyson Porter
  12. Volleyball: Clearwater Central Catholic guts out five-setter vs. Calvary Christian

    Volleyball Preps

    CLEARWATER — As the final point of Tuesday night's Class 3A, District 9 match between Clearwater Central Catholic and Calvary Christian sailed out of bounds, some CCC players jumped for joy while others fell to the court in exhaustion. The Marauders figured they would be tested by the Warriors, but not quite like this.

    After dropping the first two games, CCC battled back to win the match 21-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-20, 17-15. It was the first loss of the season for Calvary Christian (4-1), while the Marauders improve to 2-0. The teams do not meet again until the district tournament....

    Clearwater Central Catholic’s Cameron Fitzpatrick, right, spikes the ball past Calvary Christian’s Shelby Mahaz.
  13. Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 38, Tampa Catholic 0

    Footballpreps

    CLEARWATER — Tampa Catholic and Clearwater Central Catholic had two very different weeks leading up to Friday's game.

    The Crusaders found out they would be without three wide receivers, including highly regarded junior Nate Craig, for a prolonged period. The Marauders found out they were moved to the top spot in the Class 3A Associated Press poll, and they got brand-new yellow jerseys just before the game....

  14. Q&A with Weeki Wachee quarterback Alec Cromie

    Footballpreps

    Alec Cromie spent last season as Weeki Wachee's junior varsity quarterback. His only varsity action came in the last game of the season against Nature Coast. This season, Cromie is the Hornets' sophomore starter. At 6 feet 3, 190 pounds, he is a big pocket passer who has allowed the Hornets to switch from an option to a pro-style offense. In his first regular-season start, Cromie set the bar high by hitting 12 of 19 passes for 201 yards and five touchdowns against Interlachen. Now comes a tougher test against neighborhood rival Springstead. Cromie talked about his fast start and tonight's game....

    Alec Cromie
  15. Tide finally turns for Keswick Christian's football program

    Footballpreps

    The ball was placed at the 1-yard line. The clock had just over four minutes remaining. Keswick Christian led Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 22-20, but the Crusaders had to find a way to get out of their own end zone or Friday night's season opener could end the way of the school's 15 previous games.

    If this game had been played in 2012 or 2013, something bad would certainly have happened. Surely there would be a safety or a blocked punt or a fumble. There are reasons Keswick had won only six games in three seasons, including a winless season last year. ...

    “There’s a different vibe now,’’ said Keswick Christian senior wide receiver T.J. Muscarella.