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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. Recruiting roundup: Plethora of Division-I commitments

    Footballpreps

    Area football players have been committing to college programs left and right this summer. Here are a few recent pledges you may have missed:

    Admiral Farragut: Defensive back Craig Watts committed to the University of Wisconsin during a weekend visit to the school. Watts, who is a four-star recruit and considered the 16th best player at his position by 247Sports, has nearly 40 offers, including ones from Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama....

    Craig Watts picked the Badgers over schools like FSU and Florida.
  2. Rowdies form partnership with Brazil's Sao Paulo Football Club

    Soccer

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced Tuesday they have formed an international partnership with Brazil's Sao Paulo Football Club. As part of the agreement, the Rowdies will have access to Sao Paulo's training facilities during the offseason, will form technical and staff exchange programs, play exhibition matches at both teams' home sites and loan players back and forth.

    "This is a big deal,'' Rowdies owner Bill Edwards said. "This will help strengthen the Rowdies' vision of developing both youth and professional players abroad. It brings two iconic brands together.''...

    “This is a big deal,” Rowdies owner Bill Edwards says of having Sao Paulo FC as a partner.
  3. St. Petersburg's and Florida State's Jack Maguire set for U.S. Open

    Golf

    Jack Maguire couldn't stop checking his phone.

    The Florida State golfer had just finished his second 18 holes at a U.S. Open sectional qualifier June 8 at the Bear's Club in Jupiter. He had shot another 2-under 70 for a 36-hole total of 4-under 140. Then came the wait to see if his score was good enough to earn one of the qualifier's four U.S. Open spots from the field of 70.

    "I just kept checking my phone and hitting refresh," said Maguire, 20, a St. Petersburg High alumnus. "It was a long hour and a half."...

    For Jack Maguire, who recently completed his sophomore year at FSU, the U.S. Open will be his first major tournament. [Courtesy of Florida State University]
  4. Tampa Bay Times' all-county baseball teams

    Baseballpreps

    NORTH SUNCOAST

    Player of the Year: SS Corey Mumaw, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    Pitcher of the Year: RHP Nate Pearson, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

    Coach of the Year: Jeff Swymer, Bishop McLaughlin

    First team

    P Branden McLeod, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    P Carson Ragsdale, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin

    P Franklin German, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

    P Jakob Barker, Sr., Wesley Chapel

    C Kyle Frick, Jr., Mitchell...

  5. Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay baseball teams (with video)

    Baseballpreps

    Pinellas Pitcher of the Year: Tim Luth, Sr., Dunedin

    Season stats: 9-1, 0.87 ERA, 51 strikeouts in 56 innings

    Season highlight: Luth said there was no particular game that stood out. Instead, he said the highlight was being able to play with friends he has known since elementary school. "We've played with each other for years," Luth said. "It's a nice, tight group. Me and (Trevor) Jensen and (Justin) Glover all played Little League together. We got to play high school together and it was a lot of fun."...

    Our players and pitchers of the year, from left: Plant’s Kyle Tucker, Brandon’s Antonio Velez, Dunedin’s Tim Luth, Wesley Chapel’s Corey Mumaw, Bishop McLaughlin’s Nate Pearson and Indian Rocks Christian’s Dan Oberst.
  6. Orioles select River Ridge star

    Baseballpreps

    River Ridge outfielder Jason Heinrich said he expected to be drafted between the third and sixth rounds, so his fifth-round selection by the Orioles on Tuesday was not a surprise.

    "It was a relief to see my name," said Heinrich, who was taken 163rd overall.

    Prior to the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, he discussed with his family what he would do if he were to go high. He decided he will bypass a scholarship to UCF, sign with the Orioles soon and report to the Gulf Coast League in Sarasota. ...

    Jason Heinrich, the 163rd pick in the draft, is highly regarded for his raw power.
  7. St. Pete High's Blake Bryant is off to college, sans soccer cleats

    Preps

    As a freshman, Blake Bryant was determined to do it all. Aside from a full load of classes at St. Petersburg High, Bryant played football in the fall, soccer in the winter and baseball in the spring.

    It was a schedule that ate up just about every hour of every day. If he wasn't on a field, either playing football or club soccer, he was in a classroom or studying. When his final grades came out, Bryant got all A's except for B's in AP geography and English. ...

    Blake Bryant says he’s done with competitive soccer.
  8. Spring football: Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Footballpreps

    At Gibbs

    Score

    Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Spring game-breakers: Jesuit quarterback Daniel Boon played the first half and looked comfortable in the Tigers' high-tempo offense. He threw a 50-yard touchdown to Travell Harris to start the game. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 140 yards. … Harris, who Jesuit coach Matt Thompson calls the best athlete on the team, caught three passes for 107 yards. … Tigers running back Malik Davis gained 162 yards on nine carries, all in the first half. He scored on touchdown runs of 60, three and 10 yards. … Gibbs quarterback Mar'Quan Harris threw a 52-yard touchdown to Marquez Walls in the second quarter. He threw a 25-yard TD to Walls in the third quarter and also scored on a 10-yard run. Walls caught five passes for 149 yards....

  9. Spring football: Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Footballpreps

    At Gibbs

    Score

    Jesuit 56, Gibbs 34

    Spring game-breakers: Jesuit quarterback Daniel Boon played the first half and looked comfortable in the Tigers' high-tempo offense. He threw a 50-yard touchdown to Travell Harris to start the game. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 140 yards. … Harris, who Jesuit coach Matt Thompson calls the best athlete on the team, caught three passes for 107 yards. … Tigers running back Malik Davis gained 162 yards on nine carries, all in the first half. He scored on touchdown runs of 60, three and 10 yards. … Gibbs quarterback Mar'Quan Harris threw a 52-yard touchdown to Marquez Walls in the second quarter. He threw a 25-yard TD to Walls in the third quarter and also scored on a 10-yard run. Walls caught five passes for 149 yards....

  10. Spring football: Hudson 27, Dixie Hollins 0

    Footballpreps

    At Hudson

    Score

    Hudson 27, Dixie Hollins 0

    Spring game-breakers: Hudson's Nate Munson was impressive in his first start at quarterback. Munson gained 85 yards on 14 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes. …Cobra running back Spencer Shoun gained 92 yards on 14 carries. …Dixie Hollins had a rough night offensively. Armando Bonnell started the game with a 22-yard run and ended with 43 yards on seven carries. ...

  11. HomeTeam Huddle: CCC battered heading into spring game

    Footballpreps

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater Central Catholic's depth was stripped after losing 23 players to graduation. That left a roster of 40 that included some junior varsity players.

    Because of those numbers, or lack thereof, the Marauders could not afford any injuries this spring.

    That did not happen.

    CCC has 15 players out for Friday's game against Clearwater. The list includes receiver/defensive back CJ Cotman, who suffered a concussion during an officials' scrimmage against Anclote two weeks ago. Running back/defensive back Dilan Scargle (back), lineman Logan Miller (knee) and lineman Nathan Rubin (back) are among the others banged up....

    St. Petersburg's Jacquel Waller High school football
  12. HomeTeam Huddle: More hoops help for Tarpon Springs

    Footballpreps

    TARPON SPRINGS

    Last season, Tarpon Springs had three players from its basketball team — receiver Daniel Davis, tight end Mitch Wilcox and lineman Donald Davis — all play significant roles in helping the Spongers go 6-5 and advance to the playoffs as a district runnerup. • This spring, the Spongers are hoping another hoopster, Israel Atkins, can morph from a raw talent into a dependable receiver. • Atkins, a rising senior, has been a solid contributor on the court, averaging 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. He said he always wanted to play football, but his mother would not let him until he had a 3.0 grade-point average. ...

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden continues his annual tradition of giving back to local football teams, presenting a $5,000 check to the Clearwater High team.
  13. State baseball: North Florida Christian ace stymies Bishop McLaughlin

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Bishop McLaughlin's first appearance at the Class 3A state tournament was a short one.

    The Hurricanes managed only two hits against Tallahassee North Florida Christian starter Cole Sands in a 3-1 loss at JetBlue Park that took less than two hours. After scoring a first-inning run Monday morning, Bishop McLaughlin did not get a runner past first base in the final six innings. Sands (5-1), a Florida State commit, struck out five and walked one. ...

    Bishop McLaughlin shortstop Jacob Rodriguez, left, can’t make the tag in time vs. North Florida Christian’s Jason Bennett.
  14. HomeTeam Huddle: Fresh start at Dixie Hollins

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Dixie Hollins' motto for 2015 is "new beginnings." • Makes sense since the Rebels have a new coach in Shane Wheeler and would like to do just about anything to erase memories of last year's 1-9 season. • "We're trying to forget about everything,'' rising senior linebacker Emilio Martinez said. "Coach (Wheeler) said we're starting from scratch. We're all fighting for spots right now.''...

    Dixie Hollins coach Shane Wheeler takes over a team that loses its top offensive playmaker and needs an identity on defense.
  15. Region baseball: Everything's clicking for Bishop McLaughlin

    Baseballpreps

    SPRING HILL — As the 2015 season got underway, Bishop McLaughlin coach Jeff Swymer figured his team was armed but not very dangerous.

    There was no shortage of pitching. Nate Pearson was back to full speed after missing his junior year with a broken right arm. Franklin German, Carson Ragsdale and Dominic Diaz were all experienced.

    The problem, Swymer figured, would be at the plate. In 2014, the Hurricanes only hit .279 as a team and averaged five runs per game. They hit two home runs all season....

    Senior designated hitter Hunter Perez has been a nice surprise on offense this season for Bishop McLaughlin.