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. Preseason football: Palm Harbor University 40, Jesuit 20

    Footballpreps

    PALM HARBOR — The Reggie Crume era at Palm Harbor University got off to a good start, while Jesuit could use some more work prior to the Aug. 29 season opener. The Tigers had seven turnovers, six of which were interceptions, in Thursday's preseason game. PHU wasn't perfect (three turnovers), but the Hurricanes overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and outscored the Tigers 26-0 in the second half....

  2. Transfer athletes change the look of Pinellas high school football

    Footballpreps

    In the spring of 2013, Northeast High looked to be one of the football teams to beat in Pinellas County. Then, over a few days in late July, everything fell apart.

    Quarterback Ryan Davis, a heralded recruit in the class of 2015, transferred to Lakewood with three other starters, while two more moved on to Boca Ciega. Just like that, Northeast's promising season ended in a 1-9 mess that factored into coach Mike Jalazo stepping down. ...

    WR/DB Saivion Smith left Boca Ciega in the spring to attend Lakewood, then transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton before the new school year.
  3. Three questions with St. Petersburg Catholic QB Jordan Leston

    Footballpreps

    Jordan Leston has spent his high school career trying to find a home. He started at Clearwater, then East Lake for his junior season. Now he'll finish his prep career at St. Petersburg Catholic. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback played well in the spring game, throwing three touchdown passes in a 27-12 win over Avon Park. The Barons were hit hard by transfers this summer, including losing their top three running backs. Leston, who will be St. Petersburg Catholic's main offensive threat, recently talked about expectations for his senior season — his first starting under center....

    St. Petersburg Catholic quarterback Jordan Leston has a couple of things to prove this season, his first starting under center.
  4. Class 8A, District 7: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    We wrap up our daily district previews for all 78 varsity football teams with one including teams from Bradenton, Sarasota and Pinellas.

    Overview

    If there was ever a time to knock off Bradenton Manatee, it might be this season. After 30 years, legendary coach Joe Kinnan is out. Last year's starting quarterback, Josh Meyer, is off the team due to an arrest in the spring. He accounted for 2,014 yards of offense as a junior. But all three teams trying to beat Manatee have question marks. Can Sarasota Riverview overcome losses on defense to earn a second straight playoff appearance? Does St. Petersburg have enough size to last four quarters? Does Palm Harbor University have enough depth under first-year coach Reggie Crume? If those teams can get rolling, it could make for a competitive district. ...

    Stephen Charron, trying to elude Largo defensive back Jonathan Crawford during the spring game, is Palm Harbor University’s top returning rusher with 644 yards last season.
  5. St. Petersburg: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    St. Petersburg

    Coach: Joe Fabrizio (ninth season, 53-33)

    Last season: 6-4

    Class/district: 8A-7

    Colors: Green and white

    Stadium: Stewart Field, 2501 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

    Playoff history: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

    Last appearance: Lost 13-10 to Venice.

    Season schedule...

    St. Petersburg's Davon Conyers tips a pass intended for Palm Harbor's Dominick Bonelli [CHRIS ZUPPA | Times]
  6. Pinellas Park: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Pinellas Park

    Coach: Kenny Crawford (sixth season, 33-21)

    Last season: 10-2

    Class/district: 7A-9

    Colors: Blue, red and white

    Stadium: Richard Allen Memorial Stadium, 6305 118th Ave. N., Pinellas Park

    Playoff history: 1983, 1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013

    Last appearance: Beat Sarasota 32-7; lost 45-0 to East Lake....

    Pinellas Park 's Kal-El Williams, pictured during a 2013 practice. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  7. Northeast: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Northeast

    Coach: Jeremy Frioud (first season)

    Last season: 1-9

    Class/district: 7A-9

    Colors: Red and white

    Stadium: John Sexton Stadium, 1717 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

    Playoff history: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012

    Last appearance: Lost 65-12 to Bradenton Manatee....

    Jeremy Frioud, a longtime Largo assistant, gets his chance to be a head coach. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  8. Class 7A, District 9: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    We're rolling out daily district previews for all 78 varsity football teams in the area. Today we look at a six-team all-Pinellas County district.

    Overview

    This district could be one of the most competitive in the area. Five of the six teams either won or tied in their spring games. Last year, East Lake was dominant, sweeping its district foes by a combined score of 250-51. The Eagles graduated some key players, including defensive back Devin Abraham, left tackle Mason Cole and receiver Artavis Scott. But there still is enough top-level talent to stay at the top with players such as receiver George Campbell, linebacker Carson Lydon and defensive back Justin Strnad. Pinellas Park returns 15 starters from last year's team that went 10-2 and won a playoff game for just the second time in school history. The run game will be among the area's leaders, led by Donte Maxson and Kal-El Williams. After missing the playoffs the past two seasons, Countryside has the talent to be in the mix. Trent Chmelik is in his first full season as a quarterback and directs an offense capable of big numbers. Clearwater, Northeast and Seminole, which were a combined 4-26 last season, are likely on the outside looking in when it comes to competing for a playoff spot. The Tornadoes' Donnie Abraham and the Warhawks' Chris Miller are both second-year coaches whose teams showed improvement in the spring and summer. First-year coach Jeremy Frioud has brought some energy to Northeast....

    Seminole quarterback Aaron Dever tied for the team lead in rushing TDs last season.
  9. Golf: Tampa Bay high school preview

    Golf

    This year's high school golf season could be awfully similar to last year's golf season. Of the six 2013 Tampa Bay Times Players of the Year in the North Suncoast and Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, five return. They are Donnie Gabrelcik (Mitchell), Kelly Harris (Sunlake), Tyler Bakich (Newsome), Terese Romeo (Freedom) and Blake Dyer (St. Petersburg). Only Countryside's Madison Glennie has graduated....

    All-county golf: Boys golfer of the year, Mitchell High School's Donnie Gabrelcik.
  10. Fivay: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Fivay

    Coach: Chris Taylor (fifth season, 18-18; 10th overall, 42-45)

    Last season: 4-6

    Class/district: 6A-6

    Colors: Red, blue and white

    Stadium: Unnamed. 12115 Chicago Ave., Hudson, FL 34669

    Playoff history: 2011

    Last appearance: Lost 28-0 to Citra North Marion.

    Season schedule

    Aug. 29 vs. Ridgewood, 7:30...

  11. Class 5A, District 8: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    We're rolling out daily district previews for all 78 varsity football teams in the area. Today we look at a five-team all-Pinellas league.

    Overview

    On paper, this looks like Lakewood's district all the way. The Spartans reached the Class 5A state semifinals last year and only lost by two points. But every other team in the district appears improved. Gibbs could have one of the best secondaries around and has added even more athletes. Tarpon Springs has one of the top backs in the county in Michael Ford. And new coaches Matt LaPain (Dunedin) and Max Smith (Boca Ciega) have instilled new life into those programs. It should mean a much more competitive race for the top two district spots....

    Tarpon Springs at Lakewood, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Tarpon Springs #6 Michael Ford breaks away in the first half.
  12. Lakewood: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Lakewood

    Coach: Cory Moore (seventh season, 48-22)

    Last season: 10-4

    Class/district: 5A-8

    Colors: Black and gold

    Stadium: Lakewood Stadium, 1400 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg

    Playoff history: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

    Last appearance: Beat Hudson 75-19; beat Tarpon Springs 31-9; beat South Sumter 27-21; lost 40-38 to Green Cove Springs Clay....

    Romello Presley, pictured during spring practice. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
  13. Gibbs: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Gibbs

    Coach: Rick Kravitz (second season, 4-6)

    Last season: 4-6

    Class/district: 5A-8

    Colors: Blue and gold

    Stadium: Newton-Williams Memorial Stadium, 850 34th St. S., St. Petersburg

    Playoff history: 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009

    Last appearance: Lost 52-15 to Bradenton Manatee.

    Season schedule...

    Safety Craig Watts drops back into coverage during practice. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  14. Gulf: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Gulf

    Coach: Jason Messamore (second season, 1-9)

    Last season: 1-9

    Class/district: 5A-7

    Colors: Green and white

    Stadium: W.D. "Des" Little Stadium, 5355 School Road, New Port Richey

    Playoff history: 2006, 2008

    Last appearance: Beat St. Cloud 49-35; lost 50-0 to Pasco.

    Season schedule

    Aug. 29 at Wiregrass Ranch, 7:30...

    Keshaun Peters showed off his strong, accurate arm in summer 7-on-7 tournaments, and head coach Jason Messamore said he is leaning toward Peters as the opening-night quarterback. [BRENDAN FITTERER  |  Times
]
  15. Class 3A, District 5: 2014 football preview

    Footballpreps

    Fall football practices for Tampa Bay football teams officially kicked off this week. We're rolling out daily district previews for all 78 varsity teams in the area. Today we look at an all-Pinellas County district.

    Overview

    Clearwater Central Catholic dominated this district last season, outscoring opponents 175-40 and going on to play in the Class 3A state final. There are plenty of reasons to believe the Marauders can do that again this season. Most of the offense is back, and it's not like the other district teams have vastly improved. St. Petersburg Catholic, second place in 2013, has been gutted by transfers. Calvary Christian and Admiral Farragut appear to be better, but do they have the firepower to hang with CCC? And Shorecrest dropped out of the district, opting to play an independent schedule....

    St. Petersburg Catholic quarterback Jordan Leston is a first-time starter.