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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. Audra Leipold transfers to talent-rich Seffner Christian

    Preps

    Audra Leipold, a four-year starting guard at Academy at the Lakes and a key player in the Wildcats' run to the state tournament last season, has transferred to Seffner Christian. Leipold, a rising junior, led AATL with 24.8 points per game as a sophomore.

    Leipold's transfer comes a week after head coach Karim Nohra retired from coaching.

    "We were not wanting to leave Coach Nohra because Audra has been with him for five years," said Leipold's dad, Erich. "But there were only five girls on the team and there was no guarantee there would be more by the time the season started. We had to do what was best for Audra."...

    Academy at the Lakes sophomore Audra Leipold takes a layup during the Class 2A Girls Basketball State Finals, Academy at the Lakes against Florida A&M University on Wednesday evening, February 17, 2016 at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland.
  2. Clearwater Central Catholic ATH CJ Cotman commits to Tennessee

    Footballpreps

    Clearwater Central Catholic athlete CJ Cotman decided to end the suspense of his recruiting process Wednesday night when he verbally committed to Tennessee. Cotman, who originally said he would make an announcement on national signing day in February, chose the Volunteers over 33 schools, including Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon.

    "I think the biggest factor was (assistant) coach Larry Scott," Cotman said. "He recruited me when he was at Miami (last season) and when he went to Tennessee he kept in touch with me. That meant a lot. It showed that he believed in me."...

    Clearwater Central Catholic's C.J. Cotman (21) rushes through the Tampa Catholic defense for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of Friday's (9/25/15) game in Clearwater.
  3. Former Gaither golfer Jimmy Stanger wins Southern Amateur

    Blog

    Former Gaither standout and University of Virginia rising senior Jimmy Stanger won the prestigious Southern Amateur golf tournament at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Sunday. Stanger, who was the Times 2012 Hillsborough Golfer of the Year, shot a final round 6 under 66 to win the tournament by one stroke. Stanger trailed Oklahoma State's Zach Bauchou by three strokes to start the final round. His overall total was 12 under....

  4. Game on: Cornhole gets the beach treatment (w/video)

    Outdoors

    CLEARWATER — Some of the best sports inventions started from humble beginnings.

    Basketball began by throwing a ball into a peach basket. And the bottom wasn't even cut out.

    Golf started by hitting a feather-stuffed ball with club-shaped tree branches.

    And miniature golf was started by hitting even smaller feather-stuffed balls with smaller tree branches through windmills (or something like that). ...

    Clearwater resident Alex Richwagen, 34, plays CornholeOnWater, a mix between cornhole and beer pong, with his wife, Carly Richwagen, 30, on Friday (7/1/16) during a visit to Clearwater Beach. Not realizing its potential, groups of people would flock to the game, which Alex invented, and ask to play. Soon, people had concocted their own versions and would even ask Alex to buy his set. Now, what was once a couple of tubes and floating balls being thrown, is an actual product that been manufactured. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times
  5. Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Sheila Johnson, Salamander Hotels and Resorts; part owner of Washington Mystics, Wizards, Capitals

    Pga

    Sheila Johnson took a circuitous route to the world of business. A music major at the University of Illinois, Johnson was an accomplished violinist who spent her post-graduate years teaching violin.

    When she decided to start her own violin instruction school a few years later, Johnson discovered she had good business sense. Her successful music school lasted until 1989, when she stopped the school to become the head of community relations for Black Entertainment Television, which she and her then-husband, Robert, co-founded in 1979. ...

    Innisbrook's owner Sheila Johnson reacts as a putt on the 18th hole lips out as she takes part in a ceremony officially reopening Innisbrook's, recently renovated Copperhead course. Looking on is PGA golfer George McNeill.
  6. Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Tracy West, Valspar Championship

    Pga

    Tracy West never intended to work in sports. After graduating from Michigan State with a master's degree in marketing, West went to work for Foremost Insurance and then Herman Miller Furniture in Grand Rapids, Mich.

    On the side, she was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. One of the projects was to help put on a new Senior PGA Tour event, the Greater Grand Rapids Open. West volunteered and ended up on the tournament's executive board....

    Valspar Championship tournament director Tracy West
  7. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard works with aspiring keepers in St. Petersburg

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Just four days removed from playing for the U.S. national team's 1-0 Copa America consolation loss to Colombia, and just a day after being introduced as the Colorado Rapids' new goalkeeper, there was Tim Howard on a muggy Wednesday afternoon at Eckerd College. Howard, who has more wins (55) and appearances (109) than any keeper in U.S. national team history, was in town to appear at his Tim Howard School of Goalkeeping. The one-week camp in its fifth year, but its first at Eckerd College....

    The MLS' Tim Howard appears at his Tim Howard School of Goalkeeping at Eckerd College. He recently ended a 10-year run as the starting keeper for the English Premier League's Everton and has joined the Colorado Rapids. (Courtesy of Terry Sprockett)
  8. Eckerd's Ally Gallagher finds fast track to rugby success

    Colleges

    It was just past midnight and Ally Gallagher was readying for bed. With her faithful dog, Titan, by her side, she took one last check on her laptop. There she saw an email with the title "All American Stars and Stripes Rugby." It was an invitation to train and compete in a tryout camp for the top 100 women's college rugby players in the country June 28-July 3 in Salt Lake City.

    "I saw the email and I started bawling,'' Gallagher said. "I called my mom and woke her up. She was like 'What's wrong?!' I called my coach. I was texting my friends. I was jumping all around.''...

    Ally Gallagher relaxes with Titan, her support dog/best friend, at a campus beach. Once overwhelmed by anxiety, OCD and depression that she kept from teammates, the junior is calmer and happier with the help of Titan and her rugby success.
  9. Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay baseball teams

    Baseballpreps

    Hillsborough Player of the Year: Jordan Butler, Jr., Alonso

    Why we picked him: Butler served as the Ravens' lights-out ace, striking out 102 in 78 innings and posting a 0.58 ERA. When he wasn't on the mound, though, Butler played first base, and led the Alonso at the plate, finishing with a .407 batting average and a team-high 27 RBIs. He also had 14 extra-base hits, four more than the next best Raven. Butler's double contributions helped take the two-time state champion Ravens to the 9A state semifinal....

    BRENDAN FITTERER   |   Times
  10. Two Pinellas quarterbacks will be busy this summer

    Blog

    Dixie Hollins senior quarterback Dakovin Cann, Jr. attended Sunday’s Strong Mind Strong Body satellite camp at Jefferson High School to not only prepare for his final season, but also to be seen by the numerous college coaches in attendance. Cann, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, was one of 400 players attending the camp. After throwing for 1,454 yards last season, he is hoping to surpass 2,000 yards this season and help the Rebels have a winning season. They were 1-9 last season....

  11. Pittsburgh Pirates swoop in late to snap up East Lake's Travis MacGregor

    Baseballpreps

    As the first night of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft wore on Thursday, East Lake pitcher Travis MacGregor figured he'd have to wait another day to hear his name called. Then, just minutes before midnight, his phone rang. The Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to make him their second-round pick, 68th overall.

    "It was literally a few minutes before they actually picked me," MacGregor said. "I was sweating it out."...

    East Lake High pitcher Travis MacGregor
  12. Lakewood's Bo Bichette, East Lake's Travis MacGregor drafted in second round

    Baseballpreps

    The 13-year Pinellas County draft drought ended right before midnight Thursday.

    Lakewood's Bo Bichette, 18, was selected 66th overall by the Blue Jays in Thursday night's Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

    Bichette is the first Pinellas high school player to be taken that high in the draft since Dunedin's Ryan Harvey went sixth overall to the Cubs in 2003. He is also the first player from Lakewood ever drafted in the first two rounds....

    Lakewood SS Bo Bichette is taken 66th overall by the Blue Jays.
  13. Tampa Bay Times' all-Pinellas County baseball teams

    Baseballpreps

    Player of the Year: Bo Bichette, Sr., Lakewood

    Pitcher of the Year: Christian James, Sr., East Lake

    Coach of the Year: Raul Hernandez, Northside Christian

    First team

    P Travis MacGregor, Sr., East Lake

    P Corey Ireson, Sr., Osceola

    P Joey Jimpie, Sr., Northeast

    P Colton Widdows, Sr., Dunedin

    C Kyle Kania, Sr., Countryside...

    Jay Nolan, Special to the Times. Bo Bichette lets this pitch go by without swinging during a game at Lake Vista Rec Center on Tuesday (3/8/16). Bichette is a short stop for Lakewood High School and has been Pinellas County's best shot at a first-round draft pick in years.
  14. Tampa Bay Times' all-North Suncoast baseball teams

    Baseballpreps

    Player of the Year: Jonathan Gates, So., Nature Coast

    Pitcher of the Year: Kirby Osborn, Sr., Land O'Lakes

    Coach of the Year: Frank Vitale, Nature Coast

    First team

    P Jakob Mattos, So., Mitchell

    P Carson Ragsdale, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

    P Tommy Mace, Jr., Sunlake

    P Miguel Martinez, Sr., Springstead

    C Dillon Sink, Sr., Wesley Chapel...

    Land O'Lakes pitcher Kirby Osborn (Courtesy of Osborn)
  15. East Lake's Christian James, Travis MacGregor ready for draft day

    Baseballpreps

    East Lake seniors Christian James and Travis MacGregor were two of the best right-handed pitchers in the area this season. Both are likely mid-round picks in this week's MLB amateur draft.

    James was 9-2 with a save in 71 innings pitched. He had a 1.29 ERA and struck out 98. MacGregor was just as good. He pitched 54 innings, struck out 82 and had a 0.92 ERA.

    Both pitchers drew plenty of attention from college and major league scouts this season. James is committed to St. Petersburg College. MacGregor is committed to Clemson....

    East Lake starting pitcher Christian James delivers during a Class 8A region final baseball game against Steinbrenner at Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Fla., on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.