PALM HARBOR — The game plan for Palm Harbor University in its Class 5A region final match against Newsome was simple. The Hurricanes wanted to survive the first 20 minutes, find a way to score a goal and then hang on for dear life.
They followed the script perfectly.
PHU played flawlessly on defense, scored a second-half goal and hung on to defeat the Wolves 1-0. The Hurricanes will play in Friday's state semifinal in Melbourne against Oviedo. This will be their first state tournament appearance since 2010, when they won their fifth title...
ST. PETERSBURG — An already historic season got even better for Boca Ciega on Thursday night. Playing in only the second region game in school history, and the first since 1994, the Pirates defeated Bradenton Southeast 1-0 in overtime. It is the school's first region win and sets up a Class 3A region semifinal against Jesuit on Tuesday. .
"This is huge for our program,'' Boca Ciega coach Colby Bidwell said. "There's a buzz around school about these guys. It's so rewarding.''...
HomeTeam 25 for 2015
Tampa Bay recruits — from our four-county coverage area (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando) — as ranked by Tampa Bay Times staff.
Name, school Pos. Ht/Wt Schools 1. Byron Cowart, Armwood DE 6-4/250 Undecided: Florida, FSU, Auburn 2. Deon Cain, Tampa Bay Tech WR 6-1/195 Clemson 3. George Campbell, East Lake WR 6-3/184 FSU 4. Ray Ray McCloud III, Sickles ATH 5-9/175 Clemson 5. Jake Fruhmorgen, Plant OT 6-5/280 Clemson 6. Ryan Davis, Lakewood WR 5-9/167 Undecided: Florida, FSU, Auburn, Kentucky 7. Auden Tate, Wharton WR 6-4/215 FSU 8. Dwayne Lawson, Hillsborough QB 6-6/207 Virginia Tech 9. Marques Ford, East Bay DE 6-4/230 Rutgers 10. Christian Pellage, Nature Coast OL 6-7/282 South Carolina 11. Jordan Griffin, Armwood LB 6-0/207 Wisconsin 12. Jeff Smith, Clearwater Central Catholic QB 6-1/170 Boston College 13. Carson Lydon, East Lake LB 6-2/243 Virginia Tech 14. Kyle Henderson, Plant DT 6-2/280 Georgia Tech 15. Aaron Covington, Armwood CB 5-9/175 Undecided: USF, UCF, Maryland, Toledo 16. Andrew Ivie, Pasco DT 6-1/265 Florida 17. Jonathan Crawford, Largo S 6-2/175 Indiana 18. Billy Atterbury, Clearwater Central Catholic OT 6-4/285 USF 19. Justin Strnad, East Lake LB 6-3/205 Wake Forest 20. Jahrvis Davenport, Robinson W 5-10/180 Maryland 21. Bowman Archibald, Pasco TE 6-5/244 Wake Forest 22. Derrick Baity, Plant CB 6-2/170 Undecided: UCF, USF, Kentucky, Penn State 23. Sawyer Dawson, Plant City LB 6-1/200 Purdue 24. Jordan Reed, Plant WR 5-9/168 USF 25. Kenyatta Anderson, Boca Ciega CB 6-1/185 Undecided: Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers
Take a quick glance at the Tampa Bay recruiting class for 2016, and a few big names appear to be missing.
Blake's Shavar Manuel, ESPN's No. 2 recruit nationally, is coming off a junior season in which he amassed a whopping 20 sacks. He'd easily be at the top of an area list if not for one thing: He's no longer attending high school here.
And he's not alone.
IMG Academy has successfully scooped up elite athletes from Tampa Bay over the past year. Manuel is the latest to bolt for the Bradenton school, and he'll see a lot of familiar faces....
TARPON SPRINGS — For most of Friday night's Class 3A, District 10 final against Tarpon Springs, Boca Ciega rarely got close to the Spongers' net. But the Pirates picked the right time to find their offense.
With the second-half clock stopped for extra time, Boca Ciega scored on a throw-in to tie the score. Then after two tense, 10-minute overtime periods, the Pirates beat the Spongers 3-1 in penalty kicks for a 2-1 win. It's the school's first district championship since 1994....
SEMINOLE — There was no way East Bay was going to let it happen again. In last week's district final against Plant City, the Indians gave up a goal in the final minutes and lost the championship.
Thursday night in the Class 4A region quarterfinal against Seminole, nursing a 1-0 lead, they once again gave up a goal in the final minutes. But this time East Bay survived a few scares in overtime and won 4-3 in penalty kicks for a 2-1 win....
There are two words most basketball players want to hear from their coach: Green light.
Palm Harbor University's Chardonay Aldrich has developed into just such a player. If she sees a shot she likes, she has permission to aim and fire.
"She's been (shooting) since her freshman year," coach Darian Dublin said. "But she's really worked on her shot in the offseason and over the summer. She has definitely earned a green light from me."...
TAMPA — Clearwater Central Catholic was just more than two minutes from overtime in its Class 2A, District 9 semifinal against Berkeley Prep when it earned a free kick 45 yards from goal. Matt Dunn launched an arching shot from the right side into the 18-yard box.
Demetri Royer emerged from a group of players, headed the ball from 10 yards away and scored an improbable goal that proved the difference in the Marauders' 2-1 win. Royer's second goal of the season capped a comeback from a 1-0 halftime deficit, and assured a spot in the district final against St. Petersburg Catholic on Friday. The Barons defeated Tampa Prep 5-0 in the other semifinal. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's shootout at Northeast proved to be just as competitive on the court as it looked to be on paper. The four teams, Calvary Christian, Winter Haven, Land O'Lakes and Northeast, had a combined record of 78-7.
In the first game, Calvary Christian fought back from a 13-point second half deficit but lost to Winter Haven 57-56. It was the Warriors' first loss of the season and drops them to 19-1. In the second game, host Northeast fell behind early but rallied to beat Land O'Lakes 59-46. Northeast improved to 22-2, the most wins in school history....
LUTZ — The Class 5A, District 7 final will be played in Hillsborough County today, but it will be an all-Pinellas matchup. Top seed East Lake and No. 2 seed Palm Harbor University both advanced after Friday night's semifinals.
East Lake defeated No. 4 Plant 5-3. Emily Cady and Karlie White each scored twice while Dominique Nelson added a goal. Palm Harbor University defeated No. 3 Steinbrenner 4-0. Kayla Mouton scored twice for the Hurricanes and Marisa Ruland and Nicole Filippelli added goals....
LUTZ — The Class 5A, District 7 final will be played in Hillsborough County, but it will be an all-Pinellas matchup.
Top-seeded East Lake and No. 2 seed Palm Harbor University both advanced in Friday night's semifinals.
East Lake defeated No. 4 seed Plant 5-3 in the first semifinal. Emily Cady and Karlie White each scored twice while Dominique Nelson added a goal.
Palm Harbor University defeated No. 3 Steinbrenner 4-0. Kayla Mouton scored twice for the Hurricanes and Marisa Ruland and Nicole Filippelli added goals....
PALM HARBOR — Round 2 of this season's Class 8A, District 8 rivalry between St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor University goes to the Hurricanes.
Using a balanced scoring attack, PHU defeated the Green Devils 58-46 Wednesday night. The win evens the regular-season series at one each. They will meet again in the district semifinal and possibly in the PCAC championship.
"The first time we played them we got caught ball watching," PHU coach Darian Dublin said of his team's 60-47 loss to St. Petersburg earlier in the season. "This week we really focused on attacking the basket. We did a much better job."...
PALM HARBOR — John Senden might have been thousands of miles away at the Sony Open in Hawaii, but he took some time to reflect on last year's Valspar Championship win as part of the tournament's media day on Wednesday.
Senden birdied two of the last three holes to win the 2014 tournament by one shot, his first PGA Tour victory since 2006.
"I felt really good coming into that week," Senden said. "I always love coming to Tampa. To win that tournament was really exciting. It set up a great year for me and gave me confidence going into the majors. I ended up having one of my best years on tour."...
ST. PETERSBURG — Sam Horsfield knew exactly where he stood as he lined up his chip shot on the 18th hole at St. Petersburg Country Club. He was tied for the lead with Brandon Pierce at the 89th annual New Year's Invitational, and Pierce had just chipped his third shot on the par 5 to within 2 feet.
Horsfield was just off the front edge of the green but 30 yards from the hole. His plan was to leave an uphill putt, which would give him an easier birdie putt to likely send the tournament into extra holes. ...
TAMPA — Wiregrass Ranch QB Shane Bucenell thought his high school football season ended with a Nov. 7 win against Wesley Chapel in the last week of the regular season. But last week his phone rang, and there was a coach from the Blue-Grey All-American game on the other end.
A QB from Alabama who had already been selected for the game had gotten hurt. Bucenell had been picked as a late addition to take his place....