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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. 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. ...

  2. 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
  3. 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. ...

    Nick Hernandez, right, hands off to Rodiez Newsome during a recent practice. The Patriots will field a run-heavy offense again, with a bit of a twist.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. For 40 years, Farrukh Quraishi passionately sells Rowdies soccer to Tampa Bay

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It is nearly two hours before game time and Farrukh Quraishi is working the crowd.

    Quraishi, wearing dark jeans and a black Rowdies polo, fits right in with soccer fans who have gathered in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot for the April 25 match between Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.

    As he eases from one group to the next, Quraishi exchanges handshakes and back pats. He is offered plates of barbecue and beer, politely declining both....

    Rowdies president and general manager Farrukh Quraishi, left, talks to fans before a game last month at Al Lang Stadium.
  8. Region baseball roundup: Indian Rocks Christian reaches first region final

    Baseballpreps

    LARGO — In the Class 3A, District 9 final between Indian Rocks Christian and Calvary Christian, it took nine innings before the Golden Eagles were able to secure the win. In the region semifinal rematch on Tuesday, it took them just one inning.

    Indian Rocks Christian scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back in an 11-5 win. This is the first time the Golden Eagles have advanced to a region final....

    Indian Rocks Christian’s Paul Kulaga goes the distance, pitching a complete game for the 11-5 win.
  9. HomeTeam Huddle: Osceola's wing-T teeming with talent

    Footballpreps

    SEMINOLE — Nothing has changed with Osceola's offensive scheme. The Warriors still plan to feature their running game in the wing-T. • But the players running the ball have Osceola coach George Palmer excited. Nick Shytle and Chad Brittain both return. So does Ryan Allan. • Throw in the addition of Travis Wateska, a transfer from Seminole, and the Warriors have a talented backfield with depth that can contend for a district title....

    Northeast coach Jeremy Frioud, trying to build on a 4-6 finish last season, will rely on a young group including Jalynn Williams, right.
  10. Region baseball: Toppling a giant boosts Lakewood's confidence

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Lake Vista Park's two baseball fields are usually empty on weekday afternoons in May. But on Monday, music blared from near the rightfield batting cages as Lakewood High School players took infield and shagged fly balls.

    The Spartans needed the field to practice for today's region semifinal at Robinson. It's a game many of them never thought they would play. Before this season, Lakewood hadn't won a region game since 1999. And its region quarterfinal opponent, Jesuit, was the defending Class 5A state champion. ...

    Lakewood baseball player Donovan Pink. [Times staff] 
  11. Region baseball roundup: Hillsborough's Jensen goes the distance

    Baseballpreps

    SEMINOLE — Hillsborough could not have scripted its Class 6A region quarterfinal any better. Terriers' starting pitcher Jared Jensen threw a complete-game three-hitter, Hillsborough's defense played error free and it came up with just enough offense to defeat Osceola 4-1 Wednesday night.

    "Jared wants to pitch in these situations," Hillsborough coach Kenny White said. "He's got three or four complete games this year and the last thing he wants to see is me coming out to the mound. It was good to see him get ahead early, pitch to contact and let his defense play.''...

  12. Region softball roundup: Admiral Farragut snags a bit of revenge

    Softballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — When Admiral Farragut and Northside Christian met in the district final, the Mustangs scored early and got solid pitching. The opposite happened in Wednesday's Class 3A region semifinal.

    The Blue Jackets jumped on Northside Christian starting pitcher Jordyn Counts in the first inning, and AFA pitcher Corynn Miner had 11 strikeouts in a 5-2 win.

    "We were out to get some revenge," Miner said. "They are kind of our rivals so we wanted to come here and kick butt."...

  13. HomeTeam Huddle: QB landscape takes new shape

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay saw its fair share of high-profile high school quarterbacks last year. And with a lot of the top ones graduating this spring, a new crop of prospects waits in the wings, looking to grab the spotlight and trying to break a few records.

    Add Matthew Landers to that list.

    Landers spent his first day of spring practice Monday getting a physical exam and joining his team for the final half hour of workouts. The rising junior transfer from Lakewood will work full time with his new Admiral Farragut teammates today....

    Garrison Bryant
  14. District baseball roundup: IRC beats Calvary Christian for 3A-9 title

    Baseballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — George Koulianos had a night to remember on Friday.

    The Indian Rocks Christian senior pitched 5⅔ innings of shutout relief and had the winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to help IRC defeat Calvary Christian 3-2 in the Class 3A, District 9 final. It is the Golden Eagles' first district championship since 2003.

    "The first time I ever pitched it was against Calvary and they hit me around,'' Koulianos said. "When I got the ball tonight I told myself that I wasn't going to lose this one.''...

  15. Spring football primer for Pinellas County

    Footballpreps

    Spring football practices start Monday for high schools around the state, and the annual evaluation of talent and position battles begins as teams retake the field.

    New coaches in the mix

    Pinellas County had a slew of new coaches prior to the 2014 season, so this year seems tame by comparison. There are four new head coaches — and one interim. Only Mike Lube at Tarpon Springs takes over a team with a winning record....

    S Craig Watts drops back into coverage during Gibbs High School Football practice in St. Petersburg  Monday afternoon (08/11/14).