Kevin Streelman is used to entering a tournament under the radar screen. This week, things will be different.
As the defending champion of the Valspar Championship, Streelman will have more demands on his time this week. Now in his seventh full season on the PGA Tour, this is the first time Streelman has a tournament to defend.
"It's pretty cool,'' he said. "It'll be fun to see that parking spot and have a picture on a ticket. It's a neat little bonus. At the same time, you're still last year's news.''...
ST. PETERSBURG — Osceola's Keith Weisenberg looked very much like the dominant pitcher major league scouts think he will be in Friday night's 3-0 win over Northeast.
In front of about 15 scouts, Weisenberg struck out six, walked one and allowed only one hit in his five innings of work.
But he wasn't the only player who stood out in the Warriors' win.
Luke Hains was 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Jaret Helinger had an RBI double, Jacob McFadden hit a home run to centerfield and relief pitcher Buddy Dougherty picked up his third save with two scoreless innings....
Sheila Johnson is not used to losing.
Her business portfolio is packed with successes, from being a founding partner in Black Entertainment Television to owning shares in the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals and the WNBA's Washington Mystics.
As CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, which includes Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, she oversees all activities at the resort. The biggest annual draw is the PGA Tour event, which has been played on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course since 2000....
TARPON SPRINGS — Like most Saturdays, the group of golfers gathered at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course for its weekly league.
And like most Saturdays, at this course and courses around the country, the round involved a few side wagers.
Until Feb. 8.
As the group of golfers walked to the clubhouse that morning, it was greeted by general manager Chuck Winship.
No more betting in league play, said Winship, revealing he was under investigation by Tarpon Springs police....
EAST LAKE — Tuesday night's 4-3 win over Pinellas Park was a blueprint of how East Lake coach Dan Genna wants his team to play.
It starts with pitching. Ryan Wall provided that by scattering two hits and allowing only one run in six innings. Then there is defense. The Eagles did not commit an error, and infielders Christian James, Keegan Maronpot and Andrew Prozzillo each made nice plays....
CLEARWATER — Round 1 of the Class 3A, District 9 rivalry between Clearwater Central Catholic and Calvary Christian went to the Marauders.
CCC scored six runs in the first three innings, four of which came with two outs, and held on to defeat the Warriors 6-5 Friday. The game had everything expected from a rivalry: good pitching, timely hitting and a little controversy....
PINELLAS PARK — Countryside and Pinellas Park trotted out their aces in the first Class 7A, District 9 game of the season Tuesday night, and neither disappointed.
The Cougars' Christian Townsend bested Pinellas Park's Brandon Grigsby by striking out nine and wiggling out of trouble in the seventh inning for a 2-0 win.
Townsend allowed three hits, walked one and threw 77 pitches in a complete game. He also doubled in the fourth, leading to Countryside's first run....
East Lake coach Dan Genna will get no sympathy from rival coaches, but so far this season he is having trouble getting his deep pitching staff enough innings.
With four legitimate starters, the Eagles have the best luxury in baseball: too much pitching.
Senior right-hander Brad Deppermann has moved from closer to ace and has been dominant. But there is also RHPs Cameron Churchill, Ryan Wall and Steven Plaskett. And Genna said LHP Riley Choate has also emerged as a legitimate arm....
PORT ST. LUCIE — St. Petersburg's hopes of making a first appearance in the state semifinals came down to free throws against Treasure Coast on Saturday night.
Tied with less than a minute to play in the Class 8A region final, the Titans converted all four of their free throws while the Green Devils could not in a 54-50 Treasure Coast win.
"Free throws were big in this game," St. Petersburg coach Tamika Coley said. "We probably shot evenly from the floor but their free-throw percentage was probably better. It's tough to beat somebody that way."...
MELBOURNE — East Lake coach Alex Stenson usually has no problem giving his team a post game pep talk. But after Friday night's 3-2 loss to Boca Raton in the Class 5A semifinals at Eastern Florida State College — 4-2 in penalty kicks — Stenson barely knew what to say.
"It was hard to get the words out," he said. "Those seniors were in tears. They put so much into the second half. There was nothing I could say to make them feel any better. I only told them how proud I was of them."...
PALM HARBOR — Enough was enough.
St. Petersburg had lost three of its past four games this season against Palm Harbor University and trailed the Hurricanes by four points at halftime of Tuesday's Class 8A region semifinal.
"We had a little pow-wow talk," St. Petersburg coach Tamika Coley said. " 'Is this how we're going to go out? We're going to lose four games to a team we know we can compete with?' Everybody said 'No.' So I told them to get out there and play like it."...
Sarasota Out-of-Door got a steady diet of Plentovich sisters against Calvary Christian in Thursday night's Class 3A region quarterfinal.
Carley Plentovich scored 29 points and twin Savannah added 14 in a 68-25 victory. Calvary Christian jumped on the Thunder from the opening tip-off and led 32-4 after the first quarter. By the fourth quarter, the game was played with a running clock.
"It's nice to see that we were ready to play," Warriors coach Brooke Sibert said. "It's the regionals now so you expect to get the best from every team you play."...
PALM HARBOR — As his team warmed up for its Class 8A region quarterfinal against Plant, Palm Harbor University coach Darian Dublin figured his team was ready. By the time the first quarter ended, he knew it was.
The Hurricanes (24-3) jumped to an 11-point first-quarter lead and never looked back in a 46-35 win over the Panthers (17-13) on Thursday. The win sets up a fifth meeting with district rival St. Petersburg on Tuesday in the region semifinals....
PALM HARBOR — Larry Packard, who designed more than 600 golf courses including all four at the Innisbrook Resort and Spa, died Thursday at age 101. On Monday, during a luncheon to promote this year's Valspar Championship PGA event at a restaurant that bears his name, Mr. Packard was remembered fondly.
"I honestly feel Larry Packard is and was Innisbrook,'' said Sheila Johnson, owner of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, which runs Innisbrook. "His signature golf course, the Copperhead, is here at Innisbrook. But he had a tremendous influence on all the courses here. I have never met a kinder, smarter, more genteel man in all my life.''...