There are many reasons to celebrate summer in Florida, and many others to curse it, but one of the best treats is the opening of scallop season. It begins July 1 in our area. There aren't many better ways to spend a day than snorkeling in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico while on the hunt for scallops.
Here is (most) of what you need to know in preparation for the season:
What is a scallop?...
Calvary Christian’s Greg Olsen has been named the Florida Dairy Farmer’s 2017 baseball Coach of the Year. Olsen, who is in his sixth season at the school, led the Warriors to a 30-0 season and a Class 4A state championship. It is the school’s first state title in any sport.
Olsen was chosen by state coaches and media from a group of nine who were named the top coach in each classification. He finished with 123 points, 45 points ahead of Class 9A Coach of the Year Tim Beaman of Timber Creek. The Coach of the Year in each class won a state title....
Pinellas Player of the Year: Eric Kennedy, Jr., Calvary Christian
Jim Damaske | Times...06/16/17Baseballpreps
Player of the Year: Eric Kennedy, Jr., Calvary Christian
Pitcher of the Year: Connor Churchill, Sr., East Lake
Coach of the Year: Greg Olsen, Calvary Christian
P Nolan Hudi, So., Calvary Christian
P Tyler Vogel, So., Dunedin
P Lucas Smith, Jr., Northeast
P Michael Paul, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic
C Matheu Nelson, Jr., Calvary Christian...06/16/17Baseballpreps
Player of the Year: Jordan Butler, Sr., Alonso
Pitcher of the Year: Brian Lee, Sr., King
Coach of the Year: Jim Macaluso, King
P Jack Anderson, Jr., Jesuit
P Beau Nichols, Sr., Newsome
P Julian Bosnic, Jr., Berkeley Prep
P Freddy Tarnok, Sr., Riverview
C Matthew Jernigan, Sr., King
INF Drew Ehrhard, Sr., Wharton...06/16/17Baseballpreps
North Suncoast Player of the Year: John Oliveira, Sr., Springstead
North Suncoast Pitcher of the Year: Tommy Mace, Sr., Sunlake
Coach of the Year: Jeff Swymer, Bishop McLaughlin
P Jakob Mattos, Jr., Mitchell
P Jonathan Gates, Jr., Nature Coast
P Dominic Diaz, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin
P Joey DelGatto, Sr., Springstead...06/16/17 The Heater
Brett Phillips' major-league debut was only supposed to last one day. The former Seminole High standout was called up by the Brewers from Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 5 to play against the Giants and pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
His stay ended up being one week and a total of five games. It's been a whirlwind two weeks since Phillips got word he was going to Milwaukee.
"I was packing my stuff up and getting ready to head back to Colorado Springs (from Oklahoma City)," Phillips said. "The manager came up to me and said, 'You're headed to the big leagues.' It was very subtle. He kept on talking but I didn't really hear anything he said after the 'You're going to the big leagues' part."...06/14/17Footballpreps
Mitch Disney has been named the new football coach at Dunedin. Disney, 33, takes over for Todd Brooks, who was 0-10 in his only season as head coach. The Falcons have lost 24 straight games dating to the 2014 season.
"This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time," said Disney, who has been an assistant coach in Pinellas County for the past 10 years, most recently at Northeast. "I know I'm not walking into an undefeated program. It's a program that needs rebuilding. We need to get the numbers up and get the right kids who want to work hard. It means walking the halls and being at the lunch tables, trying to find players who want to be a part of turning things around."...06/13/17Baseballpreps
Riverview High's Freddy Tarnok was the highest area selection on the second day of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Tarnok, who pitched and played shortstop, was taken 80th overall in the third round by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. He is being drafted as a right-handed pitcher, which is impressive considering he's only been a pitcher for two years.
"It's all very new to me," Tarnok said. "I've always thrown pretty hard and my high school team needed some pitching (last year). They tried me out on the mound and I just went with it."...06/12/17Baseballpreps
As a senior at Bishop McLaughlin two years ago, Nate Pearson was an impressive 9-1 with 109 strikeouts in 72 innings. But he was not drafted. Two years and two colleges later, Pearson was taken in the first round of Monday night's Major League Baseball draft.
Pearson, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound right-hander, was selected 28th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the first Tampa Bay area prospect, along with Alex Faedo (Alonso/UF) earlier in the night, to be drafted in the first round since Plant's Kyle Tucker went fifth overall by the Astros in 2015. ...06/09/17Baseballpreps
When the Major League Baseball draft gets underway Monday, three area high school pitchers will eventually have the same decision to make. Sunlake's Tommy Mace, Alonso's Jordan Butler and East Lake's Connor Churchill are all hard-throwing seniors who have caught the attention of pro scouts. All three are committed to UF.
And as of now, all three have no idea what they will be doing this time next week. They will either sign a contract and turn professional, or they will head to Gainesville and become Gators. ...06/07/17Baseballpreps
When Nate Pearson started playing baseball, he had a plan.
"I had four goals when I was a kid," said Pearson, who was named this year's junior college pitcher of the year by the scouting service Perfect Game. "One was to play college baseball. The second was to get drafted. The third was to make the major leagues, and the fourth was to become a Hall of Famer. You've got to think big."
He can check playing college baseball off his list. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound pitcher from Bishop McLaughlin attended Florida International last year as a freshman, then transferred to the College of Central Florida in Ocala. He has an offer from LSU for his junior and senior years....06/06/17 Blog
Former Seminole standout Brett Phillips made his major-league debut Monday night for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was 1-for-3 with two strikeouts as the Brewers' centerfielder against the Giants. Phillips, 23, was called up from Triple-A after Milwaukee placed infielder Travis Shaw on the paternity list.
Phillips was a sixth-round pick by the Astros in 2012 and was traded to the Brewers in 2015. He has worked his way through the minor-league system and is considered a top prospect. He may not stick in the big leagues the entire season, but he is close to being a permanent part of the Brewers' major-league club....06/03/17Baseballpreps
FORT MYERS — For six innings, Jesuit was good enough to win the Class 6A state title. Unfortunately, the seventh inning was a different story.
With the game tied 1-1, three Jesuit relievers gave up four runs and Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy pulled away for a 5-1 win Saturday afternoon at Hammond Field. It is the Mavericks' seventh state championship in eight years and their third straight. Jesuit was trying to win the school's first state title since 2014....06/02/17Baseballpreps
FORT MYERS — It's an expression almost as old as the game itself: Pitching and defense win baseball games. True, but it doesn't hurt to score a few runs as well.
Aside from a 1-0 win over Jefferson in the Class 6A region semifinals, Jesuit (25-6) has scored runs in bunches, while piling up hits this postseason. There was an 11-hit attack against Spoto. A 14-hit game against Jefferson in the district final and another 14-hitter against Belleview in the region final....