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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. HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings

    Preps

    1. Seffner Christian (22-1)

    This week: Tuesday at Shorecrest, Saturday vs. Palm Harbor University

    The skinny: Another week and more wins for the Crusaders. They finish the season strong with a game Saturday against Palm Harbor University at Northeast and at Tampa Catholic on Jan. 23. After that it is off to the Class 4A, District 4 tournament, where they have the top seed and should have no problem getting into regionals. Seffner has won 18 straight prior to Tuesday's game at Shorecrest. ...

    Seffner Christian's Nykeria Reed jumps to take a layup during the Class 3A Girls Basketball Semifinals, Seffner Christian against Miami Country Day on Tuesday evening, February 16, 2016 at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland. The Seffner Christian girls fell apart in the third period and lost 75-45, ending their season one game short of the semifinals.
  2. Bird watching 101: Snowbirds aren't only ones around in winter

    Outdoors

    Ever seen a white pelican? Or a yellow-rumped warbler known affectionately as a "butter butt?" Or how about a yellow-bellied sapsucker? (That's its name, honest). They are all around us right now, hiding in plain sight on the waters or in the trees of Tampa Bay.

    Like the snowbirds who come south to visit or live in Florida during the winter months, so, too, do the real birds. It's the perfect time of year to get outside, hike a trail and keep your eyes open for some of the rare birds visiting our area....

    A limpkin feeds at the shore of Moccasin Lake on Tuesday (1/3/17) at Moccasin Lake Nature Park in Clearwater. The bird is among a large variety of wetlands birds that can be observed at the park.
  3. Coach Karim Nohra's tough love yields transforms Carrollwood Day

    Preps

    TAMPA — Carrollwood Day's game against Indian Rocks Christian is exactly 38 seconds old, but Patriots coach Karim Nohra has seen enough. He races to find a substitute for freshman guard Tiasia McMillan. McMillan wasn't executing plays to Nohra's liking, and as she ran off the court, she was getting an earful.

    "I ripped into her," Nohra said. "It was unacceptable what she was doing."...

    Carrollwood Day head coach Karim Nohra talks to the team at the end of practice on Thursday. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  4. Girls soccer: Sizing up the district tournaments

    Preps

    This is the last week of the regular season for girls soccer. District tournaments begin next week, and it is clear there are several area teams with state tournament aspirations. Here is our final regular-season elite eight. Any of these teams have a shot at making the state tournament in Deland. In fact, watch for some of the bubble teams, like Bloomingdale or Wesley Chapel, to make some postseason noise as well. ...

    Newsome's Lauren Evans (2), right, advances the ball defended by Lourdes' Niki Molina (13) during high school Class 5A Semi-final State Championship girls soccer action at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla., Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (Gary Lloyd McCullough, Special to the Times)
  5. No commitment yet for 2015 Valspar champion Spieth

    Pga

    PALM HARBOR — The Valspar Championship is two months away, and the field is starting to take shape. One PGA Tour player not yet committed is 2015 champion Jordan Spieth.

    Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, has played the Innisbrook tournament since 2013. So far, he's only committed through the Genesis Open on Feb. 16-19 in California.

    "He's not committed yet, but that doesn't mean he won't commit in the future. We're still hopeful," tournament director Tracy West said. ...

    Jordan Spieth drives the 10th fairway while playing in the second round of the 2015 Valspar Championship on Friday (3/13/15) at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.
  6. HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings

    Preps

    1. Seffner Christian (18-1)

    This week: Tuesday vs. Northside Christian, Thursday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Friday at Indian Rocks Christian

    The skinny: The Crusaders played three tough games last week and won them all. That included a 77-72 overtime win over Spruce Creek in the Flagler Palm Coast tournament. This week should not be as difficult as they try to extend their 16-game win streak. ...

    Clearwater junior Misha O'Neal drives to the basket during a 65-26 victory over Strawberry Crest during first-round action of the Jaguar Holiday Tournament on Wednesday. Taken 12-27-16 by Scott Purks
  7. HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Andrew Cavanaugh and Audra Leipold

    Preps

    Andrew Cavanaugh, Clearwater Central Catholic

    Last season, Cavanaugh transferred from Pinellas Park, bolstering a lineup loaded with quality AAU players.

    The Marauders started well, winning their first four games. But they were unable to maintain that success and finished 15-10 in the regular season before making an early exit in the district tournament.

    Cavanaugh returned this season, along with eight other seniors. That experience is a big reason CCC is 14-2 with the two losses coming against Calvary Christian and Tampa Prep, both playoff teams from a year ago....

    Clearwater Central Catholic basketball player Andrew Cavanaugh
  8. Missouri junior Buckley wins St. Petersburg's New Year's Invitational

    Golf

    ST. PETERSBURG — With high winds and low temperatures for the final round of the New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg Country Club, Hayden Buckley felt comfortable. A junior at the University of Missouri, Buckley said he spent the past month practicing in cold conditions.

    While others faded at the finish, Buckley held on with a steady 2-over 74 to win with a total of 6-under 282. He outlasted Peyton Wilhoit (75) of Southern Illinois by two shots. Wilhoit started the day one shot behind Buckley. Harrison Shih (77) of Columbia University was also a shot back to start the day but finished at 2 under....

  9. HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations through Jan. 6

    Blog

    Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span the winter break through Friday, Jan. 6. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.

    Female nominees

    Ali Bronson, basketball, Hernando: Bronson scored a total of 41 points in three games at the Hernando Holiday Classic, including 16 points in a 45-38 overtime win over Weeki Wachee in the championship game. She had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the opening game against Northeast....

  10. Admiral Farragut promotes Rick Kravitz to head coach

    Footballpreps

    Rick Kravitz has been named head coach at Admiral Farragut, athletic director Larry Antonucci confirmed on Wednesday. Kravitz takes over for Ryan Hearn, who spent four years as head coach and was 3-5 this past season before stepping down. Kravitz was the Blue Jackets' defensive coordinator.

    Kravitz, an assistant coach at USF under Jim Leavitt, was head coach at Gibbs in 2013-14. He was 9-11 before resigning. He did not coach in 2015 but joined Hearn's staff for the 2016 season. ...

    Rick Kravitz, previously Gibbs' head coach and Admiral Farragut's defensive coordinator this past season, takes over as Blue Jackets coach. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  11. Court Report: Bucs back on track, major milestones and alumni updates

    Preps

    Berkeley Prep boys basketball coach Bobby Reinhart started the season with an overwhelming sense of loss.

    Kaleeyl Findlay, the team's leading scorer and rebounder last season, fractured his tibia and will not return until late January if at all. Tim Keeley, a 6-foot-6 post player, is out for the second straight season with an injury.

    To make matters worse, the Buccaneers had to wait for the football players to return after an extended playoff run that lasted until the state semifinals in early December. ...

    Dallas Moore, a former standout at Boca Ciega, became the first player for North Florida to score 2,000 career points. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com
  12. Girls basketball: Lakewood 59, Clearwater 48

    Blog

    CLEARWATER – When it comes to playing teams in Pinellas County, Lakewood coach Necole Tunsil isn’t very impressed. She looks at the games as a necessary evil. They are on the schedule, but she doesn’t feel the games do much to get her team ready for the postseason.

    Tuesday’s game at Clearwater promised to be different. The Tornadoes are talented and only had one loss in the first half of the season. But Lakewood jumped on Clearwater early, survived a shaky third quarter, and won 59-48. Toi Smith led the Spartans with 15 points. Zariyah Daniels chipped in with 14....

  13. Ryan Hearn steps down at Admiral Farragut

    Footballpreps

    Ryan Hearn is no longer the head football coach at Admiral Farragut Academy. AFA athletic director Larry Antonucci confirmed that Hearn has left the school to "pursue other business opportunities.''

    Hearn took over the Blue Jackets program in June 2013 after Buster Davis resigned following the spring season. In four seasons at AFA, Hearn was 22-16 and led the team to a 10-2 record and Class 2A region final in 2015. This past season, the Blue Jackets were 3-5....

    Ryan Hearn coached Admiral Farragut for four seasons. (Monica Herndon, Times)
  14. HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings

    Preps

    1. Seffner Christian (15-1)

    This week: Tuesday vs. Fort Myers, Friday vs. South Broward (Flagler Palm Coast tournament), Saturday vs. Spruce Creek (Flagler Palm Coast tournament)

    Skinny: The Crusaders have won 13 straight, including three wins at their own Christmas Invitational. They are scoring just over 78 points per game. Leading the way is Chelsie Hall, with 16.7 points per game. But Brylee Bartram isn't far behind with 16.2. Junior Audra Leipold, who averages 12 points per game, recently surpassed 2,000 points in her high school career. ...

    Tampa Catholic's Tanyia Gordon (23) dribbles past Plant High School's Sydney Johnson (1) during the first period of the game at Tampa Catholic in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, December 20, 2016
  15. New Year's resolutions for the outdoors

    Outdoors

    Let's face it, making New Year's resolutions and actually sticking to them is hard. But there are plenty of outdoors resolutions that can be fun and challenging. Ever caught a really big fish, or hiked a trail and camped under the stars, or learned a water sport? Check some of those adventures off your list in 2017.

    Catch (and release) a tarpon: Or a marlin or swordfish. But those fish are in deeper water and need more equipment. Tarpon, some of the best sport fish in the world, are right here in Tampa Bay . They usually show up around late spring and hang out all summer long. The outgoing tide by the Sunshine Skyway bridge is the best place to find them. If you don't have a boat or tarpon expertise, there are several knowledgeable guides in our area. But it doesn't take a boat to catch them. Wade fishing the flats using live crab or shrimp, or fishing off a pier, has produced large tarpon. They average about 80 pounds, but can get up to over 200. They pull hard and leap, so hang on....

    Learn how to snorkel in 2017 and you just might run across a manatee, like this one at Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay in Crystal River. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)