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SCHOOL PROFILE: TARPON SPRINGS

OPENED: 1912. ENROLLMENT (10th-12th): 1,065.

MASCOT: Spongers.

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Keith Thornburgh.

TEAM STATE TITLES: Boys soccer _ 1984 (Class 3A); 1985 (3A). Volleyball _ 1991 (3A).

FAMOUS FORMER ATHLETES: Leonard Conley (Class of 1987, U of Miami football/NFL/Storm): Mike Gruttadauria ('91, UCF football/NFL); Gus Kartes (professional soccer); Ed Kofler ('96, minor league baseball); Don Smith ('75, UM football/NFL); Kipp Vickers ('88, UM football/NFL); Ted Watts ('77, Texas Tech football, NFL); Kris Wilson ('94; minor league baseball).

NOTABLE: The football program, which started in 1925, has made the playoffs more times than any other Pinellas school. In 1953, before the current playoff structure, the Spongers went 8-1-1 and won the Small School Championship. The Spongers reached the Class 4A state final in 1986, losing to Fort Lauderdale Dillard 14-6. The late Nick Hatzie, a former Spongers quarterback who came back to coach in 1968, developed the strength of the football program, winning six district titles in the 1960s and '70s. In the 1962-63 school year, Sandra Roberts Small enrolled at Tarpon, becoming the first black student to enroll with white students in Pinellas County. Tarpon's current structure was built in 1962. The school had a variety of homes before that. Twenty-five percent of the school's staff attended the school.

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