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Springstead skates to championship

The Springstead Mustangs, a co-op club team of players from Springstead and Central high schools, won the West-Central Conference title on Friday at the Ice Forum in Brandon and the Statewide Amateur Hockey of Florida mixed-team state championship Sunday at the Ice Palace.

Sophomore winger Ricky Nelson scored twice and goaltender Jimmy Robbins made 14 saves as the Mustangs beat the Pinellas Bulldogs for the state title. Alex Yarnel and Anthony Bohn also scored as the Mustangs finished the season 19-4-1.

Pinellas had beaten Springstead 2-1 in the second round of the tournament for the state's four conference champions.

It was a lot more than coach Jim Fisher, of Spring Hill, expected.

"When I started the season, I told the kids the best thing I hoped for was for a split, 50-50," Fisher said. "When we walked onto the rink they used to say, "Where the heck are you guys from?' "

Springstead beat Wharton 3-2 in the first round of the SAHOF Tournament, then routed the Kissimmee Flames 4-1 after the loss to Pinellas.

Bohn scored twice, and Nelson and Nick Correa _ the team's only senior _ had a goal in a 4-2 win over George Jenkins for the West-Central crown.

Central's search narrows

The search for Central's new football coach has been narrowed to three candidates. Each, principal Dennis McGeehan said, is from Florida, one is from the Tampa Bay area, but none are from Hernando County.

"We're in the process of working on references and getting some calls out there," McGeehan said.

He said the school is on schedule to have Steve Crognale's replacement hired by April 1. Crognale resigned Feb. 22 to pursue a master's degree in administration.

Springstead assistants Terry Hoffman and Mike and Dan Garofano were among the 32 men from 12 states seeking to become the school's fourth head coach. The position pays a $3,321 stipend.

The applicants from Florida are Walter Banks (Clermont), Brady Bogart (Citrus), Jason Bond (Moore Haven), Kenny Buckner (Okeechobee), Jim Ceccarelli (Brandon), John Cantwell (Ormond Beach), Evan Cooper (Orlando), Dan Dover (New Smyrna Beach), Neil Gruber (Fort Lauderdale), Brian Matthews (Zephyrhills), Michael Nachtigal (Palmetto), Mark Stanton (Panama City), John Schwochow (Cape Coral), Marty Williams (South Sumter), and John Wilkinson (Merritt Island).

Bogart was named Citrus' interim head coach for baseball last week.

Lagedrost cashes check in debut

It wasn't U.S. Women's Open-type money, but, hey, it was a paycheck. And that's what it is all about for professional golfers such as Kelly Lagedrost.

The 22-year-old Brooksville native earned $1,465 in her first event on The Futures Tour this weekend at The Club at Eaglebrooke in Lakeland, finishing tied for eighth and six strokes behind winner Sue Ginter-Brooker (Appleton, Wis.). Ginter-Brooker earned $8,400.

Lagedrost shot a 2-over 74-74-70_218 and was the highest-finishing Floridian in the tour's season-opener.

She is scheduled to compete in the $60,000 Florida Hospitals Classic today-Friday at Sun 'N Lake Golf and Country Club in Sebring.

FUTURES TOUR

Final round scores and money Sunday in the Futures Tour's $60,000 Florida Futures Golf Challenge at the 6,306-yard, par 36-36_72 The Club at Eaglebrooke. (a-denotes amateur):

1. Sue Ginter-Brooker (Appleton, Wis.) 70-68-74_212, $8,400; 2. (tie) Nicole Jeray (Berwyn, Ill.) 68-74-72_214, $5,250, Nicole Materne (Spokane, Wash.) 70-69-75_214, $5,250; 4. Lisa Strom (North Wales, Penn.), 73-71-71_215, $3,600; 5. (tie) Tracy Cone (Richmond, Calif.), 73-73-71_217, $2,375, Christina Kim (San Jose, Calif.), 69-74-74_217, $2,375, Ju Kim (Seoul, Korea), 72-70-75_217, $2,375; 8. (tie) Kelly Lagedrost (Brooksville), 74-74-70_218, $1,465, Krista Bartlett (Porterville, Calif.), 76-71-71_218, $1,465, Jaejean Ro (San Jose, Calif.), 72-75-71_218, $1,465, Kathryn Cusick (Jacksonville) 74-72-72_218, $1,465, Brittney Bacon (Minot, N.D.), 70-75-73_218, $1,465, Michele Vinieratos (Altamonte Springs), 73-70-75_218, $1,465.

Bears earn top district softball seed

Central wrapped up the top seed for the Class 4A, District 7 Tournament with Thursday's 7-6 victory over Lecanto in 11 innings.

Jenny Clark struck out 18 batters, and freshman Kelly Dunham pitched the final two innings for Central.

The Bears outhit the Panthers 14-4 but allowed four unearned runs.

"Interesting game," Central coach Benny Martinez said.

Central (9-4, 5-1 district) joins Hernando (10-4, 6-1) as a No. 1 seed. The Leopards earned the top spot for the Class 3A, District 6 Tournament with Friday's 1-0 win over Crystal River.

_ BRANT JAMES, FRANK PASTOR

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