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ROYAL KNIGHTS COACH OFF TO NORTH CAROLINA

Steve Doyle loved everything about River Ridge.

He was one of the first to step on campus when the school opened and has coached the boys soccer team for the past five seasons.

When he became a grandfather six months ago he knew his days at River Ridge would soon end. But a sagging housing market put plans to move to North Carolina on hiatus.

Suddenly, he got a call.

Someone wanted to buy the house and in the span of a few days what felt like an agonizing wait came to a quick end. So did Doyle's days at River Ridge.

"It's been hectic," Doyle said from North Carolina. "I miss everybody down there. It's difficult to make a life change I've done it before."

Doyle was an assistant at River Ridge from 1993-99 before he started the girls soccer program at Mitchell, winning 16 games in two seasons. Doyle returned to River Ridge in 2002.

Doyle is in "retirement" but admits he wants to get back into soccer as soon as possible.

"I'll get into soccer again," he said. "I'll play it by ear. It'll take time."

USTA event in Pasco County

The Grand Slam Futures Tampa Bay is moving to Pasco County.

The annual event, which was previously held at Hillsborough County Community College, will be hosted at Saddlebrook Resort (men) and Saint Leo University (women). The event moved to Pasco County after the closing of the HCC Tennis Complex.

The combined prize money for the event totals $35,000 ($25,000 for the women and $10,000 for the men). The event has featured athletes from at least 50 counties.

"We bring athletes from all around the world," tournament director Gregg Gruhl said in a press release. "The economic impact of more than 500 rooms a night and the high quality of this tennis tournament have made it a great success for both the athletes and the Tampa Bay area."

Qualifying begins Jan. 4 (men) and Jan. 8 (women). The tournament runs Jan. 8-13.

For more information call (813) 961-4448.

Izzy Gould can be reached at izzygould@gmail.com or (727) 580-5315.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 New varsity programs in Pasco County.

5 Days until fall football practice begins.

13 Varsity football teams in Pasco County.

30 Days until Kickoff 2007.

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