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WRIGHT BACK WITH BUCS

Gulf offensive coordinator Brian Wright, hospitalized this week for apparent internal bleeding, returned to Bucs' practice Thursday and will be on the sideline for tonight's district showdown with Hudson.

"They ran all those tests, and they were all negative," Bucs coach Jay Fulmer said.

Wright, who had emergency surgery for a ruptured esophagus in mid-April and had five more surgical procedures thereafter, began coughing up blood last weekend. He went to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where he had a stent implanted in his esophagus in May, and was released Wednesday. Fulmer said doctors never determined the cause of bleeding, but noticed a knot on his forearm that had been there for some time had vanished.

"Maybe he had a blood clot or something that got loose," Fulmer said. "The doctors never said that, but it makes sense."

Poderis to ETSU

In the next couple of weeks, Ridgewood center Lukas Poderis will become the second Division I signee in Rams boys basketball history. With that signature, he'll be headed in the same collegiate path as the Rams' first signee.

Poderis, who averaged nearly a double double (18.5 ppg, 9.6 rpg) for the Rams last season, has committed to East Tennessee State, where 2004 Ridgewood graduate Andrew Reed completed his career this year. He'll likely sign Nov. 12, the first day of the NCAA's early signing period. Poderis, a full academic qualifier according to Rams coach Gary Anders, also received offers from Niagara, Kent and Youngstown State.

"(ETSU) saw him play 10 or 12 times or so this spring or summer and they've been very persistent," Anders said. "They've been down here to visit him, either the head coach or assistant coach, four or five times.

"Long story short, I think they've made him feel comfortable."

Bear Run

Central's boys and Gulf's girls walked away with team titles Thursday at Central's annual Bear Run cross country race. Individual winners included Hernando senior Joe Wright (17:39) and Gulf's Natalie Smith (21:50). Central's boys took five places in the top 10 while Hernando grabbed four. The Bears were led by junior Mason McKenzie (17:54) and senior Josh Shannon (17:57). Central took the team title with 22 points followed by Hernando (33), Gulf (66) and Springstead (116). Zephyrhills did not have a team score.

For the girls, Gulf took four of the top five places including senior Brittnie Bennett's second-place finish (21:56). Gulf was first with 23 points followed by Central (33).

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