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Russ Schenk was hired Tuesday night as Sunlake athletic director, principal Angie Stone wrote in an e-mail.

The Tarpon Springs alumnus has had stops at River Ridge, Hudson and most recently Anclote as a physical education teacher, wrestling coach and assistant football coach. He is best known for coaching wrestling for 22 years.

At Sunlake, Schenk will assume a new role as drop-out prevention teacher. He believes it's the next step to a greater administrative role.

"I applied for the job because it was a great opportunity," Schenk, 46, said. "I'm working on my specialist degree. I thought it was a natural transition for me to work toward a leadership position."

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Football leftovers

A few observations from Wiregrass Ranch's 13-7 victory over Zephyrhills on Monday.

- The Bulls' Josh Johnson might be the most overlooked running back on the North Suncoast. Unofficially, Johnson had 28 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown. In Week 1, he ran 20 times for 196 yards and a touchdown.

Asked if he thought Johnson was underrated, first-year Bulls coach Jeremy Shobe said: "I think he's one of the best running backs. The kid's a stud. He had 200 in the classic, close to 200 against Sunlake and was 50 yards from that against Zephyrhills. So, yeah, you could say he's underrated."

Based on current statistics, Johnson's 347 total yards would rank him third among North Suncoast rushers behind Mitchell's Ricky Trinidad (402 yards, two TDs) and Nature Coast's Tevin Drake (370 yards, six TDs).

- Wiregrass Ranch's secondary is solid. Cornerback Rudy Walker made two huge plays, first a pass breakup in the end zone on a deep pass by Zephyrhills quarterback Charles Smith. Walker then nabbed an interception on a shovel pass by Smith. Bulls corner Antwan Prince also picked off Smith.

- Despite two interceptions, Smith's passes were quick and accurate. He finished 7-of-14 with 144 yards with a 1-yard run for a touchdown.

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Gulf's Ramirez a two-sport star

As a member of the 2008-09 Gulf basketball team, David Ramirez was an all-North Suncoast honorable mention pick.

Now, he's making his mark in football, too.

A senior WR/DB, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound Ramirez had the best game of his career in last week's 43-22 win over River Ridge. He not only caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, but intercepted a pass and made a bone-jarring tackle on a punt return.

"That's his breakout game," Bucs coach Jay Fulmer said. "We knew he had that kind of ability. He does that in practice every day."

Compiled by staff writers Izzy Gould and Keith Niebuhr.

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Bulls think pink for season opener

Wiregrass Ranch begins its cross country season Saturday at the Mitchell Invitational. And the Bulls should be easy to spot in pink T-shirts to support Ryan Pulsifer's mother, Regina, who has breast cancer. Bulls coach Chris Lothsaid her prognosis is very good.

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Izzy Gould can be reached at or (813) 435-7314.