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FAMILIARITY BREEDS SUCCESS IN SOCCER

The RSL Tampa under-16 boys soccer team wasn't thrown together at the last second.

The team, which consists of players from four counties, including three from St. Petersburg, has been together since they were 11.

That explains its run of recent success.

It started by winning the United Soccer League North American Super Y Championship in November. Then RSL won the Florida State Cup earlier this year after falling just short in three previous years.

The state championship meant a berth in the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Championships in Baton Rouge, La. There, RSL defeated teams from Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana to earn a berth in the championship.

In the final, it defeated a team from Georgia 2-1 to earn a national tournament spot.

RSL will leave for that tournament, in Overland Park, Kan., on July 19.

"This team has been playing together for four years,'' team manager Lorraine Apperson said. "They have all bonded together.''

The three players from St. Petersburg areRheese Wiltshire of Shorecrest Prep, Kyle Apperson of Northeast High and RaeShaun Washington of St. Petersburg High.

Other players on the team are: Jean Cenoble, Micheal Ciluffo, Ben Plante, Kody Parker, Jake Frahm, Jarrett Link, Kody Thomas, Nathan Dalton, Travis Jehs, Winston Lightbody, Zach Higgins andRicky McEwen.

The coaches are Steve Wolf and Maurice Loregnard.

Baseball

The under-6 Pinellas Park Sharks recently won the Dizzy Dean state championship and qualified for the Dizzy Dean World Series in East Ridge, Tenn., on July 15-21.

The team consists of: Chad Cloud, Jordan Cook, Trevor Armstrong, Dallas Webb, Matthew Robinson, Luke Percifield, Shane McClanahan, Jacob Green, Jack Thompson, Joseph Garcia, Will Hooper, Dearl Edens and Justin Jacobs.

Coaches are Dave Thompson, Jeff Cloud, Dave Armstrong and Geovanni Garcia.

Tennis

Ricky Symanski of Clearwater won the boys 18 singles championship at the Temple Terrace Tennis Center on June 27. In the final, he defeated Michard Every 6-1, 7-6.

- USPTA certified instructor Rob Delgado will hold a series of free clinics at the Highland Recreation Complex in Largo. The clinics will be on Saturdays - July 10, 17, Aug. 14 and 21 - and will teach beginner to intermediate players techniques and strategy.

Clinics are free to all Largo recreation card holders and $5 per clinic for noncard holders. Clinics start at 9 a.m. for ages 8-14, and 10 a.m. for anyone 15 and older.

Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, visit PlayLargo.com or call 518-3016.

Golf

The County Golf Association held its weekly tournament on June 28 at Feather Sound Country Club. The regular division gross winners were Ben Beckman and Mark Wheaton, who shot 66. The senior gross winners were Mike Sanderson and John King, who shot 68. The overall net winners were Jim Hammar and Dan Barbaro, who shot 55.

- Ken Palladino of Dunedin qualified for the Senior U.S. Open after shooting 70 at Tuesday's qualifier at Dunedin Country Club. Palladino secured a spot in the Senior Open, which is July 29-Aug. 1 in Seattle. St. Petersburg's Fred Curtis also shot 70 but was an alternate after a playoff. There were only two spots available.

- The Tides Women's Golf Association held a tournament June 29. Judy McNamee was first with 68. Linda Bullerman finished one shot back, and Mary Alice Okrezsik was third at 74.

Bowling

The Gulf Coast USBC of Seminole Lanes is hosting a youth tournament July 17. The sixth annual Harry Beierlein Youth Scholarship Tournament will be at 1 p.m. at Sunrise Lanes in St. Petersburg. The entry fee is $20, and walk-ins are welcome.

For information, go to www.gcusbc.org or call 522-2174.

- page@sptimes.com

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