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EX-BULLDOG TAKES NEXT STEP, SIGNS WITH VIRGINIA

Baseball

Chris Fern, the all-time leader in saves at St. Johns River State College, signed a letter of intent with the University of Virginia.

After his prep career at Zephyrhills, Fern spent two seasons as the closer at St. Johns River, compiling a school-best 17 saves. He also holds the school's single-season record for saves with nine, which he set this spring in his sophomore season.

For his career, Fern went 7-3 with a 2.70 ERA. He was named the Mid-Florida Conference Fireman of the Year in 2011 and the FCCAA Fireman of the Year.

The Cavaliers (45-6) are a unanimous No. 1 in the major national rankings.

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Recruiting

Sunlake's Jackson goes JC route

In a small ceremony at Sunlake on Tuesday afternoon, the school's most prolific player to date, quarterback Jacob Jackson, signed with the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

"It's a big weight lifted off of my shoulders to finally sign," Jackson said. "I wanted to go to a junior college instead of an NAIA or a D-III school because I want to try to get an opportunity to play D-I football."

The Chaparrals are members of the Midwest Football Conference and finished the 2010-11 season with a 7-5 record.

Jackson, who transferred from Gulf before his junior season, led the Seahawks to a 12-8 record the past two seasons. The senior became the first quarterback in Pasco County since the 2005-06 season to rush and throw for more than 1,000 yards, as he threw for 1,258 yards, 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,058 and 12 scores. Gulf's Alton Voss was the last to complete the feat.

- Angie Gaffney, a senior outfielder for Nature Coast, will continue her softball career at St. Johns River State College, a member of the Florida Community College Activities Association. Gaffney hit .250 for the Sharks in 12 games this season. As a junior, she batted .299 and scored 15 runs. She added 10 stolen bases, seven RBIs and four doubles last season.

- Pasco versatile football playmaker Trey Dudley-Giles (6-feet-1, 190) has picked up his third offer from a Division I-A school. East Carolina added its name to the mix, joining Rutgers and Florida Atlantic.

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