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  1. Archive

YEAR IN REVIEW

With the school year over, the Tampa Bay Times is taking a final look back at 2011-12, to the top teams and players from Pinellas County.

Best team East Lake volleyball

This one was easy. The Eagles won the state title in 2010 then lost their coach. No matter. East Lake won another state title this past season, led by veterans Rachel Reed and Brittnay Estes and seemed even more dominant.

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Honorable mention

Admiral Farragut football: Became first county football team to reach state final since 1995.

Lakewood girls basketball: Spartans get back to state final four despite losing Tianah Alvarado to injury.

Northside Christian girls track: Won every major meet in regular season and finished third at Class A state meet.

Palm Harbor University boys swimming: Bay area's most dominant program won its second state title in past four seasons.

Seminole boys soccer: Exhilarating run through playoffs culminated in the only state title game appearance for a county soccer team this season.

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Most likely to succeed Katelyn Greenleaf, Northside Christian

The county's most dominant distance runner, Greenleaf is a four-time Times runner of the year in cross country and two-time athlete of the year in track. She finished her career with 18 state medals (five in cross country, 13 in track).

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Honorable mention

Shaquem Griffin, Lakewood: Won state title in triple jump and started on football team as a defensive back despite having one hand.

Gina Hayduke, Seminole: Two-time player of the year nearly led Warhawks to third straight state final four appearance in soccer.

Mario Ojeda, Northside Christian: Helped put Mustangs boys distance runners on the map by leading cross country team to state and winning state title in 800 in track.

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Best all-around athlete

Gary Simon, Gibbs (male)

The Oklahoma football recruit, right, also was the county player of the year in basketball. In addition, he won the high jump in a few track meets and batted a team-high .333 in his first year playing baseball.

Alexis Irwin, Osceola (female)

Won the conference cross country title for the third straight season, played soccer on region final team and finished second in state in 800 in track.

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Honorable mention

Ryan Green, St. Petersburg Catholic: FSU football recruit averaged more than 25 points in basketball and was state runnerup in 100 in track.

Dana Harrington, Dixie Hollins: Star quarterback also finished third in state in wrestling.

David Jones, St. Petersburg: Three-sport star made it to state tournaments in basketball and track.

Paige Lombard, Palm Harbor U.: Soccer standout and Miami recruit also was a state qualifier in track.

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Biggest surprise

Dunedin, softball

Young team led by second-year coach Roy Silver won first district title and made first region final appearance since 1991.

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Honorable mention

Osceola girls soccer: Advanced to state semifinals and had school's best postseason run in more than 10 seasons.

Palm Harbor University football: Escape artist Billy Pavlock helped 'Canes make playoffs and win postseason game for first time.

St. Petersburg boys basketball: Rebounded from midseason slump to make state final four for first time since 1972.

St. Petersburg Catholic baseball: Overcame graduation of star players to advance to state final four for first time since 1975.

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Best performance

Kyle Goodnow, Dunedin

Ranked No. 1 in his weight class at 170 pounds, Goodnow was the county's only undefeated state champion and joined teammate Clarence Arrington as the first wrestlers from Dunedin to win state titles in 37 years.

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Honorable mention

Nick Alexiou, Clearwater: Won state swimming titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle, becoming the only county swimmer to win multiple titles this past season.

Rayshawn Jenkins, Admiral Farragut:Times' county player of the year rushed for 714 yards in four playoff games, including a county single-game playoff record 356 in opening-round victory over Fort Myers Evangelical Christian.

Samantha McCloskey, Palm Harbor University: Hit a bay area-best 14 home runs and set a bay area record with 66 RBIs this season.

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