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HomeTeam Hot List: Wharton-Plant volleyball among week’s highlights

Most must-see day of the week? That would be Friday, with another full football slate, stellar volleyball and a big cross country meet.
Palm Harbor University's Luana Sondgerath, right, celebrates after firing down a kill during a victory last season over over Berkeley Prep. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Aug. 26

A closer look at some of the high school events worth checking out this week:

Volleyball, Holy Names at Northside Christian

6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A good cross-bay match between teams with postseason aspirations. The Mustangs are trying to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Osceola. The Jaguars are 2-0 and have not dropped a set.

Volleyball, Plant at Wharton

7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Wildcats appear to be pretty darn good. They defeated a solid Lakewood Ranch in the preseason and took care of East Bay in straight sets last week. Plant is looking to rebound after a 3-0 loss to Hagerty, who the Panthers beat in the region final last season. This is an early Class 7A, District 7 match that could set the tone for the rest of the season.

MORE PREP VOLLEYBALL: St. Petersburg impresses in season opener vs. defending state champ Shorecrest

Volleyball, Steinbrenner at Bloomingdale

7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Warriors have lost only one set in four matches. One of those was a 3-0 win over Bloomingdale in the preseason. This one should be a bit tougher on the road. The Bulls are coming off a 3-2 win over annual playoff contender Robinson.

Cross country, Babe Zaharias Twilight Challenge

Will Mary Ellen Eudaly and Plant repeat as state champions this year? They'll get a good early-season test Friday. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

5:15 p.m. Friday. The meet, held on the golf course in Tampa, features some of the top teams in the state. Defending Class 4A boys state champion Sarasota and 4A girls champion Plant will be there, along with several others that placed among the top five.

Volleyball, Palm Harbor University at Berkeley Prep

6 p.m. Friday. A rare Friday night match. The Hurricanes will be without key players Katy Cameron and Luana Sondgerath due to previous Labor Day travel plans, so it won’t be a full squad. The Bucs are playing well so far, despite being young.

MORE PREP VOLLEYBALL: East Lake off to a perfect start in district play

Football, Boca Ciega at Largo

7:30 p.m. Friday. These teams met at the end of September last season, and it was all Boca Ciega in a 40-14 win. It was the first of six straight wins for the Pirates, snapping a four-game win streak for the Packers. Both teams are 1-0 so far. Largo beat Braden River 7-2 in the opener; Boca Ciega beat Gibbs 50-6.

MORE PREP FOOTBALL: HomeTeam 15: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

Football: Plant City at Tampa Bay Tech

7:30 p.m. Friday. Though the programs are no longer district rivals, their matchup still is intriguing, especially after both recorded big wins last week. The Raiders outscored Jesuit 37-29 and the Titans blanked Chamberlain 25-0. It also is a chance for fans to watch a pair of promising quarterbacks — Plant City’s Makenzie Kennedy and the Tampa Bay Tech’s David Wright.

Golf, CCC Invitational at Belleair CC

1 p.m. Saturday. This is the first really big 18-hole local tournament of the high school season. There are 18 boys teams overall, including Palm Harbor University, St. Petersburg Catholic, Shorecrest, Admiral Farragut, Calvary Christian, Northside Christian and host Clearwater Central Catholic. Shotgun start on the East Course.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Clearwater Central Catholic’s Jordan Niles, right, hugs Calvary Christian’s Richie Ilarraza after the Marauders’ playoff win. Niles is a former Calvary player. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Sunday Morning QB: Clearwater Central Catholic, Steinbrenner and Chamberlain are just a few of the standouts in the region quarterfinals.
  2. Plant senior Birdie Frierson, here in a match earlier this postseason, says on Saturday the Panthers "were just a little bit off. The serves were just a little bit off. The sets were just a little bit off. Nothing felt like ‘This is it. This is our point.’ It was that kind of day.” SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Both Tampa teams sustain road losses in the state semifinals.
  3. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Packers, missing a few playmakers while a few more take their lumps Friday, shut out Countryside.
  4. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Next up for the Blue Jackets is top-seeded Cambridge Christian, who beat them during the regular season.
  5. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Crusaders refocus, finding offensive balance down the stretch to knock off Zephyrhills Christian.
  6. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The Tigers score six rushing touchdowns to set up a rematch with Chamberlain.
  7. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Cowboys aren’t perfect, but they nab their first playoff win in almost a decade by beating Boca Ciega.
  8. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. Times
    The Hawks don’t lose any momentum in the playoffs, holding an opponent scoreless for the sixth game in a row.
  9. The region quarterfinals started Friday night for teams around Tampa Bay. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Crusaders bounce back from a loss to rival Jesuit in a big way.
  10. Clearwater senior Latrez Bradley, left, celebrates after ripping off a long touchdown run in the first half against Dixie Hollins. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Everything clicks for the Tornadoes against Dixie Hollins, especially the offense.
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