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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

Hillsborough Prep Report

A prep sports blog by Scott Purks and Nick Williams

A roundup of local sports briefs from Hillsborough County schools and area athletes.

Florida High School Boys Basketball Rankings

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

The following is the first boys basketball state poll of the 2014-2015 season by the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches and Source Hoops

CLASS 8A

1. McArthur 8-2

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Football: Tampa Bay seniors selected for state’s all-star Classic

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

Some seniors from Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas County will play in the 60th Annual North-South Football All-Star Classic this Saturday at The Villages Charger School at 4 p.m..

For the North All-Stars, representing Pasco County will be Land O’Lakes’ Ethan Weilant and Jaylen Pickett from Zephyrhills. Sunlake coach Bill Browning will be an asisstant coach for the North. Connor Ross from Springstead High will present Hernando County. For the South, representing Pinellas County will be Jamieson Craske from Osceola, East Lake’s Dylan Renaker and William Atterbury of Clearwater Central Catholic, and from Hillsborough County, Cambridge Christian quarterback Garrett Young. Cambridge Christian coach Bob Dare will be an assistant coach for the South.

The game will also be streamed live on The Prep Zone at www.foxsportsflorida.com.

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Coach’s Corner: Wilt Wilkerson, Plant City

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

PLANT CITY — This week on the Coach’s Corner, we’re talking with Plant City girls basketball coach Wilt Wilkerson.

The Lady Raiders started the season 7-0, its best start since, and are now 9-1 and undefeated in district play. Plant City’s program hasn’t reached the state region playoffs since 1986. The team has only been to the playoffs three times (1983, 1984 and 1986) and won its only postseason game in 1984, 72-53, against Pinellas Park.

Wilkerson talked about his team’s hot start, their goal of winning a district title, and what’s it been like coaching his daughter, a junior on the team.

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Hillsborough County Senior All-Star Football Game Rosters

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

The 2014 Hillsborough County Senior All-Star Football Game will take place ON Sunday at Raymond James Stadium at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5.

The following are the rosters for the respective teams.

WEST TEAM: Malik Huff, Gaither; Corey Bennett, Blake; Demetrius Mann, King; Quentin Poteralski, Steinbrenner; Paul Arfaras, King

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Coach’s Corner: Brandon wrestling coach Russ Cozart

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

BRANDON — This week on the Coach’s Corner, we’re talking to longtime (and practically living legend) Brandon High wrestling coach Russ Cozart.

Cozart, who has been named the overall top coach in Florida by Florida Dairy Farmers multiple times, as well as consecutive Coach of the Year honors by the Tampa Tribune, has guided the program to 14 straight state titles and extended the program’s undefeated record to 459-0 over a 34-year span, the longest win streak in the history of American high school sports.

On Thursday, Cozart talked about the new wrestling season, high expectations, the Olympics and if he’ll ever retire.

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Area prep standouts earn All-American nods for UT

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

A pair of Tampa prep soccer standouts were named to the 2014 Daktronics NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer All-America team as juniors Cici Gonzalez (Steinbrenner) was named to the first team and Lauren Moore (Gaither) was a third-team selection.

Gonzalez scored 18 goals and 10 assists for the 13-4-4 Spartans this season, including nine game-winning goals. While helping Steinbrenner become an instant force on the high school soccer scene, Gonzalez set scoring marks for the program and helped them win a state title in just the school’s second season. Gonzalez has scored 45 goals in her three-year career at UT, ranking her third in school history.

“I worked really hard to be the best player I could be this season and it’s really nice to get recognized and rewarded for that,” Gonzalez said. “I definitely have to thank my teammates too because my success wouldn’t be possible without the great players around me.”

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Armwood’s Cowart still interested in Florida despite Muschamp’s departure

Published:   |   Updated: December 3, 2014 at 06:23 PM
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

SEFFNER — Armwood senior defensive lineman Byron Cowart, the No.3 rated senior recruit in America and top-rated defensive lineman by Rivals.com, was sporting University of Florida gloves Tuesday at practice as Gator scouts looked on from the sideline.

Despite the firing of head coach Will Muschamp, Cowart said he’s still pondering the idea of becoming a Gator.

“I’m still interested in Florida,” said Cowart, whose list of possible choices includes Alabama, FSU, Maryland and Oregon. “I hear a lot of stuff, like they might get the coach from Oklahoma who’s doing a great job with (former Armwood LB Eric) Striker, so that wouldn’t be bad. I’m still interested. Obviously, a little more interested in Florida State, but I always knew that this could happen and I always have a backup plan. At the end of the day, I am going to college for my major and not really football. Journalism, Florida is really strong in that. (I want to major in) sports broadcasting, hopefully be on Game Day one day.”

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2014 Western Conference football teams

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

The following are the Hillsborough County public schools’ 2014 Western Conference football teams, as voted on by the district’s varsity head coaches.

AMERICAN DIVISION

Offensive Line

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Seffner Christian, Keswick Christian players make All-SSAC

Published:   |   Updated: December 2, 2014 at 12:01 PM
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

Several players from Seffner Christian (Hillsborough County) and Keswick Christian (Pinellas County) were selected to the 2014 All-Sunshine State Athletic Conference football team.

The first-team selections from Seffner were receiver Tyler Flatt, offensive lineman Zack Skau and linebacker Trent Puleo. Receiver T.J. Muscarella and offensive lineman Matt Trotter were selected from Keswick.

Flatt also made the second team as a safety. Teammate Marcus Richardson was a second-team running back. Asher Thompson of Keswick made the second team at receiver and linebacker. Keswin’s Josh Joy was the second-team kicker.

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Former Wharton Wildcat named Freshman of the Year

Published:   |   Updated: December 1, 2014 at 09:50 PM
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

On Monday, former Wharton High running back Jeff Keil was named the Pioneer Football League’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year by the conference’s head coaches.

Keil, who graduated from Wharton this past June, plays for Davidson and rushed for a Davidson freshman all-time best 725 yards along with eight touchdowns. He is now one of 16 running backs named to the College Football Performance Award’s FCS National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List.

Keil is the second Davidson student-athlete to receive the league’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honor, joining quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff (2010). At the end of the regular season, Keil ranked fifth among FCS freshmen with 60.4 yards per game. His top effort was rushing for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries against Stetson on Oct. 25, making him one of five FCS freshmen to rush for more than 200 yards in a single game this season and just the sixth Wildcat to ever to accomplish the feat.

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