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Monday, Jul 27, 2015

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.

Football: Competitive nature puts East Bay’s Sails on the map

Published:
by nick williamsTribune staff

GIBSONTON – As a sophomore, K.J. Sails was the second leading tackler on East Bay’s historic district championship football team as a defensive back.

At the time, he was a modest 5-foot-10 and 145 pounds.

It was his competitive nature, according to his head coach, Frank LaRosa, that enabled Sails to be such a presence on the field. That character has led to Sails being considered one of the state’s top defensive players.

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Football: Tampa Catholic’s Barrett approaching decision

Published:
by nick williamsTribune staff

TAMPA — Tampa Catholic junior and two-way football standout Devan Barrett wants to have his college choice decided by the end of his junior year.

One of the state’s top prospects, Barrett has already compiled a top-five list of his favorite schools, which include Florida, Miami, N.C. State, Kentucky and Duke.

Barrett (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) said he plans to make his decision during the middle or at the conclusion of the upcoming season.

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Baseball players make college choices

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

A pair of East Hillsborough County baseball players made Division I commitments: Durant junior Jonah Scolaro verbally committed to Florida State, and Plant City senior Billy McKay committed to Florida, Raiders coach Michael Fryrear confirmed.

McKay, a right-handed pitcher, posted a 5-3 record last season with a 1.14 ERA and 69 strikeouts. The 5-foot-11 McKay was a Western Conference second-team selection and over the last two seasons at Plant City, he has 114 strikeouts in 97 innings with a 0.92 ERA.

The lefty Scolaro led Durant to the Class 7A state final four as a sophomore with a 9-1 record, a 1.24 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 62 innings. Scolaro, who also plays outfield, had a team-leading .343 average, 16 runs scored, 13 RBIs and nine doubles. In his sophomore season, Scolaro was a Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough first-team selection.

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Plant’s Culpepper to miss senior season

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune staff

Senior quarterback Rex Culpepper was coming into his own, not only as one of the state’s elite quarterbacks, but as a leader on Plant High’s football team.

The effort he put forth to become both, says head coach Rob Weiner, is what made Sunday’s news that Culpepper suffered a torn ACL and will miss his entire senior season all the more devastating.

“You’re talking about a kid who has worked extraordinarily beyond the call of duty and without reservation,” Weiner said. “He doesn’t deserve this.”

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Spoto’s Williams recalculates recruiting

Published:
by nick williams Tribune staff

— In May, Spoto two-way football standout Terance Williams made a verbal commitment to Louisville. Not long after, he re-opened his recruitment and de-committed from the Cardinals.

“I really didn’t have a conversation with my football coach or my mom,” Williams said. “We talked about it and said I need to wait and take all of my visits so I de-committed from there. We’ll take all the visits and hopefully I do go to Louisville.”

Williams did not make an official visit to Louisville prior to committing.

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Prep Football: 9 Route 7-on-7 tournament this weekend

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

Big County Preps and Bright House Sports Network will host the 6th Annual 9 Route 7-on-7 tournament this weekend at the Fishhawk Sports Complex located at 16120 Fishhawk Blvd.

There is a twist this year. All teams are by invitation only. Past winners of the tournament are Spoto (2010), Plant (2011), East Lake (2012), Gaither (2013) and Tampa Bay Tech (2014).

Pool play begins Saturday at 9 a.m., followed by the single elimination tournament. Some first-day matchups include Tampa Catholic vs. Bloomingdale, Plant vs. Largo and Plant City vs. Tampa Bay Tech. The championship game will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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Alonso’s Butler invited to baseball national team trials

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BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

Alonso High left-handed pitcher and first baseman Jordan Butler has been invited to the 40-man USA Baseball 2015 18U National Team trials.

Butler was a first-team All-Hillsborough selection by the Tampa Tribune last season after hitting .372, with 14 runs, 26 RBIs, nine doubles and two homers. He also was 5-0 on the mound with a 1.43 ERA, three saves and 52 strikeouts. Butler, a University of Florida commit, helped the Ravens claim Saladino Tournament and district titles and reach the Class 8A region tournament.

The selection to the USA Baseball 18U trials means Butler will work out this week in Cary, N.C. and the 40 players will be trimmed to 28 before traveling to Los Angeles in August, where the final roster will be cut to 20 players.

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Boys Hoops: SEBA Summer League playoffs start Monday

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune Staff

The SEBA Summer League boys basketball playoffs begins Monday.

The single game elimination tournament will be hosted by Tampa Prep and Wharton. Every team will play Monday with the quarterfinals being played Tuesday at Tampa Prep. The semifinals and championship will be played Wednesday, also at Tampa Prep.

The schedule is as follows:

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Plant OF/P Connor Scott commits to Florida Gators

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

Plant High outfielder and pitcher Connor Scott verbally committed to the University of Florida, Plant baseball coach Dennis Braun said.

Scott, a sophomore, hit .311 with 12 runs scored, 14 RBIs, six doubles and a pair of home runs as a freshman. The left-handed Scott also made seven appearances on the mound, primarily in relief. He posted a 1-2 record with a 3.18 ERA and eight strikeouts in 11 innings of work.

The Panthers’ connection with Florida is pretty strong, boasting alumni such as Preston Tucker, currently with the Houston Astros, as well as current Gators first baseman Peter Alonso.

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Tampa rowers shine at scholastic nationals

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune staff

A number of young rowers from the Tampa Bay area performed well at the 2015 Scholastic Rowing Association’s National Championship in New Jersey on May 23.

In varsity crew, Plant’s varsity women’s eight boat (coxswain: Melissa Jassir, stroke seat: Madison Austrich, 7 seat: Elizabeth Ronnestad, 6 seat: Barbara Klavin, 5 seat: Laura Migliore, 4 seat: Rachael Beadle, 3 seat: Theresa Grandoff, 2 seat: Alexis Farmen, 1 seat: Darron Williams) finished fifth with a time of 5:07.547 while its second varsity eight boat (coxswain: Olivia Clark, stroke seat: Caroline Norton, 7 seat: Anna Spencer, 6 seat: Kiana Merk, 5 seat: Anna Ritzi, 4 seat: Laney Bussinah, 3 seat: Madeline Ringewald, 2 seat: Victoria Fidler, 1 seat: Audrey Velanovich) was national runner-up with a time of 5:12.489. The Academy of the Holy Names’ freshman quad, consisting of Mickey Carney, Catie Mofffett, Emma Heston and Julianna Wright, finished third in a personal best time of 5:46.402.

Berkeley Prep senior Julia Weber, who has signed with Duke University, finished fifth in the women’s varsity single scull with a time of 6:28.987.

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