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Saturday, Jul 26, 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.

Alonso’s Mejia commits to Florida State

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

Alonso High junior Ryan Mejia said Friday he has verbally committed to play baseball at Florida State University.

Mejia, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound outfielder hit .321 as a sophomore for Alonso last season, with 13 runs and 12 RBIs as the Ravens finished with an 18-7 record. Mejia said although he has been a longtime fan of the Seminoles, he had been trying to decide between FSU and the University of Miami. He said after going on an unofficial visit to both schools that Tallahassee was the right fit for him.

“My whole life, my dream school has been Florida State,” Mejia said. “My whole family and I have been FSU fans and after visiting both schools (Florida State) just felt like home.”

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East Bay’s Ford picks Tennessee

Published:
BY NICK WILLIAMSTribune staff

East Bay High senior defensive lineman Marques Ford has verbally committed to Tennessee.

The 6-foot-4, 230 pound defensive end announced his decision on Twitter on Saturday.

As a junior, Ford had 67 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks for the Indians, who won third first playoff game in school history and captured the program’s first district title in 40 years.

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TBT’s Arroyo will play baseball at Bloomfield

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

—Tampa Bay Tech grad Isaiah Arroyo has committed to play baseball at Bloomfield College in New Jersey.

Arroyo, a pitcher and infielder for the Titans over the last two seasons said he has signed as a two-way player for the NCAA Division II program.

Last season for TBT, Arroyo led the team in hitting with a .420 batting average, with nine RBIs, while going 1-1 on the mound with a 3.89 ERA. Arroyo, who was a Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County honorable mention selection and named to the Senior All-Star Challenge, said Bloomfield is near family and his birthplace in New York, but he is excited about the opportunity to play at the next level.

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Plant’s Vaka to play baseball at UNF

Published:
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

— Plant graduate Matt Vaka has signed to play baseball at the University of North Florida, Panthers coach Dennis Braun said Thursday.

Vaka, a right-handed pitcher for the Panthers his sophomore and junior seasons, was limited on the mound in his senior season after having ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery in the offseason. However, Vaka stepped up for the Panthers offense his senior year hitting .330, with 22 runs scored, 18 RBIs, nine doubles and two home runs.

He made two starts on the mound last season, including allowing one hit in four innings of a five-inning, 10-0 win against Chamberlain in the Tony Saladino Tournament. He finished the season with a 1.00 ERA in seven innings.

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Middleton’s Rhynes signs with Arizona Western

Published:
BY NICk WILLIAMSTribune staff

Recent Middleton High grad Anthony Rhynes has signed with Arizona Western College, former Middleton football coach Alonzo Ashwood said.

Athletically, Rhynes shined in two sports. He made his varsity football debut and ended the 2013 season as Hillsborough County’s leading receiver. According to MaxPreps, Rhynes’ 1,213 receiving yards ranked seventh in the state and in the top 175 in the nation.

In track and field, in his first year participating in the sport, Rhynes became a district and county champion and was a bronze medalist at the state level.

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Surcy named Bloomingdale football coach

Published:
By Scott Purks

Brian Surcy said he was “living a dream” Friday morning when he learned he had been named the head football coach at Bloomingdale High School.

Surcy, a running back who graduated from Bloomingdale in 1996, had missed getting the Bulls’ head coaching job in 2007, but now, at age 36, he said feels, “fully prepared to step in.”

“Timing is everything, and I have to say this feels right,” Surcy said. “All my experience (working as an assistant at Middleton and Tampa Catholic and the past two years at Bloomingdale) have prepared me for this.”

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Rohrberg leaves Sunlake to take Newsome baseball coach job

Published:   |   Updated: July 7, 2014 at 03:48 PM
BY JARRETT GUTHRIETribune correspondent

Sunlake High’s Dick Rohrberg has been named the baseball coach at Newsome High, Wolves athletic director Paul Lindstrom announced Monday.

Rohrberg replaces replacing Bill Highsmith, who stepped down following the 2014 season.

Rohrberg went 73-85 during the last six seasons as the head coach at Sunlake, including a 20-10 record this season leading the Seahawks to a Class 5A state semifinals. Sunlake battled from the district runner-up spot, topping Hernando, Pasco and North Marion in region games before falling to Jesuit 3-0 in the state semifinal.

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Jesuit names ex-UT star Menendez new baseball coach

Published:   |   Updated: July 3, 2014 at 05:00 PM
By NICK WILLIAMS

Jesuit High has hired former University of Tampa catcher and first baseman Miguel Menendez as its new varsity baseball coach, the school announced Thursday.

Menendez, a baseball coach at Key West High since 2000 and former an associate scout for the Tampa Bay Rays, replaces Richie Warren, who left the position to become the new head baseball coach at Berkeley Prep following the season.

“This opportunity is extraordinary,’’ said Menendez in a statement released by the school Thursday. “Jesuit High School represents the best in academics and athletics, and I’m honored to become part of such a rich tradition of excellence. I look forward to joining the faculty, and the whole Jesuit family, and continuing the great success.”

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Jesuit hoops wins SEBA Summer League

Published:
By NICK WILLIAMSTribune staff

Jesuit High won the SEBA summer basketball league championship Wednesday, defeating rival Tampa Catholic in the finals, 58-44.

Jesuit advanced to the finals of the 21-team summer league, made up of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas varsity teams, with a 46-45 win in overtime over Wharton. Senior forward Daniel Darst was the Tigers’ leading scorer and hit the game-winning free throw in overtime versus Wharton.

Darst was the second-leading scorer last season at 14 points per game behind rising senior Christian Whidden (17.7).

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Correia inducted into Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame

Published:
By Scott Purks

Maritza Correia, a state champion for Tampa Bay Tech, national champion for the University of Georgia and silver medalist for the United States in the 2004 Olympics, will be inducted into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame on August 23 in Atlanta.

In 2004, Correia earned her Olympic medal swimming on the U.S. 400 free relay team.

Swimming for Georgia from 2000 to 2003, Correia won 10 national titles in various events and relays.

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