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PCAC banquet award winners announced

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East Lakes Bt sri

The Pinellas County Athletic Conference usually holds a banquet at the end of the school year to announce award winners among coaches, athletes and administrators. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the winners were announced virtually this year. And there were no winners in spring sports because their seasons were cut short. Instead, there was a slideshow presentation to honor the seniors in those sports that was posted on the district’s website.  

Boys cross country

Steven Wilcox, Northeast

After five of his top seven runners graduated, Wilcox found reinforcements in the school hallways and assembled a team that won its second straight St. Petersburg City title and qualified for the state meet as a team for the first time in five years. 

Girls cross country

Peter Eagleson, Osceola

The nine-time coach of the year led the Warriors to conference and district titles, as well as a third-place finish in regions and a ninth-place finish at states. 

Boys golf 

Adam Stuck, Northeast

After graduating four seniors from last year’s team that won a district title, the Vikings still managed to do well in the postseason, placing fourth at districts with a young team. 

Girls golf

Mike Klapka, Largo

The first-year coach had enough girls to field a full team at the school for the first time in more than 20 years. The Packers went on to win a district title and place fifth in the region. 

Volleyball

Joseph Abad, St. Petersburg

In Abad’s first full season as coach, the Green Devils went 25-4, won a district title and went on to reach the region semifinals, where they lost to Fort Myers.  

Football

Lakewood's Cory Moore

Cory Moore, Lakewood

A former standout at the school, Moore led the Spartans to their greatest season in school history, highlighted by an undefeated regular season and a state semifinal appearance. 

Boys swimming

Danielle Spurgeon, Seminole

This season, Spurgeon helped the Warhawks set two school records, a conference record and finish fourth overall at the state meet. 

Girls swimming

Scott Herndon, Countryside

The longtime coach (Tarpon Springs, Mitchell and Countryside) has had 42 All-Americans and 17 state champions during his career.  

Wrestling

Sam Pruitt, St. Petersburg

A former state champion at the school, Pruitt has been a fixture with the program for more than three decades. This season, he helped three of his wrestlers qualify for the region meet. 

Boys basketball

East Lakes

Britt Taylor, East Lake

The sixth-year coach guided the Eagles to their second straight conference title game appearance, their second straight district title and their first trip to the state semifinals. 

Girls basketball 

Will White, Northeast

Despite returning just three players, White guided the Vikings to a 22-6 record and the program’s sixth postseason appearance in the past seven seasons. 

Boys soccer 

Brandon Vaughan, Lakewood

In Vaughan’s third season, the Spartans made significant progress, going from five wins in 2018-19 to a region quarterfinal appearance. 

Girls soccer

Rui Farias, St. Petersburg

Though the Green Devils were young, Farias still put together a team that went 18-4-2, won the ninth district title of his coaching career and advanced to the region finals. He also had a record six players that signed college scholarships. 

RELATED: St. Petersburg has record six girls soccer signees

Henry Deck Male Athlete of the Year

Lakewood's TJ Tampa
Lakewood’s TJ Tampa

TJ Tampa, Lakewood

The two-sport star was an all-conference selection in football and basketball. He also helped the Spartans make deep postseason runs in both sports. Off the field, Tampa is active with the Heath squad at school and various community services. He has already signed to play football at Iowa State. 

Henry Deck Female Athlete of the Year

Tarpon Springs' Anabel Ellison

Anabel Ellison, Tarpon Springs

A prolific scorer, Ellison racked up 1,730 points in her basketball career. She also set school records for most points in a game (44) and highest single-season scoring average (25.2 points per game). She has already signed with Marist. 

RELATED: TJ Tampa, Anabel Ellison named Pinellas County athletes of the year

Mike McPheron Award

Stevanie Copponi, Boca Ciega

The cross country and track runner battled through anxiety and panic attacks stemming from a difficult childhood to become the school’s Salutatorian for the Class of 2020. She is going to the University of Florida and wants to become a nurse practitioner. 

Athletic Administrator of the Year Award

Jim Casey, Largo

As the school’s athletic coordinator for the past 20 years, Casey has worked with six different principals. He helped put together Largo’s Hall of Fame in 2016 and has been instrumental in hanging championship banners through the gymnasium.  

Superintendent’s Challenge Cup

Top GPA

Osceola: 3.502

Second

East Lake: 3.435

Third

Largo: 3.384

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Boys Basketball

Former St. Petersburg star Serrel Smith Jr. commits to USF

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For years, the USF men’s basketball program has tried to land a prized prospect from the bay area, extending offers to local stars such as Tampa Catholic’s Kevin Knox and Thomas Dziagwa, Tampa Prep’s Juwan Durham and St. Petersburg’s Serrel Smith Jr..

All went elsewhere.

On Friday, one of those standouts decided to give the Bulls a chance. 

Smith Jr., who played two seasons at Maryland before transferring to East Tennessee State, announced on his Twitter page that he was committing USF.

The move comes exactly two weeks after Smith Jr. entered the transfer portal. This is Smith Jr.’s third school in as many seasons. Still, the latest stop gives the Bulls a homegrown star, something that has eluded the program for years. 

Only three other locals — Hudson’s Mark Calleja, Seminole’s Henry Beard and Oldsmar Christian’s Troy Holston, have made the USF roster in the past five seasons. Calleja and Beard were walk-ons. 

Smith Jr. was a coveted recruit who continued to receive interest from the Bulls a year ago when he transferred to East Tennessee State. 

“The way the transfer portal is now, players are constantly coming and going,” Green Devils coach Chris Blackwell Jr. said. “Their journeys are always evolving but eventually they end up playing where they should have been all along.

“I’m happy for Serrel. He’s back home, and it should be a good situation for him.”

During his two seasons at Maryland, Smith Jr. played sparingly, averaging 10 minutes and 2.6 points per game. Last season, Smith Jr. averaged seven points and 2.3 rebounds per game at East Tennessee State.   

He was a star throughout his high school career at St. Petersburg. As a senior, Smith Jr. was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 8A state player of the year after averaging 29. 3 points per game and helping the Green Devils reach the state semifinals for the third time in his four seasons with the program. 

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Boys Basketball

Tony Livingston transfers to King

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Tony Livingston, a two-sport star who committed to Florida earlier this month, has transferred from Carrollwood Day to King. 

The rising senior will play football and basketball for the Lions. 

“We’re happy to have him for his last year,” said King basketball coach Chris Senoga-Zake, who previously coached at Carrollwood Day. “He’s grown a lot from the time I had him as a freshman and has been working hard this off season. I’m hoping we can change the culture at King and give him the opportunity to showcase his true talent on the court.”

Three weeks ago, Livingston became the first area player in the 2022 class to commit to the Gators. . 

Livingston (featured photo above courtesy of JJ Battle/Battle Tested Photography) is a 6-foot-6, 250 pound offensive tackle who is athletic enough to play tight end, too. The four-star recruit is rated as the 18th-best player in the state and 19-best offensive tackle in the nation in the 2022 class according to 247 Sports’ composite list.

Though Livingston’s primary sport is football, he also played a key role in helping Carrollwood Day’s basketball team win a district title and reach the Class 3A region semifinals. Earlier this month, Florida became the first school to extend offers to Livingston in both sports. 

He could end up playing both in college, much like his former Carrollwood Day teammate Mike Trigg plans to do at Southern California this coming fall.   

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Boys Basketball

City of Hoops Classic set for today

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City of Hoops Classic 

Where: Bishop McLaughlin

When: Today

Schedule: Girls rising stars game, 2; Girls senior game, 3:30; 3-point/dunk contest, 5; Boys rising stars game, 6; Boys senior game, 7:30

Livestream: Florida Athletics Network

Rosters

Boys senior game

Home team

G Ray Perry, St. Petersburg

F Jayven Millien, Riverview

F Ezereke Dawson, Plant City

G Dean Gabrelcik, East Lake

G Anthony Bittar, East Lake

G Mikey Shane, East Lake

F Trae Martin, Brooks DeBartolo

G Gavin Martinez, Cambridge Christian

G Oteman Delancy, Lakewood

Away team

G/F Mike Trigg, Carrollwood Day

G Mark Mulfinger, Berkeley Prep

G Christian Rolack, Robinson

G CJ Crews, Bayshore Christian

G Deon Brown, Bayshore Christian

F Tripp Burdgess, Alonso

F Matt Lentz, Durant

F/G Jaylen Wharton, Durant

G Ryan Weir, Jesuit

Boys rising stars

Home team

G Emanuel Sharp, Bishop McLaughlin

F Dillon Mitchell, Bishop McLaughlin

F Matthew Webster, Bishop McLaughlin

F/G Josh Watkins, Bishop McLaughlin

G Trent Scott, Alonso

G AJ Wright, Clearwater

G Braylon Jackson, Riverview

G CJ Lee, Clearwater

Away team

G Jason Jackson, Sarasota Riverview

F/G Tony Livingston, Carrollwood Day

G Javohn Thomas, Sickles

G George Kimble, Bishop McLaughlin

G Karter Knox, Tampa Catholic

F CJ Hawkins, Berkeley Prep

G Tristan Gross, Calvary Christian

G Kamrin Oriol, Admiral Farragut

Girls Senior Game

Home team

G O’Mariah Gordon, Braden River

G Cheyenne Stubbs, Braden River

G/F Adina Davis, Chamberlain

F Chimera Iloanya, Seffner Christian

G Jasmine Peaks, Tampa Bay Tech

F Jayla Murray, Tampa Bay Tech

F/G Tavi’yanna Habib, Armwood

G Courtni Demorest, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic

Away team

G Nyla Jean, Plant

F Kendal Cheesman, Plant

C/F Mya Lamar, Tampa Bay Tech

G Isabella Prada, Bishop McLaughlin

G Amarie Godwin, Brooks DeBartolo

G Triniti Youngblood, Brooks DeBartolo

F/G Brionna McClinton, Brooks DeBartolo

G/F Kassidy Jones, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic

Girls rising stars

Home team

G Jade Thompson, Tampa Bay Tech

G Sydney Shaw, Miami Country Day

G E’marie Lewis, Lady Drive Nation

F Nicole Carreno, Seffner Christian

F Amiya Evans, Tampa Bay Tech

G Arianna Mosley, Tampa Prep

Away team

G Olivia Delancy, Carrollwood Day

G Tanner Strickland, Plant

G/F Jaela Davis, Brooks DeBartolo

G/F Keyara Bromley, Armwood

G/F Tyra Kennedy, Hillsborough

F Leah Barnes, Carrollwood Day

G Ja’Leah Williams, Blanche Ely

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