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FHSAA releases updated volleyball classification, district assignments

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The Florida High School Athletics Association released the updated classification and district assignments for volleyball teams that decided to play in the postseason. The seedings for the district tournaments, which start on Oct. 12, will be done by a blind draw. 

Class 7A

Region 1

District 1

Mandarin

Oak Leaf

Sandalwood

District 2

Bartram Trail

Flagler Palm Coast

Nease

District 3

Lake Mary

Lyman

Oviedo

Seminole

District 4

Deland 

Spruce Creek

University

Region 2

District 5

Apopka

East Ridge

West Port

District 6

Evans

Lake Brantley

Ocoee

West Orange

District 7

Hagerty

Timber Creek

University

District 8

Boone

Colonial

Oak Ridge 

Winter Park

Region 3

District 9

Dr. Phillips

Olympia

Windermere

District 10

Cypress Creek

Freedom

Lake Nona

Tohopekaliga

District 11

Celebration

Haines City

Osceola

Ridge Community

District 12 

Durant

Newsome

Wharton

Region 4

District 13

Alonso

Steinbrenner

Palm Harbor University

District 14

Lennard

Plant

Riverview

Sickles

District 15

Gulf Coast

Lakewood Ranch

North Port

Sarasota Riverview

Class 6A

Region 1

District 1

Milton

Pace

Tate

District 2

Crestview

Navarre

Niceville

District 3

Chiles

Leon

Lincoln

District 4

Atlantic Coast

Creekside

Englewood

First Coast

Fleming Island

Fletcher

Region 2

District 5

Buchholz

Forest

Gainesville

District 6

Mainland 

New Smyrna Beach

South Lake

District 7

East Lake

Freedom

Gaither

Mitchell

Sunlake

Wiregrass Ranch

District 8

Hollins

Largo

Pinellas Park

Seminole

St. Petersburg

Region 3

District 9

Bloomingdale

Brandon

East Bay

Hillsborough

King

Leto

Tampa Bay Tech

District 10

Armwood

Plant City

Strawberry Crest

District 11

Braden River

Charlotte

Manatee

Palmetto

Sarasota

Venice

District 12

Dunbar

East Lee County

Fort Myers

Lehigh

North Fort Myers

Palmetto Ridge

Riverdale

South Fort Myers

Region 4

District 13

Bartow

George Jenkins

Kathleen

Lakeland

District 14

East River

Edgewater

Lake Howell

Wekiva

Winter Springs

District 15

Harmony

Melbourne

St. Cloud

Viera

Winter Haven

District 16

Doral

Lourdes

Martin County

Mater Academy

Sebastian River

South Fork

St. Thomas Aquinas

Class 5A

Region 1

District 1

Choctawhatchee

Escambia

Fort Walton Beach

Gulf Breeze

Pine Forest

Washington

District 2

Arnold

Mosely

Rickards

Wakulla

District 3

Middleburg

Orange Park

Paxon

Ridgeview

Robert E. Lee

Stanton

Westside

District 4

Clay

Ponte Vedra

Seabreeze

St. Augustine

Terry Parker

Region 2 

District 5

Belleview

Lake Weir

Vanguard

District 6

Deltona

Lake Minneola

Leesburg

Pine Ridge

District 7

Clearwater

Countryside

Fivay

Gulf 

Lecanto

River Ridge

Springstead

District 8

Auburndale

Lake Gibson

Lake Region

Lake Wales

Pasco

Zephyrhills

Region 3

District 9

Blake 

Chamberlain

Jefferson

Land O’ Lakes

Middleton

Robinson

Spoto

Sumner

District 10

Bayshore

Boca Ciega

Hardee

Northeast

Osceola

Southeast

District 11

Cape Coral

Cypress Lake

Ida Baker

Island Coast

Mariner

Port Charlotte

District 12

Barron Collier

Estero

Golden Gate

Immokalee

Lely 

Naples

Region 4

District 13

Gateway

Jones

Merritt Island

Rockledge

District 14

Bayside

Eau Gallie

Heritage

Palm Bay

District 15

Fort Pierce Westwood

Jensen Beach

Okeechobee

Port St. Lucie

Sebring

District 16

American Heritage

Archbishop McCarthy

Hialeah-Miami Lakes

Class 4A

Region 1

District 1

Bay 

North Bay Haven

Pensacola

Rutherford

South Walton

Walton

District 2

Godby

Marianna

Santa Fe

Suwannee

District 3

Baker County

Bradford

Eastside

Fernandina Beach

Keystone Heights

West Nassau

Yulee

District 4

Bishop Kenny

Bolles

Ed White

Raines

Ribault

Region 2

District 5

Citrus 

Crystal River

Dunnellon

North Marion

South Sumter

Villages

District 6

Central 

Cypress Creek

Hernando

Hudson

Nature Coast

Weeki Wachee

Wesley Chapel

District 7

Academy of the Holy Names

Anclote

Dunedin

Gibbs

Lakewood

Tampa Catholic

Tarpon Springs

District 8

Booker

DeSoto County

LaBelle

Lemon Bay

Sarasota Military Academy

Region 3

District 9

Atlantic

Eustis

Menendez

Mount Dora

Palatka

Tavares

Umatilla

District 10

Bishop Moore

Discovery

Lake Highland Prep

Montverde Academy

District 11

Astronaut

Cocoa

Satellite

Space Coast

Titusville

District 12

Avon Park

Clewiston

Dreyfoos

Lake Placid

Lincoln Park

Region 4

District 13

American Heritage

Cardinal Gibbons

North Broward Prep

Pine Crest

District 14

Mater Lakes

Monsignor Pace

Somerset Academy

District 15

Immaculata-LaSalle

MAST

District 16

Gulliver Prep

Key West

Keys Gate

St. Brenden

Class 3A

Region 1

District 1

Florida High

Maclay

Oak Hall

P.K. Yonge

Pensacola Catholic

District 2

Baldwin

Bishop Snyder

Episcopal

Providence

Trinity Christian

University Christian

Wolfson

District 3

Father Lopez

Interlachen

St. Joseph

Taylor 

Trinity Catholic

District 4

Cornerstone Charter

First Academy

Orangewood Christian

The Masters Academy

Trinity Preparatory

Windermere Prep

Region 2

District 5

Berkeley Prep

Bishop McLaughlin

Brooks DeBartolo

Carrollwood Day

Seffner Christian

Tampa Prep

District 6

Calvary Christian

Clearwater Central Catholic

Indian Rocks Christian

Northside Christian

Shorecrest 

St. Petersburg Catholic

District 7

Bradenton Christian

Cardinal Mooney

Imagine School

Out-of-Door 

Parrish

St. Stephens

District 8

Bishop Verot

Bonita Springs 

Canterbury (Fort Myers)

Community School

Gateway Charter

Moore Haven

Oasis

St. John Neumann

Region 3

District 9

Four Corners

Frostproof

Lakeland Christian

Santa Fe Catholic

District 10

Cocoa Beach

Edgewood

Holy Trinity

Melbourne Central Catholic

West Shore

District 11

Benjamin

Cardinal Newman

John Carroll

Jupiter Christian

Kings Academy

Oxbridge Academy

Somerset College Prep

District 12

Calvary Christian

St. Andrews

St. John Paul II

Westminster Academy

Region 4

District 13

Chaminade-Madonna

District 14

Divine Savior

District 15

Carrollton

Florida Christian

Ransom Everglades

District 16

Coral Shores

Marathon

Palmer Trinity

Somerset Charter

Westminster Christian

Class 2A

Region 1

District 1

Aucilla Christian

Community Christian

FAMU

North Florida Christian

Rocky Bayou Christian

St. John Paul II

Wakulla Christian

District  2

Beaches Chapel

Eagles View

Harvest Community

District 3

Christs Church Academy

First Coast Christian

Peniel Baptist

St. Johns Country Day

District 4

Countryside Christian

Meadowbrook

Redeemer Christian

Seven Rivers Christian

St. Francis

St. John Lutheran

Region 2

District 5

Calvary Christian

First Academy

Lake Mary Prep

Mount Dora Christian

Trinity Christian

Warner Christian

District 6

All Saints’ 

Central Florida Christian

Foundation Academy

Legacy

Real Life Christian

Victory Christian

District 7

City of Life Christian

Faith Christian

Geneva

International Community

Orlando Christian Prep

District 8

Brevard HEAT

Covenant Christian

Masters Academy

Merritt Island Christian

Morningside

St. Edwards

Region 3

District 9

Academy at the Lakes

Canterbury

Classical Prep

Hernando Christian

Keswick Christian

Lakeside Christian

District 10

Bayshore Christian

Brandon Academy

Cambridge Christian

Foundation Christian

Tampa Bay Christian

Tampa Bay HEAT

Universal Academy

District 11

Donahue Academy

Evangelical Christian

Sarasota Christian

Southwest Florida Christian

District 12

First Baptist

Marco Island Academy

Seacrest Country Day

Region 4

District 13

Berean Christian

Glades Day

Lake Worth Christian

Pine School

Trinity Christian

District 14

Boca Raton Christian

Highlands Christian

Village Academy

District 15

Avant Garde

Edison Private

Horeb Christian

Sheridan Hills Christian

District 16

Colonial Christian

Miami Christian

Westwood Christian

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FHSAA releases softball class and district assignments

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The Florida High School Athletic Association released the classifications, districts and regions for softball this coming season. The assignments are based on student enrollment numbers from October 2020. This is a one-year cycle that the FHSAA board of directors voted on earlier this year. There likely will be a two-year cycle starting with the 2022-23 calendar year. Below is the list for area teams. For the full  boys softball list click here.

Class 7A, District 6

Durant

Newsome

Plant City

Riverview

Class 7A, District 7

Alonso

East Lake

Steinbrenner

Palm Harbor University

Plant

Class 6A, District 5

Gaither

Land O’ Lakes

Largo

Leto

Mitchell

Sickles

Class 6A, District 6

Armwood

Strawberry Crest

Tampa Bay Tech

Wharton

Wiregrass Ranch

Class 6A, District 7

Bloomingdale

Bradenton Manatee

Lennard

Palmetto

Class 5A, District 5

Fivay

Lecanto

River Ridge

Springstead

Sunlake

Class 5A, District 6

Auburndale

Groveland South Lake

Lakeland Kathleen

Pasco

Class 5A, District 9

Blake

Freedom

Hillsborough

Jefferson

King

Class 5A, District 10

Countryside

Osceola

Pinellas Park

Seminole

Class 5A, District 11

Boca Ciega

Hollins

Northeast

St. Petersburg

Class 5A, District 12

Braden River

Bradenton Southeast

Brandon

East Bay

Spoto

Class 4A, District 9

Cypress Creek

Hudson

Nature Coast

Wesley Chapel

Zephyrhills

Class 4A, District 10

Anclote

Clearwater

Dunedin

Gulf 

Tarpon Springs

Class 4A, District 11

Chamberlain

Lake Region

Middleton

Mulberry

Robinson

Class 3A, District 6

Central

Hernando

South Sumter

Weeki Wachee

Class 3A, District 9

Academy of the Holy Names

Berkeley Prep

Brooks DeBartolo

Lakeland McKeel

Tampa Catholic

Class 3A, District 11

Calvary Christian

Clearwater Central Catholic

Lakewood

Parrish

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Class 2A, District 6

Bishop McLaughlin

Hernando Christian

Mount Dora Christian

Ocala Trinity Catholic

Seven Rivers Christian

Class 2A, District 9

Academy at the Lakes

Cambridge Christian

Carrollwood Day

Foundation Christian

Lakeside Christian

Seffner Christian

Class 2A, District 10

Admiral Farragut

Canterbury

Indian Rocks Christian

Northside Christian

Shorecrest

St. Petersburg Catholic

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Former Largo and Illinois standout Bobby Roundtree dies

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Bobby Roundtree, the former Largo High and Illinois standout defensive lineman who became an inspiration for many by vowing to walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury, died Friday afternoon, the family confirmed. He was 23. 

No other details were provided. 

A candlelight vigil will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Ridgecrest YMCA. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear their 97Strong apparel.

Roundtree’s death came two weeks after he received the Bruce Capel Award for Courage, an honor given annually by the Illinois football program. 

Less than 24 hours ago before he passed, Roundtree posted a message on his Twitter page.

More than two years ago, Rountree was in a hospital bed, the result of a swimming accident near the docks off John’s Pass that required spinal cord surgery. It left him in a wheelchair. 

Before the accident, the goals were all related to football. A former two-sport star, Roundtree developed into a ferocious pass-rusher, first at Largo, then at Illinois. As a sophomore in 2018, he won the Dick Butkus Outstanding Defensive Player award after leading the Illini in tackles for loss (12.5), sacks (7.5) and pass breakups (7). His play made him a viable NFL draft pick.

Photos courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Since then, the ambitions have been different. 

Roundtree wanted to be independent. He wanted to travel. He wanted to coach, maybe even start his own rehabilitation center. 

Most of all, he wanted to walk again. 

“I just want to show everybody that anything’s possible,” Roundtree recently said last year in his first interview (via Zoom) with reporters since the accident. “You can be on top of the world and something happens, things might not go as planned, but there’s something out there for everybody.

“This injury isn’t going to overcome me. I’m going to beat this and be successful.”

After the accident, once the surgery was over, Roundtree woke up to machines beeping in every corner of the room. His mother, Jacqueline Hearns, kept saying he was special, that he was beating the odds. 

Friends and teammates were there, too, including former East Lake standout Jake Hansen, now a starting linebacker with the Illini. 

The coaching staff also came to the Tampa Bay area to be by Roundtree’s side. Illinois head coach Lovie Smith practically lived at the hospital, even while preparing for the 2019 season. 

The bond between the player and coach has always been strong. After all, Roundtree was one of the marquee names in Smith’s first recruiting classes. 

“Everything that Lovie said during the recruiting process, about being a family, he stuck by,” Packers coach Marcus Paschal said last year. “You could see it during Bobby’s injury and hospital stay. I don’t know of too many other college coaches who would have done what he did. That was big.”

In June of 2019, Rountree was transported to a rehabilitation center in Chicago. He had lost 70 pounds. He could barely raise his right hand, much less do push ups, after the surgery. 

Roundtree ignored conservative prescriptions for recovery, continuingly defying odds. Before long, he was manually pushing himself in a wheelchair. His triceps muscles were developing.

None of this came as a surprise to Jeremy Busch, the head athletic trainer for Illinois football. 

“After this injury you watched a person that eventually was at the worst point in his life, and yet he doesn’t acknowledge that to where it beats him, but he acknowledges it to motivate him,” Busch said last year of Roundtree. “He’s truly your idea of hope and inspiration on a daily basis. He’s gone from the simplest of struggles to absolutely overcoming everything that you put in front of him.”

Roundtree also was determined not to stay in football exile. He kept in contact with teammates. The coaching staff included him in meetings, virtually. 

The grit Roundtree showed through the grueling stages gave the Illini inspiration. A sign was displayed on the top of a tunnel that the players would touch before heading out to Memorial Stadium. It read: 97 Strong (referring to Roundtree’s number).

Illinois became the feel-good team of college football in 2019. The wins kept coming, often in dramatic ways. 

A field goal as time expired was the difference when the Illini handed the Badgers, ranked No. 6 at the time, their first loss in October of last season. It was the Illini’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. Afterward, Illinois players recorded videos of their celebration and sent them to Roundtree.

Three weeks later, the Illini rallied from a 21-point third quarter deficit to beat Michigan State 37-34. 

“I would do anything for the kid,” Hansen said last year of Roundtree. “He’s been a huge inspiration.”

Roundtree attended the 2019 regular season finale, his first game at Memorial Stadium since the injury. He led the team in a pregame prayer. 

And Roundtree remained part of the team. His locker was untouched. 

“Having the team I have now I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” Roundtree said last year. “They’ve been very supportive. They know I’m going to work. I know they’re going to work. We’ve got each other’s backs.”

The Illini faithful have shown financial support, too, pledging money to help offset some of Roundtree’s medical expenses. 

“With everybody so behind me and pushing me, that makes me want to go harder,” Roundtree said last year. “The support of everybody fundraising and everybody donating that means a lot having that support. I don’t have a million dollars to help me through this all. People are giving their last pennies to help me out. That’s just a lot of love right there, and I appreciate everybody for that.”

Roundtree spent the past year at home in Largo rehabilitating. He kept posting video messages of his progress. He bench pressed. He did core work. He rolled on to his side, even tried to stand up with the aid of athletic trainers.  

The final steps Roundtree wanted to take were on his own. 

“When somebody tells me I can’t do something I’m going to prove them wrong and show that I’ll be able to do it,” Roundtree said last year. “It might take me a couple of tries, but I’m going to do it.

“I want to show everybody that anything is possible, no matter the situation.”

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Lakewood’s Amari Niblack commits to Alabama

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Lakewood’s Amari Niblack had offers from 15 schools entering this week, including Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU. 

Then Niblack went to a camp at Alabama and picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide. 

That was all the three-star prospect needed to make up his mind. 

On Thursday, Niblack announced on social media that he committed to Alabama. 

A 6-foot-4 pass catching target, Niblack can play receiver or tight end. This past season, he had seven receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns according to the stats listed on MaxPreps. 

This is the second straight season Alabama has landed an area receiver and the third time in the past five seasons the Crimson Tide has picked a local skill player.

Agiye Hall, who starred at Armwood and Bloomingdale, was part of the 2021 class. He was an early enrollee and has already made an impact with several highlight-worthy catches in the spring game. 

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