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Girls basketball: Weekend roundup





Seven Rivers Christian 47, Lakeside Christian 27

St. Petersburg Catholic 57, Tampa Catholic 40

Newsome 51, Berkeley Prep 30

Sunlake 62, East Lake 50

Hernando Christian 47, Universal Academy 2

Clearwater Central Catholic 50, Northside Christian 5

Keswick Christian 64, North Tampa Christian Academy 28

Springstead 47, Cypress Creek 15

Wesley Chapel 56, Tampa Prep 55

Mitchell 61, Nature Coast 30

Anclote 55, Pasco 27

Bradenton Christian 66, Cambridge Christian 14

Boca Ciega 64, Osceola 14

Zephyrhills 54, Gulf 18

Clearwater 66, Dunedin 17

Indian Rocks Christian 61, Pinellas Park 59

Wiregrass Ranch 56, River Ridge 36

Prime time performers

G Brianna Erickson, Jr., Pinellas Park: Scored a team-high 28 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a loss to Indian Rocks Christian. 

F Zoi Evans, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Led the Bulls with 17 rebounds and 15 points in a win over River Ridge. 

G/F Brianna Gautier, So., St. Petersburg Catholic: Had 15 points and five steals in a win over Tampa Catholic. 

G/F Ashley Hancock, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Scored a team-high 13 points in a win over Northside Christian. 

G Sydney Jackwin, Jr., Keswick Christian: Led the Crusaders with 14 points, nine steals and five rebounds in a win over North Tampa Christian Academy. 

G Mia Nicholson, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Scored a team-high 20 points in a win over Tampa Prep. 

G Breanna Ortega, So., Anclote: Scored a team-high 23 points in a win over Pasco. 

F/G Isabella Paul, So., Springstead: Grabbed 25 rebounds and scored 10 points in a win over Cypress Creek. 

F/G Imani Pennywell, Sr., Boca Ciega: Scored a team-high 12 points in a win over Osceola. 

G Jade Price, So., Clearwater: Had 12 points and six rebounds in a win over Dunedin. 

G Julia Rueda, So., Mitchell: Scored a team-high 14 points in a win over Nature Coast. 



St. Petersburg Catholic 53, Canterbury 23

Northeast 46, Northside Christian 37

Orlando Christian Prep 42, Academy of the Holy Names 38

Indian Rocks Christian 50, Universal Academy 2

Berkeley Prep 50, Tampa Catholic 45

Hernando 71, Nature Coast 34

American Youth Academy 53, Cambridge Christian 37

Bradenton Manatee 38, Seminole 30

Mitchell 54, Gaither 5

Central 37, Citrus 2

Clearwater 67, Osceola 5

Sunlake 53, Land O’ Lakes 34

Central 37, Citrus 32

Fivay 56, Gulf 14

Calvary Christian 65, Clearwater Central Catholic 53

Keswick Christian 78, Boca Ciega 46

River Ridge 36, Anclote 34

Plant 74, Palm Harbor University 11

Wharton 40, Steinbrenner 28

Alonso 36, Sickles 31

East Bay 60, Brandon 14

Chamberlain 51, Blake 6

Bloomingdale 55, Leto 20

Hillsborough 59, King 8

Riverview 57, Strawberry Crest 15

Newsome 32, Lennard 28

Tarpon Springs 31, St. Petersburg 27

Middleton 25, Spoto 20

Prime time performers

F/C Lillian Barnes, Sr., Alonso: Had 18 points and six rebounds in a win over Sickles. 

G/F Sy Crowley, Jr., Hernando: Had 27 points, six rebounds and six steals ina win over Nature Coast. 

F/G Deana Epps, So., Bloomingdale: Scored a team-high 17 points in a win over Leto. 

F/C Cennya Gaskin, So., Bloomingdale: Finished with a team-high 13 points in a win over Leto. 

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Had 19 points, five assists and four steals in a win over Osceola. 

G Sydney Jackwin, Jr., Keswick Christian: Finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight steals in a win over Boca Ciega. She now has 950 career points.

G Zou Raine, So., Calvary Christian: Scored a team-high 20 points in a win over Clearwater Central Catholic. 

G Savannah Shaffer, Sr., Fivay: Finished with 18 points, including six 3-pointers, in a win over Gulf. 

G/F Amariyah Watkins, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Scored a team-high 15 points in a win over Canterbury. 



Bishop McLaughlin 60, Gulf 19

Seffner Christian 52, Naples Barron Collier 46

Orlando Bishop Moore 77, Academy of the Holy Names 62

Wesley Chapel 61, Wharton 54

Brooks DeBartolo 68, Fort Myers 66

Prime time performers

G Angelie Pena, Sr., Academy of the Holy Names: Led the Jaguars in scoring with 17 points in a loss to Orlando Bishop Moore. 

G Isabella Prada, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin: Had 18 points, six steals and five rebounds in a win over Gulf. 

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FHSAA releases softball class and district assignments



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



Plant City


Class 7A, District 7


East Lake


Palm Harbor University


Class 6A, District 5


Land O’ Lakes





Class 6A, District 6


Strawberry Crest

Tampa Bay Tech


Wiregrass Ranch

Class 6A, District 7


Bradenton Manatee



Class 5A, District 5



River Ridge



Class 5A, District 6


Groveland South Lake

Lakeland Kathleen


Class 5A, District 9






Class 5A, District 10



Pinellas Park


Class 5A, District 11

Boca Ciega



St. Petersburg

Class 5A, District 12

Braden River

Bradenton Southeast


East Bay


Class 4A, District 9

Cypress Creek


Nature Coast

Wesley Chapel


Class 4A, District 10





Tarpon Springs

Class 4A, District 11


Lake Region




Class 3A, District 6



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



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


Indian Rocks Christian

Northside Christian


St. Petersburg Catholic

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Former Largo and Illinois standout Bobby Roundtree dies



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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College Football

Lakewood’s Amari Niblack commits to Alabama



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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