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Girls basketball: Holiday recap

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Dec. 15

Scoreboard

Spring Hill Christian 66. Inverness Christian 13

Gibbs 56, Hollins 48

Wesley Chapel 73, Nature Coast 19

Fivay 72, Cypress Creek 14

Springstead 53, Citrus 18

Sickles 57, Gaither 27

Lakewood 51, Boca Ciega 23

East Lake 67, Gulf 20

Armwood 68, Middleton 26

Keswick Christian 43, St. Petersburg 26

Crystal River 44, Weeki Wachee 14

River Ridge 54, Pasco 32

Sunlake 71, Anclote 32

Wiregrass Ranch 55, Zephyrhills 49

Hillsborough 61, Leto 38

Chamberlain 42, Robinson 28

Wharton 62, Riverview 52

Durant 33, Plant City 32

East Bay 49, King 16

Newsome 35, Alonso 20

Jefferson 70, Sumner 2

Prime time performers

F Marielis Creque, Sr., Fivay: Finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Cypress Creek. 

F Zoi Evans, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win over Zephyrhills. 

G/F Ava Graham, Fr., Keswick Christian: Had 14 rebounds and 13 points in a win over St. Petersburg. 

F/G Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood: Led the Hawks with 19 points and eight rebounds in a win over Middleton. 

G/F Zanaliyah Hutchinson, Sr., Jefferson: Had 31 points and 14 steals in a win over Sumner. 

G Joniryah Johnson, Sr., Hollins: Scored 15 points in a win over Gibbs.

G/F Tyra Kennedy, G/F, Hillsborough: Finished with a team-high 19 points in a win over Leto. 

G Maggie Lauber, So., Durant: Scored a team-high 13 points in a win over Plant City. 

G Courtney Logan, Sr., East Bay: Finished with a team-high 17 points in a win over King. 

G Marissa Newman, Jr., Hollins: Had 15 points in a win over Gibbs. 

G Mia Nicholson, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Led the Wildcats in scoring with 25 points in a win over Nature Coast. 

G Lexi Pizarro, So., Sickles: Scored a team-high 13 points in a win over Gaither. 

G/F Marinique Reddin, Sr., Wharton: Had 22 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Riverview. 

G Dayanara Rodriguez, So., Sunlake: Finished with a team-high 16 points in a win over Anclote. 

G Whitney Rush, Sr., East Lake: Had 28 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Gulf. 

F/G Tallia Russell, Sr., Springstead: Recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Citrus. 

Dec. 16

Scoreboard

Tampa Bay Tech 72, Armwood 56

Pasco 55, Hudson 40

Palmetto 56, Hollins 48

Countryside 40, Tarpon Springs 31

Steinbrenner 65, Gaither 12

Dunedin 47, Seminole 38

Alonso 42, Bloomingdale 37

Wharton 51, Hillsborough 42

Spoto 31, Middleton 28

Prime time performers

F/C Lillian Barnes, Sr., Alonso: Scored a team-high 22 points in a win over Bloomingdale. 

G Nyvaria Norwood, Sr., Dunedin: Finished with a team-high 16 points in a win over Seminole. 

G Quewana Morris, Sr., Middleton: Had 17 points, seven rebounds and six steals in a loss to Spoto. 

Dec. 17

Scoreboard

CypressCreek 28, Academy at the Lakes 17

Sarasota Booker 49, Academy of the Holy Names 43

Wiregrass Ranch 45, Mitchell 39

Palm Harbor University 62, Dunedin 37

Clearwater Central Catholic 31, Largo 29

Clearwater 58, Seminole 18

Land O’ Lakes 59, Anclote 26

Sarasota Riverview 62, Riverview 26

Prime time performers

F/C Amber Crandall, Jr., Land O’ Lakes: Had 18 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Anclote. 

F Zoi Evans, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Mitchell. 

G Beckham Hockley, Fr., Clearwater: Led the Tornadoes with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in a win over Seminole. 

G Kierra Kline, Fr., Palm Harbor University: Had a team-high 20 points in a win over Dunedin. 

G Angelie Pena, Sr. Academy of the Holy Names: Scored a team-high 20 points in a loss to Sarasota Booker. 

Dec. 18

Scoreboard

Plant 73, Orlando Christian Prep 28

Springstead 62, Central 4

Calvary Christian 59, Largo 35

Tampa Catholic 49, Sunlake 43

Keswick Christian 55, Northeast 35

Anclote 66, Hudson 49

Countryside 53, Hollins 50

Gaither 35, Middleton 26

Clearwater 58, Mitchell 27

Zephyrhills 75, Pasco 9

Steinbrenner 43, Sickles 28

Tampa Bay Tech 56, Hillsborough 24

Bloomingdale 65, Brandon 15

Leto 46, King 26

Spoto 52, Plant City 35

Prime time performers

F/C Kamryn Bailey, Fr., Gaither: Had 15 points in a loss to Middleton. 

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Scored a team-high 25 points in a win over Orlando Christian Prep. 

F/G Lyn’neyah Hicks, Jr., Springstead: Finished with a team-high 10 points in a win over Central. 

G Sydney Jackwin, Jr., Keswick Christian: Had 19 points, 16 rebounds and seven steals in a win over Keswick Christian. 

G Breanna Ortega, So., Anclote: Scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a win over Hudson. 

F/G Jade Price, So., Clearwater: Finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Mitchell. 

G Zou Raine, So., Calvary Christian: Led the Warriors with 21 points in a win over Largo. 

C/F Kyrstin Wolff, So., Bloomingdale: Had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Brandon. 

Dec. 19

Scoreboard

Newsome 26, Steinbrenner 19

Plant 60, The Villages 19

Wiregrass Ranch 41, Sickles 33

Prime time performers

G Ashlyn Couzens, Fr., Wiregrass Ranch: Had 13 points and five assists in a win over Sickles. 

G Casey Deck, Sr., Newsome: Scored a team-high eight points in a win over Steinbrenner. 

G Nyla Jean, Sr., Plant: Led the Panthers with 21 points in a win over The Villages. 

Dec. 21

Scoreboard

CPCA 71, Seffner Christian 31

Tampa Prep 66, Tampa Catholic 49

Dec. 22

Scoreboard

Carrollwood Day 59, Wildwood 55

Dec. 28

Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

Newsome 50, East Bay 37

Tampa Prep 61, Lennard 50

Durant 71, Zephyrhills 36

Lakewood Ranch 62, King 26

Hernando 51, American Collegiate 39

Braden River 61, Carrollwood Day 59

Plant 39, Gulf Coast 37

Wesley Chapel 50, Hillsborough 48

Spruce Creek 48, Wharton 36

Bradenton Southeast 54, Sunlake 36

Armwood 64, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 53

Seffner Christian 78, Cocoa 74

Brooks DeBartolo 63, Instituto Desarrollo Del Nino 43

Keswick Suncoast Classic

Lakewood 77, Northeast 37

Clearwater 71, St. Petersburg 18

Jaguar Holiday Tournament

Riverview 58, Robinson 50

Mitchell 48, Sickles 16

Chamberlain 36, St. Petersburg Catholic 26

Academy of the Holy Names 55, Gaither 9

CCC Holiday Invitational

Tampa Catholic 48, Palm Harbor University 45

Seminole 33, Dunedin 26

Clearwater Central Catholic 49, Tarpon Springs 28

East Lake 56, CCC JV 25

Prime time performers

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Led the Panthers with 14 rebounds and nine points in a win over Gulf Coast. 

G Savannah Cox, Jr., Lennard: Scored a team-high 24 points in a loss to Tampa Prep.

F/G Sy Crowley, Jr., Hernando: Finished with 17 points, seven steals and five rebounds in a win over American Collegiate. 

F Sophia Flair, So., Durant: Had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Zephyrhills. 

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Led the Tornadoes in scoring with 16 points in a win over St. Petersburg. 

G Kailyn Gilbert, Jr., Seffner Christian: Finished with 42 points in a win over Cocoa. 

F/G China Jenkins, Sr., Lakewood: Had 17 points in a win over Northeast. 

G Julia Miller, So., Robinson: Scored a team-high 18 points in a loss to Riverview. 

G Jayda Pinder, So., Academy of the Holy Names: Had 15 points and six steals in a win over Gaither. 

F/G Nina Rueda, Sr., Mitchell: Finished with 14 points in a win over Sickles. 

G Michelle Weber, Jr., CCC: Had 14 points in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

Dec. 29

Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

Lennard 49, East Bay 46

Bloomingdale 44, Zephyrhills 33

Newsome 32, Tampa Prep 17

Durant 51, Steinbrenner 35

American Collegiate 69, Wade Christian Academy 63

Lakewood Ranch 56, Hernando 31

Gulf Coast 61, Carrollwood Day 57

Plant 55, FSU High 52

Hillsborough 63, Sunlake 50

Wharton 58, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 54

Bradenton Southeast 61, Wesley Chapel 43

Spruce Creek 54, Armwood 32

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 76, Seffner Christian 70

CPCA 49, Brooks DeBartolo 40

Keswick Suncoast Classic

Sarasota Christian 39, Northeast 37

Clearwater 57, Lakewood 45

Bradenton Saint Stephen’s 69, Keswick Christian 57

Jaguar Holiday Tournament

Robinson 43, Sickles 32

St. Petersburg Catholic 47, Gaither 15

Mitchell 34, Riverview 27

Academy of the Holy Names 37, Chamberlain 26

CCC Holiday Tournament

Tarpon Springs 38, Dunedin 36

East Lake 49, Tampa Catholic 45

Clearwater Central Catholic 56, Seminole 34

Prime time performers

G Ka’Yanti Burden, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Finished with 19 points and 10 steals in a win over Gaither. 

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Led the Panthers with 25 points and nine rebounds in a win over FSU High. 

G/F Deana Epps, Fr., Hillsborough: Had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a win over Sunlake. 

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a win over Lakewood. 

F/C Cennya Gaskin, So., Bloomingdale: Led the Bulls with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Zephyrhills. 

F/C Victoria Gay, Sr., Durant: Had 18 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Steinbrenner. 

F/G Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood: Finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Spruce Creek. 

G Sydney Jackwin, Jr., Keswick Christian: Had 15 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Bradenton Saint Stephen’s. 

F/C Carlee Jankowski-Warden, Jr., Mitchell: Recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Riverview. 

G Nyla Jean, Sr., Plant: Scored 20 points and had five rebounds and five assists in a win over FSU High. 

G Halei Murrell, Jr., Lennard: Led the Longhorns in scoring with 17 points in a win over East Bay. 

G Angelie Pena, Sr., Academy of the Holy Names: Had 13 points, six rebounds and six steals in a win over Chamberlain. 

G/F Taylor Roop, Sr., Sunlake: Finished with a team-high 24 points in a loss to Hillsborough. 

G Sydney Stout, Sr., Robinson: Scored 11 points in a win over Sickles. 

Dec. 30

Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

Anna Maria Island Bracket

Zephyrhills 68, East Bay 61

Lennard 49, Bloomingdale 46

Steinbrenner 59, Tampa Prep 28

Newsome 38, Durant 25

Caladesi Island Bracket

Wade Christian Academy 55, Hernando 51

American Collegiate 49, King 31

Clearwater Beach Bracket

FSU High 80, Carrollwood Day 47

Braden River 60, Plant 58

Siesta Key Beach Bracket

Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 58, Sunlake 32

Wharton 49, Hillsborough 37

Armwood 66, Wesley Chapel 42

St. Pete Beach Bracket

Seffner Christian 60, Instituto Desarrollo Del Nino 54

Keswick Suncoast Classic

Sarasota Christian 46, St. Petersburg 17

Clearwater 66, Bradenton Saint Stephen’s 49

Lakewood 68, Keswick Christian 54

Northeast 41, Dunedin 27

Jaguar Holiday Tournament

Seventh place game: Sickles 40, Gaither 21

Fifth place game: St. Petersburg 41, Robinson 29

Third place game: Riverview 53, Chamberlain 26

Championship game: Academy of the Holy Names 35, Mitchell 32

CCC Holiday Tournament

Fifth place game: Palm Harbor University 32, Tarpon Springs 28

Third place game: Tampa Catholic 39, Seminole 24

Championship game: East Lake 64, Clearwater Central Catholic 48

Prime time performers

G/F Keyara Bromley, So., Armwood: Finished with 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a win over Wesley Chapel.

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Had 23 points and 21 rebounds in a loss to Braden River. 

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Led the Tornadoes with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Bradenton Saint Stephen’s to take the tournament title at the Keswick Suncoast Classic. 

F Jania Jones, Jr., Fivay: Had 24 points and nine rebounds in a win over River Ridge. 

G/F Kenadi Knight, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Had 15 points and six rebounds in a win over Robinson. 

G Courtney Logan, Sr., East Bay: Scored 31 points and had five rebounds, four steals and four assists in a win over Zephyrhills.

G Halei Murrell, Jr., Lennard: Finished with a team-high 24 points in a win over East Bay. 

G Angelie Pena, Sr., Academy of the Holy Names: Led the Jaguars with 13 points to help beat Mitchell in the title game of their tournament. 

G Lexi Pizarro, So., Sickles: Finished with 15 points in a win over Gaither. 

G Sydney Rush, So., East Lake: Had 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a win over CCC. 

G Whitney Rush, Sr., East Lake: Scored 26 points to lead the Eagles past host CCC for the tournament title. 

Saturday

Scoreboard

Dunedin 46, Hollins 43

St. Petersburg Catholic 45, Largo 25

Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Northeast 23

Prime time performers

G Ka’Yanti Burden, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Had 18 points, eight rebounds, six steals and five assists in a win over Largo. 

G  Nyvaria Norwood, Sr., Dunedin: Scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds in a win over Hollins. 

All tournament teams

Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

F Tyja Beans, So., Spruce Creek

F/G Jordan Byrd, Jr., Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant

F/C Chaniya Clark, Sr., Fort Myers

F/G Jaela Davis, So., Brooks DeBartolo

F/G Olivia Davis, So., Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

G/F Olivia Delaney, Jr., Carrollwood Day

G Kailyn Gilbert, Jr., Seffner Christian

G Amarie Godwin, Sr., Brooks DeBartolo

G O’Mariah Gordon, Sr., Braden River

C/F Daniela Gonzalez, Jr., Central Pointe

F/G Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood

G Nyla Jean, Sr., Plant

F/G Kaylee Kehler, Jr., Lakewood Ranch

G/F Tyra Kennedy, So., Hillsborough

G Maggie Lauber, So., Durant

G Madelyn Leslie, So., Gulf Coast

F/G Kayla McDuffie, Sr., Bradenton Southeast 

G Tonie Morgan, Jr., FSU High

G Halei Murrell, Jr., Lennard

G Mia Nicholson, Sr., Wesley Chapel

G Janay Outten, Sr., Fort Myers

G Milahnie Perry, Jr., Carrollwood Day

G/F Addison Potts, Jr., Seffner Christian

G/F Marinique Reddin, Sr., Wharton

G Jordan Rosier, Jr., FSU High

G Sydney Sandoff, Jr., Steinbrenner

G Guiliana Sepulveda, Jr., Central Pointe

G Cheyenne Stubbs, Sr., Braden River

F/G Emma Walloff, Sr., Westminster

G/F Victoria Zidor, Sr., Cocoa

Keswick Suncoast Classic

G Maddy Boehm, Jr., Keswick Christian

G/F Nilah Coleman, Sr., Lakewood

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater

G Beckham Hockley, Fr., Clearwater

G Sydney Jackwin, Jr., Keswick Christian

C Phillicia Jackson, Jr., Clearwater

G/F Meya King, Sr., Northeast

F Sydney Melcher, So., Keswick Christian

C Jaena Shamp, Sr., Sarasota Christian

G Jamie Springstead, Jr., Bradenton Saint Stephen’s

G/F Alexis Staton, Jr., Lakewood

G/F Megan Wolfe, So., Bradenton Saint Stephen’s 

Jaguar Holiday Tournament

F/G Adina Davis, Sr., Chamberlain

F/C Carlee Jankowski-Warden, Jr., Mitchell

F Faron Malouff, Sr., Riverview

F/G Gabby Morrison, Jr., Academy of the Holy Names

G Angelie Pena, Sr., Academy of the Holy Names(MVP) 

G Jayda Pinder, So., Academy of the Holy Names

General

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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General

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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College Football

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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