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Weekend recap: Girls basketball





Keswick Christian 48, Berkeley Prep 43

Lakeside Christian 39, Northside Christian 36

Bell Creek Academy 52, Grace Christian 21

Countryside 47, Sarasota 46

Bradenton Southeast 69, Seffner Christian 50

Lakeland Christian 57, Cambridge Christian 36

Sunlake 57, Gaither 11

Calvary Christian 73, Tarpon Springs 40

Elfers Christian 42, West Hernando Christian 19

Wharton 53, Steinbrenner 45

Plant 51, Newsome 24

Bloomingdale 55, King 24

Alonso 38, Sickles 30

Middleton 47, Sumner 21

Hillsborough 72, Brandon 4

Riverview 57, Lennard 50

Zephyrhills 60, Cypress Creek 20

Wesley Chapel 57, Tampa Catholic 39

Gibbs 49, Osceola 14

Clearwater 63, East Lake 42

Anclote 54, Pasco 32

Boca Ciega 54, St. Petersburg Catholic 52

Prime time performers

G Angelina Aberin, Jr., Bloomingdale: Had 12 points, six rebounds and five steals in a win over King.  

F Alyssa Bongiovanni, So., Steinbrenner: Finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Wharton. 

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Had 14 points and became the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer in a win over Newsome. 

G/F Deana Epps, Fr., Hillsborough: Had 19 points, seven steals and five rebounds in a win over Brandon. 

G Ava Graham, Fr., Keswick Christian: Led the Crusaders in scoring with 16 points in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

F Morgan Hunt, Fr., Bell Creek Academy: Had 13 points and five rebounds in a win over Grace Christian. 

G/F Kenadi Knight, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Recorded 23 points, four rebounds and four steals in a loss to Boca Ciega. 

G Mak Moore, So., Calvary Christian: Scored a team-high 22 points in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

G Quewana Morris, Sr., Middleton: Finished with 13 points and four steals in a win over Sumner. 

G Breanna Ortega, So., Anclote: Led the Sharks with 28 points in a win over Pasco. 

C Kyleigh Welsh, Jr., Clearwater: Made her presence known around the basket with 11 blocked shots and eight rebounds in a win over East Lake. 



Lakewood 61, Seffner Christian 41

Sarasota Christian 60, Canterbury 35

Jefferson 59, Northeast 39

Hillsborough 50, Sarasota 27

Academy of the Holy Names 57, Tarpon Springs 23

St. Petersburg Catholic 46, St. Petersburg 40

Winter Haven 88, Mitchell 37

Bloomingdale 50, East Lake 45

Indian Rocks Christian 42, Sickles 36

Prime time performers

G Ka’Yanti Burden, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds in a win over St. Petersburg. 

F/C Cennya Gaskin, So., Bloomingdale: Dominated inside with 16 rebounds and nine points in a win over East Lake. 

G/F Kaliyah Gaynor, So., Jefferson: Had a team-high 18 points in a win over Northeast. 

G/F Tyra Kennedy, So., Hillsborough: Scored a team-high 20 points in a win over Sarasota. 

G Gabrielle Morrison, Jr., Academy of the Holy Names: Led the Jaguars with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

G Maria Rojas, So., Sickles: Had 14 points and six rebounds in a loss to Indian Rocks Christian. 

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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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