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Softball recap (Wed.-Fri.)

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Wednesday

Scoreboard

Clearwater Central Catholic 13, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 10

Academy at the Lakes 14, Hudson 12

Academy of the Holy Names 9, Wiregrass Ranch 8

Riverview 10, Lennard 0

Dunedin 9, Boca Ciega 0

Hillsborough 10, Brandon 0

Seminole 7, Clearwater 1

Countryside 16, Largo 0

Sumner 15, King 0

Newsome 9, Strawberry Crest 1

Cypress Creek 2, Wesley Chapel 0

Prime time performers

OF Isabella Amendolaro, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Led the Bulls by going 4-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in a loss to Academy of the Holy Names. 

CF/2B Camryn Feast, So., Academy of the Holy Names: Finished 3-for-4 with a homer, an RBI and a run scored in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

SS/CF/P Emma Heuermann, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Went 3-for-4 with four runs scored in a win over Sarasota Cardinal Mooney. 

P/UTIL Keala Hollenkamp, Fr., Academy of the Holy Names: End up 3-for-4  with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

CF/2B/1B Brianna LaPella, So., Clearwater Central Catholic: Led the Marauders by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored in a win over Sarasota Cardinal Mooney. 

C/3B/UTIL Natalia Leon, Fr., Riverview: Went 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBIs in a win over Lennard. 

P/2B Kaylyn Mitchum, Fr., Countryside: Ended up 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs at the plate and threw a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts on the mound in a win over Largo. 

P/RF/1B Kendall Rubel, Jr., Dunedin: Led the Falcons by going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored at the plate and striking out all three batters she faced on the mound in a win over Boca Ciega. 

3B Mandy Schwartz, Jr., Cypress Creek: Hita solo homer in a win over Wesley Chapel. 

UTIL Davia Schweitzer, Jr., Seminole: Went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in a win over Clearwater. 

SS Karley Shelton, Fr., Newsome: Led the Wolves by going 3-for-3, including a homer in her fourth straight game, and had three RBIs in a win over Strawberry Crest. 

P/CF Alyssa Vallad, So., Sumner: Threw a three-inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts and hit a double, a homer and had two RBIs at the plate in a win over King. 

P Hailey Vazquez, Sr., Cypress Creek: Threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and drove in one of the Coyotes’ two runs in a win over Cypress Creek. 

P Kelsey Winters, Jr., Newsome: Threw a four-hitter, allowing one earned run and striking out 16 in a win over Strawberry Crest. 

Thursday

Scoreboard

St. Petersburg Catholic 14, Lakeside Christian 9

Lakeland Christian 24, Foundation Christian 14

Academy at the Lakes 15, Hudson 3

Cypress Creek 10, Berkeley Prep 2

Lecanto 16, Central 1

Robinson 6, Plant 3

Freedom 20, King 0

Lennard 15, Blake 0

Spoto 18, Armwood 0

Riverview 10, Sumner 7

Bloomingdale 13, Brandon 0

Steinbrenner 12, Gaither 4

Wharton 30, Hillsborough 0

Tampa Bay Tech 18, Middleton 3

East Lake 12, Tarpon Springs 0

Mitchell 20, Zephyrhills 2

Springstead 6, Crystal River 4

Palm Harbor University 17, Largo 1

Fivay 19, Gulf 1

Dunedin 12, Pinellas Park 1

River Ridge 7, Land O’ Lakes 2

Wesley Chapel 5, Pasco 3

Prime time performers

OF/P Ahmari Arca, So., Wesley Chapel: Ended up 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and threw one scoreless inning on the mound in a win over Pasco. 

1B/3B Hailey Bellamy, So., Steinbrenner: Went 3-for-4 with a double and five RBIs in a win over Gaither. 

C/3B Sophia Cathey, Sr., Wharton: Led the Wildcats by going 4-for-4 with two homers and six RBIs in a win over Hillsborough. 

UTIL Gracie Ciccarello, So., Plant: Finished 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in a loss to Robinson. 

P/1B Maddie Droz, Sr., Bloomingdale: Went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored in a win over Brandon. 

INF Sydney Fowler, Jr., Middleton: Powered the Mustangs by hitting four doubles and finishing with seven RBIs in a win over Zephyrhills. 

3B/2B/C Mariah Gradzki, So., Dunedin: Hit a three-run homer in a win over Pinellas Park. 

P Phoebe Howard, Sr., Tarpon Springs: Recorded 13 strikeouts in a loss to East Lake. 

1B Jillian Hudson, Jr., Cypress Creek: Led the Coyotes by going 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

C/3B/1B Sophie Johnson, So., River Ridge: Powered the Royal Knights’ offense by going 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs in a win over Land O’ Lakes. 

3B/1B/LF Tori Knight, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Lakeside Christian. 

OF Hannah Lynch, Jr., Hernando: Ended up 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Weeki Wachee. 

CF/SS/UTIL Isabella McNamara, So., Tampa Bay Tech: Finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Middleton. 

2B Kate Miller, Fr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Went 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Lakeside Christian.

P Gracie Murphy, Fr., Berkeley Prep: Finished 3-for-3 with a solo homer in a loss to Cypress Creek.

SS/P Makayla Oster, Jr., Dunedin: Threw a one-hitter, allowing one earned run while striking out six and recorded two hits on offense in a five-inning win over Pinellas Park. 

3B/C Samantha Proctor, Sr., Fivay: Hit a triple, a homer and had six RBIs in a win over Gulf. 

P Emma Ream, Jr., East Lake: Recorded four strikeouts and teamed with Emily Boylan on a no-hitter (one walk away from a perfect game) in a five-inning win over Tarpon Springs. 

SS Candace Repine, Jr., Robinson: Hit a three-run homer in a win over Plant.  

CF/OF/2B Aasia Scerbo, Fr., Gaither: Ended up 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in a loss to Steinbrenner. 

C/3B/SS Jalyn Sharkey, Fr., East Lake: Hit a three-run homer in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

CF Jordan Stephens, Sr., Robinson: Went 2-for4 with a double and two RBIs in a win over Plant. 

OF/INF Jayla Stewart, So., Riverview: Led the Sharks by going 4-for-5 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Sumner. 

P/1B Olivia Townsend, Sr., Hernando: Threw a one-hitter, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out six in a win over Weeki Wachee. 

SS Tieley Vaughn, Sr., Wharton: Powered the Wildcats’ offense by going 4-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs and five runs scored in a win over Hillsborough. 

P/OF Livia Velasco, So., Bloomingdale: Threw four scoreless innings, recorded 11 strikeouts and teamed Mikayla Cable on a five-inning perfect game against Brandon. 

P Hailey Vazquez, Sr., Cypress Creek: Threw a six-hitter, allowing two earned runs while striking out 14 in a win over Berkeley Prep.  

2B/3B Kysrten Wallen, So., Fivay: Went 4-for-4 with an RBI and four runs scored in a win over Gulf. 

OF Erica Wilton, Sr., Freedom: Led the Patriots by going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over King. 

3B Gabriella Young, So., Palm Harbor University: Went 3-for-3 with a double and six RBIs in a win over Largo. 

Friday

Scoreboard

St. Petersburg 3, Countryside 1

Osceola 11, Boca Ciega 3

Wesley Chapel 9, Berkeley Prep 8

Calvary Christian 2, Academy of the Holy Names 0

Tampa Catholic 10, Springstead 1

Hudson 8, Fivay 3

Hollins 8, Northeast 0

Weeki Wachee 16, Anclote 4

Land O’ Lakes 11, Dunnellon 0

River Ridge 10, Sunlake 1

Prime time performers

SS Brooke Blankenship, Sr., River Ridge: Went 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored in a win over Sunlake.

3B/2B Caitlin Blankenship, So., River Ridge: Ended up going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Sunlake.  

P/OF/1B Malia Connelly, Fr., Calvary Christian: Threw a five-hit shutout with two strikeouts in a win over Academy of the Holy Names. 

UTIL Hailey Copechal, Jr., Osceola: Finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored in a win over Boca Ciega. 

C/UTIL Giulia Desiderio, Sr., River Ridge: Went 4-for-4 with three runs scored in a win over Sunlake. 

INF/UTIL Ashley Garrison, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Helped power the Wildcats’ offense by going 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs in a win over Berkeley Prep.

SS/2B Elizabeth George, Jr., Calvary Christian: Went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and a run scored in a win over Academy of the Holy Names.  

C/INF Tegan Grizzard, Fr., St. Petersburg: Ended up 2-for-3 with homer, an RBI and two runs scored in a win over Countryside. 

P/UTIL Madasyn Hensley, Fr., Hollins: Threw a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts in a win over Northeast. 

SS/C/UTIL Alyson Lucas, Sr., Hollins: Led the Royals by going 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored in a win over Northeast. 

C/3B Kadence Means, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

LF/SS Hailey Miranda, Fr., Tampa Catholic: Led the Crusaders by going 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and three RBIs in a win over Springstead. 

P/2B/OF Victoria Nearing, Jr., River Ridge: Finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored in a win over Sunlake. 

P/SS/INF Adriana Onessimo, Sr., St. Petersburg: Threw a three-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven in a win over Countryside. 

UTIL Holland Poe, 8th, Berkeley Prep: Went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs in a loss to Wesley Chapel. 

1B/C/OF Hannah Purcell, So., Land O’ Lakes: Hit two homers and had six RBIs in a win over Dunnellon. 

P/3B/OF Gracie Stanley, Sr., Land O’ Lakes: Threw a perfect game and recorded seven strikeouts in a five-inning win against Dunnellon. 

C Jaiden White, Jr., Anclote: Went 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and three RBIs in a loss to Weeki Wachee. 

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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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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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