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Softball: The week in review

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Tuesday (April 6)

Scoreboard

Hernando Christian 23, Foundation Christian 13

Indian Rocks Christian 20, Keswick Christian 0

Northside Christian 19, Sarasota Christian 4

Seffner Christian 7, Academy at the Lakes 1

Nature Coast 15, Springstead 4

Lake Wales 9, Tampa Catholic 3

Hernando 12, Citrus 5

Canterbury 9, Kissimmee Osceola 0

Berkeley Prep 10, Clearwater 0

St. Petersburg 20, Gibbs 0

Cypress Creek 21, Hudson 4

Crystal River 15, Central 5

Northeast 7, Largo 2

Osceola 13, Dunedin 2

East Lake 13, Countryside 0

Jefferson 9, Sumner 5

Gaither 17, Armwood 1

Lecanto 10, Weeki Wachee 0

Hillsborough 15, King 0

Sickles 2, Mitchell 0

Strawberry Crest 11, Leto 1

Seminole 10, Tarpon Springs 0

Sarasota 4, East Bay 0

Wiregrass Ranch 15, Tampa Bay Tech 0

Durant 11, Bloomingdale 3

Robinson 20, Middleton 0

Wharton 12, Plant 8

Hollins 18, Boca Ciega 3

Pasco 10, Land O’ Lakes 3

River Ridge 12, Sunlake 2

Prime time performers

P/1B Angelique Ballew, Jr., Northeast: Had three doubles and three RBIs in a win over Largo. 

UTIL Sienna Bailey, 7th, Northside Christian: Went 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and four runs scored in a win over Sarasota Christian. 

P/OF Sarah Blackett, Fr., St. Petersburg: Threw a three-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts in a win over Gibbs. 

OF Jiena Carrera, Sr., Nature Coast: Finished 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Springstead. 

UTIL Laci Carter, Jr., Pasco: Had two hits, including a homer, and had a team-leading three RBIs in a win over Land O’ Lakes. 

C/1B Hannah Church, Jr., Berkeley Prep: Ended up 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and two RBIs in a win over Clearwater. 

C/UTIL Giulia Desiderio, Sr., River Ridge: Led the Royal Knights by going 4-for-4 with a double and six RBIs in a win over Sunlake. 

P Mackenzie Duford, Jr., Seminole: Threw a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

P/1B Elise Eason, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Tampa Bay Tech. 

C/2B Taylor Ekiss, Jr., Hernando Christian: Went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Foundation Christian. 

3B/C Addison Futch, Fr., Osceola: Led the Warriors by hitting three doubles and finishing with three RBIs in a win over Dunedin.  

P/INF Ariana Gonzalez, Fr., Jefferson: Finished 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs in a win over Sumner. 

P/1B Robyn Herron, Jr., Sickles: Threw a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts on the mound and went 2-for-3 with a double at the plate in a win over Mitchell. 

UTIL Izzy Hamilton, Sr., Osceola: Had three doubles in a win over Dunedin. 

SS Kylee Johnson, So., Wiregrass Ranch: Hit two triples, to go along with three RBIs and two runs scored. 

P/3B/2B Shannon Kendall, Fr., Seffner Christian: Threw a one-hitter, allowing one earned run while striking out 13 in a win over Academy at the Lakes. 

OF/C Alyssa Lechuga, So., Hernando Christian: Had a home run and five RBIs in a win over Foundation Christian. 

UTIL Tess McGann, Sr., Hollins: Went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Boca Ciega. 

P Gracie Murphy, Fr., Berkeley Prep: Threw a two-hit shutout with a strikeout in a win over Clearwater. 

C/2B/UTIL Emma Newgent, Fr., Cypress Creek: Ended up 2-for-3 with a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Hudson. 

SS/INF/P Adriana Onessimo, Sr., St. Petersburg: Went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Gibbs. 

P/INF Hailey Ragozine, Jr., Indian Rocks Christian: Led the Golden Eagles by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Keswick Christian. 

P Mariah Rivera, Sr., Osceola: Finished 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs in a win over Dunedin. 

1B/2B/C Ysa Rojas, So., Gaither: Went 3-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Armwood. 

2B/OF/SS Dom Sekelsky, Jr., Nature Coast: Powered the Sharks by going 2-for-3 with a homer, six RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Springstead. 

UTIL Hannah Taylor, So., Hernando Christian: Went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Citrus. 

OF Kate Terry, Sr., Seffner Christian: Led the Crusaders by going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored in a win over Academy at the Lakes. 

C/3B Rayna Trice, Sr., Durant: Finished 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs in a win over Bloomingdale. 

SS Tieley Vaughn, Sr., Wharton: Went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Plant. 

P Sydney Watson, Sr., Strawberry Crest: Threw a no-hitter, allowing one earned run while striking out 10 on the mound and drove in two runs at the plate in a win over Leto. 

P/C/INF Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither: Threw a four-hitter, allowing one earned run while striking out nine in a win over Armwood that lasted four innings. 

Wednesday (April 7)

Scoreboard

Palm Harbor University 11, Pinellas Park 0

Clearwater 14, Boca Ciega 1

Academy at the Lakes 4, Fivay 1

St. Petersburg 21, Bradenton Southeast 1

Eustis 7, Hernando 2

Freedom 14, Chamberlain 6

Prime time performers

C/INF Tegan Grizzard, Fr., St. Petersburg: Finished 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and four runs scored in a win over Bradenton Southeast.  

P Hannah Harring, Jr., Palm Harbor University: Struck out all five batters she faced in a win over Pinellas Park. 

P/1B/3B Sydney Klein, Fr., Academy at the Lakes: Threw a three-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out nine in a win over Fivay. 

C/OF/1B Abbee Klinefelter, So., Clearwater: Went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs in a win over Boca Ciega. 

1B Kelsi Matthews, Jr., Freedom: Led the Patriots by going 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Chamberlain. 

C/3B/SS Madison Moran, Sr., Weeki Wachee: Went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Hernando Christian. 

2B/SS Karhys Pierce, Fr., Palm Harbor University: Hit two triples and had three RBIs in a win over Pinellas Park. 

Thursday (April 8)

Scoreboard

Newsome 9, Sickles 3

Cambridge Christian 18, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 17

Shorecrest 12, Northside Christian 1

Admiral Farragut 17, Sarasota Christian 0

Palm Harbor University 15, East Lake 5

Weeki Wachee 7, Hernando Christian 6

East Bay 7, Bradenton Manatee 1

Inspiration Academy 9, Seffner Christian 2

Cypress Creek 1, Berkeley Prep 0

Spoto 17, Middleton 14

Plant 11, Alonso 1

Steinbrenner 10, Tampa Bay Tech 0

Fivay 10, Central 6

River Ridge 2, Mitchell 1

Durant 18, Plant City 0

Bloomingdale 14, Braden River 11

Jefferson 17, Hillsborough 2

Strawberry Crest 10, Chamberlain 2

Dunedin 16, Gulf 0

Wiregrass Ranch 6, Gaither 4

Osceola 17, Clearwater 0

Prime time performers

INF/OF E-Mani Bailey-Usma, Sr., Bloomingdale: Ended up 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs in a win over Braden River. 

3B/2B Caitlin Blankenship, So., River Ridge: Her two-run homer in the sixth inning was the difference in a win over Mitchell. 

OF/C/1B Sydney Cline, So., Admiral Farragut: Powered the Blue Jackets’ offense by going 3-for-3 with a triple, a homer and five RBIs in a win over Sarasota Christian.

2B McKenzie Feeney, So., Dunedin: Went 2-for-2 with a homer and four RBIs in a win over Gulf. 

UTIL Jaylyn Freedman, Fr., Seffner Christian: Finished 3-for-4 with an RBI in a loss to Inspiration Academy.

UTIL Kathyria Garcia, Jr., Jefferson: Led the Dragons by hitting two doubles, a homer and finishing with five RBIs and four runs scored in a win over Hillsborough.

P Alyssa Grimes, Sr., Strawberry Crest: Threw 6 ⅓ scoreless innings, allowing no hits while recording 14 strikeouts in a win over Chamberlain.  

UTIL Hayley Lynch, Sr., Strawberry Crest: Went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in a win over Chamberlain. 

OF Ashley Mantei, Jr., Steinbrenner: Went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Tampa Bay Tech.   

P/2B/OF Victoria Nearing, Jr., River Ridge: Threw a six-hitter, allowing one unearned run and recording three strikeouts in a win over Mitchell. 

SS/2B Karhys Pierce, Fr., Palm Harbor University: Led the Hurricanes by going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in a win over East Lake.

3B/C Samantha Proctor, Sr., Fivay: Finished 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and four runs scored in a win over Central.  

P/3B/OF Elana Roush, Fr., East Bay: Threw a two-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out nine in a win over Bradenton Manatee.

C Ava Ramirez, Sr., Plant: Ended up 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs in a win over Alonso.

P Mariah Rivera, Sr., Osceola: Hit a homer and had four RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Clearwater.   

1B Jadeyn Ruszkowski, Sr., Newsome: Hit two doubles and had three RBIs in a win over Sickles. 

3B Mandy Schwartz, Jr., Cypress Creek: Her solo homer in the sixth inning was the lone run of the game in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

P/OF Ashley Shroll, Sr., Steinbrenner: Threw a perfect and recorded 11 strikeouts in a win over Tampa Bay Tech that lasted five innings. 

OF Rylee Trice, Sr., Durant: Led the Cougars by going 2-for-4 with five RBIs in a win over Plant City. 

P Hailey Vazquez, Sr., Cypress Creek: Threw a three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

OF Kennedy Warbritton, Sr., Newsome: Went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a win over Sickles. 

C/P/INF Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither: Finished 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

Friday (April 9)

Orange Bowl Classic 

Canterbury 8, Miami Palmetto 2

Canterbury 12, Coconut Creek Monarch 0

Other games

Bradenton Christian 6, Northside Christian 5

Hernando Christian 6, Cambridge Christian 3

Berkeley Prep 13, Indian Rocks Christian 1

King 19, Brandon 9

Nature Coast 11, Crystal River 1

Palmetto 3, St. Petersburg 1

Gaither 5, Strawberry Crest 4

Armwood 7, Leto 4

Osceola 2, Seminole 1

Hernando 9, Springstead 0

Sickles 16, Hillsborough 0

Robinson 19, Lennard 4

Pinellas Park 7, Tarpon Springs 1

Land O’ Lakes 10, Sunlake 0

Pasco 12, Wesley Chapel 8

Prime time performers

C/1B Hannah Church, Jr., Berkeley Prep: Powered the Buccaneers by going 3-for-3 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Indian Rocks Christian. 

P Mackenzie Duford, Jr., Seminole: Allowed two hits and one unearned run while striking out 13 in seven innings of work against Osceola. 

P/1B Savannah Ellis, So., Hernando: Threw an eight-hit shutout with seven strikeouts in a win over Springstead, 

P/3B/CF Mia Fields, Fr., Land O’ Lakes: Threw a one-hit shutout with three strikeouts in a win over Sunlake. 

UTIL Ashley Garrison, Sr., Wesley Chapel: Had a double, a homer and four RBIs in a loss to Pasco. 

1B/3B Kaylee Higgins, Sr., Hernando Christian: Went 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in a win over Cambridge Christian. 

UTIL Ajia Hicks, Jr., King: Finished 3-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Brandon. 

C/3B/OF Izzy LaRoche, So., Nature Coast: Hit two triples and drove in three runs in a win over Crystal River. 

SS/INF/OF Nehanda Lewis, Jr., Land O’ Lakes: Went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in a win over Sunlake. 

3B/P Carolanne McClelland, Fr., Hernando: Finished 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBIs in a win over Springstead. 

P Gracie Murphy, Fr., Berkeley Prep: Threw three perfect innings with three strikeouts on the mound and went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs at the plate in a win over Indian Rocks Christian.

P Mariah Rivera, Sr., Osceola: Drove in Morgan Beardsley for the winning run to beat Seminole in extra innings.

SS/2B/CF Kaitlyn Sigmundi, Jr., Lennard: Ended up 3-for-3 with two runs scored in a loss to Robinson.  

 P/2B/CF Alisha Wagoner, Sr., Pinellas Park: Threw a three-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out 17 on the mound and going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored at the plate in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

C/P/INF Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither: Finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs in a win over Strawberry Crest. . 

Saturday (April 10)

Orange Bowl Classic

Canterbury 8, Homestead Keys Gate 0

Canterbury 10, Miami St. Brendan 0

Other games

Riverview 11, Spoto 1

Steinbrenner 16, Middleton 0

Freedom 13, Armwood 3

Newsome 15, Chamberlain 1

Prime time performers

SS/2B Paige Bergen, So., Steinbrenner: Finished 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored in a win over Middleton. 

P/OF Maria Brooks, So., Newsome: Threw a two-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out 18 on the mound and had a double, a triple and two RBIs at the plate in a win over Chamberlain. 

UTIL Ansley Brown, So., Freedom: Ended up 2-for-3 with seven RBIs and two runs scored in a win over Armwood. 

P/INF Christina Martinez, Sr., Riverview: Went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in a win over Spoto.

P/1B/UTIL Saige Sampson, Fr., Steinbrenner: Threw three perfect innings with four strikeouts in a win over Middleton.  

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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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