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Wildcats make long-distance college trek

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2002

As the last day of school ended before spring break, four Wesley Chapel players piled into a van for a senior road trip to help decide where to continue their careers.

"We all have kind of the same tastes, like the same things in general," said quarterback/defensive back Spencer Honeycutt.

For Honeycutt, receiver Marcus Felder, defensive end Jason Boyette and lineman David Miller, the first stop on their tour was Methodist College, a Division III program in Fayetteville, N.C., which held a recruiting day. After getting a campus tour and a look around the facilities, most recruits headed home, but the Wesley Chapel group arranged to stay with Methodist players in the dorms.

"That was pretty cool, because we got to do a lot more," said Honeycutt, who is being recruited primarily as a defensive back and wide receiver.

The next morning brought a nine-hour trek west to Cumberland University, an NAIA school in Lebanon, Tenn.

"After all we went through to get there, the coaches didn't seem too glad to see them, and after an hour, it was time for us to go," said Honeycutt's mother, Sally, who chaperoned the trip. "As soon as they got back in the van, they said it was No. 8 on their lists, so I don't know if they'll be going back to Cumberland."

On Friday, the group drove to Webber International University in Babson Park, just east of Bartow. The tiny campus has fewer than 1,000 students but is launching its program this fall, an intriguing element for the Wildcats, who helped start Wesley Chapel's program.

Webber offers only a business major, Honeycutt said, limiting the academic options, but it is considerably closer to home.

Those four aren't the only Wildcats who may land with college programs. Defensive end Jason Boyd, who led the county with 19 sacks, is considering Valdosta State in Georgia, and kicker/punter Gilbert Montelongo, perhaps the Wildcats' most coveted recruit, is leaning toward a package offered by South Florida.

Wildcats coach John Castelamare said there are other schools in the picture before his players make a final decision. Honeycutt may fly out to Culver-Stockton College in Missouri.

The only county player to sign this spring is Pasco linebacker Garion Pope, who will take a scholarship to Dodge City Community College in Kansas. Pirates coach Ricky Thomas said the college has also inquired about Anton Standifer, a receiver, kick returner and defensive back, who like Pope has not posted necessary entrance exam scores for Division I eligibility.

Standifer, who bats cleanup on the Pirates' baseball team, may also have offers to consider in that sport, as well as the possibility of being drafted in June.

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