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Pasco loses softball coach to Berkeley Prep

Ray Carver leaves the Pirates after one season, in which they reached the region final.

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002


DADE CITY -- Ray Carver, the former Saint Leo softball coach who guided Pasco to the region playoffs last season, has accepted the coaching job at Berkeley Prep in Tampa.

"I don't know that you like one job better than another, but you hate to leave a group of kids like I had at Pasco," said Carver, who coached the Pirates for one season.

"Berkeley is a good little school, and they seem to have a lot of good kids, too. Berkeley's softball program has a wonderful reputation. I've met so many great kids there already, and I'm really looking forward to working with the team."

Pasco, which entered the playoffs 12-14, reached the region final before losing to eventual Class 3A state champion Bartow. Carver, 55, said he applied for the job during the summer and told Pasco athletic director Willie Broner Jr. about his decision "a while back." Berkeley announced his hiring Wednesday.

Broner could not be reached for comment, and Carver said he had "no clue" as to who would succeed him. Lisa Herndon, a Pasco Middle teacher who served as a varsity assistant and junior varsity coach last season, said she is interested. Pasco has not advertised the job.

"I'm just waiting until things settle down," said Herndon, 43, who also coaches volleyball and girls soccer at her middle school.

Another option is Broner's daughter-in-law, Shamalene Broner, a former Pasco standout who was inducted into the Florida State hall of fame in August. She is a teacher at Pasco who would like to enter coaching.

As for the team he leaves behind, Carver said the Pirates should be strong next spring, as pitcher Christina Harris was the lone senior starter. Carver said he expects Heather Stroud to take over the pitching.

"They've got a real good team coming back," said Carver, whose stint at Pasco was his first since a 10-year run at Saint Leo ended in 1995. "Heather is the hardest-working kid I've ever worked with, and if you're looking for a player who can pitch, play shortstop, hit the ball and do whatever you ask and never complain, that's her."

The Berkeley position came available this summer when Sallie Scudder left to take a job at Plant. Scudder led Berkeley into the regional playoffs in each of the past four seasons, and the Buccaneers had three final four appearances from 1990-93, earning runner-up honors each year.

Athletic director Bobby Reinhart said he expects big things from his new coach.

"He brings considerable experience, both at the high school and collegiate levels," Reinhart said in a release. "Ray has a wonderful rapport with his players, and his knowledge and ability to teach is sure to continue the success we have come to know in our softball program."

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