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Prep Notebook

Several area football teams do the district switcheroo

By ROD GIPSON
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2003

TAMPA -- With the end of the prep football season, the Florida High School Activities Association has revamped its district alignments. The changes, which go into effect next season, will have several North of Tampa teams changing districts.

The new Class 5A, District 8 group will include Chamberlain, Gaither, Sickles and Wharton, along with King and Hillsborough. That realignment will allow Sickles and Wharton to renew their Times Cup rivalry, which has been skipped the past two seasons.

Leto, meanwhile, will be in Class 4A, District 10 along with Alonso, Armwood, Blake, Middleton and Plant. And Jefferson, a state finalist this past season in Class 4A, moves to Class 3A in District 10 along with Freedom, Robinson, Tampa Bay Tech and Jesuit.

MORE FOOTBALL: Jefferson's Andre Caldwell, Rashaun Grant and Donnie Woods were named to the Sunshine Network All Gridiron Team. Caldwell, who led the Dragons to the Class 4A state championship game and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for the East squad last week, was named to the First Team. Grant, a running back, and Woods, an offensive lineman, were named to the Second Team. Wharton running back/defensive back Larry Edwards was named to the Third Team.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Wharton's disappointment with falling in the title game of the Leto Holiday Classic last weekend didn't last long. After losing 65-56 to Largo in the championship game, the Wildcats bounced back with victories against Chamberlain and Plant City. The win against the Chiefs on Monday was key, being a Class 5A, District 8 game. Andre Roberts nailed six three-pointers in the win for the Wildcats. Two days later, Wharton beat Plant City 65-44. In the consolation game of the Leto Holiday Classic, Leto was defeated by Durant 52-45. Leto's Chris Woolridge scored 26 points in the loss, helping him earn All-Tournament Team honors. Woolridge set tournament records for points in a game (40), and overall points in the tournament (95).

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Despite 18 points from Elaine Evans, Gaither lost 55-43 to Largo in the Leto Holiday Classic championship game. Host Leto fell 39-31 to Robinson in the consolation game despite seven points from Yarenis Blanco, who was named to the All-Tournament team. In other regular-season scores last week, Alonso defeated Chamberlain 48-19, Jefferson lost to Blake 58-41 and Sickles lost to Tampa Bay Tech 71-46.

WRESTLING: Despite missing two of its top wrestlers to injuries, Sickles has continued to perform well. It is ranked 20th on the FloridaKids.net state poll. State runner-up Stan Liberatore (112 pounds) and defending Class 2A state champ Jegan Gabbidon (130 pounds) have been out, but the Gryphons haven't missed a beat, winning the Brooksville Kiwanis tournament and placing second at the Durant Cougar Invitational. In other action last week, Alonso defeated Robinson 47-36, Bloomingdale topped Wharton 58-21 and Plant got past Gaither 36-34.

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