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Tampa won't bid to host state finals

Published September 25, 2003

TAMPA - The boys and girls state soccer tournaments will not be held in Hillsborough County next spring, but the other state tournaments hosted by the county - softball, baseball and cross country - could be around for several more years.

At least that's what county athletic director Vernon Korhn is hoping.

"Having softball, baseball and cross country has been great for Tampa and great for the area schools competing in those events," Korhn said. "The economic impact has been outstanding, and it saves (Hillsborough County athletics) money because we don't have to send our teams to state tournaments.

"With the tournaments in town the students can sleep in their own beds and then go out and compete. It's great for everybody."

The boys and girls state soccer tournaments have been hosted by Tampa the past two years, but will move elsewhere in 2004-05 mainly because the tournament schedule has expanded to five classifications.

This meant stretching the state tournament soccer schedules from three to four days, and having the girls and boys play on separate weeks.

In Tampa, the boys and girls tournaments were held at two sites, the University of Tampa and Ed Radice Park, on the same week over the same three days.

"With it stretched over two weeks and eight days it was simply more than we were able to commit to," Korhn said. "That's basically why we told the (Florida High School Athletic Association) we would not be submitting a bid."

State cross country, held at Ed Radice Park the past two years, will be held there again in November and also in 2004. This year will mark the first time the meet will be held at night under lights.

Hillsborough County has hosted state softball the past two years and is submitting a bid to the FHSAA on Friday to host the next two years.

The state baseball tournament has been held at Legends Field since 1996, and Korhn hopes that after this spring's tournament, it will come back at least a few more years.

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