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Preps

Classic to showcase talent

By BOB PUTNAM
Published December 10, 2003

For the past week, they've lined up at Dixie Hollins and Largo High, thumbing through pages of player profiles and seeing the best Pinellas County has to offer in football.

As the public and private school players selected for the Senior All-Star Classic prepared for tonight's game at Largo, scouts from more than 20 colleges watched them practice with hopes of finding a blue-chipper in the rough.

Recruiters battling for players was always the intent of Seminole coach Sam Roper, who helped organize the first all-star game in 1994 and has been a key figure with it since.

On the game's 10th anniversary, there have been many stories of players receiving scholarship offers after playing in it.

Take the inaugural game.

Former Countryside punter Mike Kilgore was an alternate and played after two others backed out. He eventually signed with Virginia Tech. And former Clearwater receiver Chris Daniels didn't catch a pass but signed with Purdue.

So who will be the next success story?

Clearwater's Brad Sommerville hopes it is him.

After spending two seasons battling injuries and obscurity, Sommerville had a breakout season with 22 catches for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his scores were winners against district foes East Lake and Pinellas Park.

"I felt like every time I touched the ball, I needed to make something happen in order to make up for the past two seasons," Sommerville said.

Sommerville was a kicker his sophomore season. Last year was his first chance to play receiver, but he broke his hand halfway through it.

"That was tough having to sit on the sidelines and watch my teammates," he said.

[Last modified December 10, 2003, 01:34:25]


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