Tampa Prep volleyball coach Mike Flynn wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Though the Terrapins were thrilled to win last week's Berkeley Premier, no one is content.
"We still need to improve if we want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning a state championship," Flynn said.
Behind strong play from seniors Jordan Canas, Lauren Miles, Brittany Pierpont and Jess Thomas, and junior Rachael Phillips, the Terrapins beat three previously unbeaten teams en route to the title. Tampa Prep was 4-3 when the Premier began, but the record was deceptive. One loss was to powerful Berkeley Prep in five games and two others were to Venice, also one of Florida's best.
"The big thing we focus on is getting better each day," Flynn said. "We've been hammering that home since the beginning of the season. Even though we had a good week, we have the mind-set we're going to work hard."
The schedule doesn't get any easier, but that's just the way Tampa Prep (and most top programs) like it. The Terrapins (10-3) host the 20th Annual Tampa Bay Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Matches will be played at Tampa Prep and the University of Tampa. Admission is $5.
The 16-team field includes standout squads from Florida and Alabama. The bay area will be represented by Tampa Prep, Bayshore Christian, Academy of the Holy Names, Clearwater, Durant, Plant and rival Berkeley Prep.
To cap a difficult two-week stretch, Tampa Prep hosts Berkeley Prep Tuesday.
"It's an amazing level of competition these girls will be playing to get ready for the homestretch," Flynn said.
REMEMBERING THE GREATS: Hillsborough, which has played football since 1906, will honor four Terrier greats Friday night before the home game against Sarasota Riverview. They are:
Roger Adams, class of 1942, an all-state and all-southern pick at center and linebacker who played at Florida.
Deryl Borders, class of 1963, an all-state and all-southern quarterback who played defensive back at the University of Tampa.
Dan Footman, class of 1987, a dominating defensive end who played for Florida State and reached the NFL.
Angus Williams, class of 1945, an athlete who lettered in several sports, played quarterback for the Gators, then coached at Plant and the University of Tampa.
All inductees will attend except Adams, who is deceased. Each will receive a ring featuring a red stone with the letter "H" on it, the player's name and school crest. AND FINALLY: Damage caused by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne forced the relocation of the Florida High School Athletic Association swimming and diving finals. Originally scheduled for the North County Aquatic Complex in Sebastian, the meet moved to Gainesville's O'Connell Center. The date (Nov. 5-6) will not change.