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A home away from home

St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis isn't happy Gibbs is having Homecoming on his field, against his team.

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published October 22, 2004

ST. PETERSBURG - Gibbs athletic director Julius Wynn says he didn't mean to offend St. Petersburg by scheduling Homecoming for tonight.

The Gladiators always have Homecoming in their second-to-last home game, he said, and that just happens to be tonight.

At St. Petersburg.

Against the Green Devils.

St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis, though, thinks the Gladiators could have picked a different week.

Instead, the Green Devils will stand on the visitor's sideline in their own stadium tonight as a Homecoming opponent.

"I think it's a slap in the face," St. Louis said after last week's win over Northeast.

The Gladiators have been road warriors the past two seasons, since Newtom-Williams Memorial Stadium, home to Gibbs football since 1978, was torn down while the campus is rebuilt. This season, it had "home" games scheduled at St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and Boca Ciega.

St. Louis contends that Gibbs could have picked a different week for Homecoming. But Wynn said next week's game against Northeast, also at St. Petersburg, is Senior Night.

As for previous weeks, Gibbs hosted East Lake Nov. 8 at Boca Ciega but Wynn said that was a Thursday and not convenient for Homecoming.

Wynn was surprised that Gibbs' decision had ruffled any feathers, saying "this is the first thing I've heard."

He profusely praised the administration at St. Petersburg for providing Gibbs a place to play the past two seasons, dismissing St. Louis as looking for something to fire up his team for the biggest game of the season.

"That's all it is," Wynn said. "He's just a coach. The athletic people over there, the principal, the athletic director have been so gracious. We're playing St. Pete at St. Pete and it just happens to be Homecoming. We didn't try to schedule it that way. We always pick this week."

Gibbs and St. Petersburg are 1-1 in Class 5A, District 10. Tonight's winner will grab sole possession of second place behind Boca Ciega and have the best shot at the runner-up playoff spot.

[Last modified October 22, 2004, 01:09:27]


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