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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
TAMPA - Tony and Bertha Saladino, organizers of the 25-year-old Saladino Baseball Tournament for Hillsborough County schools, are heading to Cooperstown Sunday for the Hall of Fame induction of Tampa native Wade Boggs - a man they hold near and dear to their hearts.
"Wade's wife, Debbie, used to babysit for us and Wade has been very supportive of our tournament for so many years," Tony Saladino said. "We couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this."
At the ceremony honoring Gaither pitcher Caleb Graham as Saladino Award winner, given each year to the county's top player, Saladino noted he and his wife share the same wedding anniversary date as the Boggs.
"Wade has done an awful lot for baseball for this area and he is a true home town guy (home is in north Tampa)," Saladino said. "What a fitting tribute to be going into the Hall."
Saladino last attended a Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1997 when he accompanied Tampa legend Al Lopez.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Two teams from eastern Hillsborough County, Durant and Riverview, will be moving from Class 5A to 6A, but Riverview coach Dan O'Regan doesn't see it making much difference for his team.
"We play pretty much the same teams as we have in the past," O'Regan said. "We added Sarasota to our district and we play Lake Gibson, state runnerup in 4A the past two years to Armwood, in a nondistrict game, so that'll be a challenge."
Other changes include Jefferson and Freedom moving from 3A to 4A. Hillsborough and Alonso are making a switch with the Terriers moving from 5A to 4A and the Ravens moving from 4A to 5A. Alonso coach Mike Heldt was just happy his school didn't move all the way to 6A, a classification the school was three students shy of.
"Had we gone to 6A, because of the lack of many schools in that class around here, we would have had to travel great distances for our games," Heldt said. "So in that respect, it worked out okay for us."
Independents Cambridge and Temple Heights move up to Class 1B while Newsome goes from Independent to 4A. Tampa Bay Tech moves to 3A from 4A while Berkeley Prep goes from 1A to 2B. Playing its first year of football, Tampa Baptist will compete as an independent.
OFF TO NATIONALS: Several members of the Tampa Trailblazers track club won or placed high enough at this month's AAU state championships to qualify for the AAU Nationals July 30-Aug. 6 in New Orleans.
Robinson 2005 graduate Lamar Hicks, 18, qualified for nationals by winning the 100-meter state title and placing second in the 200. Charity Marshall (12) won the 1,500 meters race-walk for girls and her brother Joshua, 14, won the 3,200 meters race-walk for boys in his age group.
Terrence Mitchell, 14, won the long jump for boys age 14, captured silver in the 100-meter dash and was fourth in the 200 meters. He qualified to compete in all three events at nationals.
NEW FACES: Leto, Blake, Wharton, Jesuit, Cambridge and Tampa Catholic will be playing under new football coaches this fall. Scott Palmer replaces Jerrell Cogman at Leto while Sean Washington takes over for Ricky Reynolds at Blake. Melvin Cunningham will be replaced by David Mitchell at Wharton and at Jesuit, Joe Ross takes over from Rick Schmitz. Rick Shears, who finished up as co-head coach at Cambridge last year, takes on the top position for the Lancers. Bob Henriquez returns to Tampa Catholic to replace the departing Jim Guderian. Tampa Baptist will be led by first-year coach Dennis Duggan.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The 40th anniversary of the 1965 Plant football team will be celebrated Sept. 9 at Plant's Dads Stadium. The 1965 team is invited to meet before the game in the school's media center and at a gathering following the game at Jimmy Mac's. For more information call Mike Thrift at 813-785-5177.
Compiled by Times staff writer Scott Purks and Times correspondents Jim Reese and Terry Jones.