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Pirates hire Warriors coach

Published September 17, 2005

CRYSTAL RIVER - Seven Rivers Christian coach Steve Ekeli accepted the boys soccer position at Crystal River, Pirates athletic director Earl Bramlett said Friday.

Ekeli, 36, led Seven Rivers to an 18-5 record last year in fall soccer and the Warriors are 8-1 this season. He has coached at Seven Rivers three seasons and was an assistant at Crystal River for three (2000-02) and worked with the program last year. Ekeli graduated from Citrus in 1987, was a sweeper on the school's first two teams and also played at Hillsborough Community College. He plans to remain the fall soccer and baseball coach at Seven Rivers.

Ekeli replaces Bobby Verlato, who coached the program for four seasons. Verlato led the Pirates to a 14-4-2 record and district championship during the 2001-02 school year. Verlato followed it up with another postseason appearance in 2002-03, with a 14-7-1 record. The Pirates have struggled the past two years, with sub-.500 marks, including an 8-13 record last season.

[Last modified September 17, 2005, 02:15:31]

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