tampabay.com

Area stars pick their future teams

By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published December 30, 2005


The first half of the high school season is finished, but a handful of area girl's players have decided where they will start next year.

The list of oral commitments is headed by Florida State recruits Becky Thompson and Annie Stalzer. Thompson was an integral part of Clearwater Central Catholic's run to the region finals last year while Stalzer finished with 20 goals and 12 assists for state runnerup Palm Harbor U.

"Annie is rock solid and has had a great career here," PHU coach John Planamenta said. "She can do it all out on the field."

Other area commitments include: Seminole's Jessica Lebohner (Saint Leo) and Regan Riley (Jacksonville); Osceola's Emily Ware (Stetson); St. Petersburg's Meggie Ford (Columbia); CCC's Sam Freedman (Columbus State) and last season's Times Player of the Year, PHU's Courtney Whidden (UCF).

Feb. 1 is the first day for players to sign college letters of intent

DOWN THE STRETCH: With just over two weeks left for the boys and girls, each district match takes on that much more importance. After a pair of out-of-district matches Monday and Tuesday, a full slate of district action highlights Wednesday.

UNHAPPY HOLIDAYS: Seminole not only went on the road to beat PHU 1-0 Nov. 29, but the Warhawks handed the Hurricanes (10-1) their only loss of the season. The rematch, however, turned out to be no match. PHU pounded the Warhawks 8-0 just before the winter break and look poised for another run deep into the state playoffs.

"I guess you could say the girls wanted to reestablish themselves," Planamenta said of the win. "They weren't too happy with what happened (Nov. 29)."

OVERLOOKED: Narrowing down 22 players for the all-tournament teams at last week's prestigious Admiral Invitational was a tricky undertaking, but the absence of Countryside midfielder Kyle Kuhlman was glaring.

Kuhlman's long, picture-perfect assist from midfield set up the goal in the Cougars' 1-0 semifinal win against George Jenkins, and his feed also provided the lone strike in Countryside's 2-1 final loss to Auburndale.

"(Kuhlman) definitely deserved to make it," Cougars coach Dave Sica said. "I try not to get too caught up in all-tournament teams, but he should have been on it."