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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.
St. Petersburg was perfect Monday, putting all five players into today's singles finals and advancing both doubles teams to the semifinals.
But Alonso made sure the Green Devils didn't get too far away, losing just once and trailing 12-11 in a two-team battle at the Class 4A, District 5 tournament at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater.
A state tournament team a year ago, Alonso returned their top four and each made district finals. Megan Broderick will meet St. Petersburg's Lindsay Dvorak at No.1, Fernanda Ospina takes on Ashley Hood at No.2, Gabriela Ospina plays Kaitlein Jammo at No.3 and Marcela Lopez takes on Jasmyn Smith at No.4.
The Green Devils own one win over Alonso as No.5 Kaitlin Holdstein, who has won three straight district championships, beat Krista Beach.
"We knew it would come down to this," St. Petersburg coach Alan Turnquist said. "I'm hoping we can get three of those singles matches."
The East Lake girls won 14 matches this season. Lost just once.
Today, in the District 7 tournament at the East Lake Woodlands Country Club, those two schools will meet in three singles finals, one doubles semifinal and a possible doubles final to determine the district champion.
The Eagles and Warhawks both have nine points, and will battle at Nos.1, 2 and 3 singles.
In the No.2 doubles semifinal, a match East Lake coach Greg Houck thinks ultimately will determine the champion, the Eagles and Seminoles face each other.
At No.1 singles, East Lake's Tara Zafadari will meet Seminole's Dalila Chiadmi in a rematch of a regular-season meeting that Zafadari won 9-8.
In District 8, the Lakewood girls trailed Largo 13-8 but that's because the Spartans had so many byes it hasn't had a chance to accumulate its full share of points.
The Spartans (11-4 during the season) have a player in every singles final.
VALRICO - At Riverhills Country Club, Newsome and Academy of the Holy Names were tied after the first day at eight points each. Newsome and AHN have four each in the singles finals and meet face-to-face in three.
At the Royal Racquet Club in Clearwater, Northside Christian did well, advancing four of its five singles players into the finals. They were: Samantha Melby (No.2), Allura Gabay (No.3), Carolina Barnett (No.4) and Kerri Gallagher (No.5).