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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.
VALRICO - The Newsome and Jesuit teams will fight it out today at Riverhills Country Club for the Class 2A, District 10 title.
The Newsome and Jesuit boys finished tied at 10 through the semifinal singles after Monday's play. All the boys from both schools are in the finals.
Newsome coach Dave Peters says it will take his team's best match to beat Jesuit. Only No.1 player James Vuckocic, a junior, won a singles match in a dual with Jesuit earlier in the season. In three sets, he edged the Tigers' Mark Wilkie.
Vukocic says the match is probably up for the player having the best day. He defeated Nick Smith of St. Petersburg Catholic in the semifinals.
"I played a tough kid and it will be even tougher (this) morning," Vuckocic said. "The last match I had with Wilkie was a huge struggle. He is a very strong player. However, I think our guys have a chance to win this tournament. It still has to be determined on the court."
Other boys matches include Bryan Beasley (Jesuit) vs. Andy Harsh at No.2, Macale Smith (Jesuit) vs Alex Lukin at No.3, Eddy Shahnasarian (Jesuit) vs Aaron Barrett at No.4 and Matt Jordan (Jesuit) vs Matt DeCubellis at No.5.
TAMPA - The trip up Interstate 75 was worth the time for the Sarasota County teams Monday during the opening day at USF. Sarasota Riverview and Sarasota players took the top two spots in all five of the singles brackets to set up an all Rams vs. Sailors finals on Day 2.
Sarasota and Sarasota Riverview were strong in doubles as well, though players from Bloomingdale, Durant and Tampa Riverview were able to reach today's doubles semifinals.
In No.1 doubles, Bloomingdale's Gregg Foreshaw and Trenton Wiggins topped Durant's Evan Magdovitz and Kevin Gonzalez 7-6 (10-8), 6-0. Durant's No.2 doubles team of Luke Villareal and Marcos Mendoza advanced, as did Tampa Riverview's No.2 team of Michael Dacey and David Kovacs.
TAMPA - The tournament comes down to today's finals with Hillsborough and Wharton tied at 10 points after Monday's play.
Freedom and Plant were tied for third with seven points, but don't appear to have enough manpower to take today's title.
Chamberlain was fourth with five points, followed by Blake with two.
Play resumes today at 8 a.m. at Hillsborough Community College.
Tampa Prep had five player reach singles finals and took a seven-point lead over Lakeland Christian after one day of play at Woodlake Park in Lakeland.
George Navas (No.1), Bobby Hernandez (No.2), Derek Redmon (No.3), Alex Hallenbeck (No.4) and Nate Palombo (No.5) advanced with straight-set victories. Navas and Hallenbeck (No.1) and Hernandez and Redmon (No.2) also made it through to the doubles semifinals.
Nathan Graddy advanced to the No.4 singles finals for third-place Berkeley Prep, which trails Tampa Prep by eight points. The Bucs' Justin Herzig (No.2) and Jay Mendoza (No.3) remain alive in the semifinals.
Pretournament favorite Saddlebrook Prep was forced to default from both boys and girls tourneys after the FHSAA ruled the school failed to submit the proper paperwork regarding player eligibility.
Instead of the online form required to register players, Saddlebrook submitted a handwritten form four or five days late, said Tampa Prep coach Mark Hoekstra, who oversees the tournaments.
"It was the state's choice," Hoekstra said. "I've never heard of it happening."