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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.
Palm Harbor University coach John Planamenta took over the program in 2004 and led the Hurricanes to the state semifinals. In 2005, he took it one step further, reaching the finals before capturing the title.
So what's next?
"We'll see if we can't do it again, but it's going to be a lot harder," Planamenta said.
The Hurricanes' path to back-to-back titles will take a tougher road due to some key losses. Gone are last season's Times' Co-Players of the Year Courtney Whidden and Annie Stalzer. The duo combined for 47 goals In 2005-06, but Planamenta expects Times' first-team all-county selection Kelly Brinkman, who recently committed to East Tennessee State, to pick up the bulk of the scoring slack.
"Kelly's the real deal," Planamenta said. "She's going to have a big year."
Seminole: The Warhawks, last year's district winners, figure to be in the mix again, but will do so with a decidedly different look in the midfield.
Gone are Times' all-county midfield selections Danielle Celmer, Jessica Lebohner and Amy Nolsheim, but coach Steve Kuplicki anticipates sophomore Tess Hipp will help fill the void. The Warhawks, who lost seven seniors, do return junior forwards Taylor Mattox 15 goals and Erica Bueno (11) as well as goalkeeper Amanda Tucker, who recently committed to soccer powerhouse North Carolina.
"Taylor and Erica have been together for three years so that's a nice combo," Kuplicki said. "And it's a tremendous honor for Amanda (to commit to UNC) and now she can just sit back and concentrate on her senior season."
Clearwater Central Catholic: Marauders coach Tom Typrowicz admits to being "spoiled" the past four years with Becky Thompson between the woodwork. But with Thompson now at Florida State, Typrowicz is faced with finding a new keeper.
"We have a junior transfer from Las Vegas named Makenzie Kenner who we'll have back there," Typrowicz said. "She hasn't played keeper since she was 14 in club ball so she's a little rusty, but I think she's extremely coachable."
Another big void in CCC's lineup will be the loss of Sam Freedman (Columbus State). Typrowicz said sophomore Kelly Campbell will be asked to assume Freedman's physical role in the Marauders midfield.
Shorecrest: The Chargers had a breakout year last season, winning the school's first district championship. Shorecrest also reached the state semifinals for the first time before losing to eventual champion American Heritage. But the Chargers go into this season without four-year starters and primary scorers Kelli Jones, Chrissy Mastry and Tayllor Sembler.
"Taylor Tremaine, who was the major ball distributor from the midfield last season, will likely have to pick up some of the scoring slack," coach Neil Wolfrath said. "I think those three helped to set a standard here. We're focused on having a winning program, not just a winning season."