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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.
LAKELAND - In a businesslike display of its trademark net dominance, Plant (28-2) overwhelmed Fort Myers 25-16, 25-23, 25-19 in the Class 5A state title match Saturday, becoming only the fifth program in Florida prep history with at least six state crowns.
"We wanted it; it's been our dream since ... whenever we lost to Venice last year," said junior setter Kellie Catanach, who tallied 35 assists. "We've had our eyes on it, and we weren't going to stop until we got it."
Not that anyone in 5A appeared capable of stopping them. Like the 27 Panthers' victims before it, Fort Myers simply had no answer for Plant's hitters, including University of Miami-bound senior Christine Williamson (match-high 14 kills).
Fort Myers never led by more than three points in any game. The Green Wave cut Plant's lead to 24-23 in Game 2 before Williamson ended things with a kill. Kaley Read and Danielle Erb complemented Williamson with nine kills each for Plant.
Berkeley Prep falls in three-game sweep
Lake Highland won its third straight state title, completing a three-game sweep (25-15, 25-12, 25-22) over Berkeley Prep on Friday at the Lakeland Center.
"We knew coming in we'd have to play almost perfect to beat them," said Berkeley coach Randy Dagostino.
Berkeley senior setter Kate Parker (23 assists) was disappointed to lose in her final match but praised her team's efforts.
"It's disappointing to lose your final match, but our team worked hard all year," she said. "But this is not the way we wanted to finish."
Times correspondent Scott Roscovius contributed to this report.